Exclusive: We chat with Draper about his latest work
Draper is a producer well known for his remixes for mainstream artists like Lapsley and Iggy Azalea, and while that might sound outside of The Playground’s normal coverage, there’s a very clear and obvious reason why he’s become a go-too remix artist for underground and overground circles- his immense talent speaks for itself.
We recently managed to ask some questions as he shifts gear into original work, and with his latest releases, it’s becoming clear he’s about to hit the major league.
Thank you so much for chatting with us! You’ve released an EP a couple of months ago, and you’ve had a stream of remixes and other singles out. How do you stay motivated, and how do you gain influences from your everyday life?
Staying motivated, for me personally, comes easily simply due to the fact that I love what I do and I would never take for granted the fact that I can do it full time and you have to work hard and stay motivated in order to maintain that.
As far as influences go I try not to get influenced by other people’s music too much because if I’m listening to it then it has been done, so I always try not to recreate something that I’ve heard. If I watch a great movie or hear a great song that will send me straight to my DAW with inspiration coursing through my veins!
“Home” is your newest track. How did the making of this track come about? How did you end up working with Abi Ocia?
I’ve known Abi for about 3 years and have written with her in different capacities. This track came about whilst Abi was working on her sound and I wanted to try and be a part of that with my music so I would listen to her ideas, she would often say “rein it in” with the production. Essentially saying, refine the sound so that the few elements that are there reveal the character of the track effortlessly. Less is more sometimes. It took a lot of trial and error but we are both very proud of what we’ve achieved and it was well worth the challenge.
You’ve been well known for your remixes, but have been heavily focused on working on original music recently. What made you decide on this shift? What would you say are the biggest challenges artists, especially independent ones, face today?
The shift was based on a series of events that made me realise that right now is Draper time, I have to go 110% into this otherwise I won’t know if I can make the artist element a success. I think the biggest challenge is being unique, it’s so easy to jump onto trends and have one song do well online because that style is trendy but you have to be able to follow that up with quality content and that’s where I think a lot of artists fall, they hear what’s cool/trending and want to mimic that, rather than spending time trying to figure out how they can create something unique to themselves.
And to continue with that, if you could have anyone remix your song out there, who would be your ideal remix EP lineup?
1. Sigur Ros
I know they don’t do remixes but what I’d give to hear their adaptations of one of my tracks…
What is your music making process? Are you more of a hardware or software person? What are some programs or instruments you feel are instrumental to your work as an artist?
It’s always a loop, maybe a chord progression maybe a lead melody idea it could be a drum beat or a sample but it’s always a 4-8 bar loop that I build and build until I’ve created a vibe. I’m about 98% software based, apart from vocals there really is not hardware (other than my computer and a Korg MS200R) involved. My main vst duo that I use on Cubase are Native Instrument’s “Kontakt” (pianos, strings, acoustic drums, some synths) and sylenth for the concentrated electronic elements.
We hear a whole mix of influences that range from the electronic world, pop world, R&B world… who would you say influences you musically/who are you listening to that you feel you learn from?
I listen to the production more than I listen to vocals in a track so really everything I listen to I’m hearing the differences in production and try to implement new techniques in the way I write. The main artists who I pay close attention to in regards to production influence are Madeon, Haywyre, Passion Pit and Chvrches.
Finally, what are your upcoming plans (musically) for the rest of 2016 that you can share with our readers?
I have so much (in my opinion) amazing music that I’m so proud of that I can’t wait to release. It’s the pinnacle of my producing career and I’m very excited to share it online and in live form!