Its Make Or Break For Wicked Empire

 

A DJ, a producer, a writer, composer, performer and lastly US military man.

Christopher Dickinson is a dedicated music enthusiast, who doesn’t let being in the middle east hold him back from following his dream.

When asked about how he balances his work life between music life, he replied “I usually get off work at 17:00-18:00 at night, and ill go into my room for 4 or 5 hours, creating, experimenting, practicing”. This easily shows how committed he is with this simple statement. However, this is no call for sympathy. His drive and love for music and the immense respect he has for his favourite artists is immense.

“One of my biggest influences when it comes to creating my music, would be Skrillex and Alan walker. I’m trying to experiment and become my own”. 

It is clear that this man, has now got his eyes set the prize that is full time music making, hopeful of leaving the army.

Be sure to check it out:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wickedempire
YouTube: Youtube.com/c/wickedempiremusic
Facebook: Facebook.com/wickedempiremusic1
Instagram: Instagram.com/wicked.empire_
Website: wickedempire.org

 

Interview: Nej!Las Speaks To Us About Her Love For Music, And More

We spoke to Techno/Electric house artist, Nej!Las, about her love of music and her take on the Tech/Electro House scene at the moment.

:Tech/Electro house is a specific but interesting scene, what were some of the things that attracted you to playing this type of music? 

Nej!Las: The ability (and even the requirement) to make, not only harmonic melodies and bass lines, but to additionally have percussion and drums that could, by themselves, carry a song. Techno/electro/house pushes the envelope by requiring and allowing for creativity in all areas of a song. It requires one to constantly innovate and come up with new, original, creations and techniques applied to the production. 

 

:In Chicago, where your based, what is your local scene like? do you feel that you fit in? 

Nej!Las: The Detroit Techno scene is so prominent; it created its own genre. The Detroit Techno Militia shows the attitude of techno producers that reside in Detroit – independent, proud and original. Detroit allows for producers to have creativity, to not necessarily fit inside the box of what “techno” is supposed to be, but to continuously push the boundaries of the genre. 

 

:Do you have a writing process or any other special way you approach your music or performance?

Nej!Las: The first live set – the “progressive, melodic set” focuses on the harmonic elements. This set, by itself, would be categorized as “progressive” music. I tend to favour an almost guitar-like synth – overdriven and raw. I then, likewise, formulate an “opposite” synth that is sweet and melodic – as if it could lead a progressive/chill-out song.

The second set – the “techno” set focuses solely on drums and percussion. I likewise arrange a very heavy techno arrangement from an intro to an outro. Hardware, like the Alesis SamplePad 4, is very useful to continue to create original midi data, or even audio samples, for percussion.  

In the end, I combine the two sets, which could, by themselves, be sufficient for a song, into one set that has movement and free flowing segments

 

: And finally, what is your overall aim, what do you want for you and your music? 

Nej!Las: To continue to innovate and bring original music into the traditional “techno” genre. I want to create a niche of original, harmonic, progressive, techno songs that play, and sound, like a live set.

 

Soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/nejlasproducing

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NejlasProducing/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nejlasProducing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nejlasproducing/

Website: http://nejlas.com

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/rpk/nejlas

Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/nejlas 

 

 

 

In Conversation with…Nej!Las

What attracted you to the techno/electro/house scene?

The ability (and even the requirement) to make, not only harmonic melodies and bass lines, but to additionally have percussion and drums that could, by themselves, carry a song. Techno/electro/house pushes the envelope by requiring and allowing for creativity in all areas of a song. It requires one to constantly innovate and come up with new, original, creations and techniques applied to the production.

What is your local music scene like? How do you think you fit in?

The Detroit Techno scene is so prominent; it created its own genre. The Detroit Techno Militia shows the attitude of techno producers that reside in Detroit – independent, proud and original. Detroit allows for producers to have creativity, to not necessarily fit inside the box of what “techno” is supposed to be, but to continuously push the boundaries of the genre. Detroit Techno is innovative. The innovative and original style shines through my music.

You’ve got a huge gig lined up – what would be your dream venue?

An intimate venue where I could feed off of the audiences’ energy and they could be up close and personal to my live production. A symbiotic relationship between me and the crowd.

Tell us about how you go about creating your music, from initial idea to completion

I create two different live sets.
The first live set – the “progressive, melodic set” focuses on the harmonic elements. This set, by itself, would be categorized as “progressive” music. I spend days creating and manipulating analogs, wavetables, and filters in order to find a unique synth sound. I tend to favour an almost guitar-like synth – overdriven and raw. I then, likewise, formulate an “opposite” synth that is sweet and melodic – as if it could lead a progressive/chill-out song. This synth tends to be a string or rubber instrument. I then spend additional days writing, rewriting, and rearranging midi data and appreciations. With all the variations of synths and midi, I usually have enough sounds and tracks to form an entire arrangement. This is the next step, to formulate all the melodies into an arrangement of a harmonic song from an intro to an outro.

The second set – the “techno” set focuses solely on drums and percussion. I likewise arrange a very heavy techno arrangement from an intro to an outro. Hardware, like the Alesis SamplePad 4, is very useful to continue to create original midi data, or even audio samples, for percussion. I want this second set to be able to stand alone as a song without bass or melodies.

In the end, I combine the two sets, which could, by themselves, be sufficient for a song, into one set that has movement and free flowing segments. I arrange the set to make it play as if I were playing it live. I even record all the modulations and envelopes from a MIDI controller (the AKAI MPC40) as if I were performing it live. This “live performance” of the song becomes the final track.

What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To continue to innovate and bring original music into the traditional “techno” genre. I want to create a niche of original, harmonic, progressive, techno songs that play, and sound, like a live set.

Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

Songs like “Fini” play like a live set, except it allows one to listen to it anywhere. That is the style of my production – to have harmonic synths that could stand by themselves as a progressive song, but on top of the harmonies, to have percussion and drums that could also be sufficient for a song. The music is “alive”, always changing and morphing into something new and creative.

Check out Nej!Las here:

https://soundcloud.com/nejlasproducing

http://nejlas.com

 

Jugurtha

jugurtha photo11- When did you first get into music? What or who inspired you?

Jugurtha is a project we started about two years ago. We both have different backgrounds, yet with similar influences.

Yassin: “I grew up in Tunisia, where traditional music is culturally everywhere, flowing social rites and practices. This made my ear sensitive to Arabic music, and helped me comprehend all the subtleties in oriental musicality years later.

I guess I understood music was my path when I started playing all the melodies I would hear on my first little synthesizer, moving onto the flute, and then to piano; I was so happy playing instruments, I knew I had to continue doing just that growing up.”

Samir: “When I was a kid, my mom bought me an old second-hand piano to use as decoration in my room. I started being interested in this new companion, and soon became curious with music theory; not too long after which I was admitted in music school. My passion for musical techniques grew stronger from there.”

 

2- Who did you grow up listening to, and does that impact on what you create now?

Yassin: “I grew up listening to a lot of traditional, popular Oriental music such as Hedi Jouini, Salif Keita, Oum Kalthoum, some gypsy music, flamenco, and craved for the occasional western/international artists such as Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Dr. Dré, Busta Rhymes, 2Pac, etc., without forgetting the heavy French music influence we had in Tunis: Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, or even 90’s rap like IAM or 113, etc.”

Samir: “Growing up, I listened to Arabic music like Farid El Atrache, Oum Khalthoum, French singers such as Serge Gainsbourg, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, etc., American Hip-hop and R’n’B music, and then heavily evolved onto electronic music as a teen with the appearance of the first French Touch artists such as Daft Punk, Air, Laurent Garnier…”

 

3- How long have you been playing/writing?

We both have been writing music for about seven years, attracted in the early stages by the creative phase, and the possibility of message perspectives.

“Orientation”, our first album as Jugurtha, has been in the works for over a year, and has been a project we have been working on actively in the past two years.

 

4- How often do you play live (include details and links for any upcoming gigs)?

It all depends on our projects, we’ve been on and off for the past years: sometimes spending days, nights, weeks, even months composing music in our rooms, being completely secluded from the outside world, sometimes going out 3-4 times a week meeting people and playing in Parisian bars or clubs, or just in private parties our friends like to throw.

Private parties are a big thing in Paris, not everyone likes going out to clubs. Sometimes we just enter an apartment because we heard some noise in the streets, and end-up playing some tunes with whatever turntables we can find there!

We’re planning a release party for our album ‘Orientation’ sometime this Spring, and we’re currently keeping a look out for an expected, original spot to throw the gig!

 

5- What has been your favourite moment in music?

What we really enjoy in music is meeting other people we can relate to, with good vibes and energy flowing through their words and art, combining ideas and concepts for greater development.

Concerts are really exciting. We love seeing the whole set being created and prepared for the arrival of music-lovers. Playing LIVE is so intense… we live for that!

 

6- Where is the best place to find you online?

http://facebook.com/JugurthaMusic

http://soundcloud.com/Jugurtha-Music