Hey Sam, how are you? How has the last year been for you, what have you missed the most? Have there been any positives from it?

I’d say I’m really lucky, there have been a ton of positives.

For me it was an incredible opportunity to pause, reflect, focus on what is important & fulfilling to me along with the things I really cherish like my friends family and community.

I internalized that, wrote a bunch of music & had an incredible breakout year, it wasn’t easy watching so much suffering and division all around the world and not letting it get me upset and distracted from making the music & staying focussed on my path and purpose.

 

Tell me a bit more about your journey into dance music? Where did that begin for you?

 It all began in my hometown Baltimore Maryland in 2009: we had a spot when I was in high school called Bourbon Street, where a lot of early on, but now famous DJ’s first played.  We would drink Four Lokos in the parking lot (when they still had caffeine), and see Artists like Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, AK1200, Dieselboy, Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, etc.. I remember my buddy getting smacked in the face by a big black dildo that Borgore threw into the crowd and seeing Steve Gordon DJ as Smash Gordon, before he went on to start Circle Talent Agency that many in the industry might be familiar with as one of if not the biggest rosters for bass music acts.

Those were the best renegade parties and once you feel the power that good electronic music can do on a proper system,  I think there is no going back.

 

You’re from Atlanta which isn’t particularly well known for techno. Can you tell me a little bit more about the scene there and your role within it?

 It’s really a right place right time story that hopefully inspires others to just put themselves out there and let the universe do the rest.

 I had essentially given up on DJ’ing to focus on my career, and it wasn’t until 4 years from last gig when I looked in the mirror and realized something was missing & I wasn’t fulfilled. I didn’t know how, but just knew I had to put myself out there and get back into the scene.  

From there I met a group of fellow ravers starting a promotion company with the aim to bring proper techno to Atlanta. That group was called Subtle, and at Subtle we did some cool things like rented a warehouse and flew Anna out for her ATL debut. Along with that we brought other solid acts for their first time to Atlanta like Spektre, Coyu, Layton Giordani, Loco & Jam, Anja Schneider, Art Department, Skober, Agent Orange, & D-unity.

 

What are some of the parties and Promoters pushing that sound alongside yourself?

So once lockdowns hit Subtle took a pause but that is really when the underground began to blow up in this city. It was led by a newly formed group called twisted lines, that was hosting parties in unknown warehouses where the location would change & be announced the day of.

During this time I began to finish up my catalog that you can hear on Tronic, Phobiq, Senso Sounds, Reload & T in Techno and had this super enthusiastic crowd loving the records I was putting out. Plus other promoters like Alley Cat, Project B, Parallax, Motion Collective, and some others were throwing amazing underground and rooftop parties that the scene became more and more enthusiastic for.

 

How much does the city inspire you at all?

Atlanta is my inspiration… and I say that truthfully because Techno was meant to be played out live, on a powerful system; whether that’s in a warehouse or club or festival.

So all of my records have been rinsed out and tested in front of this city before they were released. It’s that crowd feedback that has shaped my music and my sound.

One big example is from our bass music scene which is arguably the most popular form of electronic music in this city. Iris Presents: which is the big promoter in town throwing those shows & hosting our homegrown music festival (Imagine Festival [I encourage your readers to look it up]) took a chance on me and continuously put me in their club, on the mainstage, to play Techno to a crowd that’s expecting bass music.

If it wasn’t for Iris, I never would have had the crowd experience to play my records and see the reaction from a big saw blast that when paired with the thumping techno low end would really shake the club. So Atlanta has shaped my style into this dark aggressive sound, because that’s what we love to hear in this city & my mission has been to produce a sound and style even a Dubstep kid would enjoy.

 

What are you most proud of so far in your life/career?

This might sound cheesy, but I am most proud of inspiring my friends to take on music production. Anyone who knows me, knows I am just a normal guy who loves electronic music. There’s nothing special about me, so when my friends see me gaining traction and momentum, it’s been inspiring for others to pursue their dreams & passions in this industry too. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

How have you found producing music over the last year without having many live events to play your tracks at? What has inspired you when writing new music?

That’s why I am so grateful to live here. The music took a quick break in March-May but starting the first week of June it came back. This city really never stopped and for those that felt comfortable going out had the opportunity.

A lot of that gratitude for my unique situation helped me keep it moving and not get distracted from all of the insanity of last year from Covid & the lockdowns.

 

What are you most looking forward to when things get back to normal?

Shows outside of Atlanta are starting to become a reality;. I have my debut appearance in LA next week at a warehouse party, I’ll be in Austin during the Seismic Dance Event playing some pop up parties, and doing a small South Carolina tour; headlining a festival in Anderson SC June 11 then playing Charleston the next day, plus my Miami debut in July.

But I am most excited to get over to Europe & the UK and to show everyone how we party in ATL.

 

If you could play in one venue or location around the world, where would it be and why?

Has to be Untold Festival in Romania… I went there in 2019 and that country, the festival & the people are insane.

 

You just released a track with Rebel Boy on UMEK’s 1605 imprint. How did that collaboration come about?

It’s a cool story — I was looking for a teacher to help take my producing skills to the next level and a mutual friend here in Atlanta introduced me to Rebel Boy. Rebel Boy has a long history in dance music producing trance under his name Johnny Yono, with tracks on Armada and professionally mixing for artists like Moby.

So we spent a year straight working together, and during that time I spent more time talking to Johnny than anyone else. All of a sudden after that year we realized without even meaning to, we had created this seamless workflow where we were producing some really cool sounding stuff together. The Senso opportunity came up, and we made “Adrenaline Machine” which has been a huge success, and then got Umek’s attention with our latest track which was a really cool nod that we’re onto something.

One piece of advice I would give to all producers out there, find yourself a mentor, because Johnny was the key to teach and give me the confidence to launch my techno project and produce music under my actual name. Since then we’ve become really good friends and finally just got to meet in person (after working together for 2 years) for his Atlanta show. I consider myself very fortunate to have found someone I can work with so well, and am excited for the world to hear what we put out together in the future.

 

What’s next for you, have you got anything else coming up?

 On a different note,  in a style I’m probably not going to make for a long time — I have “Reservoir” which is a deeper more progressive collab with my brother JD Farrell here in Atlanta.

It’s really special and unique for me, because Nora En Pure has always been such good inspiration on how to layer emotion into a song, (anyone looking to do that should take note). So landing this track on her label is a very cool nod and accolade  from another producer you look up to and I’m very excited for everyone to hear what JD has up next.

Lastly, I like to consider myself an open book and I answer all my Instagram DM’s so if you have any questions about production or want feedback on a track, feel free to hit me up and I’ll make sure to respond.

 

Purchase ‘Black Veins’ HERE