1 - Can you tell us a Tell us little about your background? Where did you grow up, and where are you based now?
I was born in South Africa – and moved to the US when I was 23 – I grew up on a farm outside Johannesburg. I graduated from University of Cape Town with a Bsc Computer Science and was recruited by a software company in Silicon Valley. I lived on the West Coast for 12 years and moved to New York 5 years ago. My home and studio are in Williamsburg NY.
2 - How did you choose your name - is there a meaning behind it?
Ha! My mother called me MartyParty when I was a toddler because I was such a terror :)
3 - How did you get into making music?
After 12 years in the software industry I had had enough :) I went to Costa Rica and surfed for two years and learned Ableton Live as a hobby. The rest is history.
4 - When did you first feel that you had finally discovered your own specific sound?
From the start I wanted to make instrumental hip hop that was captivating and progressive – I used bass instead of vocals and have a serious infatuation with melody, so polymelodic instrumental booty shaking music was my thing.
5 - How would you describe your music?
Ive used several terms to describe my music through the last 6 years since I started. “Purple Music” grabbed hold during the dubstep years as it fitted well into the melodic dubstep world. Now the word “Trap” has caught hold and people are calling it “Purple Trap” or “Progressive Trap Music” - it always changes name as I strive to cross over all types of music and create my own sound – MartyParty Music.
6 - How do you explain your music to your family members?
Computer Music that makes kids dance and has tons of bass :)
7 - Do you know know what kind of track you want to write before you sit down to make it, or is it more a matter of experimenting and just seeing what happens?
I use a lot of my software process skills in music production – that is the practice of constant iterative experimentation. I start with a vocal sample, original melody or pad chord progression and just start experimenting with sounds and patterns until I hear something I feel is fresh and cool – and then keep iterating over this creation and elaborating it till a phrase appears. Building a pocket around this first inspiration and fluffing out an arrangement makes a track – its then just about spending time mastering it. Sometimes I spend days on something but just delete it if it doesnt feel right at the end. Its really just a matter of merging computer software programming descipline with intense creative outbursts. :) I never know what will come of something – it has its own mind.
8 - When you do sample, how do you approach it? Where do you source your samples from?
Ive hardly ever sampled musical material – if I use samples they are vocal accapella snippets I use as hooks, or drum samples I layer together to create original sounding drums. I take pride in making my own sounds and modulations myself. Its synthesized music made to sound organic – thats the game.
9 - What other producers are you inspired by?
Always been a huge Ooah and Mimosa fan. Love the insanity and production of Doctor P and Flux Pavilion. Love Munchi, Tipper and am eternally inspired by the instrumental beats of Southern Hip Hop.
10 - If a wrecking ball was headed for your house, which *one* record would you rescue before it hit?
I have no records!!!! I dumped my records at Goodwill in 2002. I am 100% computer based. Hard drives of material – but now I work almost entirely on the Cloud using Dropbox, so fire doesnt scare me :) I can just go buy a new iMAc at Apple and restore off TimeMachine – all my production sounds and projects are on the Cloud :)
11 - What does your current production setup consist of?
For monitors in my studio I still use KRK VXT8's – LOVE THEM! And a KRK 10 Subwoofer obviously :) I use a RME Fireface 400 Audio Interface, in the studio and on the road, and a Evolution MIDI controller (keyboard) for playing the many software synthesizers. For production I use a iMac desktop computer, Ableton Live as my DAW, and tons of VST plugin synthesizers and effects.
12 - When playing live, what are you using for your performances?
I use a Macbook laptop, with Ableton Live, an RME Fireface 400 Audio Interface to get that great sound quality at the gigs, and a M-Audio Trigger Finger (still use this cause they the strongest – travel A LOT!!!!) to activate filters, effects, one shots and acapellas.
13 - What records are you currently playing out at the moment?
No records :) I started Djing my music in 2005 and have basically just maintained the same DJ project in Abelton since then – it just evolves. I add my latest works, latest cool effects and hot acapellas, and then throw in a few of the tracks from other producers I absolutely love that week. I DJ on the fly – selecting which tracks to play next with no predetermined set. I overlay 4 channels live, 2 tracks, an acapella channel, and a oneshot/effect channel. This creates a truly unique audio experience for the listener. Its a pretty proprietary Ableton project setup ;)
From the start I decided to try and play ONLY MartyParty music, or tracks from my collaborations. I feel this makes it more of a performance, than a DJ thing. I would never be a DJ of hot tracks – thats not my thing :) I play my own music in my own way to create what I call a Purple Opera. It is a one off experience each night and is never the same twice.
14 - When you’re not making or playing/making music, what’s your preferred pastime?
Basketball, cooking, hanging with homies. But seriosuly, Im always in my studio or on a plane :)
15 - Are you morning people or night owls?
Def. Not a morning person, and def. Not a late night worker. Im a 11am-8pm kinda guy.
16 - Any plans for an artist album?
Oh hell yeah – Ive released 3 full length albums and 5 Eps to date and have my 3rd full length called MVP coming out in the fall as well as the second full length PANTyRAiD album coming out later this year. I also have the start of the next album going for Spring 2013 which is going to be totally new sound.
17 - A last word…
I got into this game late, learned from doing, and got to know the music industry. The most amazing part of the ride so far is how I have inspired young people to get into the art of computer music. Some of the work they have done and shared with me is UNREAL. And the thrill of feeling somehow responsible for this genius artistic movement of the young generations has become super inspiring to me. I plan to start a music school called The MartyParty Beat Academy and teach 7-12 year olds how to make a EDM song from scratch. Thats my future right there ;) I love teaching.