“I play MacBook”: Dj Vespers revealed
In today’s music talk, sometimes it pass unnoticed how digital production changed the way to approach and play songs, both for musicians and for the audience. This fast growth came along with Internet, and with software increasing power, to reach every style and genre, not only dancefloor-maniacs. As new members of music-business, now people share knowledge and influencies thanks to the Web, specially with video tutorials as “user-guide” for production softwares, as Cubase, Reason, Ableton and so on. Some days ago, we spoke with one of Youtube’s most-followed expert, Dj Vespers, to have a look on this (partially) untrodden pitch.
Vespers, how did you start making digital music? What pushed you to this kind of playing?
I was sent back in time from the future. They think the music we make today is “vintage”. It only seemed logical to teach people how to write digital music from another era.
People sometimes say that music production by computer (for example, Ableton) sounds “fake”, instead of playing normal instrument: what’s your thought about this?
When people ask me what I do and I say I’m a musician, they always ask “What do you play?” To which I say, “The macbook pro”. They’re usually confused, but then I explain to them that I can compose an entire symphony on my laptop and that the computer is now the worlds most complex and intricate musical instrument. To ignore technological changes and the evolution of our music creation tools is to mimic the ostrich. I don’t like sand in my ears. Haters will hate, but eventually they’ll choke on their own haterade and wake up. I’ve been an acoustic musician since I was 5. Played classical piano and jazz saxophone, so I’ve been on both sides. I think it takes just as much skill to make music on the computer. A different kind of skill perhaps than an acoustic musician, but related.
What’s the right way to explore the difficult world of producing?
Be humble. Don’t approach it thinking you know everything. Be patient with yourself. People put all this pressure on themselves to release chart topping tracks in insanely short time periods, or to sound like Deadmau5 or Skrillex. How long does it take a pianist to become concert worthy? Years and years. It doesn’t happen overnight. Enjoy the journey, have a hunger for knowledge. Share what you know with others and absorb what you can from those who know more. Study music. Deconstruct it to learn how it was made and adapt the techniques for your style. Watch tutorials on Youtube! Are there some steps, from the moment you start playing, to finally produce good music? I learned from as many mentors as I could. Rennie Dubnut Foster, Myagi, Ill Gates. I read the manuals. I experimented and studied other people’s music. I practiced, long and hard.
One man, a lot of followers all over the world. What’s the connection between producing and Internet?
The days of being “discovered” and having your career made for your by a big label are over. The internet is an agent of demise and innovation. It’s caused the demise of the traditional “selling music for money” model with the advent of easy piracy. But along with that demise has come the seed of an even greater opportunity. The opportunity to build your own tribe, your own community and thrive in it’s abundance. Social media platforms like Youtube, Soundcloud, Facebook and Twitter make is possible for us to self publish and publish a lot more than just music.
What’s the best advise you have to give to one who is starting making music?
Don’t take the opinions of others to heart and follow your inner voice. Make music that is true to you, in a way that is uniquely yours. Don’t try to emulate or model an exiting producer too much, no matter how good they are. They already exist and to follow them too closely is to rob the universe of the unique contribution that you were put here to be. <3 Vespers, Love and Light.