Want to know more about John Gibbons? I had the honour of interviewing this talented DJ/Producer from Ireland, in which, interesting subjects c. Read it completely below!
1 – Could you tell us a bit about your musical background? What led you to begin DJing, producing, and composing music in the first place?
I began DJ’ing while still in school, in fact my very first gig was as stand-in for a DJ who didn’t show up at a school disco at home in Ireland. I still remember the incredible buzz that I felt from being on stage from the first time and from there I managed to work my way up the ladder into better and better gigs over time.
I always had an interest in production and dabbled from a young age also but really began to take it seriously after ‘Beautiful Filth’ broke through into the mainstream and crossed over to the Irish pop charts in 2008. At that point I realized that production was about to become a whole lot more than just messing around on my laptop!
2 – Where are you originally from? What is the music scene of your hometown like?
I’m originally from a small town in Ireland called Carlow. While the music scene is tiny, as is the case in any provincial Irish town due to sheer lack of population, as a nation Ireland has always punched well above its weight in musical terms and I got an invaluable grounding in the skills required to properly DJ (as opposed to simply playing a pre-determined set as is the case with so many performers now) while playing in local bars and clubs, equipping me well for the career that has followed.
3 – What can you tell us about the experience of DJing with some of the elite in the industry and your interest in music production?
I remember being blown away by the initial experience of playing alongside DJ’s whom I had looked up to and idolized growing up, the likes of John Digweed, Armin, Tiesto and many others and it’s still a huge thrill to consistently play alongside the industry elite and be considered a contemporary as opposed to a fan. I’m very lucky in that regard and would never take for granted the opportunities I’ve received to date.
As I mentioned earlier, music production became serious from 2008 onwards and huge influences for me in this regard would have been Tony de Vit, Corvin Dalek, John Digweed, Yomanda and almost anything that was released on the ‘Manifesto’ label. I still consider ‘Manifesto’ to be the best dance label of all time, particularly in terms of capturing the essence of what dance-music is all about for me, ie. eliciting a variety of emotions and feelings in the clubber or listener.
Yes, ‘Get Down’ is my debut on ‘Insomnified’ and is very much inspired by my feelings with regard to world events and in particular the militarized subjugation of the so-called ‘free’ West we are currently witnessing on a frightening level. The track is written with forceful, almost dystopian, high-impact moments and sugar-coated with contrasting melodies in order to reflect the present Orwellian/Huxley-esque societal juxtaposition with the double-entendre vocal deliberately placed to mirror both sides of the metaphorical coin, ie. the global control structure and ‘we the people’.
Mac and Gannon have been a dream to work with, we have a similar musical vision and work ethic and I firmly believe the have a massively bright future as artists, hence my keenness to work with them.
5 – How did you find out about Insomnified? Is their utilization of global & territorial resources / listenership the reason you went with the label in the first place?
I’ve been a close follower and supporter of Insomnified for some time now, having first stumbled across label boss Magnetie through her release ‘You & Me’ on the label and despite offers from a number of other high-profile labels, a combination of their musical ethos, distribution clout through Black Hole and attention to detail with regard to maximizing the potential of each release made Insomnified the perfect fit for this release.
6 – What can you tell us about some of the tracks you have featured on your Soundcloud page?
My Soundcloud page offers a diverse sample of some of the tracks I’ve released over the past few years and includes solo tracks, collaborations and a variety of styles. I also includes some of my more recent cross-over tracks which have charted in Europe over the past 18 months, in particular ‘All I Need’, ‘Colder’ and ‘Feelings’, which have helped open many recent doors for me in the music industry and have inspired the direction of my debut artist album which is pending.
7- What is your favorite social networking platform? Why?
On a personal level I love Twitter for its condensed simplicity and the speedy way it allows me to keep an eye on and interact with both those whom I choose to follow and my own followers. It has really broken down the boundaries between artist and fan which I think is a great thing!
In terms of pure music Soundcloud is great, although they really need to take a closer look at the back end that constantly flags tracks erroneously for copyright infringements – it gets very tiresome having to have my own tracks reinstated!
8 – Who are your biggest musical influences? Why?
Queen for their groundbreaking versatility and showmanship which tore up the rulebook in terms of what was acceptable to a mainstream audience at the time, Judge Jules for his incredible ear for uncovering diverse and groundbreaking dance-music spanning decades always focusing on creativity above all else, as well as tirelessly championing new talent and Tupac Shakur for inspiring me to make a statement with music as opposed to always pandering to the bottom-line.
9 – What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of music?
I’ve a huge interest in the law and have studied it extensively for years. It fascinates me how the law is used by the parasitic professional ‘elite’ to chevy the general populace into doing things that go entirely against our natural instincts, when in fact it can be used to protect us from a wide-range of social ills and financial malignancies. I regularly practice as a lay-litigant and it has genuinely changed my world-view and on a macro level, my entire life and allowed me a heretofore unimagined level of real (as opposed to illusory) freedom. I recommend the study of law to everyone. While initially intimidating, it’s a hugely empowering journey.
10 – What does 2015 hold in store for John Gibbons? A full-length release perhaps?
Next year marks the release of my debut artist album and the continued roll-out of my ‘POWER’ tour concept which has been in testing at various global events since 2013. I’m extremely excited about the coming year and believe it will be a career-defining twelve months. Watch this space!
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.