DJ Jounce continues to captivate and attract greater amounts of EDM fans with his music productions. Recently, his name is on everyone’s lips due to the success of his newest single, entitled “Nobody Knows“, which features the well-known singer Christina Novelli.
I asked him a few questions about his music for our Electro WOW fans. Enjoy this interview!
1 – What got you into music? Were you part of a band?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved music so I think it’s just something in my DNA. I grew up playing instruments starting with piano around age 5. I went to public schools but we were very fortunate to have music programs. I played various instruments including bass in Jazz band and trumpet in the concert band. I even played tuba at one point. No joke. I played guitar and sang in a Rock band and we played at school dances and even the local bar, which was a trip. My mom is an angel for having put up with the noise of me practicing.
2 – When did you start producing EDM?
I didn’t really dive into EDM as a producer until about 2011. I had gone to music school and was familiar with traditional instruments and music theory. So I foolishly thought the transition to quantized electronic music would be easy, but … not so much. Unlike my guitar which is basically a set instrument, soft synths, plugins and everything in the DAW are so vast it’s insane. One thing I love and hate about electronic music is that the possibilities are virtually infinite. Honestly, some days I feel like throwing my computer out the window. But when I am able to get the right sound, it’s so much more gratifying because of all the hell that went into it.
3 – Do you ever give your music away for free?
Oh yeah. At my shows, I give away these “DJ Jounce” bottle openers that double as a USB flash drive and are loaded with my music, videos and other media. On my SoundCloud, folks can download my original track “The Place To Be and Die” for free. We’re going to give away more stuff on my Facebook and elsewhere online, which is great so I can reach fans no matter where they are. We ship worldwide!
4 – How has the Internet influenced you as a music producer? Any interesting stories to share?
The Internet is beneficial but also adds complexities. I’ve found helpful tips from other producers and it’s enabled long distance collaborations. The Internet also creates more opportunities for sharing your work with fans. But it’s also a distraction because now we all have to play the social media game, and fight for attention along with everyone else. My management and PR tell me to be more active online, and rightfully so … but I’d honestly rather focus on just the music and not on updating people with every silly thing I’m doing at the moment. Well I’m trying to improve that. So follow me online for all my latest interesting stories. All my social media handles are @djjounce! How’s that? LOL
5 – Where do the inspirations for the songs come from? Who writes the lyrics?
I don’t know. I’m guessing all the sounds in my head are some twisted amalgamation of everything I’ve heard throughout my life. And something will trigger me to grab certain noises. It could be the mood I’m in, something I just saw out the window, or something from the Internet. For example, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a random melody in my head. I couldn’t tell you where it came from, but I just use it if it works. I still listen to a lot of non-EDM, which I think helps approach song writing differently and hopefully come up with something unique.
I do write lyrics and eventually want to do a vocal track of my own. But most lyrics of my past collaborations were done exclusively by the singer and I don’t want to take any credit away from them. Christina wrote all the vocals for “Nobody Knows”.
6 – At what point did you know that Christina Novelli was the best singer for your latest track “Nobody Knows”?
Ever since I heard her voice for the first time on “Concrete Angel”, I knew I wanted to work with her on something. My manager had sent her some samples of a few new song ideas I had and we had agreed to collaborate. But “Nobody Knows” didn’t really come about until Christina sent me her vocals. She’s in the UK and I’m in LA so I worked on the instrumentation and production remotely. We’ve had a lot of great feedback so far and are thankful for the support we’ve received.
7 – What’s your perspective on the relationship and the balance between technological advances, music and the art of DJing?
I know some producers who will use 1000’s of dollars worth of plugins and hardware, but wouldn’t dare even consider using a laptop to DJ. Some of these guys are my friends who I love and respect. But if they were a film producer, would they insist on using a VCR for playback even if it could play HD? Or would they be a telemarketer using a rotary phone? I understand the desire to “keep it real” and shun tools that enable virtually anyone to call himself “DJ”; but I think the focus should be on advancing the art to do even more than what technology does by itself. I can already envision the hate comments coming from my comments here. Ha ha ha…
8 – Are you against the sync functionality on DJ gears?
I don’t have strong feelings one way or another. I know hardcore DJ’s hate it because it’s flooded the field with people who can’t really beat match and OG DJ’s are pissed because they spent years honing that skill that used to be essential. So yeah, it does suck in that sense but we have to evolve. Even though I use Serato for the music video and other digital functionality, I do not use any sync function. I also DJ with USB but have never used sync. The only way I could foresee me using any sync function is if I were using Ableton and combining dozens of tracks, sounds or instrument components into a live performance and essentially playing a live production. No matter what, I try to avoid the heated arguments about sync because I’d rather spend time making music.
9 – What’s the weirdest DJ name you have ever heard in your life?
Hmmm not many things are weird to me. So maybe I’ll just say Dead Mow Five? Yeah, I’ve met some non-EDM people in the music industry who have said that. It hasn’t happened lately since I think he’s become more of a household name. I like his name and music, but it’s weird when people say it wrong. Ha ha ha…
10 – Please recommend two DJs to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
The 1st DJ I’ll generically say is the real turntablist. Two of my favorites are old school guys Q*Bert and DJ Angelo. One of the best things about DJ’ing is the power to start, stop, reverse, and cut up a song or sounds as if all the instruments are perfectly in lock step with the motion of your hand. You can’t do this as a live band and it’s nearly impossible to program in electronic music. Scratching is a powerful and creative DJ skill and these guys are awesome at it.
Another DJ I’d like to mention is Mark Robinson from the UK. I met him when he came to DJ in the US. Just a super cool and nice guy with great skills. No attitude, gimmicks or inflated ego. I’ve met some real characters in this business and it’s refreshing to see someone doing great music primarily for the love of great music.