As one of the most innovative and cutting-edge producers on the dance music scene, Sinden has taken his sound around the world, yet still finds the time to run his own Label, Grizzly. We caught up with him recently to talk about his move to LA, his musical experiences, future plans and thoughts on his Prime Loops Sample Pack, ‘The Sound of Sinden‘.
Tell us more about your musical Background and Influences.
I got the music bug early on as a kid. Rap music taught me about everything that came before it, about James Brown and the pioneers of electro. Researching that would then lead me onto something else and before you know it I was joining up the dots between Kraftwerk, Can, Herbie Hancock, Patrick Adams, Yello, Underground Resistance, The Clash, New Order, Sly & Robbie and Man Parrish. It was all the same music to me and I wanted to own all of it. I didn’t play any musical instruments when I was growing up, I still don’t. Logic pro is my ‘instrument’ these days.
Why did you make the decision to move from the UK to LA?
Initially I making regular trips over to LA to work in the studio with Switch and just feeling out the scene a bit. I really liked it, total opposites to London in many ways but it was time for a change and whilst I love the London music scene it wasn’t exciting me as it has done. I made the move permanently when I met my wife. I’m feeling really settled here, i’m collaborating with some great artists at the moment, such as Astronomar, Matrixxman, Mykki Blanco and a new artist i’m helping develop called Lilou. Watch out for her!
Has your move to LA changed your outlook on music and/or influenced your current style?
Maybe it has, the sunshine has certainly helped inject some sunshine into my music ha. I’ve got this new project brewing called The Crystal System, its the most live sounding disco / boogie thing i’ve ever done. I feel like LA has its own vibe & its having a positive knock on effect and i’m pumping the best music i’ve ever made right now.
What has been your proudest musical achievement to date?
There’s been so many. Co-ordinating an official mixtape I did for Gucci Mane was cool and recently exec-producing Mykki Blanco’s EP but i’d say maybe the proudest is recording an album for Domino with the Count (under our The Count & Sinden name) and seeing how well it was received. We worked our socks off but it payed dividends in the end.
What has been your craziest music making/touring experience so far?
DJing on stage for M.I.A during her Kala album campaign was pretty massive. We toured all over Europe, opened for Prince at the 02 and Bjork in a magnificent coliseum for 2 nights. Meeting Bjork was so cool because I admire her so much. After the set she invited us all over to hang out with her where she was playing Switch and my remix of Santigold on the ipod. I introduced myself and that I had a hand in the remix. A few weeks later Bjork commissioned me to remix a track of her latest record. I was so shocked!
What was your most favourite collaboration moment?
Making music with Mykki Blanco was fun. He came to stay at the house for 3 days and we just spent the first day kicking it, eating sushi and getting massages. He’d just finished filming 2 video shoots back to back so it was important just to get us both in the zone and focused. It was the first opportunity to really bond together and we just hit it off, real chemistry in the studio. I love when that happens, the results were unreal.
Do you have any quirky recording/production rituals?
Not really but if my 2 puppys are in the studio thats when I know i’m onto something good.
What’s your favourite piece of kit/software?
Universal Audio is at the heart of my studio. I recently bought the UAD Apollo and its the best investment i’ve made. I must have spent a fortune on the plug ins but they’re so high quality its worth it. I’ve got the UAD Satellite too for traveling so I never have to go short.
Can you tell us more about your label, Grizzly?
Its a label I set up 3 years ago, its an outlet for my productions and for music that I love and want to release. Its a way of retaining absolute control over my music too. The release ethos is just to release the best , irrespective of what is what is hip at the time and to build up the other Grizzly members, to work alongside each other and be a force.
How are you finding balancing running a label with writing music and touring?
Yeah it can be tricky, i became a more organized person because of it. Running a label is something that never stops, really, as does writing music. Extensive tour periods are the worst though because your sleep schedule is all messed up and you have to fly to a different city everyday, sometimes multiple cities in one day. Its really hard to make music on the road but you somehow have to pull through it meet that remix deadline or release schedule.
How do you envision other producers using your Sample Pack?
In whatever way they choose to. The music making process is different from person to person. Thats the great thing about the sample packs is that we all have access to the same sound sources but our ear will gravitate to different parts of the drum loop or how a sound can be manipulated. I use them too also and are great to kick off an idea or for when you need inspiration
Which section/folder of your sample pack did you enjoy working on most?
I enjoyed working on the various drum loops but that is my strong point. I can get some solid grooves going but I can get stuck on synthesis sometimes so I tend to work around it and play to my strengths. I loved getting busy on the glitch loops and the drums in particular.
Have you had a chance to check out any other Prime Loops sample packs? Any favourites?
I got some good use out of the bassline 4×4 loops recently. I actually used one of the bass sounds which I imported into my sampler for the lead bass sound. I find myself going back to the bass sounds in that pack especially for making garage-y stuff.
Who are your favourite artists on the scene right now?
Right now i’m feeling Matrixxman, Physical Therapy, Iron Galaxy, Joe Farr, Gesaffelstein, Migos, Astronomar, Mike Will, DJ Mustard, Paul Woolford, SCNTST, MMM, Shadowchild, J.Tijn, Bodhi to name a few
What’s next for you?
I’m about to release a solo record on Fools Gold. Its a 4 track EP with Mykki Blanco featuring on the lead track. Also a release with Astronomar which is lined up for a really dope label (too early to announce). Been in the studio recently with Harvard Bass, Shadow Child and Matrixxman too so they’ll be out soon. I’m also working on more Crystal System tracks, thats my new ever evolving collaborative project. The track ‘Step Back’ is out for free download on my soundcloud page www.soundcloud.com/sinden.
Click here for a full article about Sinden.
Check out ‘The Sound of Sinden‘.