One of the summer's biggest d&b releases was the Take It Now EP by Styla, released on Peer Pressure Intl. The bouncing vibes of the title track was contrasted with the bass-heavy Probe. The variety of the release was all handled by producer Styla, and we wanted to find out more.
What were you doing before you made music?
I would probably have to say listening to music and deejaying. I have always had an interest in music from the early days of hardcore all the way through to the music of today. I remember hearing my dad on pirate radio and also hanging out my bros window and listening to the distant pumping of bass from a rave called Biology and since then my life has been lead by music.
What ideas feed into your music?
I have a constant flow of ideas running through my head. I even used to record myself beatboxing ideas into my phone so that I wouldn't forget them by the time I got in front of the computer. Nowadays I am usually inspired by other people’s tracks and/or certain aspects within them which drive me to wonder how the producer came up with that idea. I try to think outside the box and when I believe something is different and can stand out I embrace the idea within my production.
Take us through the tracks on the release from a producers point of view
On this EP I wanted to capture a wide audience so I decided to approach each track with a different vibe. 8Hours was actually finished last year but we decided to hold it back for this EP. I wanted a deep vibe with focus on the bass and drums and once I had the drums sounding how I wanted, the other little stabs just fell into place.
With Probe I wanted something that's different but I wanted to keep a darker edge. I actually started this track with the intro and built the rest of the track around the dark atmosphere. I replaced my usually deep snares with the clap and really liked how it worked.
Take It Now was always going to be intended for the dancefloor. After days of working on the drums I decided I wanted some catchy hooks. The hook I created is actually an offkey chord which has been distorted but it is different and it seemed to work. Once I had a first draft laid out I it was obvious that the track would need vocals so I got in contact with Helena. Once we had the vocals recorded I really got to work restructuring the track and came up with the epic breakdown building into the drop. I even changed the main bass synth three or four times till I got it sounding how it does.
What’s your production set up like?
It's very basic but I wouldn't change it... well maybe I would? I've got my Mac, my Edirol Fa-66 soundcard, my Alesis M1 MK2's and a Roland midi controller. I run Logic Pro, Reason and various plugins. I would have to say my not so secret weapons are NI Massive, Linplug Albino 3 and the waves bundles, without these I would be lost. I also highly recommend the Fa-66 for home producers!
What are some hot labels which we should keep an ear on right now?
Peer Pressure obviously haha. Seriously though this label is only getting bigger and better with every release, there's so much progression on this label I'm struggling to keep up so get on our Soundcloud/Facebook etc and keep your ears out. Also keep an eye on Flexout Audio they are really starting to find there ground as is Titan Records, they are coming with the bangers!
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