We speak to rising Trance star Sam Jones on how he got into DJing, Why he is loving the Trance scene at the moment and how you should always stand by what you love the most.
You started DJing at the age of 11, how did you get into dance music so early?
My Mum and my Step Dad got me into it when I was a kid. They were still out clubbing when they could when I was that age. They got me into some Carl Cox mix tapes from back in the day and Lisa Lashes Hard House Euphoria CD’s. After being surrounded by this music all of the time, I asked for a pair of turntables for Christmas at around 11 years old; a pair of Numark Belt Drives I believe. Then the learning process started from there.
Off the back of this, you were playing in clubs from pretty early on as well. How much do you think the dedication that you showed learning how to DJ when you were so young helped you later on in your career?
It helped massively! I feel as if it is now ingrained into me and my style of mixing. I was always a DJ first, I was just absolutely obsessed with mixing and trying out new tricks and effects to do at gigs. But yeah, it has definitely helped me have more confidence I guess because I started so young and jumped in at a young age.
How did you find switching over to production? Do you think that it helped that you had so much live experience when you started making your own music?
I found it very hard at first to be honest, as I said I absolutely loved DJing and mixing. I was addicted to it and it’s all I wanted to do. At first I looked at production as something I had to do and not something I really wanted to do, but I was still only young. I started to learn production properly when I was about 17/18 maybe so I did find it hard to get my head around. As any producer will tell you, it’s all about patience so my music didn’t really start to come together until I got to my 20’s. But I feel my live experience definitely helped as I already knew what sound I was about before I even started. Banging, twisted and energetic. It was just a case of learning all of the production tools of Logic to put it into practice.
Your releases this year have been absolutely huge and have been dominating the Trance charts, how does it feel to get such a positive reaction to your music?
It feels very humbling and rewarding I have to say. I am very self critical of my work. I have a constant back and forth battle of conflict with myself as to whether I am over analysing things or not when I spend so much time on all these little details in the track etc. But it is nice to know that they don’t go unnoticed and that people do pick up on these little weird sounds and effects.
What is your creative process like? How would you typically start working on a track?
9 times out of 10 I will start with a kick and bass to set the drive of the track. Plus I love a good bass line so it always gets me excited to add more to it. Then I would move onto percussion and effects, and try to build a structure from there. But sometimes depending on my mood, or if I just want to get down an idea, I will start on a melody when I start a project. Then build the rest around the melody. But I don’t do that too often.
What are your thoughts on the trance scene at the moment? It ís going through a pretty hard/techy patch that I can imagine is right up your street!
Yeah for sure! It definitely excites me that people aren’t scared to go hard these days. It’s what I feel works best and has always been my favourite sound. Nothing gets me more excited on the dancefloor than some drilling bass lines and ridiculous attitude. But yeah, it’s definitely great to see this whole resurgence of harder music because it’s what got me into it in the first place.
Who are some of your favourite artists to listen to? Trance or otherwise!
As far as Trance goes I would say guys like Jordan Suckley, Simon Patterson and Bryan Kearney. Also I’m a huge fan of Psy Trance and Techno. But when I’m not listening to that 4×4 beat I will usually look to listen to Drum & Bass, guys Like Noisia, The Upbeats etc.
What about labels? Who is ticking the boxes for you just now?
Damaged, Kearnage, Vll, Outburst, Techburst is putting out some unbelievable hard techno stuff as well. Psy labels as well like Hommega etc.
Do you have any advice for people who are still trying to get their music noticed?
Be yourself and make whatever you feel best represents you and what you love. Don’t be looking at the scene too much for what sells well or what you think everybody wants to hear. Take influence by all means, and from whatever genre it may be. But just don’t imitate.
What can we expect from you over the rest of 2017?
As for music, a brand new hard dance influenced track will be coming very soon to Damaged. Also, I’m working on a Psy Trance original that’s at about 60% right now, another huge remix and I don’t do them very often but I am in the process of making a big melody based track also. And as for Gigs, I have Belfast early June, then Lumi Beach, then off to Fresno in California in July and I have some other great shows to announce too.