119 - Tony Zoo
Artist Interviews 🎶 Studio Tours 🎛
Hello music people 👋
Today in the spotlight, Tony Zoo
Coming from Greece, Tony Zoo approaches making music as a drummer first and then adding all the other elements. He gets inspiration from vintage photos which he later adds them on as a layer on his videos 🎶
Interview & Studio Tour
Who are you and what is your relationship with music?
My name is Antonis and I produce music as Tony Zoo.
I was born in Chicago U.S.A and relocated to Athens, Greece when I was 12 years old.
My musical journey started quite young mainly with the drumset and various ethnic percussion. Later on in my life I started learning the piano which led to synths which led to the dark side!!!!
During the past 6 years I started producing music using hardware synths and learning about music production.
I am a 9-5 worker so music is my side hustle and main hobby. I often find time to isolate myself in the studio in order to practice create or just fool around jamming.
Which piece of equipment in your studio is essential to your production process?
I think the Elektron Digitakt is the heart of my studio.
I use it on building the drum parts and sequence all of my hardware synths.
What is the least expensive piece of gear that gave you the most results?
Zoom ms-70 CDR pedal, paired perfectly with my Microfreak, added some great textures.
Walk us through your process for creating and producing music.
As a drummer I start by building up a solid drum loop. I spend a lot of time in creating percussive elements that fit together and sound designing each component.
I continue by creating the bass sounds, sequences from various synths and finally some vocals.
My main focus is creating a solid short jam, about 2 minutes long, and further develop my production process from that base.
So its a ground up process for me. Lots of improvisation and experimentation is involved, but the main idea is to built a solid base - loop.
I like designing pads and bass lines on my hardware synths so I am focused on that aspect of production at the moment.
What is a production technique that you always come back to?
Using a reference track mainly for mixing and mastering!!!
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How would you describe your style?
My style is continuously evolving through the years. I dare to describe it atmospheric, sometimes dark, with a dose of nostalgia and old-skool elements from the 90s electronic music .
I experiment with various genres like Drum n Bass, Minimal Techno, UKG and recently organic house.
What is a big challenge you have as an artist?
I face some challenges on the mastering aspects of my production but the biggest challenge for me is modern day distractions. I manage it by leaving my smartphone outside of the studio.
Another huge challenge for me is balancing my morning job with music. I wish I had more time during the day to focus on music and maybe be more productive all around.
Has building a hardware setup changed your perspective on music or life in general?
I chose hardware quite early. The main reason was that I wanted the feel -also learn various instruments, combine them, and develop my skills.
Hands on is more suitable to me but more time consuming.
It is definitely a more fun way to make music compared to the computer. It also gives me the freedom to experiment a bit more on sound designing.
Sometimes a half and hour jam is all you need after a difficult day!
One tip on how to spark creativity?
Get rid of distractions, empty your mind and focus on playing and having fun. Experiment and push your limits and knowledge.
Listen in depth to other artists of various genres go back in time and explore past tracks albums and production techniques.
A book, movie, article, or album that has inspired you?
I mainly take inspiration from my vintage press photos that I use in my videos.
One of my favourite albums is the Violator from Depeche Mode. Also, Tarantino movies.
Where can people find more of your music and connect with you online?
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