The 337th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Nishan Lee.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hi, My name is Nishan Leeniyagala I’m 33 years old, born and raised in Sri Lanka and living In Dubai, I’m Djing since 1999’ and I’m producing since 2014.
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 in various musical genres as hiphop reggae and 80s, 90s and began to take an interest in electronics from 1999. Undoubtedly, John Digweed & Hernan Cattaneo took me to this beautiful electronic dance music scene.
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 can’t say that was really difficult but it needs really much time to improve your skills and achieve your own sound and style and of course music knowledge is needed and I started to develop my skills and search for ways to achieve better sounding etc. I had the best guidance from my best two friends Subandrio & Patrik Carrera (MUUI). Thanks to them for guiding me towards the right path 🙂
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?
Finding the right sound is rather difficult, but once I find it the rest comes on its own. If I come across the block I take my time and rest for a while. Time is the best answer for all difficulties.
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?
I am a Creative Designer / Consultant work for an advertising & marketing company in Dubai and I love to play & watch Cricket and to spend more time with my baby boy and my loving wify (daddy duty) 🙂
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 can say I love many genres of music hiphop, reggae, 80s & 90s, but I mostly focus on the electronic dance music.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
2Pac – All eyes on me (Favourite track from the album is California Love)
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m not sure if there is anything special about me that would surprise people, but yeh I love to work hard to achieve my dreams 🙂 work hard work hard
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
There are so many talented artists who do amazing production. My list is long.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
I really love and inspired by Guy J, Guy Mantzur, Guy Gerber, CID Inc, Subandrio, Simos Tagias, MUUI, and many more :). Yeh the most profound inspiration comes always from the divine peaceful mind.
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.
Listen to all kind of music not only electronic music. Be open Minded and Don’t Try to duplicate Major names in the industry. Work hard and to not be afraid. None not born knowing. Also, to be yourselves with your own style of sound. WORK HARD 🙂
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Marco Bailey & Tom Hades – Stars And Shines (Original Mix) [That is one of my favourite songs of all time]
Thanks for inviting me 🙂
‘Skinner Box’ is out now on Genesis Music, you can purchase the release: here