The 189th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Progreg.
How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 22 years old! I was born on the 10th of May, 1992 and I’m from the North of Russia, but now I live in the capital of Russia – Moscow city! In 2006 I started to work as a DJ parallel to studying writing music on Dance Ejay. Yes, it sounds quite funny, but it was a new world for me. After this kids program I found new sequencer – FL studio. So, my first experience wasn’t so good:) but after 6 years, I’ve learned to make professional stuff, but let’s talk about that later.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
An American alternative band – Linkin Park became the founder of my musical taste. Some years later I started to be interested in more electronic music. Such musical projects as: Prodigy, Narcotic Thrust, Klubbheads, Deep Dish, etc. has replaced the alternative music for me. Shortly after I started to make and play music, I’ve learnt all about electronic and club culture.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
As I mentioned earlier, my first serious experience with music was on FL studio. Since 2006 I have started to experiment with synths and plugins. In 2011 I have studied in the DJ Groove’s AudioSchool. This school gave me knowledge about Ableton live and now I work with this sequencer only. After school I met with Andrea Kinly. He has helped me to release my first EP “Underworld”, which released on sub label of “Proton Music” – “Stereo Paradise”. So, it was really exciting for me. Thereafter, I had many other contracts with different music labels. Unfortunately, in 2013 I had a pause, because I didn’t have enough time for studio and in 2015 I’m back again.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
I am a really big fan of profound and melodic vibes. I love trance and progressive music of the 2000th beginning. Now I prefer house music, because trance of the past and trance nowadays have a big difference. I hate big room sounds.
Most often I have problems with finishing my tracks. Also, I prefer to use my own sounds rather than already made. Creating new sounds takes a lot of time. My friends-producer Anton Ishutin, Denis Kayron, Andrea Kinly and more others give me a lot of inspiration. It’s my first listener and my most severe critic. They travel a lot and they can try my tracks one the dancefloor before I send it to the label. It’s a good way to feel tracks and then to work in a studio and add a baseline or attack for the kick, for example.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
So, music is my hobby. I love creating sounds, making atmosphere and harmony but I do not like to be a DJ. My work has nothing to do with music. I work 5 days a week in the Hyatt hotels company. Other days I dedicate to my music in my little home studio, my friends. I study English and relaxing. Every morning I wake up early and go to gym.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
I like to listen Gui Boratto, Henry Saiz, Jody Wisternoff, Lane 8 and other artists who make similar music. Sometimes I like to listen another styles like chillout, hip-hop or alternative rock music but I think electronic music is so much expressive & varied, and you can deal with every moment in your live, whether positive or negative.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
My first Cassette was the Album by Ramstein. My first CD was Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory, i think it was in the 2002. In the 2008 i bought my first progressive album, it was Moonbeam – Storm Of Clouds. The last LP I have bought was the Noir – Noir.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I am the candidate of the Master of Sports in ballroom dancing. I also have a second category in boxing but I’m positive and friendly.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I’m not a famous rockstar, but I can discuss it. Today people listen to music projects which has big promotion and advertising, but not that interesting for its melodic, complex structure. That is answer why a lot of artists remain unknown.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Actually there are no artists, because I have my own taste, which consists of a mixture of trance and deep house. But if that were the case then I would say artists from Anjunadeep, Natura Sonoris and some artists from Hed Kandi.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
I think everyone should realize what he has and what he personally likes. I love old school trance and new school deep house and trying to mix these styles.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
That would be a very tough decision, because in the final of the career artist must give to people something unusual, what they have not seen and heard. But I think that I would prefer to play acoustic live set of my best track, using various unusual instruments.
Ri Za ‘Everything Behind Us’ (Progreg remix) is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here