The 289th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Sebastian Markiewicz.
1.How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hi everyone. At the age of 35 and living in city of Manchester, I have in my back pack 10 years of exploring the music production world.
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.” Roots lie in Gdansk, Poland. From around 18, I had the first experiences of seeing a host of international DJs visit my homeland. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until my mid-twenties; having travelled, seen a few amazing places and had some formative DJing experiences, that I realised that the life of a touring DJ would be so much fun! From there I embarked upon a mission to acquire a house and techno record collection and dip a toe into the technical world of music production. Life’s journey brought me to Manchester in 2006 where I delved into a music production course at the Manchester MIDI school. Under the tutelage of the experienced Christophe Bride, I was able to learn the key principles and fundamentals of music creation. Christophe has worked with bands such as Hard FI and Sonic Boom Six, writes electronic music and is a highly experienced live sound engineer. A new wave of inspiration came when experiencing Sasha live for the first time at Manchester’s Warehouse Project. This triggered an interest in a broader spectrum of electronica.
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?
I believe everyone experiences such difficulties during their formative years as a music producer, I was no exception. I would estimate that it was five years before I was able to write tracks that I was satisfied with, if only at a bare minimum standard. This hasn’t changed and my hunger to improve and keep moving forward means I am always striving for even higher quality. until 5 years later I was not able to write a track to my satisfactory at the lowest lower .It is still extremely hard some days as my personality constantly pushing the bar higher and higher perhaps this will never change and personal development must go on until the very last day . As previously mentioned, I was fortunate to attend the MIDI school but even this, delivering a huge amount of learning in a relatively condensed time period, didn’t provide a holistic solution. Further learning continued for many years following and still continues every day. Learning to work with computers at an early age in Poland has doubtlessly helped a great deal. I was always a ‘computer guy’ and it has remained one of my strongest attributes. I must credit the person who gave me guidance and became a key influence during my days of studying in Manchester, Adesse Versions (Numbers, Local Talk, Prime Numbers, L.I.P.S.) his latest alias. A fellow with many years of international DJ commitments and producer (with releases on Cocoon and many major labels), I felt privileged to be mentored by such a talent. Whether it be production tips or setting up the label, I was issued a plethora of invaluable pointers.
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?
Establishing a strong arrangement is what I mostly need to focus on at present, as sound designing and mixing seems to take up the lion’s share of my studio time. Even my most recent studio sessions have sometimes stagnated when I try too hard to get into a creative flow or don’t allow the process to occur organically. My advice to others would be to ‘become the music’.
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?
Normal days.. there aren’t any! Whenever not at the day job, I’m doing my best to be in studio, leaving very little time for all other essentials.
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 could share a few names here but the truth is I simply don’t find time to listen to any other music. I prefer a good movie, this tends to work well for me to keep the stores of inspiration replenished.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
Actually I do recall buying a Juno Reactor CD many years ago, psychedelic trance. Sasha’s Involver 3 was probably my latest purchase.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I practice personal development, meditation and becoming one’s true self. I would recommend this to anyone striving for success in any arena.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I believe every artist receives the recognition he or she deserves. If someone is really getting consistently overlooked then the questions should be, ‘am I doing something wrong’ and striving for improvement. The power is within us, not the outside world.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I am a big fan of John Digweed. He is one of a limited few who I can admit to listening to religiously. Life inspires me constantly. People who I love and support me. Family and friends. I simply couldn’t ask for more.
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?
Patience, patience and more patience. Do it for the music and the music will do it for you. The unique sound which you try to create is nothing more than your true self. Try to understand yourself better, learn the bridges and frequencies between yourself and the music you create. Allow the journey to take place and what blossoms from the ride.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
A fitting selection would be a track written a few nights ago, entitled “Last”.
‘Life Touch’ is out now on Golden Wings Music, you can purchase the release: here