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As part of our Ladies of DNB we interview AnnGree, a very well travelled artist from Sliced Note Recordings.
First off, you hail from Moscow. Were you born there and what were your musical influences growing up?
First of all, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. Not many people know that I’m a journalist in the day, so usually it’s me who is asking questions. Being on the other side feels great. Now, back to the interview, I was actually born in Saint Petersburg, but my family moved to Moscow, when I was 3 y.o, so that’s basically where I spent my childhood. As to the musical influences, initially I was listening to what my parents were listening at that time (Classic Rock and Pop, such as Queen, Nathareth, Abba, and Modern Talking – to name a few). And then when I was getting older and formed my own taste in music – a lot of Alternative Rock and Nu:Metal; I still quite like bands like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Staind. I started listening to Electronic Music in my high school years, when there was a popular FM station with 24/7 EDM.
How did you get into mixing? I
guess I should say that I got into partying first lol. And believe it or not, it all happened in the UK. I wasn’t really doing much clubbing back in Russia. I was writing lyrics, playing electric guitar and had a punk rock band..But then went to study in the UK, where we used to have regular Friday night outs. That’s when I really got into Drum&Bass. In a couple of years I decided that I want to be on the “other side”. By that time I already had some DJ friends, who taught me the basic techniques, and how to beat match.
Do you prefer vinyl or cdjs now?
I think I still prefer vinyl, although I don’t own vinyl decks at the moment (only cdjs) and I haven’t played vinyl for some time now. I wish more clubs had vinyl decks.
How did you get into producing?
One of my DJ friends told me once, that “if you want to get bookings, you need to be a producer”. He was right. If you think about it, now anyone can be a DJ and there are millions of DJs, but only those who produce get decent gigs. That was the motivation I guess. So I did a few collabs, and then tried to produce on my own. The collabs are tricky, I must say, in my daily job I constantly work under tight deadlines, but in the music world it’s almost impossible, and it just drives me crazy.
What DAW are you currently on?
Logic 9 and I’m loving it!
What VSTs are you using a lot of at the moment?
I use Camel Audio VSTs a lot, I’m really sad they’re no longer in the business (and I need to back up my software by the way). I think Alchemy is my favourite synth by far.
What tips could you give for people wanting to get tracks signed?
Don’t stop and keep producing. Try sending tracks to multiple labels, people have different taste, so what might not be suitable to one label, will be great for another. Don’t afraid to ask for some tips. And before sending tunes, make sure that you know what kind of genre the label is releasing.
You moved to USA New York. How is that treating you?
Yes, it’s been a year now. It’s good, thanks for asking. Unfortunately DnB is not big in NY, it’s more of a Hip-Hop culture here. So, I miss the London Drum&Bass scene a lot in that sense!
What's the best gig you have ever played?
Can I name two, as it’s hard to choose? “Beats 4 Love” in Czech Republic and “Twilight” in South Africa- both were open-airs. You just had to be there to feel the crowd, the energy was just insane. When you see thousands of people dancing to your set, it’s an incredible feeling.
What are your goals for the future? Be rich and famous ☺. Honestly, to release more tunes, to be well-known and respected; get new signings, get new gigs, get new fans.
Tea or coffee in the studio?
Mmmm, TEA! I’m a big tea drinker, I can have a whole pot to myself (with sweets of course).
Any funny stories from out DJing?
Once I came back from the US and the next day was flying to Czech Republic; so everything goes smooth out there and it’s time to go back home, and at the airport all of sudden I realise that I don’t have passport on me. At that time I was traveling with two passports, and had the visa in my old passport, which I managed to leave at home..in London! Needless to say that I’m actually very organised and it was for the first time. So called my friend promoter and was like: “Guess what, I’m still here, I left my passport”..then made a theatrical pause, adding “in London”. He just said one word: “F***.” Anyway, went to the UK embassy, they are like “It will take a month to get a new visa”. That’s how I got to spend a few extra days in CZ, until Fedex delivered my passport from the UK (mailed by friend). Brno is a great city and they’ve got hedgehogs in the park around Cathedral area :)
What releases do you have coming up?
I just had a release on Schedule One Recordings ("Shadow Hunter / Space Dust", came out May 25) – that’s a single featuring two of my Neurotech tunes. I also have a Neurofunk tune coming up on 8 Bawlaz Recordings - The 8BAWLAZ RECORDINGS VOL. 2 - 8 MILES FROM THE SUN will be released worldwide on July 6. And I’m working on a single for Koldfront Recordings, with a preliminary September release. As I’m now living in the States, I’m trying to build my exposure here, so working with all American labels at the moment.
What gigs do you have coming up this summer?
I don’t have anything planned so far. I’m concentrating on production at the moment, plus I host a bi-weekly radio show “Vertigo” on Jungletrain.net on Thursdays (Make sure to check it out; www.jungletrain.net)
Plans to re-locate again or are you staying put?
Yes, I want to check out California and some other places like Australia, where I’ve never been, but really want to go. So it’s a matter of when really.
What are we getting you from the bar?
Hmm, I’m not fussy, but it depends. Like now it’s Summer time, so I’m all about cocktails, get me a nice refreshing Mojito and I’ll be happy.
And lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring producers out there?
Be proactive and live your life to the fullest. Anything is possible, as long as you set your mind, heart and soul to it. Drum&Bass forever!
Thanks for your time. You have always been a pleasure to work with, and we wish you all the best for the future. I hope to see you if you visit to the UK!
Thank you! Interview by Missrepresent as part of the Ladies Of DNB series.