Earlier in the week I chatted to warner case and it was a very fun chat. I’ve recently come across his music to which I’ve since personally dubbed as ‘Erotic House Music‘. He has a distinct and unique sound which separates him from a lot of electronic artists at the minute. It’s great. This NYC based producer is on an upward trajectory and it very exciting that he took an hour out of his schedule for an interview for The Sound Sniffer. If you haven’t heard his new single feel it yah yet – make sure to press play a little further down this article. So good.
Enjoy the conversation. Listen to the music as you read for the best experience 🙂
Starting off with some social media chatter : I can see clearly that you use Instagram very well as a tool to bring you closer to your fans. How important is it to be active on there do you think?
I think artists really should take advantage of Instagram and how it makes everybody accessible. It blows my mind when they don’t. I take a lot of pride in trying to be accessible to those who like my music because I feel like if I was a fan of somebody, it would be cool that they responded to a DM. It’s important to have a connection with your audience and social media allows us to do that. It’s amazing that somebody who lives in the middle of nowhere can access an artist they like.
I’m always curious to find out what an artist’s Instagram inbox looks like. If it full of people asking for feedback on their tracks just like it is for me as a blogger?
Yeah, I get some of that. I try to give everybody honest feedback on their music to be helpful. Although, I have some artists who send me their songs when they’re already released, asking for my feedback… which defeats the purpose.
I’ve had a few cool collaborations come about from fans sending me demos, and me then saying ‘this is awesome, I’d love to work on this with you’. That’s how ‘summer on the inside’ (Jean Tonique and Max Kaluza) and ‘stop’ (Max) happened. Max sent me over a bunch of demos and ‘stop’ was one of them which immediately caught my attention. ‘summer on the inside’ was a similar story; Max and I sent over our demo for Jean to put the finishing touches on, which he did beautifully.
If you’re a fan of an artist, don’t be shy – take your shot and send a demo over. If they nice enough and have the time, they will at least listen to it.
Working hard. I think some people skip this part sometimes – I can totally see that you just get what’s it’s like to be an artist nowadays and what it entails. You have tried a wide range of content from interviewing other artists to creating online tutorial videos on YouTube, Podcasting. Where did this drive originate?
Oh yeah, don’t get me started. I know lots of people who spend thousands of dollars on different aspects of their music and album art, but put no money or effort into actually getting the song heard…. They just release a song, sit down, and the hope they become a superstar. That’s not how it happens. They’ll watch the play count go from 0 to 5 in the first week and wonder why. It’s a common mistake – a cliché that fits the narrative here is ‘if you drop a beat in the woods, does it make a sound?’
I got very lucky earlier on in my career when I met Sean Glass who gave me some great initial advice. He basically mentored me, whether he liked it or not… I was a bit incessant. He would tell me how annoying I was but deep down, i feel he respected the hustle I was putting in, so he tolerated me and taught me a ton, including how necessary the marketing and PR effort is to a release’s success.
How hard is it to be a musician in 2021 (based on what you just said) and if you have any other advice to artists alongside working damn hard?
I saw one of those inspirational graduation speeches with Jim Carey recently that stood out – I think it was Jim Carey… He was talking about his Dad and how he worked for a large company all his life, put his heart into it. In his later years he got fired abruptly and unceremoniously, as if the hard work and loyalty to the company meant nothing. Carey realized if you can try and still fail at something you don’t enjoy, you might as well try and still fail at something you do enjoy.
In that same speech he spoke about throwing darts at a dartboard. You might throw 100 darts and miss before you hit a bullseye. It doesn’t matter how many darts it takes though, because hitting the bullseye just once is sometimes all you need to succeed. I think my advice to artists is to not be afraid to try every idea you have. Each thing you try gives you the chance to meet someone who might open a door for you that launches your career. You never know which dart will be a bullseye until you throw it. Man, that’s cheesy… but true.
‘feel it yah’ – I absolutely love your latest song – it has an erotic feel and evokes some sensual emotions somewhere deep down. Loved the music video too. Who made that?
Thanks – it was Simon at Arson Design that made the video for it. I love the work he does!
How do you produce your music in the first place? What’s the process? How did you create ‘feel it yah’ for example?
When I write, I typically start off with either keys or bass – I just mess around until something sounds good. Occasionally, I’ll click through samples to see if something catches my ear; it’s never the same thing that catches hold. I lean towards writing bass riffs and percussion patterns. From there it’s almost like a “choose your own adventure” book. For feel it yah I started with the keys sample; a Major 7 chord which I pitched up and down. A bird chirping sample worked well with that, giving it an exotic feel. Then i played around with some bass till the line just clicked, and the woodblock effect that comes in was actually a tom that I pitched up a bunch. I let songs take me where they want to go.
I write lyrics after everything else is mostly done. The instrumental informs the melody and mood of the lyrics. feel it yah is fun, spacey and sexual beat-wise, so the lyrics and vocals had to match.
‘feel it yah’ is a track that’s transported me into a new genre to listen to myself. I used to be Techno mad, then I was all about Deep House, then Downtempo. I think I’m into ‘Erotic House’ now – isn’t it funny how tastes change over time?
Yeah we evolve. If you put it this way – once you’ve had the same cheeseburger twelve times in a row, you try a veggie burger. Maybe after having twelve veggie burgers, you want to go back to the cheeseburger. People bounce around. We as artists bounce around too and I have to commend my managers for keeping me in check. Otherwise, it might be easier for me to get stylistically bored of house, and randomly change my style to 140 BPM hardstyle that my fans would be confused about.
New York – why do you feel it’s a great place to be? What makes it such a special place? ‘i miss new york’ is the evidence of how I’ve established this information about your love for the city in the first place. (a great track btw.)
That song felt like all the things that I love about New York. It was energetic. It was creative and strange. When I listened to the song it really did feel ‘like being on a rooftop with strangers.’ Everybody in NYC does their own thing and nobody gives a shit if you are dressed in a banana suit or something. I was in LA when i wrote the track, and I just really missed NYC… so it’s pretty literal.
NYC feels like the centre of the world in a lot of ways if you know the right places to go, the right people to hang with. You will meet fascinating people if you position yourself in a good scene. It’s a special place full of inspiring and strange people.
I’d recommend to all people thinking of visiting NYC to dedicate a few days at the start of the trip to sightsee before getting into the local scene and social environment. Ask locals for bars, restaurants, and clubs that are off the beaten track and have a good underground reputation. You’ll get a way better glimpse into what NYC has to offer.
Are there any specific venues or promoters you want to shout out?
I love spaces like Avant Gardner, Elsewhere, Nowadays, and many more are bringing in really cool and diverse acts – Deep Root also do really cool parties (I’m playing their halloween party on 10/30. See you all there!). Often the best nights are the ones where you start with a positive mindset and just let the night take you where it wants to go, not shying away from a new experience. If you are in the right environment with people who are friendly and fun, it’s hard to have a bad night.
Last up, tell me about your management and who is behind you and how it came about signing with them?
I’m managed by Unity Group, which is a Parisian label and management company who reached out to me after my song idunno came out on fellow Parisian based label Kitsuné Musique. Unity are great; they work hard to generate good marketing ideas, they’re honest and good people, and have a good grasp for music business and strategy. I think there is a sensibility to my music that seems to do well in France, so it’s been working out pretty well. The French connection was unintentional but I’m enjoying all that comes with the journey now!
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a music blog that’s still only a baby – Founded in early 2019 by Kevin Coakley, a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists found in the blog’s submission inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE