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♪ Interviews ♪
Mees Salome – Get To Know
How are you, how has summer been so far, what’s been good and bad?
I’m very well, thank you! It has been a lovely summer. I’ve got to play some amazing parties, had some nice time off and of course released my very first album. It has been such a great time working on this and even better sharing it with the world. There even was a huge release party, thanks to the awesome guys at Filth On Acid. This was, without a doubt, the best day of my life.
How long have you been making music? How long did it take until you felt comfortable with what you were making?
I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6 years old. Later I took drumming lessons and learned to play the piano and sing by myself. I was 17 when I produced my first track and less than two years later I started studying ‘Creative Producer’ on the conservatory in Rotterdam. Up until this point I was still trying to find my own sound and the direction I wanted to take my music. After studying music for two years I didn’t really fit in and decided to quit. It was around this time that I made my first techno track and immediately realized what direction I wanted to take my music, but even then, it took at least a year until I felt comfortable enough to enjoy my own productions. Even now I feel uncomfortable sometimes, but let’s call it perfectionism.
What were the hardest parts, the biggest lessons to learn do you think?
First of all, mixing my tracks. Oh boy, did that take a lot of time. It took years before my tracks sounded any good. Somehow it never really worked out for me. I think I was too in-experienced as a producer to mix a track properly. The ideas in my head were already way to elaborate for my production skills. Mentally the hardest part was believing in myself and my own abilities. At first, I never considered my own music to be any good. I needed other people to tell me that my music was sounding great before the thought even crossed my mind. I think realizing that the music I made was actually decent was the biggest, if not most important, lesson of them all.
How important or useful is it to be formally trained on piano and guitar etc? Do you use those skills when making dance music?
I’m not sure, to be honest. I’m not consciously using these skills. It definitely helps out with the creative process, like writing progressions and melodies. Sometimes it’s useful to get behind a piano and just try some stuff out, but unfortunately I don’t find myself in those situations very often. Maybe that’s due to my minimal studio setup. I don’t have any hardware synths or keyboards available to use. I would love to build a more creative studio setup where I can just try some stuff by turning nobs and playing real keys instead of using my mouse, but at the moment I simply don’t have the room to do so.
Why did you want to do an LP? What inspired or influenced it?
The idea of an LP came up while talking to the guys at Filth On Acid. I didn’t expect to do an album this early in my career, but we discussed the concept and thought it could be something special. The amount of trust they put in me is heartwarming. Without them this album wouldn’t exist.
Was there a plan for it from the start? Did you know how you wanted it to sound? What was the aim generally with it?
I wanted to take the listener away from the now for a bit, A temporary escape from the day to day life, a moment where you can just let go and enjoy the music. I always aim to do the same in my DJ sets, so the order of the tracks was the most important part. But I never started a track with the mindset that it had to fit the album. I always started every track with a clean canvas. I hate to put any restrictions on my creative process. In the last couple of years I realized that starting a track with any requirements never works out for me. With this album I just wanted to do what I felt like, let my creativity do its thing. That’s when less dance-floor oriented tracks like ‘Sap’ or ‘Letting Go’ come to existence.
Any key gear used in the making of it? How much are the tools an important part of the process?
I hardly use any gear. Almost every track I make is done in the box. I developed a workflow where a good pair of headphones and a laptop is enough. But for this album I wanted to try something different, so I called my brother, an amazing musician and great inspiration to me, if I could borrow some of his gear. We started working together on ‘Just Thoughts’ using a Prophet and a Korg which introduced a totally different workflow. This was eye opening for me. So much so that I called him again if we could do another studio session for ‘Sap’. The first track I wrote for the album, but I was never really capable of finishing it. We asked a friend of his if he wanted to help us record the drums and we jammed all day. It turned out to be the most fun I ever had making music. I don’t think it really matters what kind of gear you use, but it’s all about creating a certain workflow that works for you and that sparks your creativity.
Is the LP a continuation of your usual style or have you switched it up? How much different are LPs than EPs?
Most of the tracks are, but creating an album gives you the opportunity to create tracks that would never work on an EP, tracks that help build the overall story. With more tracks on a LP there is room to tell a bigger story. That’s why most DJ’s like to play longer sets, because you can take the audience on a journey from beginning to end. The same goes for this LP. All the tracks together build a unique story that would not have worked without less dance-floor oriented tracks like ‘Sap’, ‘Letting Go’ or ‘Like a Flock of Birds in the Sky’.
How did you find the process? What did you learn?
Absolutely amazing! Working together with friends and family on this was the absolute bomb. I learn new stuff with every track I make, so making this LP was like going to college. Especially, like I mentioned earlier, about my own workflow and in what direction I want to develop it and how combining your creativity with that from others can lift the music and the creation process to totally different heights.
How did your relationship with Filth on Acid come about?
After finishing my first techno track I sent it to a couple of friends for some feedback, like every producer does. I had no idea that one of those friends turned out to be close with Reinier Zonneveld. He then sent the track to Reinier for some feedback and that’s how Reinier and I started talking. In the following year he helped me with my music and eventually released my first EP on Filth On Acid as his second release of the label. Thanks to Reinier I’m able to follow my passion for making music. I cannot be more grateful for everything he has done for me!
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
At the moment I’m in contact with one of my favorite labels to release a new EP. Really looking forward to working with them. Hopefully I can share some more info soon.
You can listen to Mees’ SM Mixtape below and also purchase his ‘Big Thoughts Like Elephants’ here
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For our new mixtape, we host an artist who love at Sweet Musique : Mees Salomé <3 New EP produced by Mees Salomé =>