With Gibbon having new music out now on Electronic Tree we catch up with him for the latest episode of 12 Questions.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hello. The first thing I want to say is that I’m very honored for giving me this opportunity and a BIG thanks for the remix crew, because they did an outstanding job. So,I’m Nemanja Petrovic aka Gibbon and I’m 27 years old(soon it will be 28).I’m from Serbia and I live in a small place near Belgrade called Kacarevo. I’ve been djing around 10 years and I made the first serious steps into production 4 year ago.
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 how I was making a little home performances for my family when I find some new song interesting. Back then, there were a few very popular rock, dance and hip hop bands in the local scene and my main source was TV. Soon I found the radio very useful tool too and there was born the first connection with an electronic music. My older sister used to listen to some radio shows with an electronic music and record them for the future listening. Those were commercial songs, but back then, a commercial sound had a very good quality if you asking me. My first touch with some house music was born thanks to those recorded radio shows.
I was 13 and I was surrounded with the people who were listening to psychedelic trance music, so that music caught my attention too. Melodies and speed, wow…It was something new and an uncharted territory for me. Now, I was a teenager and I wanted to find out more and more about that music; not like in the beginning when I even didn’t know what an electronic music genre is. In the beginning everything was house and techno for me.”What kind of music do you like?” “Oh, I like house and techno.”Haha I was an uninformed kid :). Soon I felt in love with Full On and Progressive trance music and that was a trigger for my first wish to become a dj. Many of my friends even don’t know that one of my first dj appearance was with some progressive trance tracks.
Now I’m 14,I have a dream, but I realise that a dj equipment is a very expensive wish for me and my parents and I don’t even know somebody to teach me how to use it. One more important thing is that I didn’t have the internet then, so something like a tutorial is a strange thing to me…yet…
Three years have been passed and there was a summer 2006.Tuborg was promoting its product and giving a cd compilation for free if you buy their beer in a cafe.”Tuborg Loud and Clear Vol.2” was its name compiled by Dj Acim. Sister got a copy and after my first listening something strange has happened. I was in love again and I even didn’t know with what. Yes, it was a house music, but it wasn’t “that house” that I already knew. Something different, warm, slower, strong with nice melodies. After a few weeks I found out that was a Progressive house music from the guy who will become my dj mentor soon after that and that track “John Con Vs Nikola Gala feat. Perasma – Swing To Harmony (Original Mix)” from the compilation actually made a decision instead of me and picked the Progressive house to be my main dj(latter production)genre, so that is the answer on your “this is what I want to do.” There was a few gems more on that compilation, but we won’t speak about them this time.
I hope you didn’t sleep, let’s go to the next question :).
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?
Well, every beginning is difficult and this one wasn’t different too. When I found out which daw is “the chosen one”, first difficulty was that everyone I knew(except a guy who discovered me Ableton, but his knowledge was pretty much on the same level as mine)from the music production area used another daw(fruity loops),so I was on my own to figure it out the nature and function of Ableton Live. I didn’t take any courses and classes about it, because in the beginning there wasn’t anything like that in Serbia and when SAE Institute came in Belgrade, they were too expensive for my pocket, so I started with some basic tutorials via the internet. Oh my, when I just think about it…I reviewed tons of them and to make some basic steps I needed a few hours. Now, for the same things I need a few minutes. A friend of mine helped me with some basic and universal tips. One of them was “every sound should has its own space.”I must say I actually didn’t know what he was trying to tell me, but after some time spent in a producing world I finally figured it out the message and that helped me a lot to make a sound with a cleanliness that I was looking for from the beginning.
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?
When I make a song, I do that through some fazes. The most boring faze for me is the most difficult one too and one of them is The FX Faze (I used to call it that way).In every new track I need to add some up and down fxs and that is so boring to me that sometimes I need days to do that. Someone will do that very quickly, but I’m not that kind of guy(in the most cases). Since my strategy is to make almost all elements first, the easiest part is to merge them in a track.
Time…Time is the key for everything. When I get saturation I simply let it to pass and do some other things in the meantime. Sometimes I need days, sometimes weeks, but it isn’t matter actually, because everything I do in music production I’m doing for my own pleasure and I’m the master of my own time.
5. You have a new track out on Electronic Tree this week; a groovy, deep house piece entitled ‘Pleasing You’. Tell us how you approached writing the track, how the relationship with Electronic Tree began and what’s coming later this year from you?
I found a percussion loop that I really liked and I wanted to use it somehow and somewhere. First idea was to make some tribal house track, but when I saw in which direction that was going on I simply let to the feeling to lead me through production. I wanted to add some sexy elements then, so I did that in the bridge of the song. The song turned out well at the end, but the remixes…Oh my… 🙂
I know for Electronic Tree from their beginning I think, because I always looking for some new cool labels through the genres that I prefer and they made their publicity very fast after their birth. I spoke about some releasing with Dino (Submarine Vibes label manager and owner) and he suggested me to try with ET.I took his advice and it turned out that he was very very right :).
I’m waiting 3 more releases on some compilations(two deep and one progressive house track) and they will come with Iconyc Music, Submarine Vibes and Haute Musique. That is what is for sure, but I will probably make something more till the end of the year.
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’m a music lover and it would be a shame to listen to only some electronic music when The World is offering much much more quality music through some other genres I also like rock, trip hop, soul, funk, reggae, classic and many more genres from time to time. Lets see…Creedance Clearwater Revival; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Thievery Corporation, The Delfonics and many more and no, they don’t have a direct effect on my own production. That is a job for some old electronic legends in my own musical world.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
This is a tough one. To be honest I was a kid when these stuff were popular, so I get them as presents mostly, so I can only remember one thing that I bought and maybe that was my first and my last time to buy a music in its physical form. That was a mp3 cd(maybe a few of them) with some local rock and grunge bands.
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Well, there’s a one stupid thing about me(I mean, there’s a lot of them, but this one is attached to this theme).I know how to use Ableton, I know how to use some vst plug ins that I prefer, but I don’t know how to install them hahaha. I’m dumb as an ass for those things and I have “a guy” for it :).If you expected some smarter answer on this question, this simply isn’t your day :).
Oh, maybe this one will be interesting…I tried acro yoga a few times. A cool way to practise and have a fun, try it.
9. 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?
Yes, I have a regular job besides the music. When I work I come home, take a shower, eat something, rest a little bit and then go to the trening. I do street workout routines and exercises 4 days in a week last 4 years I think and hatha yoga twice in a week for the last 1 year. Besides that I like long walks in the evening and I do that since I can remember. I have a beautiful friend crew, so I spend my free time with them when I can and when they can.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
One of them is Rishi K. This dude constantly releases an outstanding work in substantial quantities. Since I’m a big fan of old progressive, deep and tribal house tracks, my inspiration often comes from them in combination with today’s tracks that I find attractive. Sometimes a melody just come on my mind and if I’m in position to try to mapped it in Ableton, I can make a hole idea from it.
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?
Don’t stop dreaming. You can find a lot of useful tutorials via the internet and if you are a patient, you will succeed at the end. If you’re chasing a money, then maybe you shouldn’t try it at all, because there is a big chance to just waste your time and get disappointed. There are plenty of producers in The World that are to help, but it is on you the find out about what question you will ask. To be more precise equals a better answer.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Oh,this is a really tough one… Let it be “Distant Fragment & Steve Mill – Utopia (Dj Tarkan & V-Sag Remix)”. This track was the one of my favourite in the beginning of my dj career and many good memories and emotional states are to it. It was with me in the beginning, let it be with me at the end then too.
‘Pleasing You’ is out now on Electronic Tree, you can purchase the release: here