It’s been a while since IDM last spoke to you; tell us what you’ve been up to production wise the past couple of years?
The last couple of years I was in New York I was doing a lot of engineering at a pretty high profile recording studio, Downtown Music. Things were pretty busy so I didn’t make much of my own music during that time but it was always something I was interested in and I learnt so much having never gone to school for recording or music when growing up. Even though I had to put making my own music on hold for a little while, what I learnt and just the life experiences I gained by working in a studio, will be of great value to me in a number of different ways in the future.
You left SA for the Big Apple several years ago- how has it been as a producer and sound engineer to make inroads into the American music industry?
It’s been really hard work and long hours full of sweat and tears, with the ups and downs as we all face in the music industry, but I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for anything. I think perseverance is key and if you just keep on knocking and knocking eventually things start to open up. I’m still really excited about the prospects of what’s out there and absolutely anything could happen in the future. It’s all possible!
Los Angeles recently became your home town, many reputed dance artists have made this their home of late- David Guetta, Steve Angello… is there something in the night air?
Yes, there is definitely something in the air… But our move happened pretty naturally; while working with Switch at Downtown in NYC when he was out recording I mentioned that my wife (Lisa) possibly had some work opportunities in LA and he said we should do it and offered me to come and work for him. We figured it was the path we are meant to take so we went for it. It’s been about 6 months, and so far we’re pretty happy. It was kinda strange getting use to driving everywhere again though after catching trains around NY for 5/6 years but I am really enjoying that freedom of just being able to get up and go. To me it’s a bit like a combo of JHB and CPT with the city/downtown LA and then also having such beautiful beaches right here too. Plus I love snowboarding and we have mountains about an hour and half away……..bonus!
We’re seeing it filtering slowly in on MTV and the like, how is the commercial music market in the US now opening up to the ‘new’ electronic music sounds?
I really think the latter part of 2009 has shown everyone that the US is most definitely open to it in a big way! I really believe 2010 is going to be an exciting year here for electronic music on a much more credible level than what we have heard so far. There’s a lot of excitement because people have seen what is possible and are hungry to push to try to make things happen.
You have a new moniker called SUBSKRPT and done remixes for Major Lazer, Rusko and Crookers, what is your vision with this alias and how does it differ to your Troydon productions?
This is something that I am really excited about and I think it’s largely due to the fact that I am getting time to make music again! The vision is pretty broad for this moniker and I really don’t wanna box Subskrpt musically at all. Just off the bat the Major Lazer Cashflow remix is Dubstep, the Rusko Woo Boost remix is a club banger and the Crookers remix I did is a bit more poppy than anything I have ever done before. I have also just finished mixing a compilation of Dubsided’s Catalogue and did an exclusive track for that which is pretty much deep house again.
So I guess its all fair game at the moment. Anything that’s good, fun and exciting is what I want to do. This attitude has really made making music fun again and I think you will hear that translate in the material that you hear coming from subskrpt in the future. Check out www.myspace.com/subskrpt for updates as there are a few more pretty exciting things on the cards that I can’t mention as yet 😉
You are renowned for your Chicago influenced house sound, how has it developed or changed over the past few years? How much do you let yourself be influenced by music trends?
Good solid house music will always be my roots and what I grew up on. I’ll always love it but I think as you get older and more experienced, as far as making music goes, u start to explore and open up to more. I think this is just a natural progression for me. I want to keep growing and I feel that if I just keep doing something that I already know how to do I’ll get bored and that’ll translate in the music that comes out- something I definitely don’t want to happen.
You appear to be less loudly branded and hyped than many dj/ producers, is it your intention for the legend of Troydon to be spread organically?
I think that’s partly due to my personality as I really battle to dance & shout about myself and tell everyone how good I am. It’s something that I need to work on but I’m glad the material I did under my own name has grown organically because it is such a great reflection of who I am. I will however be trying to improve on this with the subskrpt bits. For some reason because it’s not under my given name it makes me feel like I can say things like “the new subskrpt beats are super sick and you need to look out for what’s coming cause its gonna be hot! ”-which is something I would have never said about any Troydon material, haha!
Dance-loving SA is always happy to hear about your return, are you aware that for many you represent an original- and much missed- house music era in our country?
I do indeed and it puts a bit of pressure on me to play music that I’m known for at home. I will do my best to play some good solid house beats for the real old school heads but also throw in some fresh new exciting stuff for the kids that are coming up now to enjoy too. This way the new kids are being exposed to stuff they do not know and the older house heads can get a taste of some of the new stuff but not just get pummelled with bleepy crazy mental ADD music all night long which makes you feel like you could explode!
What advice would you give to local artists trying to establish themselves internationally?
Just make music you believe in and have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously; enjoy what it means to be able to make music. It’s a true blessing and you should have as much fun as possible when doing it because that energy all comes across in the tracks! Look at “Die Antwoord” when I first watched the clip for “zef side and the ninja one” they were only on a few thousand views. After Diplo put it on his blog it then got on to Pitchfork and now they at 1 000 000 views or something crazy!
I am just trying to point out how quick things can break and how well it translates when you can see people are not taking themselves too seriously and are truly having fun with music and art! I mean, tons of people watching those clips don’t understand half of what is going on anyway but they can pick up on the energy which is key.
What characteristics of SA life do you miss- local cuisine, favourite places etc?
I miss all of it! Food, clubs, people, family, weather, lifestyle. I am so excited when I come home and am always sad to leave. This time is even more special for me too because I am officially an uncle as my sister has recently had a baby boy so I am very happy to get to come home and meet my first nephew. Gotta get him spinning records and making music as soon as possible!
Troydon on Myspace
Troydon on RA
Click here to download Troydon’s podcast for IDM Life; 30 minutes of hot, hot house and winding dubstep!