Q+A: 5 minutes with Stööki Sound
Returning from a three-year break from the music business, duo Stööki Sound have picked up where they left off in 2019, making gritty electronic trap music that hits as hard as it did then. Having previously worked alongside UZ, the masked grandfather of the genre, the dynamic duo have turned to the Quality Goods Records label, where they have signed the second single released since their comeback. Speaking of which, ‘Revival’ is pure attitude. Reminiscent of the creatively-intricate producer Troyboi, the track bounces with blistering basslines and rattling 808s. Let’s welcome Stööki Sound.
Stream / Download: Stööki Sound – ‘Revival’
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I have always been tied to music. My mother used to play reggae songs to me in the womb. I then fell in love with production at age 14 and have not stopped loving it ever since. The arts allow you to express yourself and find individuality. I also love problem-solving, and I find that creating music is a constant conundrum worth solving.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Usually the idea. I have a long list of voice notes on my phone of me beatboxing ideas. Sometimes I will be looking for samples or going through plugins and stumble upon a sound that instantly sparks an idea.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
What’s on your current playlist?
Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of UK rappers such as K-Trap, Fredo, Bandokay, Headie one, Central Cee etc. I’ve also been listening to a lot of electronic acts such as ISOxo, Knock2, Montell2099, IMANU, Alix Perez, and TroyBoi. But I genuinely listen to a bit of everything; it just depends on what mood I’m in.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
It’s been a while since we played shows as we had a hiatus from 2019 to 2022, but we always love connecting with the people who we perform for, especially in intimate settings. We feed off of the crowd’s energy and they feed off of ours, so it’s an energy exchange, and the best shows are always the ones when there’s a strong synergy between the artist and the audience.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I’ve been experimenting with samples a lot more now. I used to stick to original sounds all of the time, but recently I’ve found a love for the art of sampling and manipulating sounds. We love a lot of darker sounds, but we’ve been incorporating more brighter sounds to compliment them, so our sound is developing.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
Honestly, it’s nothing exciting (to me). I usually open my laptop and stay locked in for a number of hours. I’ll take food breaks and Xbox breaks so I don’t burn out and also to prevent ear fatigue. But I don’t have a set routine. I’m very free-flowing. I just allow myself to do what I feel is necessary on the day and allow my creative mind space to breathe.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I had a major accident on my left hand in 2010, which meant I almost lost my life. After my operation and 2 years of rehabilitation to get my hand working again (it’s only at around 75% functionality now and will probably be that way for the rest of my life) I went to university but I didn’t feel fulfilled. I told myself that I almost died already so I would make sure I lived and decided that I wanted to pursue music. I quit university and my job at the time and shortly after made ‘Ball So Hard’. The rest is history.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Water, a microphone, and my asthma pump.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
LYNY and FrostTop.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Hearing new music that makes my ears stick up, going for walks, and making sure that I am making music every day. That doesn’t mean making a new song every day, but making sure that I am keeping my tools sharpened by going into my DAW and playing around.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I got rid of most of my equipment and now I just use my laptop, mouse, and keyboard. I’ve always found it easier to produce that way. If I ever need any synths etc. I just rent out a studio space that provides. Back to basics.
Any side projects you’re working on?
I have a side project dedicated to rapping but haven’t fully introduced it to the world yet.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Absolutely. I listen back to some of the music we released before and cringe. However, as time goes by you should always strive to get better at what you do without losing the essence of what you started with.
Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
We are rebuilding the project after a long hiatus. We have a few shows in the pipeline that we are really excited about and a few songs including some important collaborations. We’re very excited about the next phase of Stööki Sound.
Famous last words?
I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I have dedicated my life to.
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Image credit: Purple Contrast