Q+A: 5 Minutes with dj poolboi
Image credit: Ming Chen
It’s always curious when a song created decades ago stays with a person: watching them evolve and transform into new identities. What new hat or persona will the character try on next? What road will appear before them with the beloved song playing in their ears to guide them down it? dj poolboi flips the script by gently taking Petula Clark’s hit single ‘la nuit n’en finit plus’ by the hand, covering it in a dream-pop shroud and leading it down a new path with beloved French singer Clio in tow. The reworked single will be appearing on his upcoming LP, stay just a little while longer which is slated for release early next year.
dj poolboi has already displayed an affinity for playing with a wide variety of genres. ‘take me far away’ , the first single from the upcoming album, sat within the melodic deep house territory whereas the recently released ‘la nuit n’en finit plus’ enters the world of dream-pop. While consistently cool and chilled with his creations, the producer has found a way of throwing curve balls at every turn.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
It never felt like a choice. Ever since I began learning my first instrument as a kid it was always what I wanted to do with my life. No matter what, in at least some capacity, I was always going to be in the arts
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
It varies from track to track. Sometimes I have a melody in my head that I want to get down which starts the writing process. Other times, I’ll have a vague beat or BPM or style in mind and go from there. Usually, I sit down with no plan and just see what happens organically
Does your material feature any collaborations?
I love collabing when I can. A lot of my new material heavily features lots of collaborations with other artists. It brings new life and a new perspective into the music
What’s on your current playlist?
I have a lot of go to’s that I always have on repeat for years. Generally, I listen to all genres of music but lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Slowthai, James Blake, Vince Staples, Black Country New Road, classical piano like Chopin; kind of all over the place
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
It’s a beautiful feeling. If you give 100% energy on stage the audience will give it back. Writing music is one thing but being able to play it live for people and interact with them is the best thing in the world
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I don’t think about being original at all, I just know what I think sounds good to me and try and write it down. I focus first on the emotion and feeling I want to convey and figure out the right sounds later
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
It usually goes one of two ways: I’ll either sit down and try and write something for hours and hours and nothing ends up sounding good to me. Or I’ll sit down and bang out a whole track in a couple hours and it all just comes together naturally
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
When I joined my first band in high school and played my first gig
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Water cause ya gotta stay hydrated for sure
Any emerging artists on your radar?
It’s hard for me to say. Lately, I have been working a lot on my own music and not searching for new artists. I have been listening to this band Nation of Language, I think they’re great and gonna blow up soon. Holly Humberstone as well
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Mostly just when I wake up after some solid sleep and I’m feeling good. Sometimes I’ll take a little break from music to give my ears a rest, then come back feeling very refreshed and inspired. Coffee also helps
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I exclusively write using Reason and a midi keyboard. I have loads of VST’s and plugins; Ideally when I set up a home studio I will have my drum set and analogue synths as well ready to record.
Any side projects you’re working on?
I have a little side project Aisuru that is my ambient work
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
You can always improve as an artist. I have certainly learned A LOT over the years and I’m constantly refining.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
New album, new remixes, new collabs, and tour dates as well
Famous last words?
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By Sarah Britton