Cowlin Presents: SEFF
Hot Creations, Ibiza, House & Techno…
Earlier this week I managed to catch up with SEFF. Originating from Plymouth, Devon, UK, SEFF is a fairly new name to the House and Techno scene but is definitely climbing up the ladder quickly. Back in 2012 he managed to sign to Steve Lawler’s ‘VIVA Music’, (an achievement any artist would be proud of) but he has not rested on his laurels which is why we got to speak with regards to him releasing his new EP with Hot Creations. A milestone that came about with a little help from Richy Ahmed.
In addition to the masses of support that he has garnered from fans and artists within the scene alike, SEFF has also had other music of his own released with record labels ‘Sanity’ ‘Selador’ ‘King Street’ and ‘WOW! Recordings’, helping him to progress and develop his sound along the way. To keep his supporters at ease whilst his new music is in the pipeline to being released, he also runs his own podcast, ‘Mindcast’. He uses this to showcase the very best selection of releases from which he is playing out to crowds, and what he is currently ‘feeling’ in the music scene.
We spoke to the man known as SEFF with regards to his professional set up, his musical connections and the major influences he has had to help him find success…
Firstly, how did it go about signing you’re EP to Hot Creations? What was the process?
Richy Ahmed who’s the main A&R for Hot Creations first approached me through my Facebook Artist Page Inbox of all places and asked if I’d like do an EP for the label. Of course, I couldn’t say YES fast enough. Just goes to show that you never know who’s listening to your music so just keep doing your own thing and someone will notice you for that instead of just trying to do the same thing as everyone else is doing.
Hot Creations ran by House honcho Jamie Jones. Have you met with the main man yet or had any contact with him?
Yes, I met Jamie at the Hot Creations night at Motion in Bristol last Saturday, only briefly but he’s a very humble guy. Sure there will be plenty more opportunities in the future to hang out properly.
When producing this masterpiece, did you go into the studio with a base structure or did you go in empty headed with how you wanted the finished item to sound?
Most times I go into the studio completely fresh headed so to speak. Sometimes I have ideas in my head and have to just get straight to my studio from wherever I am and get these ideas out of my head as soon as possible before I forget them. I actually spend more time searching for the right vocals than I do producing the actual tracks normally (If I decide to use any vocals that is) but this particular track if we are talking about ‘Like That’ was the first track that I did as soon as Richy asked me about the EP so I was literally oozing with inspiration which always helps.
How did you go about naming the tracks and the EP?
Well the track ‘Like That’ is pretty self-explanatory because of the vocal sample but a lot of the time I do just get random names that pop into my head that I think sound cool and I note these down for future tracks too and see what suits what as and when.
I’ve seen a lot of videos and heard a lot of your music being played by many different artists now. How does this make you feel?
I love it, who wouldn’t!? I get a big buzz from it which then leads to major inspiration for when I’m working in the Studio.
Any tips for up and coming producers just starting off in the music industry?
Be yourself, find your own niche style and don’t follow what everyone else is doing, that’s the only way you will get noticed these days as I mentioned above. Also don’t get inundated with every VST or Synth that’s about, just pick 1 or 2 and really get to know them.
Away from the dance music scene, three of your favourite tracks to chill out to?
Wow this is a hard question for me actually as my music taste is very, very broad. I would be here all year still trying to decide. I would definitely recommend that everyone checks out Krafty Kuts Golden Era Of Hip Hop Mixes that he’s done though, amazing isn’t even the word.
In the next 5 years, within the music industry, what would you like to happen for yourself? Any other projects planned?
I live in the now, we’ll see in 5 years time what happens then but I’d obviously love for my music and fan base to just keep growing and get to release on more of my favourite labels which I’m sure will happen whilst working alongside my new Manager, Kal as he is really on the ball when it comes to this stuff (He didn’t ask me to mention him honest 😉 ). On top of that I’d love for my own Mindmaze Music imprint to grow into something really special, at the moment I just don’t have the time to run it by myself but hopefully soon I’ll have more time to be able to do so.
An artist who has had a major influence on your music to this date?
Again another really hard question for me to answer as my musical tastes are so broad and I have so many artists that influence me in one way or another. Also I tend not to follow any trends as such and like to just do my own thing but right now I would probably have to say if I really had to either Jamie Jones, Richy Ahmed or WaFF as they have really got their own styles locked down and that’s what I’m also all about.
When producing music, what does your set up consist of?
Right now I’m using Logic X on a 15” Retina MacBook as my main sequencer which I then plug two thunderbolt leads to two other display screens so that I have 3 screens altogether! I then plug in my powered USB Hub which is also daisy chained to another one as I ran out of slots for all of my external hardware which mainly consists of the Moog SubPhatty (which is my go to synth now for almost everything) the Roland Aira series, the TR-8 is a staple in most of my tracks now for my drums and every now and then the TB-3 too for Acid sounds and even just to use it to midi clock drums through to make sequences that you wouldn’t normally even think of doing (It’s great for that), also Access’ Virus TI has been a staple in my productions since about 2006 for all sorts of different synth sounds. I use an Akai MAX49 as my main Midi controller and Genelec 8040’s as my main monitors. I’m sure there’s loads more I could mention too but just off the top of my head that’s what I’m mainly using for my productions right now.
Along any musical journey you’re bound to have ‘Ups and Downs’ throughout this. What’s the biggest ‘Up’ and the biggest ‘Down’ you have come across?
For me, waiting on releases to be released has and always will be my biggest “Down” as I buzz from seeing people’s reactions when they’re finally released! The biggest ups are definitely the gigs and getting to travel all over the place and meeting new people! And of course the releases when they are finally released.
House or Techno? Love both as much as each other!
Beer or Vodka? Beer then Vodka for afters
Town of Birth? Plymouth, Devon, UK
Full Name? Joe Saunders
You’d rather play a set in Las Vegas or a set in Ibiza? Ibiza all day, any day!
Age you started in the music industry? First set of turntables for my 8th birthday and then my first real club gig on my 18th Birthday and now I’m 28, I can see some weird pattern happening here ha!
Christmas around the corner, any gifts you’d like to receive? Yes, I’d love a Moog Sub 37 and an old Roland SH-101 if anyone’s offering please!
You’re favourite rapper? Hard question again but straight off the top of my head ‘B-Real’, I’m a big Cypress Hill fan