Interview: Five Minutes with Anthony Kalabretta

Deep house music producer Anthony Kalabretta has released his single, ‘This Fire’ via Physical Presents. He usually works behind the scenes in the music world as a recording engineer, producer, and songwriter with well-known acts such as DVBBS, Protest the Hero, Silverstein, Abandon All Ships, and Felix Cartal. Kalabretta has performed alongside internationally known DJs including Don Diablo, Disclosure, and Oliver Nelson. The talented producer joined the music scene as young as fifteen years old, and developed a taste for analog synthesizers and distinct genres. In 2016, he made his mark with EP Basic. Kalabretta is currently working on his new EP Terracotta

We find out more about the ‘This Fire’ producer in the interview below. 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I’m addicted to creating. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want to enhance my experience by emitting art into the atmosphere. I’ve been drawn to expression through sound since I can remember.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Ultimately the idea. Sometimes a sound can trigger the idea or feeling, but without that, the chords don’t mean a thing.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Sometimes, I love to collaborate with like-minded people.

What’s on your current playlist?

I’ve recently been listening to a lot of 80’s new wave and a lot of Amtrac.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I try my best to give the audience what I would want from any artist, pure unfiltered expression. I don’t want to change that based on who’s paying attention. The more authentic the delivery, the better the experience for everyone.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I try to pull new sounds from old hardware. Unlike a lot of modern producers, I like to build my sounds from the ground up instead of using a memory preset. The nuance of sculpting a sound is where the magic exists – in my opinion.   

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually start with coffee and whatever music to help inspire some creativity. I’ll start experimenting with drum samples until I have a solid base to track some synth and vocals over. I need sunlight periodically to reset my musical equilibrium and preferably a lake, ocean, or pool nearby to jump into. If I’m not living the expression I want to emit, I don’t have a track to put out.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I don’t think it’s that straight forward. Art and expression will always be a part of my life, it comes and goes in waves. Some days it lifts my spirit and some days it weighs heavy. Regardless, I want to share my experiences with people and help them feel unchartered emotion.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Vodka, cigarettes.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Biscayne Bay.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

The right music in the right place at the right time.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I recently purchased the new Behringer POLY D. It’s been a dream for me and allows me to create all the synth tones I desire. Before that, I was using the Moog Matriarch which was awesome as well. I usually bounce drum machine to tape (Scully 280) and then build things up in Ableton. Elam 251 mic and a Tk dp2 for vocals.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I’m still working as a mixing/ mastering engineer on a verity of projects.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I’ve been recording bands since the ripe age of 13. I feel that I’ve developed a great understanding of the gear, techniques, and personalities of the music industry.

Famous last words?

Only one thing is certain.

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