The 242nd episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Zan Preveé .
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 33 years old and I was born in Athens capital of Greece from a musician family and now I’m living in Ioannina. I work in djing from 15 years old and in producing since 2007. The music has always been present in my life since I was born and for that I feel very lucky.
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 started taking piano lessons from my mother which she was professor in the music school. My father was playing electric guitar and keyboards and had a huge collection with vinyls of Rock and Pop artists. Before to finish my studies in the classical music, I began in DJ-ing with cds, through a dj friend 4 years older than me, in school parties and playing mainly Pop – Disco and House music.
1st time in my adolescence which shuddered from the electronic feelings, was at 1997 when I watched a videotape with live show in Moscow from Jean Michel Jarre. This amazing concert was traveled me far away and made me to searching inside me. Also, an incredible keyboardist and pianist, Ayalah Deborah Bentovim from Faithless which influenced my feelings.
Then, I heard djs like Paul Oakenfold, Sven Vath, Tiesto and in searching, I found my most favourite djs (legends for me), which influenced my feelings more for the electronic dance scene like Sasha & John Digweed, Nick Warren & Hernan Cattaneo and then Richie Hawtin.
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?
No, unfortunately, I didn’t receive production courses because in this city haven’t none school of music technology to learn mixing, producing, mastering e.t.c, perhaps in the future, I will be the creator of this school. Anyway, the good thing was that I finished the music studies and this helped me very much in the structure and harmony. Concerning audio engineering programs e.t.c, I’m self taught in searching with experiments.
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 ideas, the fantasy, the structure and harmony are my positive elements, the cleaning and the flows are the point which I work.
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?
At the moment, my time is very small, I teach in young children, music theory, harmony and piano. This is my job. also, in many periods of my life I worked in various jobs outside music to strengthen my financial to buy a machines for my music production.
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 hear many genres, Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop, Latin American pianists e.t.c. I have many favourite tracks almost from the most genres of music which in affect my brain.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
1st time which I bought cd was at 1996 ‘Faithless – Insomnia’ the album and the double cd with remixes, 1st vinyl was at 2000 in the Millenium ‘John Digweed – Heaven Scent (12”)’. Yeah, was amazing year in Greece, I was few months before to go 18 years old, memorable years of my life. Last cd was ‘Nick Warren – Global Underground 035 Lima’, at 2008. After that, only digital music.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m pianist. I can’t surprise you with something else.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There are so many talented artists who do amazing work with own way everyone and it’s very difficult to choose someone between them, the list is huge.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Only few names like Guy J, Guy Gerber, Barry Jamieson, Darin Epsilon, Kosmas Epsilon, Guy Mantzur, Cid Inc, Tom Middleton, Dale Middleton and the list goes on.
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 would advise them to work hard and to not be afraid. None not born knowing. Also, to be themselves with their own style of their emotions, features and elements. They must to searching inside of them to experimenting to find their sound, which I think is the most difficult. Then, if they manage that, their sound will be unique and will stand out. Last, they must to not forget from where started their career.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
I hope that my career has long way to go but if it was next week the final, maybe will was Simos Tagias & Jorgio Kioris – Exist (Cid Inc. Remix)
Thank you very much for the interview !!!
Zan’s remix of Ewan Rill ‘Closed Eyes’ is out now on Balkan Connection South America, you can purchase the release: here