The 271st episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Stasik T.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hello there, I am 30 now. Currently living in Mexico City. I started Djing since I was 15, around March 2001, magical time for me, would never forget that one. Also the production part came later around 2008-2009.
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.”
Well all began with my family itself being musicians in the Classical Genre. Back then in Russia they were growing in that classical world with all of their friends. Then when we moved to Mexico, I went to the musical school along with my normal school. So I learned some piano, voice lessons, and took a special class of transverse flute. All these things took me closer to the music itself because my older brother, who went there too, and he was a DJ back then, he used to listen to music like Pink Floyd, Metallica, Deep Purple, John Digweed, Sasha, Paul Van Dyk, Hernán Cattáneo and many others. And the funny thing is that all this music grew on me so strong that I was curious enough to try to Mix some tracks together and started practicing by myself, I must say he never helped me with the mixing thing haha, had to learn the hard way. Of course it was all digital around those years, Vinyl was a big part of the electronic world but I never had a chance to buy some turntables sadly. But those we the magical times when I was listening to Digweed and Sasha’s sets, as well as from Cattáneo of course, it was such an amazing feeling to watch them play and rock in front of such big crowds that it gave me the chills…So here we are 15 years later doing what we know best!
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?
It was a part of me that never wanted to try to make some music honestly. It was difficult for me to accept that I had to start doing it sooner or later, long process. But around 2008 I began practicing some loops and little tracks with FL Studio, my brother used to produce a lot back then, he was making tracks nonstop everyday, beautiful progressive trance and also progressive house. So he gave me some tips now and then, it helped me remember some things for the future that is today actually, been producing nonstop, and loving every aspect of it.
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 think when I start working on a track, it’s never a solid idea of what the track will be at the end. Because I always imagine the sounds in my head, even the name of the song comes before I even begin with the drums and all.
So lately it has been a very nice process, and I would say the most difficult part is when the track is finished and all that energy that I gave to the song and its melodies or grooves, goes away, and the normal quiet time comes. Also gaming helps me a lot to put my mind off of music sometimes, it helps me think about the latest productions and also the DJ Sets, it relaxes me so I can re-focus for the next track or project.
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?
Currently I’m working as a DJ at private parties, some clubs and sometimes helping my dad with some concerts as well. I love being at home and spend time with my girlfriend, my family, and our pets, it’s very heartwarming and comforting, as well as being alone it helps to think about everything, put things into perspective and back. Gaming has been a part of me since I was a kid, as well as playing football (soccer) and some athletics, used to play a lot in high-school and then in the university, even thought about being a professional player before the music thing, hahaha.
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?
At home there’s classical music playing almost everyday, my dad practice a lot. So apart from that, I love listening to Jazz and Blues, and also Chillout, downtempo beats are such a bliss. And some artists outside the electronic I could mention are first of all my parents, then would be Frédéric Chopin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Serguéi Rajmáninov, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and many others, I listen to a lot of Jazz on the radio whenever there’s a chance.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
The first CD was Michael Jackson – Dangerous. The last one was Global Underground – Departures.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I tend to say some peculiar things when I’m with friends, and people sometimes don’t get me or the way I think or express myself, because growing up in a foreign country is not an easy thing, but it’s fun!
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
Nowadays it’s so difficult to really not be seen by someone when you produce amazing electronic music, right now the electronic scene is so huge that many producers get noticed from one day to the next, they can be superstars instantly.
It’s really easy to get overlooked when you don’t have a good manager or agent/agency that will do all the marketing and promotion stuff for you. I can say that Mindmusik and myself are trying hard to get heard by people lately, our productions and remixes are talking by themselves.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
There are so many lately. Guy J, Digweed, Sasha, Cattáneo always inspire me, as well as many new other artists like Robert R. Hardy, Ewan Rill, Katrin Souza, Hugo Ibarra, DAVI, Mindmusik, Guy Mantzur, Guy Gerber, Sahar Z, Henry Hurtig, and many many others. The list is so long.
I also watch a lot of films, series and documentaries, all of this stuff makes me think about music somehow, and I always get inspired by a sound or a series of sounds and melodies that the filmmakers use.
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?
Try to have their own sound, without imitating anyone, just taking some ideas from other music makers can always help, but the inner-self has to be true, authentic and pure. Be it in the mainstream electronic or more underground sounds, it’s always the same at the end of the road. I used to listen to so much Pink Floyd that I thought I was one of them sometimes, lol, but never tried to make that kind of music really.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
This is a tricky answer, but I think It’d be Castor & Pollux – Serenity (JF Sebastian’s Don’t Be Afraid Remix). It was a very special one for me since I began listening to electronic music, even before being a DJ.
‘Worlds Burn Down’ is out now on Clinique Recordings, you can purchase the release: here