The 224th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Denis Zephyr.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 28 years old. I’m living in Chernivtsy, Ukraine. I’m producing since 2006 year and djing since 2008 year.
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.”
I love and listen to music the whole life, but at first it was not electonic music. I listened to nu-metal and rap-core, like Limp Bizkit, Korn and Slipknot. But then I began expand the range of my musical taste. Artist that made me understand that electronic music is my choice was Boris Brejcha. His tracks made me understand that electronic music can be interesting and extraordinary.
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?
At first it was difficult because I learned everything during creating my first demos. I didn’t take any courses or lessons and studied by myself. I didn’t have any friends that producing so nobody could help me. Only my own experiance and mistakes were my teachers.
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?
The easiest process is creating main melodies and the main idea of the track. And the difficult is the final process of arrangement and finishing the whole structure of the track. But sometimes there are exceptions, when all steps are easy.
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?
My normal day can’t be without music and producing. But I have a job that not associated with music in general. I’m a teacher of law in college. When I’m not producing I like to travel with my girlfriend.
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 effect on your own productions?
I believe that sometimes you need a break from the electronic music and give your brain something alternative. I listen to many different genres like melodic metalcore, progressive metal, funk, jazz. I try to choose the most extraordinary and quality of different genres. My favourite artists are Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, Jamiroquai.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
My first not electronic CD was Limp Bizkit – “Significant Other”, and electronic one was Citizen Kain – “Body Bombshell”. For many years I did not buy any music on the CD’s but last one was the first album of Alexisonfire.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I think that in modern world is very difficult to surprise someone. Maybe my dream to live very far away from the bustle and people, whre I could produce and don’t think about problems of everyday life, can surprise someone.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I think that in modern music industry is too much attention paid to artist location. Artists from Europe or the United States has more chances to become popular, take part in good events or have release on a serious label than other artists. My opinion is that the creativity and talent is more important than location.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
In modern electronic music are so much talented artists, but the most interesting for me are: Boris Brejcha, Stephan Bodzin, Huminal, Andre Sobota, Solee, Ryan Davis, Rodriguez Jr.
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?
You need to be yourself, no need to copy someone or try to emulate. Your music should come from the soul. Nothing should be a catalyst for her appearance than you and your soul.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
The idea about the last set like a bad dream for me and it will be huge tragedy for me. But if it would be my last live set, the last track would be my “Tribute To The End”, its mood is perfect for this case. And if it would be DJ set, the last track would be Stephan Bodzin “Wir”, it is so melancholic and dramatic.
Denis’s remix of Sun In Arms ‘Love You’ is out now Majestic Family Records, you can purchase the release: here