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.
Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.