Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m currently based in Berlin, and the scene here is, well, Berlin ha ha. There’s something for everyone here, but definitely lots of techno. It is very cool though to go out and be able to hear music all across the spectrum (ambient to deep house to techno for instance) without travelling too for and for a reasonable price, or for free.
How and why did you first start playing music?
I got into music at a super young age, singing and playing the piano. Then later my dad introduced me to classic rock in my early teens – that’s when I started playing guitar. I then got into electronic music from all my favourite skiing and snowboard films, and during my late teens one of my best friends introduced me to dj’ing.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Contemporary, dynamic, stimulating.
What did you go before you were a DJ, and do you do this full time?
I was a bartender in Toronto for a few years. I enjoyed it actually, it was fun to talk to people all the time and it taught me some good work ethics.
You recently released an EP alongside Drumcode mainstay Bart Skills, how did this collaboration come about?
Bart and I become good friends over the last couple years and I always send him my new stuff and ideas when I finish them. There were a couple ideas that stuck out that he really liked, so we combined forces, and after a lot of back and forth ‘Polarize’ and ‘Lost On You’ came about.
How did you and Bart decide on how the EP should be produced and sounds that you wanted to create together?
Bart’s a great guy so the EP went really smooth. We had all the ideas very quick, it was just how we were going to arrange them and mix them. We spent a lot of time on that, as I believe it’s one of the most important components of the track. Regarding the actual musical ideas in ‘Polarize’, I had this hook that Bart loved and really thought he could contribute to, so I sent him the parts and we went from there. We’re both super happy with the way it came out. For ‘Lost On You’, we combined our grooves and baselines to get the intro and the track fell into place after that. We thought the track was done but Bart dug up the eerie prominent vocal and dropped it over top which really kicked the track up a notch. He sent it back to me to do some FX stuff with certain words, I had a lot of fun doing that.
Where did you record/produce? Was this done together, or remotely?
I had some ideas and Bart had some ideas, so we swapped back and forth for a bit and then ended up finishing the ep in his home studio in Amsterdam.
What programs/instruments did you use to write and record this EP?
We both use Apple Logic Pro so it made working on the project super easy. As for the synths, I love using uHe Diva and Xfer Serum, they’re my go to favourite synths digital synths at the moment.
Where did you mix and master and who with?
Bart and I did the mixing together, and then towards the end of the project Bart did some final tweaks and ran it through his outboard mixing bus. Regarding the masters, we chose my master for ‘Lost On You’ and Beau’s master from Ten-Eight-Seven for ‘Polarize’.
What did you find most rewarding and challenging whilst creating this EP with Bart?
To be honest, this project went very smoothly. Bart is a super chill guy and we get along really well, so we didn’t really disagree with anything. What I really enjoyed and learned a lot from was how Bart took some ideas I had and flipped them in his own way, and a way I didn’t see they could be used, like with the synths in polarize for example. They’re not drastically different from how they originally sounded but the groove placement and arrangement made all the difference in the end. This is what I find extremely valuable when working with Bart, who’s got 20+ years of producing under his belt: learning how to arrange and see ideas from a different perspective.
You travel a lot between Toronto and Berlin, how do the influences of both cities contribute to your music and life?
I will never forget the upbringing Toronto gave me and the opportunities I got when growing up there. I got to open for a lot of different people which allowed me to introduce myself to a lot of different people in the scene. North America is a bit behind Europe in terms of techno popularity and acceptance, so moving to Berlin really allowed me to experiment more with different sounds and venture a outside of my comfort zone when djing. Toronto has a really great and tight nit scene though, full of heads and music lovers alike, and the crowd really knows their music. I get so excited every time I get to play in my hometown.
What do you like to do away from music?
Skateboard, ride my bike, cook, work out, play frisbee, camp / be outside or in nature. And sometimes I like to play Fortnite.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Lake People, Cut Copy, Tame Impala, Dreamville, Tiga, Allah-Las, Peter Schilling
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?
Some secrets and more releases which you’ll find out about soon 😉