Interview with DJ/producer and East Coast Music Award Nominee Veev
Veev is one of the most prominent house music producers in Eastern Canada. Over the last 12 years, he has used a fusion of Jackin, Disco, Soulful and Tech house to carve out a successful place in music as both DJ and producer. This year, he was nominated for Electronic Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards for his EP, Golden. We chatted with the artist ahead of his showcase about his nomination, favourite Roland gear, and how he got started in music at a young age.
How does it feel to be a part of the ECMAs this year?
It feels great. It’s really nice to be recognized in Nova Scotia while doing underground house music and bringing it to the forefront around the Maritimes.
Walk us through a day in the studio while you were producing the EP.
I didn’t really think about it as an EP going in. I made tracks, and once there was a collection I stuck them together for an EP. A day making it was like any other day – I start by getting my mind ready by clearing my head and making my space functional, making sure everything’s clean and that everything works. I’ll also get some aromatherapy going, turn on my mood lights, and I’ll have scotch or beer in there.
I start playing around with chords and see what strikes me, and once I’ve got chords down I’ll go straight to drums and add a bassline after that. There’s no real direction when I’m in the studio. I’m in there and I try to be as creative as I can at the moment and see where it takes me.
What are some of your biggest influences for Golden EP?
Some of my influences would be Kerri Chandler, Masters At Work, and DJ Spen a lot of the deeper tech underground stuff with soulful vocals. That classic sound, really drum machine based, really snappy and deep.
How did you get into music?
It started when I was 13. There was a guy in my neighbourhood that I used to skateboard with, and he told me to check out some house music and I immediately fell in love with it. He set me up with a couple of mixes, and I listened to them on repeat for a week straight. After that week, I went out and bought two turntables and a mixer. I started collecting records, and it all just blossomed from there. It was love at first sight with house music.
Production was the next step. DJing was so much fun that I wanted to be more involved with it, so I knew I had to start making it. I got my first DAW, and I opened it up and had no idea about anything, so I got totally overwhelmed and put it away immediately. I went back at it a month later, more determined to figure something out. I went steady at it, clicking buttons and seeing what things would do. Six months later I had my first record. Once that was done, I had an idea and kept going from there.
Is that where you first learned about Roland gear?
Yeah. I started researching drum machines initially because that seemed like the first step – it’s such a big part of house music, the percussion of it. Especially with what I was listening to at the time, it was very 909 and 808 based. So I started learning about Roland’s history, and became a huge drum machine nerd and started collecting, buying, and selling.
What’s your studio setup like now?
When I was in Miami for when the Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer came out, they were doing demos and I got to try [AIRA gear] out. I fell in love with all of the AIRA gear and picked up the TR-8, the VT-3 Voice Transformer, the TB-3 Touch Bassline Synthesizer, and the MX-1 Mix Performer to tie it all together. I then picked up the TR-505 Rhythm Composer, the MC-303 Groovebox, and then the SH-1000 Analog Synthesizer – that’s my favourite piece. It’s so old school. So amazing. The combination mode on it is a blast!
What are you using most?
80-90 percent of my drums are from TR-8.you can change it in so many ways and the possibilities are endless.
So you like using hardware?
I stay away from a lot of plugins, not really by choice. It’s just kind of how it all worked out. There’s something about physically turning knobs and pushing buttons that opens up a whole new world of creativity that you can’t really get with clicking of a mouse. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s so easy to use. But hardware is so inspiring.
What’s a typical Veev show like?
It’s gonna be deep, techy, and soulful. I’ll definitely be playing with hardware and keeping the audience engaged by doing something different with it. I’ve worked really hard to perfect my craft.
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