Monday, July 16, 2012

Shook Interview

Shook is a fresh producer with an array of fantastic remixes and up and coming original tracks.  His remix of Ellie Goulding's "Lights" reenvisioned the track as a lounge piece that would make any jazz enthusiast's mouth water-- and the electronic world took notice, giving the track 300,000 plays on SoundCloud as of today.  More recently, he's released a collaboration with Ronika called "Distorted Love" and, one of my personal favorites, a track called "Love for You".

Shook is one of the blog's more mysterious guests, so it's exciting to be able to have a few questions with him and find out where his roots are.  Enjoy a short but sweet interview with Shook below, and be sure to check out his newest release, "Garota '92", released today.

The Synth Symp:  How did you get started in music? When did you start doing remixes?
Shook: I come from a musical family, so I guess you could say music is in my blood. My father is a jazz pianist. He used to play old Jazz standards while I was watching cartoons. Eventually the music rubs off on you. I started making electronic music when I was pretty young. My first DAW was a trial version of Fruityloops, a program I still use today. Once I got the hang of it, I found myself entranced, making it hard to stop. Most of the time, I went on all night. The music I produced at that time was really high energy. I think 99% of it is music nobody will ever hear. I was also part of a high energy electronic punk band for a while. It was a lot of fun at the time, experimenting with different moods and styles. But at a certain point, my yearning for creating my own music started to take over again. I had my first official release when I was 17. It was some dark electronic stuff. Looking back, it feels like a journey. I was searching for something more personal; more exciting. In my opinion, making music should be a natural process. Nothing should be forced. I started doing remixes after the release of my first EP ‘The Glow EP’. Right after I put it online, various people started to contact me, asking me if I would be down to do some remix work. I was.

Your most popular remix (that I can see, judging by SoundCloud play count) is of Ellie Goulding's "Lights", which was an official release. How did this remix come about? To me it feels like a marriage of Daft Punk's "Something About Us" to Ellie's tune.
That’s cool! Well, I did a lot of remixes in that period of time. I got in contact with Ellie Goulding’s management, and they asked me to do a remix for that song. Of course it was really great and inspiring to work with such a talented vocalist and artist, but the deadline was incredibly tight, so there was a lot of pressure. To add to that, my computer crashed right before I saved the final mix, so I had to go back moments before the deadline to redo everything. In the end it was all worth it though. I think the pressure helped me to be more spontaneous and creative. My approach was ‘just go with it’. Like I said earlier, everything has to come natural. You don’t want to over-produce anything.

You've told me you're a synthesizer enthusiast. What's in your current collection?
I really am. But honestly, I don’t have a lot of (vintage) synthesizers. And that works perfectly for me. I don’t need every synthesizer in the world, as long as I can create my own sounds. The equipment I have, allows me to be creative and get the most out of what I have. I own: Juno 60, DX7, Clavia Nord Modular G2, Korg R3, Microkorg, some old Roland keyboard from the 90’s which has a lot of cheesy but cool sounds, Clavia Nord Stage I and an old dusty Yamaha SK10 String Ensemble.

What's your studio like? Is it a home studio?
I wouldnt call it a home. But I do spend a lot of time there. I work in a hidden cave. Sometimes I sleep there when it gets too late and I’m too tired to go back to my car and drive back to my home. When I do, I never listen to music on the way back, because I still have all the melodies in my head. Actually, I couldn’t if I wanted to, because my car radio got jacked a couple of months ago. When I wake up the melody is still in my head, and at breakfast I come up with an outro. I usually rush back to the dirt chamber and quickly create the last bits. I try to keep my hide-out as secret as possible though, because I am afraid enemies will infiltrate and kill me.

My thanks to Shook for a great interview.  Be sure to check out his new releases!

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