Interview with Up and Coming Producer Neojock

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We have the pleasure of sharing our interview with Canadian producer Neojock. From House Music to Drum & Bass and everything in between, he is definitely someone to watch out for in the next few years with his unique style and his ability to produce one great song after another. Some people say he has enough songs to fill 3 albums or more. We can’t wait to hear what’s in store for Neojock in the future but for now you can read our interview and enjoy.

Hello Neojock, how is it going?

Pretty good. Had a fun filled day here in Bancroft, there’s a lot of neat shops in town to browse and find unique items, especially in the art scene.

For people who don’t know much about you. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music?

I’m Vladimar Bilan, and I was born in North Bay, Ontario. I’m currently 19.5 and I reside in Bancroft, Ontario, a small town north of Peterborough.

I grew up playing a lot of video games and watching TV shows. My dad had his studio set up in our basement and I would spend hours sitting behind him watching him play Diablo and watching him play piano. My mom also sang in a 70’s cover band alongside him at the time, so I had a lot of exposure to music

What mainly inspired me initially was music in video games. At a young age I got addicted to playing Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade, and pretty soon I was one of the best players in town. When I moved to Ottawa for college last year I found a rhythm game community and an arcade with a machine, and I still have a few high scores on that machine. I still play regularly here at home and the games have opened up a lot of new music to me.

You took Music Industry Arts in college. What was that like? Any valuable knowledge you would like to share?

In general that year of my life opened a lot of doors for me. It was my first year away from home, and in a big city, so I really got a glimpse of life in Ottawa. I made many good friends and I discovered a lot about myself.

As far as the program, I did end up learning a lot of knowledge that I apply in my music even today, but I do know a lot of my skills were developed on my own. The program did show me the areas that I don’t want to end up in as far as a career in the industry.

If there’s any knowledge I would share, it’s that more people should dive into the unknown and have more ambition. It’s in that deep abyss that the most interesting people dwell and you will move forward in life the more connections you make.

You create many different genres of electronic music compared to producers who stick to one genre. What inspires you to be diverse and do you think more producers should be?

I don’t intentionally be diverse. I just simply make music that I want to make, and if there’s a genre for that, then cool. I also don’t like to stick to one genre because it feels like I’m just making the same song over and over again. It doesn’t matter to me what other people produce, but diversity does help with a lot of aspects of the creative process.

Right now you mainly produce. Do you have any plans for the live side of things?

I would like to get out there and perform. I have no experience as a DJ, but I’m willing to learn from people. As far as a live show I’m really not sure what my place would be, I just want to share my music with the public.

What is your studio setup like?

I have a pair of Shure SRH440 headphones that I’ve used for a number of years, and they’ve been hella faithful to me. I also have a pair of Yamaha HS5’s that I use less frequently, as I don’t have a solid place to use them. I mainly produce music on the couch using my headphones on my mac. I use Reason 8 and I’ve been using Reason since 3.5. I also have a few controllers here and there but I rarely bust them out.

What do you think about the electronic music industry at the moment and where do you think it’s heading?

It’s really hard to say where the industry is heading, as the streaming services available aren’t sufficient for the ‘little guy’. All I know is that I love to make music and I hope that in the future I can make a living doing what I love.

Who are some electronic music artists you really like that inspire you?

I was raised listening to oldschool techno like Kraftwerk, and a lot of experimental stuff like Boards Of Canada. I listened to a lot of Deadmau5 a few years back and he was a huge inspiration to me back then, I’ve moved in a different direction altogether now.

Any releases coming or anything else we should know?

I would like to release an album of some sort this year, as well as perform at smaller venues this coming summer.

What is your favorite fruit?

Probably Dragonfruit for looks, and Pina Colada as my favourite fruit flavour. I can’t settle for one particular fruit.

Do you have any links you would like to share?

Sure thing:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/neojock

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeojockOFFICIAL

Talking With DJ and Producer Max Graham

Known for his trance sound with tracks such as ‘Sun in the Winter’ and his remix of ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ by Yves, we interviewed the one and only Max Graham. He’s a legend who has been in the electronic industry for many years being signed to Armada Music, with his sub label Rebrand Records. He is also nearing his 200th episode of his weekly Cycles radio show. Read our interview with DJ and Producer Max Graham right here.

Want tickets to one of his Canadian shows: Toronto Montreal Vancouver

Max Graham

Like us you grew up in Ottawa, Canada. How did you get into the electronic music scene?

I was DJing Top 40 and my friends who worked at the bar I was playing at on Elgin street heard me slipping in some more underground tracks. I didn’t really know it at the time but they heard something in my DJing that made them decide I need to see the underground side of things. They took me to a party in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Theater and I was hooked.

You just recently released your new album Cycles 6. Can you tell us about that?

It’s my yearly snapshot of where I’m at musically. As there’s a natural evolution in almost all DJs sounds it’s a good way to let everyone know where you’re at, but for me it’s also an opportunity to showcase up and coming artists and sounds.

You are currently on your Cycles tour. How is that going?

This year has been amazing, people are coming out talking about Cycles Radio and how much they listen to it, which is incredibly inspiring. They’ve also really been on board with the transition to the new hybrid of Techno with Trance influence which is a departure from my previous sound. Having trust from the dancefloor has been pretty amazing in itself.

You also have a weekly Cycles radio show and own Rebrand Records. What is that like? You must be a busy man?

Haha well yeah it’s my full-time job so it keeps me busy. The radio show takes about two days a week when you include buying music, editing and sorting it, mixing the show, voiceovers etc. But making sure the show is fresh has raised my DJing by making sure I always have new music, so it all plays hand in hand.

You have been known for trance music, but you also DJ others genres. What’s your feeling on genres and do you think more artists should be diverse?

I guess people confuse production with DJing. Over the years I’ve produced a lot of different styles but my biggest “hits” if you want to call them that have been Trance, so there’s a natural assumption that I must DJ only Trance. My sets were definitely Trancey, especially when playing events like ASOT and FSOE, but there’s always been a Techno influence, even at ASOT in Mexico in front of 19k people in 2013 I played an Alex Di Stefano pure Techno track and the place went nuts. Lately I’ve been finding a more groovy sexy sound in Techno but with a touch of a Trance influence, and this is so fresh and exciting for me. I don’t like Electro so a lot of the Trance out there now doesn’t appeal to me. Natural evolution I guess. As for more artists being diverse I can’t speak for them. If there’s fans who only want to hear 138bpm or only want to hear Electro drop style EDM Trance then a specialist DJ who only plays that would appeal to them 100%, so I don’t think diversity is a necessity at all as that case would show. I can only speak for myself that I’m very inspired by music in general and so many different sounds from different genres and producers. I like to tell a story in a long set, and like any story you need a love scene, a loss scene, a car chase scene etc. so the variation in genres over the course of the night helps me convey that. Can you imagine a seven course meal of just steak? To me variation is everything.

What is your studio setup like? What software and or hardware do you use?

Mine is pretty slim now, it’s all in the box and I use Ableton. I do outsource my mixdowns as it’s not my strength, but all arrangement and musical elements are always me.

What advice would you give to up and coming producers and DJ? Any production tips and or industry knowledge you would like to share?

Make what you love because you want to create, not because you want to be famous or tour the world. Don’t ram your music down people’s throats to try and get a gig or a label deal. Just make the music you are proud of and if it’s great people will find you.

You have been producing and DJing for a while now. How has the industry and technology changed over the years?

Technology has changed immensely, just like in everyday life. The Internet has had a huge impact on every facet of our business, from making travel and hotel management easier to transferring music files between each other. It’s also lowered the barrier of entry, which is both good and bad.

Where do you think the electronic music industry is heading?

I think we’re seeing a move back into the clubs, which suits me just fine! I think the festival overload is coming to an end and the cream will stay at the top while others fall off. I’m happy with my little corner in a dark club playing for a few hundred very switched on and appreciate people so I’m more than happy with where things are.

What is your favorite fruit?

I’m eating cantaloupe right now!

Do you have any links you would like to share?

Interview with Rising Star JackEL

Here is an interview we did with rising star JackEL. From his music career to industry talk and more, we see a great future for him in the electronic music industry. He will definitely be an artist to watch out for in years to come. Have a read below and hope you enjoy.

JackEL

Hello JackEL, how is it going?

Going really well! In Las Vegas right now so enjoying the hot weather. It’s a big change from my home town of Edmonton in Canada, It’s freezing there.

For people who don’t know much about you. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music?

I’m an eighteen year old DJ / Music Producer. I own a Studio in Las Vegas, and enjoy producing EDM & Hip Hop and most genres. I’ve always been very fascinated by music, and started producing music when I was 13 years old on guitar and drums and bass. I remember picking up instruments that were at my house, or friends houses and just never got bored of jamming away. I used to form bands and always remember music in my life, it was very natural to start creating music on my laptop for me.

You create many different styles of electronic music. How do come up with such great ideas and what are your inspirations?

Whatever is going on in my life, or who I am with at the time, inspires the tracks I make. I get inspired easily by watching festival videos of people raging to Skrillex, or by watching a guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen. I find it fun to be diversified and create different genres, but I like to make sure there all energetic, and make people dance! I’m not sure how they come to me, but I’m thankful to have that gift.

What are some highlights of your music career so far?

I’ve met some amazing people in the studio; such as DJ Paul (Three Six Mafia), Wiz Khalifa, Porter Robinson and I’m very thankful for that! I’ve got to travel to South Korea, and DJ at TAO Beach Club there, that was probably the funnest gig I’ve ever had! I’m so thankful music gets to take me to these amazing places! I love to travel. I’ve also DJ’d at some crazzzzy mansion parties in Vegas, and those always get a little out of hand.

What do you have in store for the future? Any shows or releases coming up?

I have a lot in store for whats to come. I want to release as much music as possible, I’m in the process right now of producing Nikki Phoenix’s album, and Young Dre’s album. I also have some amazing DJ gigs coming up soon that I can’t really say to much about right now, but I’m excited to be booked at some really big amazing venues! I think that everyone will start hearing about JackEL and my music very soon.

What is your studio and DJ setup like?

My studio is filled with good vibes, some trippy posters and purple lights,  that help me create great sounding tracks and productions! I DJ with a Traktor Kontrol S4 and usually kill the live show every time.

What advice would you give to up and coming producers? Any production tips and or industry knowledge you would like to share?

The tip I always like to give, is really write out what you want to be exactly. And then once you know, work very hard at it, and never give up until your exceed your expectations, anything is possible. I don’t really believe in luck, it’s all about the law of attraction and working for what you want in life. Just don’t be lazy, don’t cut corners. It all comes down to how bad do you want it?

What do you think about the electronic music industry at the moment and where do you think it’s heading?

I personally think that the music industry in itself is in a very interesting place, and in the next five years, we should see big changes in everything involving music. I’ve been listening to what people term ‘EDM’ for awhile, and I enjoy some variations of it, but dislike many. I don’t enjoy a lot of what is big in the scene right now, but there is definitely some good music out there as well! Just got to look for it. My favorites are underground EDM and my favorite collective is Soulection.

What is your favorite fruit?

I love fruit actually and love adding strawberries and bananas and blueberries and blackberries into milkshakes almost daily. If I had to pick a favorite I would pick Kiwi, because I’ve only had it once or twice, and it tasted great…

Do you have any links you would like to share?

My Music: Soundcloud.com/officialjackel

Twitter: Twitter.com/officialjackel

My Website: OfficialJackEL.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/DJJackEL

Instagram: Instagram.com/officialjackel

Thank you very much guys!!

 

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