SHMN’s ear for heartfelt house music is what stands out for us here at Sweet Music. We were delighted with his addition to the Sweet Mixtape Series this year and, with the release of his latest single out today, featuring the soulful vocals of Jinadu, we felt now would be a good time to learn more about the artist to see what he’s about.
Thanks for chatting with us SHMN – what have you been up to recently?
To begin with, I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of this interview series. Sweet Music has shown support for my music since day one and I really appreciate this opportunity to reflect on my journey as a music producer and a DJ. The past few months have been busy for me – I’ve been setting up my new studio in Kiev and got quite a few tracks in production. All in all, it’s been a very productive time, I can’t wait to share all the new stuff in the upcoming months!
Where and when did you first get into dance music?
It all started with the burnt CDs I got on the streets! In 2006, I was 12 years old when I first went to Kazantip – the biggest international EM festival in Ukraine at the time. There you could find a lot of music enthusiasts selling burnt cd’s that would include DJ mixes from local and international DJ’s who have performed at the festival. As soon as I got my hands on one of those – I knew I was hooked on the dance music and that I just had to become a part of it somehow.
What inspired you to start producing yourself?
As a kid, I used to get my computer games and music CDs from the tech shops and one day I stumbled upon Ejay in one of them. That was around the same time I started listening to dance music, so I was really curious to try out music production for myself. First, I started with manipulation of readymade loops and structuring of arrangement. It hasn’t been long before I got introduced to Ableton, which I use till this day.
What’s your studio setup like?
The Hub of my studio setup is Allen Heath Zed22FX mixer. My go-to synth for bass and lead sounds is definitely Moog Sub-37. Another synth I love to use for keys, pads and atmospheric textures is Nord Lead 4. Apart from that there is also a couple vintage pieces of gear such as Oberheim OB-Xa and Roland JX-3P that inspire and give space for experimentation whenever I am starting a new track.
What are your aims when making music, what is your sound and style?
I never walk into the studio with a specific idea when it comes to starting a new track. Although, one of the main things I always think about is constantly pushing myself to do things differently. It is important to me because in every next track I strive to achieve the new sound, do something different to my previous works. I have been influenced by a variety of styles within dance music, therefore I always aim for melodic, cinematic and progressive sound that is often inspired by art, film or design.
How do you approach your DJ sets? Do you have a particular goal in mind beforehand?
When preparing a DJ set, I aim to create a selection of tracks that have unique character but also compliment each other. I like to think of a DJ set as a narrative, a story that takes you on an adventure through various kinds of dance music that are close to my liking.
Tell us about your release with Jinadu – how did you both cross paths?
After listening to some of Jinadu’s previous work, I was sure we will have able to come up with some interesting tracks together. After meeting online, we have agreed to meet in person over a cup of coffee in London which was a couple years back. Over a cup of coffee in Leicester Square we have talked music and industry. From that point we have worked on 3 tracks including Absolution, Chasing Shadows, and the latest – Head In The Clouds that will be released on 4th October 2019.
What else have you got coming up/are you looking forward to?
I have recently completed a good bunch of tracks with an artist whose work I’ve been following for a while now. Apart from this collaboration project, I have a number of solo tracks that I am looking forward to release and share with everyone in the near future!