Just some weeks ago, an email arrived at Electro WOW. It came from Intonenation Records, the brand new label of JES one of my favorite female singers in the Trance world! One amazing fact about this email is that I had the opportunity to get to know more about this talented woman and artist. Today I am eternally grateful with JES who gave her time for this exclusive interview!
1 – Is your real name JES or just an artistic pseudonym?
Jes is my real name and JES is my pseudonym!
2 – Is it true that you come from an artistic family?
I come from a very artistic family. My mother was an actress and singer in the theatre and television when I was growing up. She is also an amazing visual artist that paints and sculpts so I was exposed to music and art at an early age. Living in New York we spent a lot of time visiting galleries and museums and that is still something that I love to do with my mother. We always had musical instruments around the house and I learned to play them. I started singing and writing songs at a very early age and used to learn all the songs I heard on the radio. My father also plays a little piano and my sister is an amazing photographer, so I think it’s safe to say my family is artistic!
3 – How was your work experience as an assistant engineer at a studio in LA?
Working in a studio was a very interesting experience ☺. I learned most things there from doing the wiring and maintenance to how to record different instruments and what all the different equipment is used for. There was a great variety of sessions there while I was working from film and movie sessions to rock legends and hip hop and pop. I also got to learn professional studio etiquette and after working in New York to support my music and being immersed in a musical environment was just wonderful for me. I think it helped me to have a better overview of the way people make music and use a studio as a creative tool so it was a really a valuable experience.
4 – What are your secrets for making a catchy Trance song?
I don’t think there’s any difference between making a catchy trance song and making any type of a catchy song. Personally I like to work on the song as a stripped down version with just a piano or guitar. If I can make it connect with people in that simple raw form then it will usually translate to almost any style and still connect. Music is really just a feeling and I find if I can make people feel something when they hear it then that’s the most important thing. For a really catchy song you want to make sure after you’ve heard it once that remember what it’s called and the hook is a big part of that. Personally, I don’t always go into writing a song from that point of view but if you need a catchy song then you want to start with a title and an idea that resonates with you and means something. Often it’s best to start with the chorus and build or deconstruct it from there but sometimes I like to just let rip and see what comes out!
5 – What’s your favorite Trance song of all time?
That is a tough question! There are so many amazing songs in this genre that it’s impossible to pick just one. Personally I tend to like things that are a little different or out of the ordinary. That’s what makes things interesting but if I had to pick…I’d say either Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan – Silence (Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise Remix) or As the rush comes Armin Van Buuren remix!
6 – What happened to your music project with Tiesto called “Allure”?
It actually it wasn’t my project but I contributed a song to the album. Tiesto had made a few releases for the Allure project before I got involved. The song I recorded for the project was called “Show Me The Way”. I wrote it on a Wurlitzer piano and it was like a beautiful ballad. Once Tiesto got it he turned it into an epic Trance track but I think it still managed to retain it’s unusual qualities. We shot a beautiful video for it in Ireland when it was released. That was a very memorable shoot! It’s been a very popular song and I still get asked all the time to perform it at most shows so I think we did good!
7 – Why did you decide to start your own label Intonenation Records?
It had been an ambition of mine for a long time to have a label. My team and I have been working on it for a while. It takes a lot of organization and planning but I’m really happy that we’ve done it. It’s great to be able to have an outlet for some of my music that may not otherwise find it’s way out to the fans and I’m very much looking forward to releasing music and supporting other artists through the label.
8 – How can singers, DJs and producers submit music to your record label?
The best was to submit your unsigned song or track is here:
But you may also go to the Intonenation facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IntonenationRecords and there is a demo drop there as well.
To submit a promo for my Unleash The Beat Mixshow you can drop it here: http://jes.demodrop.com
9 – What are you currently working on?
I have moved into a new creative space in Los Angeles and it’s been a really productive time so far. My new song “Hold On” is out now on Beatport and releases on iTunes on July 6th with some amazing remixes from among others Fatum, North2South, Red Cube and Alex Kunnari. I’m really excited about that as it’s the first release on my own label so please check it out if you can. I’m working on a bunch of new collaborations and I’m planning a new artist album for later this year with a surprising release idea so stay tuned for news on that because it’s going to be something you don’t want to miss.
10 – How do you see yourself in 5 years?
In the next 5 years I would like to develop my label’s brand to be something that the fans can rely on as a source for great and innovative music. I would love my studio to be busy with the production work for the label and I’m fairly hands on so I would enjoy being involved in the development of new artists too. I hope to have 2 new albums out in that time and I would absolutely love to get a Grammy nomination for one of my own songs!
Feather Talks About His Music Career And Latest Song, “Fixing Me”
1 – How long did it take you to become a music producer?
Haha, man some days it feels like I haven’t quite made it yet to that official title! But I guess there are many days where I do feel like it fits. I would say it’s taken me about 5 years to get to a point where I feel somewhat confident in my ability to create a workable idea. Although one time the artist and producer Blanke told me it takes about 8 years until you really feel confident!
2 – Where do you get the motivation to keep going?
This is a great question because I don’t totally know. My friends have always told me I’m a bit of a relentless maniac with my work ethic, but it’s just always been some component of who I am – overly passionate and hardworking. I prefer to be proactive in life as it helps me feel more in control of my situation instead of being a victim of circumstance.
Actually, I think the collaborative album project I just finished might be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. There were so many moving parts and components between artists, collaborators, and teams from the conception of the song to finally getting it released, and as an independent artist specifically who is rather involved personally in the process it was a lot of work at times.
4 – What do you prefer producing or performing live? Why?
I prefer performing, hands down. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a performer. I’ve been involved in some sort of performance art since I was young so it’s rather ingrained in my being. I feel very comfortable and natural up there and it’s one of the few places that I don’t think too much and I’m able to just be in the moment.
5 – What gives you satisfaction in your career?
I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction and actually cultivated a lot of respect for myself through the process of conceptualizing an idea for the project and then going through the (often frustrating and exhausting) process of attempting to execute the idea and eventually ending with a finished product. That entire process teaches you a lot about yourself and many other avenues involved, and in the end, you feel really capable and proud.
6 – How would you interpret the lyrics of your latest song “Fixing Me”?
To me, it’s really about the ability someone can have to completely change your perspective around, whether it be about life, love, yourself, etc. But their influence helps shift your energy back to a positive or optimistic feel-good vibe.
7 – What new things did you learn from this collaboration with SEGØ and Rajiv Dhall?
One of the coolest things that I felt happened through making this song was really a profound connection of being understood by other people. We often spent a lot of time in our sessions having these group therapy-type talks and I was blown away by how similar a lot of my personal issues ended up being to others’ problems! Through the process of talking and sharing and venting I think we all left feeling a little more understood and seen by another person and ultimately I think that leads to more happiness, better art, and a better life.
8 – Is there anything you would like to highlight about its creative process?
I could go on and on about so many things with the creative process, but I think one of the biggest things is how everyone creates differently and hears music differently. Each person contributes in a different way and it was really cool to see how we all filled in the gaps of everyone’s abilities. But it takes a lot of trust, understanding, and compromise so it’s not without effort but that’s why it’s so great that we all got along and were able to share personal things – it really helps the creative process feel smoother.
9 – How do you deal with self-criticism when it comes to creating new music?
Hmmm… I really am not the best when it comes to this as my internal dialog can be a little negative at times. I am constantly working on this and lately, it’s been focused on not thinking too much and just creating. Not worrying about what it sounds like or what it’s for, just let it come out and figure it out later. The thinking brain is not the creative brain so the more you can turn that part off through the many stages of the process, the better you’ll feel as you won’t really have the time or bandwidth to criticize what it is you’re making!
10 – What are your future plans for the rest of 2022?
I’m looking forward to getting this album out and then I really hope I can find some opportunities to perform and play some shows for people. As I said, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I really feel that I thrive up there and I want to show people what this project means to me in a live environment!
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The Reactivitz Shares Thoughts On Techno And “Todo En La Vida”
“Todo En La Vida” is one of the latest club bangers from French Producer The Reactivitz. He has releases on Suara, Filth On Acid, Octopus Recordings, and more. In this exclusive interview, he shares his thoughts on Techno and, of course, the new single.
1 — What’s the story behind your artistic name?
Hey Guys, thanks for having me on your interview series. My name is Jonathan, a 29-year-old French DJ, and producer living in Lyon, France. I started producing and playing music under the name of ‘The Reactivitz’ about 10 years ago. At the start, I was producing different sounding music, more like Deep House, House, and Electro. Therefore, it took time to find my own style as I have always enjoyed many genres of music. The underground scene always gave me a buzz and I felt a strong connection with Techno in particular. For years now I have been releasing and playing Techno and Tech House. I love creating dark and powerful tracks with melodic elements, peak time energy, and cool vocal samples.
2 — How do you genuinely feel about the current state of the Techno scene as a whole?
Besides COVID-19 which put the whole scene at a standstill for 2 years, in my opinion, the Techno scene is at the same time full of opportunities yet really closed.
Indeed, we hear more and more amazing music from upcoming talented Techno artists. Every week, I listen to music on different platforms, and I am always amazed by all the new tracks I find from artists I never heard before. With social media, streaming platforms, and Beatport, we have now the opportunity to discover more music than before and it’s a really good point as we have a lot of choices. These ways of communication are helping a lot of the artists to showcase their tracks, even if sometimes DJs and producers spend more time on social media taking off their image than music.
Regarding festivals and parties, we are seeing more and more big Techno events worldwide. Many people enjoy Techno and it’s a good thing for the future of underground music. Nevertheless, I would deplore the fact that we can’t see new names on lines-up. We have so many talents out there, but I am always disappointed to always see the same names when I go to a party. I really think that a lot of truly talented producers and DJs would have their places at the top of the scene, but politics and connections are blocking them. As an artist, even if you are talented, you will need patience and a lot of hard work to get to the top.
3 — Where do you get inspiration for your Techno tracks?
Most of my inspiration comes from what I listen to every day. I listen to many artists in different genres and it’s helpful to give me some ideas for my tracks. I can spend days listening to house, techno, rap or even pop music to find interesting new sonorities. I really like to see how artists structure their tracks and how they make them sound, whatever the genre is. When I am producing, I am trying to mix elements from different genres to have a unique sound. It means that I am not putting up barriers, I produce what I feel when I am in the studio as I love to explore new things. Sometimes producing outside the box allows getting amazing results.
4 — As a producer, does it matter if music is commercial or underground?
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. Personally, commercial music is not something that I really enjoy as I prefer producing and playing underground music, but I am not against adding a bit of commercial sonorities into my tracks from time to time. Today, we can see a trend in both genres: a lot of the former commercial artists are getting into the underground scene and also underground artists are adding more commercial elements into their tracks. Is underground becoming the new commercial? The future will speak.
5 — What prompted you to take this Latin-influenced approach for your new single “Todo En La Vida”?
“Todo En La Vida” has a special meaning to me. It’s been a while since I have wanted to produce a track with some Latin vocals because my family is born in the south of Spain, so I wanted to do something related to my origins. Also, as I said before, I wanted to explore new things and I thought that the summertime was the best time to offer something different, more groovy and housey.
6 — “Todo En La Vida” is translated into English as “Everything In Life,” that being said, what’s the most important thing in your life?
The most important thing in my life is my family and my friends. I spent a lot of time with them. They give me advice and support me every day with what I am doing. I am happy knowing that I have their support whatever happens.
7 — Would you consider remixing this track? If so, what producers come to mind?
At the moment, I don’t think that it would be necessary to have another remix done on this track as Luke Andy made a stunning remix already. But maybe it could be a good idea to have some more remixes in the future. I am always interested to hear what other artists can do with my tracks.
8 — What do you think about this collaboration with Luke Andy as a remixer?
After having sent “Todo En La Vida” to There Is A Light, they suggested me to have Luke Andy as a remixer. I thought that it was a good idea as his style perfectly matches the vibe of the track. He did something different with his own vision and I really love it. Can’t wait to play his remix at my next few shows.
9 — What’s next in your schedule?
After “Todo En La Vida,” I will release a new collaboration track with djseanEboy on my label Immersion called “Strange,” followed by a two-tracker EP on Unity in August. I have also planned to release some tracks on Immersion further this year. This week, a new EP with Mauro Somm has been confirmed on FORM which will be released on September 2nd. During the next weeks, I plan to keep producing a lot of new songs and I have many tracks that I’m excited to release.
10 — How do you plan to keep your music style so innovative?
Listening to more music helps me to keep my music style innovative. As I said before, I love to hear many genres to get inspired for my next tracks. Traveling and discovering new amazing places is also a good opportunity to innovate. When I come back to the studio, I have a head full of new ideas and it’s always a good thing! Another important thing is to collaborate with other artists. I love sending and receiving new projects, so we can both share our visions and come up with something completely different from what we did at the beginning.
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Niko The Kid Talks Career + EDM-Driven Single “Fine” — Interview
Niko The Kid dove into 2022 with rapid fire. Upcoming releases on Toolroom, At Night, Sony, UMG, and more were all scheduled for this year. With this interview, you can learn more about his career and his recent EDM-driven single “Fine.”
1 – How would you describe your sound to someone listening to you for the very first time?
I’d say my sound is pretty versatile. It’s definitely very synth-driven. I love pulling inspiration from older dance records, Disco, Hip-Hop, and combining them with these modern sounds. I think I land somewhere between House and EDM.
2 – What do you enjoy the most about your artistic career?
I think my favorite part is DJing. There’s no better feeling than playing music out live and seeing people enjoying themselves to music you created yourself.
I would say Throttle, Oliver Heldens, and CID. I love these guys and they’ve been a tremendous help to me coming up.
4 – Did you ever imagine yourself creating beats for Akon, Young Thug, and Gucci Mane, among other heavyweight talents?
Never in a million years. It’s been a wild journey so far. Coming up in Atlanta and spending 6 years or so in LA, I found myself in these situations to be able to work with some incredible people. I’m super grateful.
5 – What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
I would say navigating the ever-changing landscape of social media and streaming. It’s definitely a challenge getting new people to hear about you and grinding to create content while also making music. It’s definitely tough juggling all these things without losing your mind.
6 – Where did you get the inspiration to drop your single “Fine”?
I’ve been listening to a lot of melodic stuff like Rufus Du Sol and Camelphat. I’ve always loved these dark brooding synths and melodies. When we wrote the original demo I had these inspirations in the back of my mind.
7 – With this new release do you think your music has grown since you first started?
Absolutely. When I first started releasing music, I think I was still figuring things out. One of the hardest things about being an artist is honing in on a direction. It’s easy to get lost when you have such a passion for many types of music.
8 – What do you hope your listeners take from “Fine”?
The idea of the song is that we all tend to have self-destructive tendencies; big or small and that it’s okay to acknowledge that and move on.
9 – What’s your philosophy towards work while being at the recording studio?
My thing is to just always be creating, whether it’s music or visuals. Just making something. I also found a passion for 3D art during the beginning of the pandemic. It’s nice having another outlet. I find it helps recharge my creative juices for music to sit and create artwork or animations.
10 – Can we expect more songs to be released soon?
For sure! I’ve got a ton of new music on the way. I’m considering dropping an EP by the end of the year so definitely stay tuned for that.