Q + A with Monsieur Adi

Monsieur Adi

Monsieur Adi has been a firm favourite here at Public Description.  Our first interview was in 2013 while I had a weekly radio show. After researching different artists I stumbled across a slick and addictive remix done by Adi of a Lana Del Rey track ‘Born to Die’.  From that moment I was hooked on Monsieur Adi’s music. I am not alone as he became a sought after musician, producer and remixer due to his elegant musical offerings.

Since 2010 he has been creating official remixes for artists such as, Ellie Goulding, Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, Bastille, Laura Mvula, and The Kooks. In 2014, he debuted his brilliant single “What’s Going On?” featuring vocals of A*M*E.

Adi has established himself as one of the most consistently creative and dynamic artists around 

Public Description is thrilled to have caught up with Monsieur Adi for a short Q&A to find out how he has been coping during lockdown and what we can expect from him in the near future.

 

Elle: We have missed you at Public Description. How have you been spending lockdown?
Monsieur Adi: That means so much to me! Thank you. I have been working on some various projects. Luckily I had planned for it to be a quieter year.

ElleWhat positive would you take from this period?
Monsieur Adi: The positive is that I have been able to get in touch with myself on a very deep level as well as
connect with my friends and family more, despite the social distancing.

ElleHave you found it difficult during this time to be creative?
Monsieur Adi: At the beginning of the pandemic, I just completely shut down and could not create even if I wanted
to. My anxiety, something I have been dealing with, just multiplied heavily. But through some inner and
outer work, I was able to get back to it and am feeling happy.

Elle: It sounds like it was quite challenging for you for a while. I am so pleased to hear you over came this and are excited to be back. Is there any advice you could give to anyone else starting out right now during this time?
Monsieur Adi: Breathe, haha. Even after I have been in the industry for a while, it feels like I am just starting
out. I’d say never lose the fun and joy of making music if you can.

Elle:The suspension of live music under lockdown has been devastating for artists, how has this impacted you?
Monsieur Adi: To be honest, it has not impacted me so much as I prefer the production side of things as opposed to performing live and I had already planned to make it a really quiet year in terms of being out and about.

Elle: So the most important question is can we expect to hear new music from you soon?
Monsieur Adi:It’s funny… I said I was not going to make music to release ever again, but a year ago I was at a concert of the Soweto Gospel Choir in Amsterdam and while they sang “Amazing Grace”, emotions just flooded me and I said I have at least one album left in me. Ever since then I have been working on it. It’s different, but full of heart and soul.

 

Elle: Sounds intriguing. Any planned collaborations coming up?

Monsieur Adi: Yes, I am working on some projects for others which is super exciting!

Elle: Which artist and song do you play on repeat right now?
Monsieur Adi: I have “My Love” by Inez on repeat ! It’s so beautiful.

Elle: Is there anything about the music industry that you would like to change?
Monsieur Adi: I’d change how social media numbers are the measure used to determine an artist’s talent. I think it is very short-sighted. But I could also just be very old-fashioned, haha.

Elle: Lastly, what is the positive you will take from 2020 so far?
Monsieur Adi: It was the year that everything changed and I found myself after having lost that many years ago.

Thanks to Monsieur Adi for this interview.

Q + A with Devrim Karaoglu

Devrim Karaoglu 1 by AG phot

Thank you to Producer/ Songwriter Devrim Karaoglu for taking time to chat about your Love for Music and how your career has excelled.

How did you get started in the music industry?

I started remixing for some big Turkish artist in the year 2000 (Tarkan ,Ajda Pekkan).  Later in 2001, I started producing for various artist in Istanbul until 2006, when I moved to LA to finish Tarkan’s English Album (Come Closer).  Since then I live in LA

How do you decide with which artists you wish to work?

It’s hard to saysometimes i go to shows and fall in love with an artist or I hear something on the web that speaks to me.  My management also connects me with different writers and artist.  For me, it’s important to get in the studio to get a vibe first.
It’s always exciting to meet new artist.

What was it like to work with Lana Del Rey?

It was lovely. Lana is an incredible soul /poet/ artist /
Her and Rick Nowels write beautiful timeless songs together.  I have co-produced with Rick songs like Summertime Sadness, Dark Paradise etc.. 

Who are your favourite artists?

I think Nelly Furtado is my all time favorite artist . Her song “Say it Right’ is probably one of my favorite tunes …timeless.
I also recently discovered Dua Lipa .She definitely has a long career. Really love her voice and writing.

Do you have any special musical talents i.e. do you play the piano / guitar etc Who influenced you and what music styles do you listen to?

I started playing the turkish saz at an early age .Later on I learned the timpani and played with a youth symphonic orchestra in Germany for 7 years.
At age 14, I started playing the keyboard/synthesizer . My main influences were Pink Floyd, Santana,  Yello, Depeche Mode,  Police, Sting , Art of Noise , Ravi Shankar, Youssou N’dour and a lots of Turkish classic and folk music. I love connecting eastern and western elements in my music.

Are there any albums you’ve produced that you felt were exceptionally great but that didn’t get the attention they deserved?

Not really

Do you have a favourite musical project that you’ve worked on?

In 2001, I have produced for a first time an album for Mete Ozgencil, an award winning  Turkish artist, who is well known in Turkey for his songwriting and video directing.  The album has been listed in the Top 10 Album List of that decade. It’s sort of a cult album now.  I am very proud of it.  

Do you have advice for young people who want to become music producers?

Listen to arrangements and chord progressions of your favorite songs.

Analyse mixes and frequency positioning of instruments but don’t try to imitate, be unique and timeless.

Don’t use to many trendy production tricks that will sound out of date in 2 years and also have a good basic knowledge of engineering .

Besides your interest in music , what else do you enjoy to do?

I work so much in the studio, in my free time…I usually socialise with friends, watch movies or documentaries.
I also love cooking food, it’s like writing a song for me…very meditating.
Sometimes, I do make graphics and animations on the computer but that has slowed down in the past years.

What does the rest of 2016 look like for you?

There is a couple of projects I am very excited about for this year.
One of them is Faye Medeson, who is an incredible Neo-Soul Artist from Sweden.  And also there is Troi Irons, who is signed to Def Jam.  She is an incredible artist, singer and writer with strong lyrical melodies coming out this year.

I have also decided to put my own songs into one umbrella this year with some Guest Artist featuring on it…be surprised!!

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Follow Devrim on…

Twitter: @dkevrim

Facebook: Devrim Karaoglu

Email: info@dkevrim.com

 

Whitney Houston & Kygo

When Whitney Houston passed on the 11th February 2012, the world lost one of the greatest vocalists of possibly all time. Fans were left heartbroken at the thought of never hearing that perfect vibrato again.  But, seven years later and we are able to listen to polished and addictive Kygo and Whitney collaboration of the 1986, Steve Winwood cover “Higher Love”. Originally recorded in 1990, the pop anthem was due to go on her third album I’m Your Baby Tonight but shelved due to a decision by legendary music producer and A&R executive Clive Davis, to avoid Houston being seen as a cover artist. 

“The only place it was released was as a bonus cut in Japan.” recalls Clive.

Kygo’s slick remixed version ensures Whitney and Kygo are catapulted into new musical heights with this contemporary tropical house version. Turn up the volume to this and enjoy.

 

 

 

Vindata | Leaders not Followers

vindata

(This interview done originally with publicdescription.com in 2014 )

I’ve been a fan of Vindata for a long while now. I was first introduced to them by my Phoenix FM presenter; Vixter, who has been fiercely supporting Vindata for a long while. Regularly playing their tracks and telling anyone who will listen that they will be the next big thing, so how smug are we now that BBC Radio 1 have only just caught up and started playing one of their tracks off their next EP which was aired on Skream & Benga.

You will be blown away by this LA based duo too. Take my word.

 

Elle: For our readers could you tell me who forms Vindata and how you guys formed?

Vindata: Vindata is made up of Branden Ratcliff and Jared Poythress. We met through mutual friends around 2007. We started this project in 2010 after realizing how much our musical background and upbringing we had in common.

 

Elle: How would you describe your music style?

Vindata: We have a very broad range. It’s mostly based off what we’re feeling at any given time. Some call it Future Bass, Future R&B, Chill trap or whatever name they just created. We actually like not being bound by a specific genre. It gives us plenty of room to grow as artist.

 

Elle: What is your musical influence?

Vindata: Well, we grew up in Church so Gospel definitely had a huge impact on both of us. But we also have roots in Hip Hop and R&B.

 

Elle: Who would be your dream collaboration to work with?

Vindata: The Neptunes, Kanye West or Timbaland.

 

Elle: Which person do you feel you have learned the most from in life?

Branden: My Mother,

Jared: My Father.

 

Elle: Any plans to come to London soon?

Vindata: Hopefully, London has always been one of the places we wanted to visit first. We really respect and admire London’s appreciation for the arts.

 

Elle: What can we expect to see from Vindata?

Vindata: We finished our second EP titled “…For One To Follow”. Have been really excited for this, as it further elaborates our path we’ve chosen and what we’re currently feeling.

https://soundcloud.com/vindata

vindata.bandcamp.com/

Nitin Sawhney | Illusion and Reality

Nitin-Sawhney-2013-36-x-24-IN-91.5-x-61-CM-oil-on-canvas-Private-Collection-web-Cleaned      Album artwork, Paul Benney

Dystopian Dream is the edge between illusion and reality, which I guess is what life and death feels like to me.

In Nitin Sawhney’s own words, he is a composer, producer, and molecular accident. In my words, Nitin is a humble, intuitive, and meticulous genius.

Nitin’s love and possibly, obsession with music, began at the tender age of 5 years old when he trained initially as a classical pianist. He would then go onto learn jazz piano, guitar, flamenco guitar, and Indian classical percussion. The relationship Nitin had with music would also be a form of escapism and a way of soul-searching for Nitin.

Using music as a translation for Nitin thoughts and emotions has meant that each studio album created has been a cathartic release. Dystopian dream is no different. In this interview with Nitin, I get to find out in his own words, what his latest album represents to him and what keeps the multi-talented workaholic awake at night.

 

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What does Dystopian Dream represent to you?

“This album started with my dads passing a couple of years ago, which I found really difficult to deal with. I was trying to find a way of expressing everything I was feeling at the time.”

“I have always been into looking at different ways of looking at the universe, and at looking at life and death.”

“Some of the ways at looking at the universe, is to do with an interest in Eastern spirituality and Hindu philosophy and some is to do with how I look at physics and what happens to particles. All kinds of things to do with quantum physics interest me, and I kind of think that when someone passes away that maybe they slip into another universe.”

“There is this concept in quantum theory around the multiverse. That the universe is multi layered and that our universe is not the only one, but that there are many universes that exist parallel to each other. That is also in Hinduism, God is depicted with many arms and each of those arms represents perhaps a different reality. So I was just playing with those ideas in my head.”

“I was there when my dad passed away and I felt I didn’t know where he had gone. That was the issue I had. I thought ‘He can’t have just gone?’ It was a kind of internal and external struggle. So what Dystopian Dream is, is the feeling of being on the edge between illusion and reality, which I guess is what life and death feels like to me.”

“Over the last few years I have been lingering on the edge in my head of this reality, and wherever my dad went, which I couldn’t really let go of very easily.”

 

With your dads passing, has this made you feel more religious?

“No. I feel that religion quite often, is when a religion becomes corrupted or distorted by people’s egos, that try to control other people for their own reasons.”

“I never really related to religion, and never related to this idea of belonging to a collective way of thinking about spirituality.”

“Spirituality is a very personal thing to me and it’s very individual. I do think there are a lot of good things that come from religion, but which should also come naturally. Trying to be selfless, conducting your life with integrity and not being an arsehole to people. That should be a natural function of how you lead your life. It shouldn’t be that you need some kind of other eternal motivation, and it shouldn’t be that it comes from people’s needs to control you or tell you how to think and feel.”

 

Do you feel you got some of the answers you were looking for?

“It’s a difficult thing. I once said Dystopian Dream feels like the light down an infinite tunnel, and that’s what it feels like to me. You don’t ever really get the answers until you die, but then, maybe even then you don’t. An album for me is a cathartic experience and an artistic expression. So it’s about exorcising demons or feelings, that you at times feel are difficult to cope with or are therapeutic, but at the same time having an awareness that you want to organise your chaotic feelings into something that feels musical. I use the grammar of music to try and create something that I feel is moving or powerful or emotional.”

 

Collaborations on the album

“It’s definitely great having a name like Joss Stone, but also good having some of the young up and coming artists on this album, like J’Danna. You can hear with J’Danna that she has got a really amazing voice and is phenomenally talented. She has a touch of Macy Gray about her. You can hear that huskiness which I really like.”

“Eva Stone is a really talented young artist. She has a very similar tone to Eva Cassidy and also Joss Stone. It’s an amazing voice.”

“I seem to meet these artists at a very early stage of their career. All these artists that I come across, go on to do really well. I was working with Ellie Golding at the beginning of her career and I met with Rita Ora and Ed Sheeran. I was supposed to produce an album with Ed at one point. Also, Taio Cruz was in my band for 2 years.”

“I am drawn to great voices and it’s exciting working with such young talent.”

 

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What accomplishment are you most proud of?

“I was really proud of composing the Human Planet score I did for the BBC. There are many reasons why. I love what the series represented. It was about human resilience, and what it represented across the world and also about showing the diversity of humans. It was a beautiful series.”

“I had to do 400 separates pieces of music and orchestrate them all for the ‘National Orchestra of Wales’ to play. I was doing 50 minutes of music a week for 8 consecutive weeks running. It nearly killed me. I ended up with pneumonia at the end of it. It was a phenomenal ask and it felt like a mountain but I felt like I managed to climb it. It was the hardest thing I have actually ever done just because it was relentlessly creating music, but it was creating music with an amazing amount of inspiration from all these beautiful images and experiences of human endeavour. I felt really proud of that score.”

 

Is there anyone you would really like to work with?

“I think Thom Yorke would be number one on my list if I wanted to work with anyone. I just think he is an incredible artist and he has always stayed true to that. He hasn’t compromised at all. He has been really successful but on his own terms. Also I love the guys from massive attack.”

“But then, I also loved working with Mala from Digital Mystikz. We did a track together. So I wouldn’t mind working with him again.”

“I really enjoy working with Anoushka Shankar. Anoushka is a close friend. I’m godfather to her son Zubin and I was present at Pandit Ravi Shankar bedside when he passed away. I was producing her album at the time ‘Traces Of You’ in San Diego.”

“We wrote a track together called Fathers from the album, because my dad passed away a few months afterwards, the both of us were trying to deal with all of the grief we were feeling. So there was a kind of synergy that came out of what we were feeling at the time.”

“She’s an amazing person. She really does her father proud because she’s a brilliant sitar player and she has incredible technique and knowledge of classical music. I also knew her husband, Joe Wright, before they married. I had worked with him. Joe is director of Atonement and some of the biggest films in the world, Pan being more recently. So it’s nice knowing them as a couple now.”

“I have been lucky that I have worked with a lot of the people I really wanted to work with.”

 

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You are constantly busy. What is an average day?

“I don’t have one. I only get about 4-5 hours sleep. I get excited about the day. I have always been like that. That whole concept of seize the day, is quite a big thing for me. Not being a nut about it, but I think it is important to actually enjoy the moments you have, and I always recognise that I am really privileged with what I do. I have an incredibly blessed life and I recognise that.”

 

What worries you?

“What worries me is the amount of bullshit that is out there being bombarded to people everyday. There is an incredible amount of lying that is going on; and distorting of facts. Unfortunately people accept it. Also, what worries me is Islamophobia, and seeing junior doctors having to go on strike, yet more money is being spent on bombs. If they could spend just a fraction of what they spend on bombs, it would actually save the NHS.”

“I feel surprised that we are in a so-called democracy yet everything is so carefully orchestrated in terms of information received and how much power or little power people have.”

“Everyone should be able to speak out but dissent has become stigmatised. I was one of the people that marched against the war in Iraq. There was 1 million people maybe more, and Blair just went ahead and did exactly what he intended to do without even caring. Then the next time there was a protest there was only a hundred thousand, because people felt disillusioned.”

“You have to recognise reality to change it and I think how you go about changing it, starts with education and awareness.”

“It sounds like I’m going off on a rant in regards to the state of the world but I find it disgusting. It is George Orwell’s vision in a way. His dystopian perspective and that is partially why I called this album, Dystopian Dream, as I feel that we are living it to some degree.”

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Special thanks to Nitin Sawhney  for his interview with Public Description.

 

Purchase Dystopian Dream here: Amazon and iTunes.

http://www.nitinsawhney.com/

http://www.wangramirez.com/en/news/

Human Planet – Nitin Sawhney

www.paulbenney.com/paintings/

Twitter: @thenitinsawhney

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NitinSawhney

Photo credits: nitinsawney.com

 

PDMusiK recommends…

Public Description ‘MusiK‘ is a new feature showcasing new music, emerging artist, videos and upcoming DJ/Producers.  PDM will be collaborating with Phoenix FM radio presenter Vixter, a music enthusiast with a wealth of musical talent and knowledge. He grew up in East London during the warehouse and rave scenes in the late 80’s and 90’s. A self confessed “Pirate Radio Junkie” with a diverse music interest.

PDM will broaden your musical horizons and provide a lucid way to discover music.

Vixter’s first feature is the Best of Drum & Bass 2016

Playlist includes tracks from DnB labels Hospital Records, Spearhead Records, MedSchool, Soul:R and many more. All worthy of Drum And Bass Awards with tracks from Logistics, Mutated Forms, Liz-E, NCT, LSB collaborating with Tyler Daley and DRS plus many more

Enjoy.

NEEDTOBREATHE – “HAPPINESS” [Official Video]

‘HAPPINESS’ is taken from the Grammy-nominated South Carolinians upcoming album H A R D L O V E, released on July 15ththrough Atlantic Records.

South Carolina rock band NEEDTOBREATHE has seen their fair share of ups and downs over the course of their career, but their latest chapter has left them on a particular high note unmatched by any of their previous work.

You can find more information on NEEDTOBREATHE and H A R D L O V E here: http://www.needtobreathe.com/hardlove?ref=https://www.google.co.uk/