Where are you in the world right now?
Currently I am in Newbury UK where I have my studio based with my family. We are all safe and luckily I am able to continue to work on music as usual.
How long have you been producing music? Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started?
I first dipped into music production around 10 years ago, but I would say I have been fully focused for the past 5 years. It all really started during University after going to a few parties and DJing at a load of house parties and free parties. The thought of playing my own music instead of others all the time was really what got me into it. I never saw it as a career path and to be honest never even considered it. At first it was all fun and games and to be honest, it still kinda is!
What DAW did you start to produce music on? Is that still the case now?
I started with Logic 9 and now I am using Logic Pro X and Ableton rewired, but this may change soon. Logic recently brought out some updates which may mean I no longer need to be using Ableton within my workflow (honestly hate the layout of it haha). For me when mixing and mastering, Logic trumps Ableton in those aspects and it’s the reason I have never changed.
Can you tell us a little bit about what your studio schedule is like? How often are you working on new music?
Even before Coronavirus, it is genuinely around 15 hours a day. On the days that I would have shows I would get in here early in the morning to do some edits and final touches on tracks to play out and then I would come straight back home the next day to make something that I might have been inspired by from the night before. I am a pure studio nerd and have no shame in that!
Are you classically trained? What instruments can you play?
Nope! I struggle big time when writing melodies but It’s something that I have invested more time into, to speed up my workflow. I did however play the drums for many years which is why you will hear a lot of percussion throughout my tracks as this comes very natural to me.
How long does it typically take you to finish a track?
Each track is totally different and it all depends on the style of track that I am writing. Normally my best records take around 5 hours max. I find if I spend more than that when I am producing, it will end up being 3 different ideas of tracks merged into one.
I will then typically mix that track for a few days after giving my ears a break. But it can normally take from just a few hours to 2 days max to finish something. My remix for Cloonee (Real Thing) took 2 hours start to finish which I think is my record at the moment haha.
Can you tell us a little bit about your studio setup at the moment?
Of course, I love all this nerdy stuff! A lot of what I do is in the box but I am slowly moving towards a few new outboard bits and bobs. I like to buy stuff that will sonicly improve the sounds I am creating whether it be totally in the box or external hardware.
Here’s what I am looking at right now:
– 2019 Macbook Pro with an Intel i9 Processor, 32gb RAM
– MSI Optix Mag241C monitor
– Focal Twin 6be (Sonarworks implemented)
– Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
– Sub-Pac S2
– TC Electronic Clarity M Stereo
– Maschine MK3
– UAD Apollo x6
– Neve 8816 Summing Mixer
– Rode NT1-A
– Roland FP-4
– CSD Desk
You’ve had a pretty incredible year already with releases on Sola, Libero Records & Resonance Records! But… what’s been your career highlight so far and why?
I’m honestly so blessed to be doing exactly what I love to do every day of the week and there’s not a lot of people that can say that. I think the two highlights for me would be when I stopped cooking at weddings and servicing Aga’s (cookers) lol. I used to do absolutely anything to make money so that I could fund this lifestyle and my hobby. So the day that I could do all of this full time was definitely a huge achievement for me.
The second would be the recent launch of my Studio website and our masterclass series. It’s been incredible to see so many people signing up and to be able to give back to those that have supported me and my guest producers. Those that know me well, know that I get a huge buzz out of helping someone along their music career in any way shape or form.
Where did the inspiration come from for ‘Blah’? Do you like to add an element of nostalgia in your tracks? Did you produce the track with that vocal in mind already? What elements came first?
These are always quite hard questions to answer because I never know what is going to come out when I make some music. Sometimes it’s pure shit and sometimes it’s not. I will always start with a kick, full percussion and a bassline. I will then hum a tune in my head and that normally comes from a previous record. If something fits I will try to find that vocal or do something original to fit with the groove. The grittiness of Blah’s bassline meant that a hip hop/ rap vocal was bound to work. After hours of digging around, I stumbled upon Missy Elliot’s ‘Lick Shots’ and it just worked. I hadn’t even heard the track before and as I only found the acapella first, I purposely didn’t listen to the original as I didn’t want to be swayed from the ideas and the groove I had in my head for the vocal to work.
How would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Sexy, groovy, techy
If you could collaborate with anyone on a track, who would it be and why?
I’d be quite keen to make something with Jansons. He makes incredible music and his mixdowns are clean. I have an obsession with mixdowns… If a track is amazing but the mixdown is average, I won’t play it.
How are you coping with being creative in lockdown?
It’s actually been quite difficult. I would normally get inspired after going to a gig or seeing videos from gigs. So this has been the main challenge to overcome. However, It has meant that I am making music that I would have never tried to make before and kind of letting my mind wonder – which is turning out pretty good so far.
How do you combat writer’s block?
I don’t even bother to try to fight it. Play some PS4 and go for a walk? If after an hour or so I can’t get anything down I will chill and come back to it later or the next day. You can’t force creativity.
What advice would you give to budding producers and DJs?
Focus on your own music.
Don’t worry about how well others are doing – It isn’t a competition.
Reference others but not too much. Create your own style and sound.
Don’t put a time frame on things.
Be creative and do something that others aren’t.
And lastly… what is next for Iglesias?
For now I am focusing on writing as much as I can and running Woodlands Studio. But in terms of releases, I have quite a few remixes coming up as well as an EP on Moon Harbour and EP Kaluki Music.
Iglesias’ debut, ‘Blah’ lands on Toolroom 15.05.20