With THe WHite SHadow having new music out now on Manual Music and Movement Recordings 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 ! I’m 35, I live in Toulouse (France), I’m a DJ for about 20 years and it’s been 10 years that I produce my own tracks.
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? Was a career in music always the only objective, were you interested in anything else as a life journey? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
A friend introduced me to some electronic music tracks (Kraftwerk, Moroder, JM Jarre…), and I realised very soon that this was what I wanted to do. At the beginning, I didn’t consider a real career in electronic music, it was and it is still a passion. Progressively, as my productions were evolving, I signed on bigger and bigger labels, so I said to myself, finally why not ?
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?
At the beginning, the main difficulty was financial, because M.A.O came later and we needed lot of stuff to produce. I spent plenty of time in my studio tinker with my synths and sequencer. After few years I released my first tracks. At this time, I didn’t have a chance to know somebody who could help me. So yes, we can consider that I’m hundred percent self-taught producer. 🙂
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?
The most difficult thing for me right now is to keep the musical spirit that I gave to « The White Shadow » project, while also being open to different electronic styles. The most interesting part for me is sequencing the track. There is limitless possibilities and my imagination can run free. 🙂 When the inspiration doesn’t come on the beginning of a project, I don’t force myself, it must come naturally, so I simply do something else (listening new tracks, watching movies), and then I go back
few hours later.
5. You have a new remix of Alessandro Diga out this week on Manual Music. Tell us how you approached writing the track.
For Alessandro’s remix, at first listen, I understood that the bass was the main component of the track, and I had to arrange this remix around it. I chose to do a techno version, keep the original bass, with a filter, used as a pad, and add another one. I added a lead, some rhythmic stuff and that’s it. 🙂
6. It’s a busy week for you with another remix out on Movement Recordings, of the always excellent Danito & Athina, tell us what’s special about this one and where the inspiration came from for it?
For Danito & Athina’s remix, I wanted something old school, with old synth sonorities and vocoder on the voice. I chose to do that because it’s been a while that I wanted to do something with electronica spirit.
7. 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 listen a little bit of everything, but mostly reggae, dub, a bit of pop/rock and movie soundtracks. I can’t say it has a significant impact on my own productions.
8. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
It was a vinyl and if my memories are good, it was Jeff Mills – Kat Moda EP, and the most recent was also a vinyl : Power of ten by Stephan Bodzin.
9. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I never had any music class. 🙂
10. What five tracks are you currently loving the most at the moment?
Barnt – If She Says She Is A Healer She Is A Healer
Sharam – Arpi Moonwalk Remix
Echonomist – Free fall
Laurent Garnier – 1-4 Doctor c’est chouette
Max Cooper – Organa (Patrice Baumel Remix)
11. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
It’s Stephan Bodzin and Maceo Plex : two different styles but both of them bring something new.
12. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound like you have, what advice do you have for them?
The most important thing is to make the difference between influence and reproduction. Actually, too many artists try to do their track only according to the label they want to sign in. You better test your creativity in your track and don’t close yourself in a special genre.
13. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
No doubt : DJ Rolando A.K.A. The Aztec Mystic – Jaguar
THe WHite SHadow has new music out on Manual Music and Movement Recordings, you can purchase those releases: here