Lionshake is a Belgian artist currently based in Genoa, Italy whose latest release is epic, melodic house with techy rhythms and intense atmosphere. Excited to learn more about his music background and this new release titled ‘The Exit’ we decided to invite him for this interview…
> For the people reading this who have not heard your music before, how would you describe your style and the key elements that define it?
The main key in the music I make is to remain free in the way I compose and mix. I don’t like barriers or anything that restricts me. I want to be able to jump from one genre to another inside electronic music. To mix different influences and use a basic house square bass or organ in a peak time techno track or to put a rumbling industrial low end in a deep house beach track.
> Your most recent release is on your own label YAW Records, could you tell us about the concept of the release?
My two last releases were typical “old school “deep house tracks (“On And On and “Floor”).
This one, ‘The Exit” is the gateway to a more defined upcoming techno universe.
> Could you talk us through the creative process of putting a track together, and list any specific equipment used to bring your sound to life?
I start with putting together different grooves and melodies, then I start to find out what really matches together, and remove anything that overcomplicates the flow of the rhythms. When I have the core elements, I start to build and refine the track, then do the arrangement so it builds up and down. I mainly work with a computer and VST Plugins but use some outboard equipment for mixing and mastering. Serum, Diva, Phaseplan and Pigments are my favourites, and for the drums, I like the classic 909, but I try to find some original hats and transition sounds.
> I spotted so far you have only released tracks on your own record label, do you plan to work with any other imprints in the future, and which would be your ideal ones to release on?
It’s not always easy to work with other imprints, as sometimes for the creative part, you really have to adjust your sound to match their style. Lots of labels don’t have much to offer for new projects when it comes to releasing and promo. If you are lucky to catch a big name, then it will, of course, boost your exposure. My experience is that a good PR company or manager is much more important for an artist. Two years ago, I had a release for another project on the prestigious !K7, and they didn’t do much promo. For the next one, I had the chance to work with a really go PR, and two weeks after, Enrico Sangiuliano played one of our tracks to start his set at Awakenings, and all the tracks of the EP were premiered, so I was much happier.
> Who are some of the artists and DJs that inspire you?
I like artists that always play impressive live shows, for example, Giorgia Angiuli is great and really inspiring. I also appreciate Moderat, Bodzin, Kink and GusGus for the same reasons. When it comes to DJs, Carl Cox remains a legend for me, and I have always been impressed by Sven Vath. I also like Christian Smith, but from the new generation, Anfisa Letyago and Enrico Sangiuliano are both outstanding.
> What is coming up next in your music schedule, do you have any other releases in the pipeline?
Yes, I’ll soon be dropping a techno EP called ‘Confusion’ which features four tracks, then another single with three remixes from different artists. In the summer I’ll be dropping a deep house vocal bomb that I’m really excited about so I have plenty of new releases coming.
> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?
Yes sure, don’t put too many elements in your productions, let your sounds breathe and move around. Take good care of your low end, and follow your ideas, as it’s better to be original instead of trying to reproduce the sound from a big label or another artist.
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light-hearted… without getting too personal, could you tell us something many don’t know about you?
I have watched all the episodes of the TV series Fawlty Towers almost 200 times, Basil and Manuel are legends who always make me laugh lol.
> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you’ve ever seen happen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with their elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunk person urinating on the dance floor?
I was in an underground club in Praag to see a mate playing before a drum and bass DJ headliner. He started playing, but he was so drunk and high, that after 10 minutes of bad mixing, he fell asleep on the desk. The crowd starts shouting, so he woke up and starts to play again, but after only one more track run out of the booth. Afterwards, I asked him “where do you go?”. He told me that his set was over, as he was so out of mind, he thought that he had played a full 2 hours set lol. The owners of the club were not happy and demanded that he refunded his fee for playing
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything extra you want to add before we wrap up the conversation?
Thanks for the interest in my project, and all my love to the people of Ukraine where I have a lot of good friends. It’s terrible what’s happening there, and I hope the conflict ends soon.
> You can pick up a copy of Lionshake’s new single ‘The Exit’ from HERE