Get to know: Emil
Emil has been passing through our showcase events for a few years now, and he quickly established himself as a talented artist, bringing his own funky spin on UKG and 2-step. Ahead of his playing at our next showcase event, we linked up with the man himself to ask him a few quick-fire questions on his workflow, his views on the local scene and what’s going on for him currently.
Who are you and how would you describe your music?
My name is Emile (emil) and I mostly make garage music with a bit of a twist!
How did you get started with music production?
I got into music production when I started university, I’ve always been one to crack jokes and with that wordplay thought I’d be good at writing lyrics. However I didn’t want to use beats off the internet so decided to learn to make my own, and ended up enjoying producing way more than writing so stuck with it, although the type of music has definitely massively changed over the last few years!
What would you say are your main influences- musically or otherwise?
I’ve been very influenced by the new wave of ukg artists releasing tunes at the moment, such as Oppidan, Higgo and Hans Glader. The new flavours being introduced to he genre have been great to keep up with and these producers bringing in influences from other genres they’re into creates a really interesting vibe. I’m also really into slightly heavier more sound design focused tunes and producers along a similar vibe, such as Zenji and Tsubusare Bozz (absolutely check him out if you haven’t yet), as well very sample heavy and funky productions such as by 2mello and Hideki Naganuma.
Tell us a bit about your production workflow- any software or hardware, any techniques that are special to your sound?
I’ve been using Ableton along side a standard midi keyboard and novation launchpad as my setup for the past 3+ years and it’s worked really well for me; the compatibility between the launchpad and Ableton makes jamming and creating ideas a breeze, and the midi keyboard allows me to improvise melodies or quickly lay things down. I wouldn’t say any of these are necessary though and I often enjoy making music in different environments with just my mouse and headphones.
In terms of techniques there isn’t really any secret sauce to my production, if anything I’d say carefully choosing swing/groove settings and applying them to different elements of a tune can create a really interesting vibe with rhythms rolling over each other.
What do you do when you’ve lost your music mojo?
After particularly heavy production focused weeks sometimes like everyone I’ll feel burned out, but when that happens I enjoy taking a break from music and pursuing other creative and fun endeavours, such as jewellery making, until I feel the desire to go back to making music. For me it’s all about having fun so if I’m not feeling it there’s no point forcing it and getting even more burned out!
What are your favourite / least favourite bpms to work with?
I’ve been really enjoying producing at 140 recently but generally anywhere between 124 and 160 is how most of my tunes end up. As for least favourites that’s a very difficult question since I’ve enjoyed my ventures in all tempos, but in the past few years I’ve rarely made anything slower than 120, so I’ll probably have to go with that.
When you make music, where do you start?
Usually I’ll start off with drums, either from a kit I’ve made myself or I’ll find samples off splice to make a kit out of. Something else I enjoy is finding interesting sounding loops and slicing at each transient and importing these sounds into another drum kit, as a ready to go texture/ foley kit.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t deep it and have fun! All your tunes will sound shit for the first few years anyway so focus on finding music you really want to make and learn how to make it without worrying about the results at first, just listen to a lot, get a feel for it and try it yourself!
What’s one thing you like about Birmingham music scene, and one thing that could be improved?
I really enjoy the community feel of the Birmingham music scene, there are so many groups doing bits for the community and underground nights, such as Listening Sessions of course, Club bandit, Selextorhood and more. It’s really cool to see people creating safe and inclusive spaces for anyone who wants to go out and enjoy an evening of dance music.
As for what could be improved I feel despite what I’ve just said sometimes the smaller events and groups don’t get as much love as they deserve- considering how much work they’re all doing for the scene I would love to see them be more appreciated by people around here.
When you’re not making music do you have any other hobbies or interests?
As I mentioned earlier I have a keen interest in jewellery making- I have a workbench set up in my bedroom where I make mostly silver rings with my own designs. These will hopefully coming out for sale soon so stay tuned if you’re interested!
How do you feel LS has helped you progress as an artist?
The community of super talented producers at Listening Sessions harbours such a positive, encouraging and helpful environment where people will not only hype up your tunes if they’re sounding good, which definitely helps with motivation, but also they’ll give really good feedback if there’s anything that doesn’t quite sound right. Being able hear tunes on a proper system is also such a good opportunity and has really made me think twice about certain things in my mixdowns.
Which other LS producers are you feeling at the minute?
Everyone’s been absolutely smashing it recently to be honest, since coming back from covid the quality of the tunes in general has been insane. Amongst these I’ve particularly been feeling the new wave of dnb coming from Human Synthetics, Elkie and Prodigal- go check them out!
Where can we hear more of your music?
My music is available to hear on my Soundcloud page
and one tune with Dirty Bulk out on High Key Recs page
https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/LZQQe, with more yet to come.
Anything to plug?
Stay tuned for more High Key events, tune releases and guest mixes!!