The 227th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Onez!e.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 23 years old, living in Toronto, Ontario, but moving to Australia in a few weeks, for a year! I have been DJing for 4 years, and producing for 3 years. Seriously producing for less than 2.
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.”
My musical roots are actually probably not what you would expect! I used to be in many Metal, Hardcore, and Post Hardcore bands. My first memories of electronic music are actually pretty funny. My brother, who is 3 years older than me used to be a big partier. He was very involved in the scene. Always (and I mean always) blasting the stereo with such artists as The Global Deejays, Benny Benassi, Tiesto, and he was a HUGE Britney Spears fan, so.. that happened. I discovered Dubstep early 2012. I loved the heavy, driving energy it had, being very similar to my taste in music. I really enjoy a lot of old Trance, and old Techno. 135-140BPM Techno and Trance are just so driving and hard hitting, it always gets me dancin’! Who doesn’t love to dance? If you don’t, you’re potentially a robot. Stop living a lie.
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?
Oh, man. I honestly had a very hard time learning. I had no one but myself to show me the ropes. I had absolutely no background in electronic music, no background in the structure, phrasing, melodies, scene – nothing. It was (and still is) a very big roadblock, and it hinders my ability to write music every step of the way. Although, it gives me my own unique direction, which I am thankful for! Just gotta push through those humps. I took no audio programs or production courses, %100 self-taught (with the help of the internet). The best advice I received and best advice I can give is KEEP ON GRINDING. Practice makes perfect, and learn absolutely, everything that you can. Spend hours a day, reading, learning, researching, and practicing. You will get discouraged, you will get frustrated, you will tell yourself you are going to quit. Just remember this: EVERYONE. Has been where you are, when you feel those feelings. Everyone.
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?
Drums are always fun! I love when I find a really nice hook in my drums. I love percussion sounds, and love when you make solid lines. Most difficult is, and I HATE to say it.. MELODIES. They for some reason are my kryptonite. I always over complicate them and never settle. I am too picky! When I hit a creative block I NEED to get inspired. I listen to my favorite songs, I listen to new music, I listen to my old favorite songs, different genres, etc. You need to WANT to write something again! You need an idea to form in your head that you can slam right down onto that metaphorical paper.
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?
If I am not spending my day off in the studio for 8-12 hours (which is likely what I am doing), than I am with my amazing girlfriend, or working. I am a server, and marketing Field Manager for a team of Brand Ambassadors. Spending time with my other half is definitely another motivation to keep on doing what I do! She is actually the reason I discovered the beauty, that is Techno.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favorite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I still have some favorite CD’s that I roll in my car. iwrestledabearonce, Armor For Sleep, Alexisonfire, Veil of Maya etc, Lots of Metal. These genres usually get me pretty pumped up, than I go home and try to write something filthy. Usually it ends up sounding TOO much like something in a Metal track, and I scrap it. But it’s still fun to make and jam to!
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
All those CD’s I mentioned above were the first and last ones I bought because I lost them all and had to re-buy them. :3
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I got my artist name “Onez!e” when I was working at a theme park here in Toronto, dressed as a monster during the “Halloween Haunt” season. I wore a red onesie, and was “an insane baby” that crawled around scaring people. Safe to say people were not clever with the nickname they gave me.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
Mark Knight by far is underrated. The man is genius. You can dig and find so many amazing tracks! Ewan Rill, is an up and coming who has beautiful tracks. Rick Pier O’Neil, another very similar to Ewan, Tim Penner, Brian Cid, Solid Stone, Gai Barone ALL Progressive high-end talents.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Jeremy Olander is by far my biggest inspiration. I admire his music and talent tremendously. Otherwise I get inspiration from wherever I can find it. I LOVE writing music while it’s raining outside. I for some reason, enjoy rain.
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?
It’s going to get tough. I still have a very long way to go, and I know how hard it can get. Just keep pushing through. The feeling of seeing people dancing, enjoying your track, the realization some of YOUR favorite artists and labels are playing out YOUR music, is a feeling like no other. When I heard my first ever signed track, played out on Paul Oakenfold’s radio show I almost cried. One of my prouder moments!
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
“Jeremy Olander – Animal Garden” or “Onez!e – Atlantic”. Feels will be felt by all.
Thanks so much for having me, keep on following your dreams everyone!
‘Norfolk’ is out now on Clinique Recordings, you can purchase the release: here