We are the Mainstream: An Interview With Mr. Carmack, Sweater Beats & Djemba Djemba BMA May 2, 2014 Exclusives, Interviews 1 Comment We Are The Mainstream: Last month we had a very rare opportunity to sit down and talk to 3 very special producers that we’ve been featuring a lot on TheBassCollective.com, those 3 producers are Mr. Carmack, Sweater Beats and Djemba Djemba. The interviewer was Alix Nikulka. Why don’t you guys start out by introducing yourselves. Djemba Djemba: Hey, I’m Djemba Djemba! Sweater Beats: What’s going on? This is Sweater Beats. Mr. Carmack: I’m Aaron Carmack! Tell us a little about your musical background and how you got into producing. Djemba Djemba: I started producing when I was 10 years old. I started in a band then soon realized I had no friends that were good musicians, so I switched to a computer which was perfect in every way. If I could marry my computer, I would, ha-ha. Since then I’ve been practicing everyday. I don’t really know what a life without music is. I started just like Djemba. I started in bands and wrote emo songs when I was like 13…Taking Back Sunday and shit ha-ha. That whole scene with you know, emo stuff. That’s how it all began for me. After high school all my band mates went off to college so I started making music on the computer. -Sweater Beats Mr. Carmack: I’ve been making music since I was about 5 years old! I’ve been making beats for around 7 to 8 years though. Photo: UH-HUH! [Brent Michael Azer] Who are some of your major influences? Djemba Djemba: I really like Hudson Mohawke and Rustie. I’d have to say those are my two biggest influences. I started out listening to DJ Premiere, P-Rock and fuckin’…Kanye West. I’d spend most of my time remaking their beats in high school and since then I’ve gotten the opportunity to play with some of those influences as well which has been pretty cool. Sweater Beats: I guess right now my biggest influence is probably Timbaland because…I don’t know, the essence of everything I make now is super Timbaland. Mr. Carmack: Major influences…hmm…I’d have to say the Rachmaninoff second piano concerto. That shit is crackin’. If you could come up with your own genre to categorize your music under, what would you call it? Djemba Djemba: Oh man, that’s a good question because genres are changing so much. I had the best one for the Red Bull Music Academy. It was sad boy melancholy turn up trap, ha-ha! Sweater Beats: I just like music that makes you do this (starts bobbing his head) like uh…break-neck music! All you readers can’t see it but I’m bobbing my head right now! Mr. Carmack: No comment. Where do you guys draw inspiration from to create your unique styles of music? Djemba Djemba: I’d have to say… the internet. Sweater Beats: I just listen to all the homies who are making awesome music right now. Mr. Carmack: Yup! The internet. If you had the chance to collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would it be? Photo: UH-HUH! [Brent Michael Azer] Djemba Djemba: Ooh…I’d want to work with Michael Jackson, hands down. Sweater Beats: If I wanna be honest with myself…probably Jimmy Hendrix. I’d wanna see what his presence is like. It’s because I just watched a documentary about him. I was really digging it. Mr. Carmack: Djemba! Djemba Djemba: We haven’t made anything yet, fucker! Mr. Carmack: So then let’s do something man, ha-ha! What part of the world do you feel is a leader in this new underground music movement? Djemba Djemba: Dude, that’s what I’m saying now…the internet is the new world. It used to be LA. The UK has always been the king of everything. Australia’s coming up, but the UK is just always doing big things. Sweater Beats: Yeah, Norway’s poppin’ right now. Loving the stuff that Lido is doing right now. Lots of talent coming out of Europe as always. Do you see this style of music becoming lost in the mainstream as it grows in popularity? Djemba Djemba: Nope. This music IS the mainstream. Sweater Beats: We are the mainstream. Mr. Carmack: We are the mainstream. Since you guys are so influential to many new producers, many are mimicking your sounds. How does this affect you when creating new music? I like it. As an artist you always have to be the one to keep pushing yourself to create new styles and new genres. I listen to other people and I try to re-create their stuff. Genius comes from all around the world. You can’t say you’re the one making the waves when you’re really just along for the ride. -Djemba Djemba Photo: UH-HUH! [Brent Michael Azer] Sweater Beats: I don’t know who said it but they said “Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum.” So everything is just cross-pollinating. Mr. Carmack: We all bounce off one-another. We all pull inspiration from other influences from around the world. It’s been brought to my attention a bunch of times in regards to other people copying my sound, but the bottom line is you make music that moves you. Whether it’s a Sweater Beats sound, a Djemba sound or a Carmack sound. You can put a label on it, but in the end it goes deeper than the label. You put out what makes you dance. Who are some producers you’re excited for in 2014? Djemba Djemba: I’m a real big fan of Sophie and A.G. Cook right now doing PC music. CZ, my roommate, Arnold…pretty much everyone in the MOD and Team Supreme family. I’m also a really big fan of Astro Nautico. Sweater Beats: I’m really excited for P. Morris. He just debuted and it’s all super good stuff. Mr. Carmack: Honestly, I’m just excited for all my homies who are making it big right now. It’s nice to see friends progress and get big in the scene. There’s a ton of love and support we all give each other and I feel that the underground scene is a tight-knit family. Do you guys have any releases, collaborations or remixes coming up in the near future? Djemba Djemba: Yeah I threw up Coma recently just as a teaser. I did take it down, but it’s definitely coming. I’m looking for vocalists right now so if anyone want’s to send me stuff, please do. Sweater Beats: I’m just finishing up an EP for HW&W right now. Mr. Carmack: Always man, check tomorrow! Photo: UH-HUH! [Brent Michael Azer] Where do you see the scene and yourself in a few years? Djemba Djemba: Man, it’s only gonna get bigger and more confuddled. There’s kids listening to shit I’ve never even heard before. My roommate CZ is 6 years younger than me and he’s bringing up shit that’s just poppin’ right now. Sweater Beats: I guess just playing more shows and making more music. Getting more fans to appreciate my music, I guess. The way I see it, is that it’s cyclic. It’s the underground that becomes the mainstream and then a new underground develops and eventually turns into mainstream yet again. -Mr. Carmack Alright boys, thanks so much for talking to us! Djemba Djemba, Sweater Beats, Djemba Djemba: Thanks for having us! Follow Mr. Carmack: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Follow Sweater Beats: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Follow Djemba Djemba: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Comments mike says: May 18, 2014 at 2:38 am You three guys are my 3 personal favorite producers right now. When I found out ya’ll were coming to t-dot I lost my fucking shit and I was there all 3 played bomb sets and the whole place was packed and everyboddy was losing their minds. Keep doin what you guys are doing I am inspired and rock out everyday to the mixes. Come back to toronto again please.