The 358th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Prosper Rek.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m 31 years old and living in Amsterdam. I started producing about 4 years ago and Dj’ing since 2006.
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.”
As a kid I have played the violin and bass guitar, which I think has been an important foundation for my interest in electronic music. Ibiza has been a place where we used to go to when I was little, so I think my first memories have been created there. I actually started my DJ’ing career at the Blue Marlin Ibiza when they just opened and I’ve been a resident DJ there until 2014. I can get inspired by different artists or music but I don’t think I can point that out to 1 artist.
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?
When I first started with Ableton I had no idea where to begin. Watching tutorials and asking help from friends (who already had experience making music), helped me a lot. I did took some lessons about a year ago. This definitely helped me improving my mixes but also taught me to work faster and make important decisions early in the stage of making a track (like choosing the right elements and not being afraid to throw things away).
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?
Normally I just start a track going through samples or just playing on my midi keyboard and selecting different plugins until I’ll find something I like. This can be either drums or melodies. From there I just start stacking up more stuff until you create a nice groove, or multiple melodies working together. Many times I’ll throw away the parts that created the track in the first place as I might have found better parts later onwards. Don’t be afraid to throw things away! Taking a break does help a lot when you get stuck in that loop 🙂
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 try to spend as much time as possible in my studio creating new stuff. But to create a nice balance between the creative part of music production I do work as a freelancer at a advertising company. Spending the rest of my time with my 2,5 year old daughter, girlfriend and my friends definitely makes me a happy man.
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 think good music is good music and this can be found in any type of genre. When I was a kid I used to listen a lot to music from bands like Nirvana or The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I used to play songs from these bands when I was playing the bass guitar. Probably my edit from Sting was inspired from the time I used to play this on my guitar.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
Haha, the first name that comes to mind is Haddaway – What is Love (think I bought this as a single for fl. 4,99 back in the days!). Not sure what my last CD was, maybe one by Moby.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I got my degree in Biomedical Science, but eventually decided to start a career in music.
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
The best thing is to find really good produced music from artists unknown to you at that time. I recently discovered music from “Kasper Koman” (from the Netherlands) and a duo called “Alcine”. Overlooked might not be the correct statement here, but they definitely need more attention!
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
The list changes from time to time, but I think they all have one thing in common: the ability to produce music with a melodic groove. Artists like Gabriel Ananda, Guy J, Eelke Kleijn & Chaim just to name a few.
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?
Just believe in your personal taste and make what you want to make. The biggest artists are the ones with a unique sound, not the ones copying what works.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Haddaway – What Is Love 🙂
‘Storytelling’ EP is out now on Paul Hazendonk’s Manual Music, you can purchase the release: here