First of all, hi James. Where are you from, and how did you get into Music Production and DJ’ing?
Hi! I’m from UK – born in London and raised in Hitchin – and I’ve always been into music since being a kid. I played instruments at playtime at school, in bands in my teens and early 20′s and got into clubs, DJ’ing and making music as soon as I could afford some stuff to do it on!
What projects have you got on the go at the moment?
I’ve got a few remix offers on the plate but I’m really keen to make a new E.P for my Twisted Frequency label. I’ve just moved house and my new studio is inviting me to produce more!
What 5 pieces of studio equipment would you say determines your sound?
My Alesis MultiMix FW 16, Cubase SX, Moog Voyager, SH-101 and the Nord Lead Rackmount 3 are the main ones.
How do you approach writing a track, drums first? Melody?
It varies. It’s about getting a nice blend of sounds first and foremost – then sometimes I might rewrite melodies or rhythms as the mood takes me.
What equipment do you use to DJ? Vinyl Junkie, CDJ or the ever growing popular live approach to performance?
I came from a vinyl background, I’ve progressed to CD’s but cannot bring myself to DJ on a laptop. It gives great choice of music but it just seems a bit odd – I prefer to hone down my choices to carefully selected bunches of tunes on CD’s.
What is the most memorable gig you have played, or is there a certain country or club that you would love to play every weekend?
There’s been some wicked parties, not necessarily the big ones with thousands of people – but the intimate ones where the excitement level has been insanely high. I loved Sunburn festival in India as it was just such a new thing and really went well.
If there was one artist that you could work with, who would it be?
I love Adele – she has such a powerful voice – and it would be amazing to do something with that.
Who are you listening to at the moment, any new artists we should know about?
I’m listening to a lot of pop music, but aside from that I’m really a big fan of a Dutch producer called Anton Pieete, really groovy stuff, well constructed.
You recently created a mammoth sample pack for Loopmasters with over 1GB of content. How did you find this compared to writing music?
Really different and really refreshing! It totally changes the perspective and opened up some new creative options in the studio.
Do you have any advice for the young producers out there that are trying to make it in the competitive world of the music industry?
Yes – always keep in mind how easy technology makes it for people to make well produced but uninspiring music – and always to try to be better than that. Also – if an idea isn’t working – shelve it and move on, don’t flog it!
Check our James Harcourt’s Sample Pack here