Hey Jack! How’s things?
Hi, I’m good thank you! Right now, I am on my 3-week tour in Ukraine. Parties here almost didn’t stop and it feels nice to play again in front of the crowd, especially after a long break.
Can you give us an insight into your introduction to producing/DJing? Where did it all begin?
It all started 20 years ago when I started playing at high school and college parties. Then I became a resident DJ in several night clubs in Kiev. Around that time I tried to produce music but as there was no proper access to samples library at that point, it was impossible to create something professional.
So, I gave up producing for 5 years and came back when the technologies and Internet became better and my DJ skills improved a lot.
Do you consider yourself a DJ or producer first?
I can tell that DJing brings me more happiness than music production. It is just I am a very self-critical person, so when I am making tracks something always bothers me and often I do not finish the track. But of course, it’s a big joy to play your own tracks.
You’ve got a huge new EP inbound on CODEX called ‘Back to Rave’. It’s a great title for the EP, something we’re all thinking of right now. Was this made with the return to events in mind?
The idea of “Back to Rave” appeared when me and Spartaque made a deal about Codex Showcase with Ukrainian festival “Atlas Weekend”. We told each other something alike “oh finally back to rave”. When I came back to the studio, I recorder a vocal sample and started to build up the track around it
Take us through the two tracks on the release, how did ‘Back To Rave’ and ‘Grumble’ come together in the studio?
The tracks differ from each other and this is because there are different types of raves. “Back to Rave” has a more mainstream vibe, something like Open Airs sound, peak time techno. However, “Grumble” has more groovy and hypnotic sound which suits warehouse events. At least the initial idea was to produce tracks for different raves and audience.
Greenjack ‘Back To Rave’ EP is out 18th June via Beatport
The last year has obviously had a huge impact on every aspect of the music industry, and the individuals within it. Has that had an impact on your creativity?
I have to admit that a lack of travelling and new experiences had an impact on my inspiration. After all, music is often written under the impression of certain events, so when you are staying home for months it is impossible to find enough creativity. An important factor was the lack of performances – not hearing how your tracks sound in the venues, not seeing how people react to them – all of us, producers and DJs, miss the goosebumps.
You’re the co-owner of a big label and management group IAMT Music Group. How did you come to run a successful business alongside your DJing / producing?
While developing our career as DJs, me and Spartaque gained a lot experience and contacts. It would be illogical not to use it in order to build your own business which won’t depend on gigs. Well, and I am 35 and nobody knows when I will be tired from touring. Over the past year and a half, we have made a huge step in the development of the company and, paradoxically, without covid, it would have been more difficult, since touring takes a lot of time and the motivation to search an income outside of touring has done its job too. Well, the key guarantee of the company’s success is our team. We managed to have great and productive employees around us and set up our work in such a way that we release 40-45 releases a month.
What do you look for when signing music to your labels?
First of all, it’s sound. It’s more important for us how the track sounds than who made it. It is clear that some labels are developing more successfully and as a result, there is a choice between popular and emerging artists. But if a famous artist sends a release that we don’t like, his number of subscribers will not force us to release it. It is also worth saying that we really appreciate it when artists are releasing with us more than once and send us their new demos. It allows to have tighter relationship and to form an effective artist-label chain.
Is there a specific ethos you like to embed within your different imprints?
Depends on labels. For example, in Area Verde, we try to maintain a certain mood and sound that is associated with us. There are more democratic labels on which we are not looking for a specific sound, the main thing is that the music fits into the framework of the genre.
You also co-run the mega streaming platform Radio Intense. How do you balance everything out and make time for everything?!
In the past, we only published content of our own production. But this is a very labor-intensive project. That is why we have now switched to the label model for this streaming project – people send us a video (demo) that they shoot by themselves. If the video has a high quality (and was not recorded on a mobile phone in the bedroom) and we like the music, we are happy to release such a video on our platforms. By the way, you can send yours at this link https://radiointense.com/submitvideo
With such a huge roster of artists across IAMT and their labels, who should we keep an eye out for in future?
In addition to releasing a huge number of artists, we manage some of them. Of course, I would like to draw your attention to Xenia – her profile is now very actively developing and people from all over the world speak very well of her, we are sure that she will become the next A-class star. If we talk about progressive artists – I would pay attention to several guys from Ukraine – Two Are, Indifferent Guy & Odyssay. They all make a very good sound, although they are at the beginning of their profile’s development. But I hope they succeed.
Anything exciting coming up that you can tell us about?
There is nothing more exciting than getting back on th e road. But of course, there are huge plans for all our projects – very special streams on Radio Intense and a tour of Codex Showcases and a very interesting release at the end of summer. But each announcement has its own time, it is better to prepare and implement ideas and not just dream about them 😉