The Title track off Terry Jasinto’s latest Staybad EP, The Heartbeat is now live in the shops. The Heartbeat holds a bit off flavor for everyone with originals and remixes from Memo Rex & Kinohou! We caught up with Terry and got a chance to chat a bit about this making of this release, and what’s coming around the corner for him in the near future. Check out the exclusive interview below!
The Heartbeat is out now on Staybad!
Interview With Terry Jasinto
1.) This release, The Heartbeat – can you tell us a little bit about the original track here and the creative process behind coming up with it?
I have very little training in music theory, but my strength is harmonizing sounds together, so I approach my productions with this in mind and try not to struggle with things I want to learn while making a song (such as more music theory or how to work a new VST). I allocate time for learning (outside of productions) and I try not to struggle to learn something new while making a track. I feel this takes away from the creative process. One of the first things I do before starting a track is I ask myself about what my intention is; ‘am I starting this track to create, or am I starting it to learn’? I feel this is super important for my process because since I have a lot to learn about producing still, I can easily get distracted with incorporating the wrong activity into my process and as a result a lot of time can be wasted, which is a caveat when you are trying to have a consistent release schedule as an up and coming producer.
With this being said, I work off of a Ableton Live template that is focused on signal flow and routing for effects that Giom (a well-known House music producer from Europe) made for a webinar he held for Warp Academy (an electronic music production school out of Vancouver Canada) a few years back. Where as many templates you see online have a bunch of sounds, loops, (etc.) already laid out in the templates arrange view, Giom’s template has none of that. It’s set up so that you can drop sounds into a track and manipulate them in so many different ways right off the bat. I have been using this template since 2017 and it has tremendously improved my workflow and allows me to stay in a creative flow. In essence, I just drop sounds into tracks (whether those sounds are loops or sounds I get from hardware) and I literally turn knobs until things sound the way I want them to sound. Then I sequence everything and apply further tweaks to build tension until I get the finished product. There’s nothing scientific or super complex about my process. I learned early on it’s not totally necessary. I’ve seen some songs I love deconstructed in Ableton Live sessions and I always find that I say to myself; ‘What? That’s it? That’s all that producer did?’ I try to follow the philosophy that ‘simple is better’ when I make music. How this all applies to the Heartbeat is that it’s a simple song and it was intended to be just that, simple. There’s not too much going on in it. The structure is straight forward, and it’s easy to mix in and out of (or layer with other songs).
Interestingly, my original intention was to make only one song, not an EP. I finished the original mix, had it mastered by a friend (GDR Mastering in Seattle, who does mastering for a lot of the Seattle based labels), and played it out for a while. After listening to it over and over again during the span of a month or so, I realized I had some interesting elements left over that didn’t make it into the original mix, so I created the Flipped Alternative versions with these elements and I quickly found I had two more tracks. In the case of the Flipped Alternative remixes, I found a chord sound and slapped the arpeggiator tool that Ableton Live provides onto the track, turned some knobs and chopped away at the audio file to expand the chord arrangement. I used a bassline in the remix I had made and considered for the original mix. The original mix took me several weeks to make, whereas the Flipped Alternative remix was done in two solid sessions. I removed the chord arrangement to make the stripped down version of this remix for those who want to use the song more like a ‘tool song’ in their sets.
Sometimes it’s nice to finish a track and just let it sit for a while before rushing out and shopping it labels. In the case of the original mix of the Heartbeat, it served as a spring board to 4 more tracks comprising the EP before you today.
2.) There’s some amazing remixes on here from SD-veteran Memo Rex, and a fresher face Kinohou. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with these guys, and how you feel about how these remixes complement the original mix?
It’s really neat how this all came together because Memo, Peter and are all at different experience levels when it comes to producing music. If you put us all on a spectrum of the level production knowledge where Peter is a fresher face and Memo is a master guru, I’m right in the middle of them. The beauty of it all is that things came together so quickly and easily. Although this is Peter’s first release, the concept, ideas, and sounds in his Deep Six Remix are all his. He told me where he wanted things and how he wanted them to sound and I just turned knobs and pressed buttons until they sounded the way he wanted them to.
Regarding my relationship to Peter, he’s sort of like a little brother I support in friendship, and a fraternity brother who has keg parties and doesn’t pick up after himself mixed together in one person (lol). Peter (Kinohou) has one of the sharpest ears I have heard from a DJ in quite a long time. He also has incredible taste in music and a very refined ear for a younger DJ.
Our original intention was to make a Minimal track (Minimal is sort of Peter’s cup of tea). We weren’t even thinking about making a remix for the Heartbeat EP. After our first session, I let him hear the original mix of the Heartbeat along with the vocal samples. I asked him if he wanted to incorporate those vocals into the track we were working on and after several sessions, his ‘Deep Six Remix’ came to fruition and decided to include it in the EP. Peter’s remix gives the EP a slightly darker tone that compliments the other tracks. I’ve always gravitated to darker sounding music so I was happy that his Deep Six Remix turned out the way it did, and that he wanted it to be included in the EP as his debut release.
With regards to Memo, the first time I met him a couple of years ago, one of the first things he said to me was ‘we should work on music together’. You know how it is when you keep on seeing someone here and there and you say the same thing to them such as ‘let’s work on some music someday’? Finally at West Coast Weekender last year, I ran into him and I asked him if he would like to do a remix of the Heartbeat. I felt it was only a matter of time before we worked on a project. I’ve always heard about how talented Memo is, and I’ve heard his productions over the years. His background as a musician really shows in his work. I sent Memo the stems to the Heartbeat one night and his reply was ‘I’ll have it done tomorrow night’! I heard Memo was fast, but dang not that fast! I told him to take a week or two because I’m usually like a snail when it comes to making tracks. I didn’t tell Memo that I was looking for anything specific, so I was pleasantly surprised that the finished product he sent perfectly complimented the 4 other tracks. Memo’s remix was truly the icing on the cake for the Heartbeat EP.
As far as my relationship with Memo, we’ve gotten to know each other more through this creative process which is probably the most rewarding thing as far as outcomes are concerned. It’s great to have something gel together so easily because now there is an inherent trust in place between he and I when it comes to future projects. Purist in this business always hope that the creative process [art] brings you closer to other people, so it’s a privilege to have a piece of Memo’s creative genius forever etched in the Heartbeat EP. Funny note: we found out during this project that we only live a block away from each other, so it’s only a matter of time and syncing of schedules before we work on something new!
3.) How do you feel about putting out diverse genre releases like this one, as opposed to artists who stick to just one sound or style?
The advantage of being consistent with what you produce (as far as genres are concerned) is that people know what to expect from you. Take someone like Kevin Yost for example. You know you are going to get a certain tone and feeling from his productions, so if you are looking for something particular to fit into your set (and a certain artist fits what you’re looking for) then it’s easy to go directly to that artist’s catalog when you shop. Kevin puts out so much music and so to help make sure fans of his music know what they are going to get, he has created different artist monikers/aliases for when he produces something out of his norm. Kevin goes by TSOY NIVEK when he produces something harder or darker for example.
As far as putting out different genres and styles of productions, I try not to be too concerned about this ‘unless’ I’m working on a project where I’m asked to make a track specific to a certain genre. What I focus on is maintaining a ‘consistent essence’ in my music and I believe that’s something unique to the artist. It’s their so called ‘signature’ sound. Whether I’m producing something that is Deep House or more techy, I try to imprint my ‘signature essence’ into the music. One evening Oscar P and I were playing music a friend’s house and he said to me ‘There are certain songs and sounds I know are yours’, which to me was a great complement coming from him. That’s the reaction to my music I aim for when making it. Producers like Nick Curly and Gorge are great examples of this.
I like experimenting with different genres and letting nature take its course, therefore if I have an intention of making a Deep House track, but it turns into a more Progressive House track for example, I’m totally fine with that and I’ll shop it to the appropriate label. I have the capacity to play a wide range of music when I DJ and I can play in almost any situation, so I’m comfortable with making music from different genres since this is synonymous to the way I DJ. Some DJs and producers stick to one sound that they master and that’s great too! I don’t think there is any wrong or right way of doing things. Music is art and art is all about pushing boundaries and expanding how we express our humanity. The less rules there are, the more creation there is.
4.) You’re just coming off another big release for Fresh Farm, now this one for Staybad, what can people expect next? Any other cool releases lined up for 2020?
Yes! I have a few things coming up so I expect the rest of 2020 to be as busy if not more so than Q1 of this year as far as releases are concerned. Later this month (March 2020) I have a release on Tilted Records (a label Dubeats is a longtime fan of ☺) that is part of an EP called ‘The Sonny Side Up EP’. Tilted Records label boss Jon Lee, his partner Simon Houser, TOKITA of Get Physical, along with myself contributed tracks to this EP dedicated to a friend of ours (and to many here in San Diego and Seattle) Sanjeev ‘Sonny’ Rajan who passed away last year. Sonny loved house music and our community so we wanted to honor him this way.
A few days ago, I finished up a track for Late Night Munchies (a Tech House label out of Seattle) that will be part of a compilation to be released later this Summer. Today, I just got word that an EP I made last year is getting signed by a well-known House music label I was hoping would sign it, so I’m super happy about that (I can’t talk about that one yet but needless to say I’m glad I was patient with their A&R process that goes back to the beginning of this year). I have another track that’s more on the progressive tip I finished earlier last year, and now I’m in communication with a SoCal label who wants to sign it. As you can see, I’m trying to clear out some finished projects and move on to new ones so I have releases in the pipeline for Q3 and Q4 2020. My goal for this year is to get something out every 4-6 weeks and to increase the frequency of my releases in 2021 while maintaining a balance with my DJ schedule.
5.) As a house music veteran yourself, which labels would you say have stood the test of time, and continue to hold down the respectable side of the scene for you?
Speaking for house music specifically, Large Music, Defected, and i!Records are top of mind for me because they have been so consistent over the years and haven’t deviated too much from what they released in the late 1990s. This is totally mind-blowing to me because of how rapidly music changes year after year and how there are new up and coming labels that consistently challenge them.
6.) Favorite dance floor weapon right now?
Ha Ha! A magician seldom reveals their secrets but since you have twisted my arm…… if there was one artist whose music (dancefloor weapons) consistently finds its’ way into my playlists (whether I’m playing an event [or set] that’s dedicated to house, tech house, or techno) it’s work from Andy Clockwork out of Canada. His music is super versatile and the quality of his productions are something I aspire to.
Artist: Terry Jasinto
Title: The Heartbeat
Release Date: 2020-3-14
Turn it up & enjoy!