How are you, how has the year been?

What’s up!  I’ve been well – this year (as I’m sure is the case for everyone right now) has been a menacing roller-coaster ride. 

Were you locked down, how was it, what did you do with the time?

Yep So Cal went on complete lockdown for a while there, and since then has been back and forth between loosening & tightening restrictions based upon the reported case-counts. I was actually pretty lucky for a while to maintain a steady flow of residency-gigs at a couple of outdoor dining venues here in San Diego, playing a variety of deeper house/funk & soul classics, but all these residency-gigs have been put on pause in the last few months as the venues are taking extra safety precautions.

The bulk of my time was spent locked away in my studio and at the computer!  Everyday I’m putting in some hours working on things for Music is 4 Lovers, and I made it a mission this year to dedicate at least a few hours a day working on my music as well.  I’ve made around 25 new tracks & remixes since lockdown started in March, and more importantly honed in on and developed so many awesome new skills & techniques along the way.  

What is the scene in Boston like – what parties and DJs are worth checking and did they inspire you on the way up?

I actually relocated myself a few years ago and moved across country to San Diego. Embarrassingly enough, I never really immersed myself properly into Boston’s house music scene during my time there. I was however, drawn into the underground scene of the neighbouring city Providence.  There was some incredible music flowing out of the small scene there, and I did draw a lot of inspiration from particularly two of the OG’s there, Jackie Treehorn & Jeff Leclair. 

Moving out here to San Diego and reuniting with my Staybad crew was really a game-changing moment for everything. Staybad pioneered our House2Ourselves event here in SD, which quickly took off as a staple in the scene.  In our first 2 years running, we built up from 150 person debut event, to a large-scale, 600-800 person monthly – enabling us to book some of the most incredible artists in the game, Kevin Saunderson, Soul Clap, DJ T. – the list really goes on and on.  

The house music scene in general here in San Diego is amazing. The city is oozing with talent, and home to some of my absolutely favorite artists (Never Dull, Oscar P, Jesusdapnk, Cris Herrera and so many others) most of which I’m happy today to consider as friends.

   

Tell us about your collab with Jesusdapnk – how did you link and why?

Jesusdapnk was one of the guys whose music I had been following for years before moving out to SD.  I feel we’re very like-minded, both as producers and also individuals, so it was awesome to get the chance to link up with him here and start working together. 

What makes it work? Did you do the music online or in person?

Working together was pretty effortless right from the get-go, because there are a lot of similarities that cross-over between our music, and we both love to keep it deep!  We did this song, Creative Solution together in Jesusdapnk’s phaser control studio here in SD.  He actually invited the singer/songwriter Rocki Planet to come in for one of our sessions, and while we worked to put together the beginning pieces of the track, she wrote out the vocals and then quickly laid down what you hear in the song in a quick one-take at the end of the session. I’m super happy with the final product on this track!

How different are you solo vs in a collab? Do you take on different sounds and roles?

Very very different and I guess it varies from instance to instance.  In this particular track, Jesusdapnk was the driver laying everything out in Logic, and I spent most of the time on the keys playing and recording the various melodies and layers of the track. When I’m working at someone else’s space, I typically let them drive the DAW, however I much prefer working the other way around! 

When I’m working by myself its so easy to hone in on the finer details of things and just tune everything else out.  I’m a pretty introverted person so naturally working solo tends to be more comfortable for me. However, since I started collaborating and working with the right people here in San Diego, I’ve learned so many things that I never would have on my own.  I think collaborating with other intelligent and skilled producers can quickly ramp up your own skillset, and introduce you to many awesome new ideas.

   

And what is your own musical identity, what do you add to your take on house that is standout do you think?

This is a very interesting question, and a bit tough for me to answer.  I’m not overly-gifted when it comes to playing any instruments, and my knowledge of theory is nothing stand-out.  That being said, I do think there’s a special something that makes my stuff unique, and I’m both very proud and happy with all the music I’ve created and am currently creating. One thing I think I’ve developed a knack for is the ability to take something that wasn’t intended to be musical (like an interview or sound byte) and seamlessly work it into a song.

And what is your own musical identity, what do you add to your take on house that is standout do you think?

This is a very interesting question, and a bit tough for me to answer.  I’m not overly-gifted when it comes to playing any instruments, and my knowledge of theory is nothing stand-out.  That being said, I do think there’s a special something that makes my stuff unique, and I’m both very proud and happy with all the music I’ve created and am currently creating. One thing I think I’ve developed a knack for is the ability to take something that wasn’t intended to be musical (like an interview or sound byte) and seamlessly work it into a song.

What will the first record be that you play when you get back to clubs?

I’ll be finding a way to work in this Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway classic, ‘Back Together Again’   There’s some super cool edits floating around of this one, but you can’t beat the original!

 
 

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

I’ve been keeping myself nice and busy, packing in a solid end of the year release calendar.  Have got a few new EP’s dropping on Staybad, and Music is 4 Lovers in the next few weeks and a handful of other releases and remixes scattered around the remainder of the year as well.  I’m also in the process of doing some remix work for i Records to follow-up my last release with them, ‘Purely’  Very happy and blessed to be working with one of my favorite labels of all-time.

 

Pre-order DuBeats & Jesusdapnk EP “Success / Creative Solution” released on Staybad here

 

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