Interview: Five Minutes with Jack Trades

Up and coming music producer Jack Trades has released his new single Kill Me Slowly (with Heather Janssen)’ via Physical Presents.  He currently sits on a noteworthy 3.6 million plays across music streaming platforms. Trades has also been featured on renowned Spotify playlists such as Friday Cratediggers, Katch Flights, mint Canada and Sensual Musique’s Good Life Radio mix for 2020. Before launching his career in 2017, Trades was specializing in Music Production, Engineering, and Songwriting at Point Blank London. Singer Heather Janssen is also making a name for herself, sitting on over 14 million plays on streaming platforms!

We find out more about the rising producer below. 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

An outlet where I can creatively express myself based on how I am feeling at that point and time. A lot of the songwriting in my songs is based on personal experiences.

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

I definitely start all my music by playing the chords first as it sets the tone and foundation for the record.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, I am a huge fan of working with singers/songwriters, and most of my music if not all so far have featured artists.

What’s on your current playlist?

My current playlist includes a lot of deep house, chill and lo-fi music.

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

It is a lot of crowd interaction and I feed off their energy. When they come and see a Jack Trades set, I have a good sense of their expectations, so obviously keep things interesting and throwing in a lot of surprises.

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

My technique is basically to keep things simple and not overproduce, and to create what fits the vocal. The piano sound is almost a regular feature in my production along with plucky basslines and minimal drums.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Usually, it involves a lot of trial and error to be honest, whether that would be working on the right chords, creating effective arrangements, messing around with sound design or even just creating effective song templates for future use. If there is an agenda on writing an original track/remix, it starts by writing the chords, doing the drums, arranging the song, and then working on the drop/chorus section.

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

Remember watching a Tiesto show with Porter Robinson; the vibe, atmosphere & energy were so unreal and I knew at that moment, this is what I wanted to do.

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

Extra USBs for sure, water, and energy drinks.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Yes, of course, artists on the Physical Presents roster like Freddie Future, Marcus James, Kayobe, HOFFEY & Anthony Kalabretta 

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Listening to a lot of music while driving or at the gym really sparks my inspiration. There might be something. 

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

My gear comprises of my powerhouse MacBook Pro i9, Apogee Duet Soundcard, Yamaha HS80ms, Synths that I really love are SERUM, Native Instruments Kontakt, Spire, Sylenth, VPS Avenger and many more soft synths as I prefer working in the box.

Any side projects you’re working on?

As a matter of fact yes, started working on some side projects that are focussed on more club/dance floor music. As of right now trying to decide if I would keep it under the “Jack Trades’ brand or create another alias.

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

It has been all about learning and evolving, and I feel like the songwriting is becoming better with every song,  arrangements are more effective, and getting much closer to creating my sound.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Lots of exciting feature collaborations, originals, remixes and you can also expect the Jack Trades brand to shift more towards a darker clubbier sound.

Famous last words?

Always keep creating. 

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