Don’t miss reading this interview with ENERJOHN!, an innovative DJ who makes electronic music from Dubstep, Trap, Electro House, & Electronica. He is not the typical DJ who just plays music, actually, he is a very special human being. For the first time, I discovered a human side while interviewing an artist. His visions are to build clean water wells in Africa, help feed hungry people in third world countries, fight human trafficking and the host of other charitable activities. It is good to know that there are still good people in this world that enjoy the art of music!
1 – How did you get into mixing?
My mom bought me a brand spankin’ new Mac g4 Tower with a 400GHz processor in it haha! Since I played drums, guitar, bass, piano/keys & sang, I kept having idea’s for songs so I worked really hard and saved up and bought the pro tools LE/ digi-001 package (I still have it too). So I learned how to record all the instruments and started making full songs by myself because I didn’t have a band, and to be quite honest it was very fun to do.
2 – What is the hardest thing to learn as a music producer?
I have more than one answer to this question as there are multiple facets to being a music producer:
1.- The music industry. By far the hardest thing to “learn” is this cut-throat music industry, as I’m writing this, my album has been #1 in Dubstep for five days, #2 in Electro House, #4 in Electronica & #18 (peaked at #13) in the overall Top 100 on Beatport and I had to work extremely hard to promote like lunatic to make that happen. But I still don’t understand very much of how this industry works, I have no idea what happens next after hitting a #1 on two genera charts. (Releases charts, NOT singles… that would be epic).
2.- The tech: The hardest “technical” thing to learn as a producer would have to be sound design. There are so many sample packs (that I refuse to use), VST preset packs, pre-written royalty free “MIDI” notes you can just throw right in your daw (which is cheating…. lets be honest) that’s a lot of things start to sound the same, opening up a new sound on massive or FM8, etc…. and getting that noise in your head to sound like the noise coming out of your VST of choice can take hours, it is however quite rewarding when you make a really good sounding synth yourself.
3 – Who are some of your favorite DJs?
Bassnectar, Excision, NGHTMRE, BOGGAN, Seven Lions, Funtcase, Xilent, Zach Holmes, Game Genie, Max Kronyak, Sera Tonin, Jason Woodside, Giant Figting Robots, Jefe, Jauz, Eptic, Queen Beats, Kill The Noise, DC Apollo, Flux Pavilion, Paper Diamond, Armin Van Buuren, Flosstradomis, and probably my favorite (Bassnectar is a constant) DJ/Producer right now is Marshmello!
4 – Can you name a couple of your favorite tunes to spin?
Adele – “Hello” (Marshmello Remix), Lil Mama – “Lip Gloss” (Gold Top Remix), Módi – “Only With You”, Flux Pavilion – “I Can’t Stop”, DC Apollo – “Last Night”, Bassnectar “Chasing Heaven”, Bro Safari “Snap”, and one of my favorite combo’s is to drop the “Welcome To My Hood” acapella by DJ Khalad over Jansten’s “When The Beat Drops”.
5 – What’s the name of your latest production? Where can we download it?
Well, it’s an album and at the moment you can find it on Beatport Exclusive, bit.ly/ENERJOHN!
6 – What influenced you to make this album?
I’m influenced to make music mainly because that’s all I really know how to do, and hopefully one day I can be successful enough (this is the motivation) to build clean water wells in third world countries & fight hunger and human trafficking.
7 – We know you like to do social work. How many years have you been active in humanitarian activities?
I went to Mexico when I was 14 to help build essentially a “BOX with a roof” smaller than my bedroom… And have been doing things here and there since so…. 20 years?
8 – Can you name a couple of tips for someone getting started?
Be yourself, don’t try and sound like anyone else. People appreciate originality and currently the EDM world is OVERFLOWING with tracks that sound pretty much like the same thing. Just create what you hear in your head, don’t worry about anything else.
9 – Has anything embarrassing ever happened to you during a show?
HAHAHA oh yeah, I guess the top one would be at my first burning man, It was my first burn so I was super excited & at my own camp so I just brought out one of my handles of vodka with me and put it on the DJ booth with me to ya know…. have some drink’s while I was playing… the next DJ didn’t show up, after 4-5 hours of DJ’ing I was getting tired so I started sitting down in between tracks, I decided to lay down and woke up the next morning on the DJ booth… looked through my history and played a 10-15 of the same songs twice, was genera jumping all over the place towards the end…. Lesson learned : use a cup and leave the bottle in the cooler.
10 – How would you describe your music style?
Hmmm…. That’s a tough one. From 10 years of recording myself with actual instruments, I created very emo/hardcore stuff… Now as an electronic music producer a lot of that carried over so I’d say my style ranges from ambient electronica to melodic dubstep, and it’s turning into more bass heavy melodic trap-ish & big bass heavy electronica with “wall of sound” type choruses/ continuations.