Belgium based TNTS is a rising star who has previously featured on Sasha Carassi’s Phobiq in addition to other imprints including the legendary Global Underground.
TNTS recently dropped his new release “Caelum” recently dropped on HE-ART Blue and picked up support by everyone ranging from Eelke Kleijn to Nick Warren.
Excited to learn more about TNTS and his new release, we decided to ask him a few questions…
> 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?
I find it hard to give you an exact answer. I make music because it allows me to express certain emotions, and because it gives me a creative outlet. It’s therapeutical for me at times…
> Your most recent release “Caelum” is on Oscar Aguilera’s new label HE-ART Blue, could you tell us about the concept of your track?
When a storm goes quiet, and things start to clear up… That moment when the sun manages to break through the clouds, those first sunbeams bringing warmth and a sense of hope… That’s it.
> 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?
It usually starts with a clear vision and/or idea, it can be a melody that came to my mind, it can be a certain track or chord progression that inspired me, a certain emotion/feeling…
I work in Logic, and I always start with a (16bar) loop. With the initial idea/elements laid down, I start adding the rest. I usually don’t start arranging before I have all the elements going, as I don’t like to add things after I start the arrangement. When it comes to mixing, part of it happens as I go, but I do treat it as a separate phase, so when I feel the arrangement is where it should be, that’s when I start the final mixing.
I work almost completely in the box, and I’ll keep it like that for now. When it comes to plugins, there are so many good ones out there, I think you just have to find what works for you and stick with it. It’s trial and error, but do trust your intuition. If you feel the need to change something, change it.
The one piece of hardware I couldn’t live without is the Faderport I introduced recently. Having an actual fader at your fingertips instead of a mouse, and the automation buttons… Great piece of kit.
> How have you been keeping busy during the Covid 19 lockdown?
Musically, it inspired me to write “Lockdown” which got released on Sasha Carassi’s Phobic.
I had some strong visual elements and thoughts in my head which helped to create it. There was the speed of which the virus was spreading over Europe and the rest of the world, there was the footage from the convoy of military trucks in Italy, theories about Russia & China and biological warfare. It made me think about mass production, polluting factory’s, communism…
Right there, I knew it had to have a forward marching groove, and the musical story behind it became a mass-production plant that goes totally out of control and turns itself to its human operators… I envisioned the alarm sirens and red warning lights going off, people running around in utter chaos, trying to find the nearest exit, as the factory itself slowly comes to life… That’s what I tried to do with the synths after the second drop, that question & answer relationship, as if the machines were actually communicating with each other, enhancing their strength, and becoming unified…
I wanted to capture/zoom in on the unsettling feelings it gave me at the time. A mixture of uncertainty, fear and disbelief about what was happening globally, the initial frustrations of being forced into lockdown, i wanted it to resonate through, and bring a sense of (em)urgency to it…
> Your release on HE-ART Blue has a remixes by Zoo Brazil and Domenico Imperato, did you have a role in picking the remixes, and what do you think about their versions of your tracks?
Yes, I did. I’m very familiar with John’s (Zoo Brazil) early work, I’m very glad he took the melodic approach on this track, it’s a bit melancholic… It touches the right spot for me.
About Domenico (Imperato), Oscar (Aguilera), the label boss introduced me to his work and asked me if Domenico could remix one of my tracks. I’m glad I said yes, cause his stripped-down track really complements the e.p.
> What is coming up next in your music schedule, do you have any other releases in the pipeline?
Yes, there is a remix I did for Tom Pooks, Bubble and Joy Kitikonti which will be released on Family Piknik around May. Further, there is my debut on Jannowitz and 3 more e.p’s on He-Art blue, with some massive remixes by KIKO, Rafael Cerato and the label honcho’s themselves…
> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?
Finish your tracks, if you are struggling, get on to the next one, and revisit later. . But do finish it, as hard as it may seem, it’s part of the process.
> 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 a love/hate relationship with interviews, but it’s still 50/50, so no worries there! 😉
> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have 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 dancefloor?
Obviously, there are quite some stories, but let’s keep our focus on the music itself…
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything extra you want to add before we wrap up the conversation?
You’re welcome, and thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this.
> You can buy a copy of TNTS new release on HE-ART Blue from …HERE…