- G.A.S. Newsletter
- 77 - K2O
77 - K2O
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, K2O
This guy is a force. He’s on a mission, to make music, and he won’t stop even when his own body tells him to do so.
This is a truly inspirational read 🎶
Read Time: 8 minutes 📰
(I'm patiently waiting for my pioneer v10 mixer to come in so I can put all the pieces together for my next level set up)
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Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
I'm Navid and I've had a lifelong relationship with music at an early age.
I'm originally from Los Angeles (Redondo Beach), but recently relocated to Las Vegas, NV.
I have roots in classical music. I played the violin for 6 years in multiple school orchestras as a kid (2nd chair). I didn't stick to it because I got bored of playing classical music all the time, but I still have my original violin on display in my living room to remember my roots.
One fateful day I attended my very first rave (Monster Massive 2007) and fell in the deepest love ever with house music (and later techno, which is my primary love now).
A few months after that day I got my very first pair of gemini CDJs that barely worked at all, but I played countless house parties with that gear (see picture).
A year into DJing and I desperately wanted to get into music production. I begged my mom to let me attend LA Recording School and ICON (big production school in LA) to be a sound engineer and pursue my dream of becoming a world class producer, but she had other plans for me. I've had an extremely deep connection with technology since I could walk and my mom wanted me to pursue that for my primary source of income.
I'm so glad I listened to her because I watched my friends put all their eggs in the proverbial music basket and it wasn't pretty. They never had money to pay bills or go out or do much of anything. They were always stressed out and depressed and for good reason. Their music careers went nowhere and they had to get whatever jobs they could.
I am now a heavily certified cybersecurity professional making the kind of money where I can truly focus all my free time on music production and reaching for my original dream (It's NEVER too late!).
If you ask any true music producer they will tell you pursuing such a dream is a very lonely road and could take a heavy toll on one's mental health.
I also face daily adversity in dealing with severe chronic pain so every time I sit to write music I'm in pain the entire time, but I work through it every single day.
All of this adversity will one day pay off, because I don't quit in anything I pursue.
That's how much I love this. I love it the way people love their girlfriends, wives, kids, dogs, cats, whatever.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
Ableton, Komplete s49mk2, Akai MPC Live 2, Serum, Fabfilter Suite, Roland VT-4 Vocoder, Arturia Microfreak, H9 Max Eventide Pedal
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
FL Studio in my first 10 years of being a producer.
Switching to Ableton was so easy because I had already mastered FL Studio. Best decision ever!
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
My workflow is pretty similar to Sam Wolfe (Him and UMEK are my producer idols).
I start with my groove and drums, then I might go into melodic elements (keys, pads, arps, etc.) and from there I'll move into bass shots/stabs/horns/etc to create call/response elements/relationships.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
Parallel Compression/NY Compression is a must always.
How would you explain your style?
Over the years I've gone through so many styles/genres.
Now I'm evolving with a new DAW (Ableton) and its opening my eyes in a brand new way.
I gravitate towards energetic futuristic techno sounds (1605, Drumcode, Legend, IAMT, Set About).
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
Definitely my chronic pain.
I have dual carpal tunnel in both of my wrists. I have 2 herniated disks in my neck and lower back. I have plantar fashitis in my feet and arthritis in my knees.
I'm still alive though and I don't stop until I'm dead or deaf, whichever comes first!
I try to manage this by having my own home gym and taking a lot of breaks to stretch and workout.
You might be wondering what the hell happened to me?
Did I get hit by a mac truck or something!? I've done a whole lot of partying in my younger years, I did alot of muay thai training as well (which I still train in, but no more actual fighting) and just lived a pretty reckless life in my 20s (I'm 35 now).
I recently moved to Vegas so I can leave that life behind me and focus on what is important - Music.
Music has always been my main motivator throughout life at an early age. Without this motivation I wouldn't be anything right now.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
For now my main focus is learning ableton and releasing quality tracks to get on a solid label so I can one day start traveling and giging out consistently.
I have the gear to do dawless jamming but haven't got around to doing that yet as it's not a priority.
One thing I love about moving to Ableton from FL is that its scalable into going live using hardware and not just DJing traditionally with CDJs/mixer. (Stephan Bodzin, Deadmau5, and James Zabiela are a few of my favorites that use Ableton for Live performances - truly inspirational.)
One tip on how to spark creativity?
I like using arpegiators sometimes and just let it play random notes within a scale to get ideas going in my mind, then transfer the idea into software.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
Its All Gone by Pete Tong is a classic.
Anything else you'd like to say?
As with anything in life, if you really want it, make it your life’s mission.
Until death, do us part.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
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