The 312th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Paul2Paul.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 32 years old I have been producing over 17 years. I have been djing over 18 years since I first time touched a turntable a record and the pitch control. I live in the United States in city of New York.
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 remember myself as a kid with a big vinyl bag and a broken turntable. I started to spin in my early age. I saw very good djs and producers and didn’t want to be like they were. I always felt that I should not be or even copy anyone and be different. I have been doing what I do not to become popular or show off myself and say, “Look at me!” I started to spin in 1996 when it was kinda popular thing to do and most people though that I do this thing because it is modern stuff and I will drop It as many people did … but I didn’t drop it. I didn’t ask music to become a part … a big part of my life. It came in me and took me and still don’t want me to live a normal life. As I always say: “Life without music is not worth living!”
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 has not been difficult. I spent lots of my time in front of many studio mixers and monitors and was surrounded by producers since my 10s. I feel it and I have great opportunity to get something from other producers and show it to everyone. As you can get the fact, if one really wants to do something, one should spend most of time on a thing one wants to do. Sometimes it comes slow or fast but you get it eventually. High School of sound engineering and production. I am sound producer and sound engineer, this is my specialty. Many hours of work do their thing.
I strongly think that no one can advise anything. If you have your vision if you hear the music the way you hear it, you should never listen to everybody and keep do what you doing. Music is the only answer.
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?
There are no difficulties if you understand the process. If you have difficulties in the production process it means that you should change the field or keep digging more inside though. If you’re having difficulties with the production stuff then try to do something else. It helps a lot. Ones I touch a key on my board I feel and see everything I wanted to say by this or that part of a track. If I don’t feel it I do something else, reading some new stuff from the music world or listen to classical music or just walking.
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?
A normal day for me is to be closed at my studio and clean equipment and spin some new music to myself. This is the best day. You know what I mean though. I do have a job as all we have. Mine is to work with live bands as a sound engineer. Pretty tide schedule. This means that I have less time to my production but it helps me to get something new and fresh. If you work in different genres you can catch many new things and use them in your style.
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?
Blues, Jazz, Classical music these are the best to listen and to chill. My favourite musicians are Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra … ect. They give me a big understanding that real music is here. I try to make electronic music more living.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
I think as all we when we were kids we didn’t get the fact what music is. We just bought some random stuff and tried to understand the music. But I did bought some CDs. They were some random club VAs with modern artist back in the past. I can remind one of them. It called: “The Club Rotation” thing. I do remember that I went crazy form DJTonka, Klubbheads, Funky Matador, Sven Vath, Kraftwerk … ect. The TV channels as German “VIVA”, “MTV” back in the 90s. After that I decided to become a part of the night club music world.
8. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I am so seriously focused on my production. I try not to think or consider any of them. I think all the music has to be heart and all producers are very talented ppl. I appreciate each of them and what they do. Music is the life.
9. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I see many people in a daily basis. I look around and try to imagine what is going on in their lives. After some of them I get so inspired that only thing I needed is to be in the studio and just make some melodies and try to show this or that part of someone’s life in my music. Like a fairy tale. This is my attitude to the music. Who knows, it might be that I needed not much to get inspired. This is how I get ideas most of the time. In this world we should just look around and try to found the music in what we see, do, make …
10. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
We all do our sound. We all sound different. We can’t copy or be like this or that producer. We can’t buy sound libraries and search for the similar sound. Just be creative and feel what you do. You will succeed. Just believe in that and follow your mind and soul.
11. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Sorry for my answer for the question. I do produce lots of tracks and spin them. If only I knew that today is my last set in my music career I would spin my favourite one which I produced in 2015. Paul2Paul – A Life In NYC (Original Mix). I think this track one of my best productions. And! Of course: Paul2Paul – The Test Tones (Original Mix). As you can see I am a fan of myself and you never know how cool or not cool this is.
‘3.0’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here