Shakecraft & Kamereon have come together on “Sweat”, an awesome tune from these two mysterious London-underground artists. We had the opportunity to sit down with them and pick their brains, trying to find out how this track came to life and where they came from with the London-Underground scene. Check out the full interview below!
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First, how did the two of you come together on this track?
Shakecraft: I contacted Kamereon who I met a couple of years ago and asked if she wanted to do a record together. Not to work on anything specific – just to get in and see where the energy takes us.
Kamereon: We didn’t have anything planned – we had some drinks and carried on to the studio. We were just vibing and the track came to life that night. The bassline was nailed and we wrote the topline more as a percussive part than an actual song, then the lyrics landed perfectly to the whole mood of the track.
This track includes deep/tech house elements. As fans of the London underground scene, is this something you looked to capture with “Sweat”?
Shakecraft: We tried a couple of things until we landed on “Sweat” and we both felt it instantly. It was an all day and all night session and it came to life towards the end of the night – it was epic.
Kamereon: We both share that passion from our roots, but we didn’t have an agenda, we just knew where we were as soon we hit that point where it felt effortless. Our two styles met in a good place and we were rocking in the darkness with the track on loop. We knew we were in a good place!
Separately, how did each of you get started producing music?
Shakecraft: I started off classical (violin) and then playing in different bands – bass, guitar and keys. I even dabbled in singing but that’s one gift that I wasn’t born with; to sing in tune is one thing (you can always do BV’s) but to have a special and captivating voice strong enough to be lead singer is a rare and amazing gift that very few possess yet most think they have. It was lucky to realise quite early on that this is not the way for me, you gotta know your limitations.
I fell in love with studios when I went to record a song in a proper studio for the first time and decided that I wanted to become a sound engineer and a programmer. Then over time I felt confident enough to become a mixing engineer and a producer and then became an artist. I used to make lots of records for lots of different people as a ghost producer until I managed to get out of this vicious cycle but learned so much about production, interaction and consistent mental balance in the studio which is imperative to finishing a record.
It’s a real buzz when you hear your records being played for the first time and on the radio. DJ’ing was the last link in the chain and I refused to DJ for a while as I truly believe that the art in DJ’ing is not your record selection but understanding the mood in a room and being able to control it. It is magical and again a gift that very few possess, and many think they have. It is easy to make 50 thousand people dance; when you can hold a room in place with 100-200 people who are having a great time (and are not your family or friends), then you really understand what DJ’ing is and it helps immensely with production when you’re out there playing.
Kamereon: I was a big music lover from a kid, brought up on soul, jazz, Motown, and pop. I played piano, flute and violin, then dance music took over my life when I left school in the way of clubs and friends DJ’ing or playing in bands. Jumping on the decks and loving that freedom of mixing, as well as self indulgence mixed with pleasing everyone around you, creating a unique sound to suit whatever you and your people are feeling… it’s infectious. I had a natural feel for it all and an interest in every part of the process – from songs and melodies to decks, mixing and production. I started working with other producers, in both studio and live settings, collaborating. I got into Pro Tools, moved through Ableton, then onto Logic. I found my passion and honed in on it.
Who would you say some of your biggest influences are?
Shakecraft & Kamereon: Musically, there are so many people across so many genres. Creatively, all the people we’ve worked with, knowingly or not, gave us a little bit of themselves (and vice versa). It has shaped what we do for better or for worst…
When creating a track, what elements do you tend to dive into first?
Shakecraft: Sometimes, I just listen to music, either to get inspired or to find disincentives which works in the same way. One day you may listen to stuff and go “oh no, everything sounds terrible” and that drives you to try and make an amazing record.
I choose a great beat, a sick bass line, some FX and a few musical parts, try some vocals and then change it all. Many times the ingredients would be perfect, but when you put them together they don’t work as one unit and you find yourself completely changing direction. Other times, you just go in and do whatever the fuck you feel like.
Kamereon: It can be a vocal chop or a chord that starts the vibe but I like to get the beats in a good place. The percussive elements play a big part for me, I have to nail the bassline sound and the groove – it has to hit. Then I add instruments/sounds, sampling vocals, loads of chopping, tweaking and playing with FX and arrangement. I like to play around a lot with my breakdowns, get really lost in it, then lock in the mix.
Creating a track in the studio for release, and then playing that same track at a show are completely different animals, how do you go about working on something that will sound well while you’re producing it, as well as lighting up the dance floor?
Shakecraft: It’s a tough one for me – I just try to enjoy what I’m doing and capture a moment. It is the same as making a record, it may feel incredible in the studio but on a big system it just doesn’t connect as well. Artists can have a good run of making records that work but the sound keeps changing so you have to be able to reinvent yourself constantly. I kill many records after spending a long time on them just because they don’t connect. Staying in the same lane artistically is not something I like doing and it can be quite a stressful experience reinventing yourself as you’ll make lots of crap before a good track comes up.
Kamereon: If you have been on the other side enough you know what will get people, the sound comes from tight mixing and mastering. Then back and forth and road testing.
Outside of the studio, how do each of you spend some time away from music?
Shakecraft: Life outside the studio? Is anybody out there ?
Kamereon: Yeah, people, we like them 😉 raving, travel, friends, parties, dinners …especially ones that end up naughty
Can we expect any future collaborations?
Shakecraft & Kamereon: We sparked off a lot of good stuff on the back of “Sweat” so definitely. More to come.
Do you have any advice for aspiring producers/DJs?
Shakecraft & Kamereon: Follow your heart, and find a god damn business partner that hopefully won’t rip you off. You can’t do it by yourself, different people have different skills – know what yours are and work with the right people to complete the rest.
And always remember, treat everyone with respect, as one day that little kid that you barely paid attention to and ignored may become the biggest DJ or a president of a record label. Never forget that everyone is equal whether they are successful or not.
Creatively, the best things happen when you fall into your zone. The sub-conscience is a great influence, let that state of mind come into play and take you.
Any final thoughts?
Kamereon: Let me see you sweat
Shakecraft: Let me see you wet.