BANGALORE: City-based Hussain Babai, aka DJ Whosane! started producing music because he felt that it was the next step in the evolution of his musical career. His first EDM project was called Moksh and he hasn’t looked back since then. In an email interview, he spoke to City Express about his influences, style and future projects. Excerpts.
How did you start your stint in music production?
I had already been a DJ for 12 years before I decided that I wanted to make my own music. Along with musician, composer and arranger Jayantha Pathak, engineer Jatin Sharma and classical vocalist Pandit Sukhdev Chaturvedi, I brought out our first endeavour, Moksh. I have these amazing people to thank for my foray into music production, for I was a complete novice then.
The name of your production house?
I didn’t have my own production house. These were the days when music labels were large companies, far and few as compared to today. I was signed on as an exclusive artist for a newspaper group.
When you decide on producing music for an artiste, what are the factors that you generally look for?
Music production has been mainly for personal projects, but there have been a few instances where I have produced for others. It’s important then to understand the genre to be produced, and what elements the artist wants to highlight in their music.
I’ve done a lot of music production work for fashion shows, though here the designer is the artist, and their needs can be extremely diverse. This has helped mould my diverse taste in music and made me realise that I have the aptitude for it. It has definitely taught me a lot about working with all kinds of people, and more importantly, getting to the core of what they are looking for.
Of all the artistes that you have worked with, who was the most fun? And why?
I’ve worked with many musicians and DJs and it’s always a lot of fun working with our crazy lot. So much to learn, so much to share. We all have different influences and approaches, this really helps both parties evolve. Working on the Abida Parveen’s album was quite an amazing experience.
The challenges of producing music?
Knowledge, skill, experience, musicality, time, state of mind, state of economics.
Tell us about your style of working while producing music
Organise, organise, organise. As much as I love randomness and spontaneity, I can’t stress enough the need to organise. I try to keep my projects in order every step of the way. Clutter leads to mistakes and kills creativity for me. I like to listen and keep a well-produced track as a reference point when I start on a new project. I prefer working at night, there is more peace and quiet. Also, I love working with other producers.
Since you are also a well-known DJ, do you look at music production differently?
Depends on what I’m producing music for. If it’s for a dance-floor track, then, obviously the approach is from a DJ’s perspective. For anything else, I would look at it as a musician/composer and decide what’s most appropriate.
Do you only work within the sphere of EDM or have you tried other genres as well?
EDM is just one of the genres, a very recent one at that. I’ve been producing music for all kinds of media for a while now, be it fashion, advertisements, films or dance music. In fact, my first album was fusion with trance and Indian classical music.
What production-based project are you currently working on?
Currently, I have two ongoing projects that are a top priority – W A and WA-TEC – both with my life-partner and music prodigy, Anastasia Ito M. W A is an EDM project with very diverse influences and sounds, blending classics from across the board with current massive main-room sounds. WA-TEC is a project for deeper underground sounds, from early acid/ deep house to minimal, techno and progressive.
Artistes or producers you hope to work with?
Nicky Romero and Martin Garrix for EDM. They are quite the wizkids. Also, Maceo Plex, Julian Jeweil and Victor Ruiz for Techno. We are huge fans of their sound. We have a lot of budding talent producing electronic music in our country now, and I’m already fortunate to be working with them. I am currently enjoying working with DJs/producers like Ankytrixx, Brianoid, Clement Dsouza, Freeaatmah. We share a great rapport, so the working atmosphere is always inspiring and ridiculously humorous.
During music production, do you usually rent a studio or work from a home setup. If yes, any reason why.
Home! Home is where everything is. Wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a reasonable good setup at home and am very content with it. It suits my working style and timings just fine.
My early influences were Pink Floyd, The Doors, R D Burman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and A R Rahman. Now, the influences are from the world of electronic music, artistes like the ones mentioned earlier.
I wish to focus on W A and WA-TEC. I am ready to make new tracks and collaborate with other artists, exploring international markets and finding our way to big dance music festivals all over the world.
(DJ Whosane! will perform at Kingfisher Ultra Glam Nites at Le Meridien from July 25-27.
Courtesy - Kingfisher
Ultra Soul Flyp)