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David Granha

An interview with the versatile producer David Granha

Up next in our interview series, we have David Granha. A great producer from Spain, recently joined Steyoyoke and for sure is a creator of sublime melodic yet dark underground techno music. After his latest release Aria and after we knew he was going to do a remix on the new Problem Makers release, we thought it was a good time to catch up with David Granha.

So let’s put the spotlight on this Spanish born musician and find out what he had to say. We put him up with some personal questions, things that are industry related and his music of course. But first, press play before you start to read and listen to this fantastic dark, mysterious ethereal techno mix he made for Steyoyoke Black:

So David, here we are. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. So let’s start with some serious personal talk:

Are you a happy or grumpy person?
I would say that I am a happy person. I wake up at 6.30 in the morning, and mysteriously, I’m very happy and productive at this time of day. Let me tell you that I can be the grumpiest guy in the world, especially when I had a chat with some label owners.

What do your friends say about that?
I know they say “Get out of your home!!”. They say it because I spend half of my life between a pair of speakers and a computer. But, they also know I like to have fun as well. And yes, I can be grumpy!!

And, how about your mom?
Hahaha, my mum is probably the persons who knows me the best as a person. In the end she raised me and formed partly my personality. She’s been listening to my stupidities and my happiness for decades. But you know, I’m her son, and if you ask her, she probably tell you that I’m a happy guy!!!

TGMS: guess all moms do. But…maybe I should ask mine. Wonder what she has to say.

Now on to you as an artist. I loved your recent EP, Aria. Sensational and immersive! How did you come up with the idea to add the vocals of an opera singer? It made the title track very special. You love it or you hate it we think.

Well, I’ve always been a fan of the classical music. Ok, not a big fan, but I felt very attracted and respectful towards classical music. I had the vocals from Emiliyan in my possession already a year ago, if I can remember well. But I never found the right place for it, couldn’t find the right fit in previous work. It’s not easy to put a tenor voice on a techno track, you know. Probably because of the walls that are being put up by a not opened minded music lover. The moment you throw self-consciousness in the bin, that moment you get a different track. And yes, if you don´t like opera, you´ll probably will not like the track.

Want to know something? Aria is the one that is less sold of all tracks on the EP. Coincidence?

TGMS: I know what you mean. When it’s out of the comfort zone, focus is gone. But I like it! Love it actually. Think you can do magic with this track in a live set.

Just out of curiosity? What is your musical background? Anyone in the family been in a choir? Did you get influenced by your parents, music wise?
I can say my dad had a good influence with his old vinyls from Mike Oldfield, Jean Michelle Jarre, Pink Floyd & Eric Clapton. In school I was heavily influenced by my uncle with his love for metal bands like Pantera, Deftones or Sepultura and some others like Rage Against, Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy.

And yes, my father’s aunt was in a choir. She spent her last days of her life within the family and she was a great soprano. I will always regret for being to young and to understand how blessed I was when she was living with us in our home.

We like things that can’t be put in one box. So maybe you can tell us where you draw your creative influences from? Not only for this release but in general. We feel you as an artist are hard to put into on box. Eclectic might be a good characteristic for you?
David Granha is a lot of things, in musical terms. Many times it’s a matter of taste, you know. And the things that relate to what I play or what I listen to at that specific moment, will eventually come to live some how.

Eclectic? Could be, why not. But I think that the right word is versatile, because I have spent enough time in front of my computer to make the kind of electronic music I want to make.

TGMS: I like the way you put it! Versatile it is!

David Granha

When did you first start to develop your musical process? Was it only electronic music?
Mmmm, it was probably at the end of my time at school. I started and tried to play guitar, but I didn’t practice enough. Instead, I played a lot of soccer. Big mistake in my life. I never was a good soccer player and neither a good guitar player. Probably I was in a very bad need of a little kick in my butt to play keys at that time.

You have been around for a while in the industry. What is there to like and what is there to dislike about the sector?
I love this kind of questions in which I can be like a politician or a citizen. Music for me is a reason to get up early, a reason to have dreams and for sure a reason to be good at something. And this was given to me by the music industry. And it creates a lot of dreams for many producers like me.

What is there to hate? The way some labels owners treat you like just a single number. Why do we need to treat agents, managers, labels owners, distributors or platforms so gently. Well, just because they have the key to open the doors for you to the next level. Think so? Who the hell is (grumbles), to make me feel like shit just because he or she has a good position that needs to decide upon my career?

Just answer your fucking emails! Your never know when you need somebody to read your in order to get to the next level.

If you could change one thing about “the scene” what would it be?
(grumbles) … Waiting,. Waiting for sure is one of the worst things. Waiting for my demos, for an answer to my emails, for answers really. Arghhhh

We read a nice article recently called ‘The Secret is the beginning‘. In it there was a paragraph that said:

“Always remember — Everyone sits down when taking a shit, just like you. Your teachers, your mentors, and even the president.”

This as a gentle reminder for those who always put other people on pedestals. It’s a reminder that everyone is human, everyone has the same humble beginnings. We all need to work hard for some success.

What do you think?
Wow, it was already answered by my last answer. I hate classes, I hate differences and I hate authority. Yes we are all the same. And we all need to work hard. But there are many artist that they are just that, to easy. Artists, they need to work hard to become the persons they want to be. That should be the secret to success for them. Not an overnight wonder.

Any advice for beginning artists?
Sure, nobody gets what he wants in a month! Just work, spend more time in what you love to do, improve yourself, compare yourself with others, be patient, be a person, don’t be shy to ask for help, nobody knows everything and keep learning. Take good care of yourself.

You started your own record label, Aegyptia Recordings. What was your main reason to start with the label and what direction are you currently heading for?
I think I did it because is was a part of the process. When I was a teen I dreamed about to having my own record label, to be an A&R manager and wanted to put all my ideas and my concept of music in it. By now I know how it works and I can tell that it’s an adventure. You need to be a people manager and deal with artists that you need to threat like a father. Especially with new or younger ones. Just because many of them are newcomers and they need, how can I say it, “affection”. Not being a rude person, this scene is tough enough to keep sending bad vibes.

Tell people not to begin with a record label. Of course not! I do recommend it. To have your own label gives you a lot of good emotions and you get the control many things liek artwork, music, mastering. And it’s your own taste that leaves the impression. So do it good. It’s hard work. So, be sure that you have enough time to manage it and be really honest with yourself and stay behind the music you are releasing. “Less is more” we say… .

At this very moment I’m not running Aegyptia anymore because I shifted focus towards my production work. But now worries, I will pick it up again!

Maybe tell us something about when you DJ. A strong set can truly be more than the sum of its parts. How, do you feel, is the music transformed in the hands of a DJ? In which way are you actively trying to create an experience that is more than just stringing together a few excellent records? Maybe add tracks from a different genre, or play longer sets?
Of course DJ-ing is an art apart: “the art of DJ-ing”, hehe. We have a lot of good DJ’s in the scene. Artists that put all their efforts in mixing and really create “work of art”.

A good DJ can tell a story. But it all depends on the moment they get to do it. Promoters book you for a time slot in which there is not much time to tell a proper tale. Then again, there are also a lot of DJ’s that just want to play “hands up in the air” bombs,a nd seize the moment when the drop comes.

In my opinion there must be sets for just dance and sets to tell whatever story you want to tell. Longer time slots. You don´t need to necessary dance, you can also just listen. I, for myself, like to play more than one style, but you need to know your crowd. Read the audience!

What’s the track you can’t get enough of at this very moment? (can be any genre)
RYX – Sweat !! I have discovered him when I heard the track “Howling”. Since then I fell in love with his music and vocals.

When there’s more music than one can possibly take in, it is becoming increasingly hard to know what’s the original and what is a remake. What’s your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting originals and sources?
Well, I think there are a lot of purists in electronic music scene. And every single record nowadays feels like you heard it before. I know the roots, but the rules are about to brake them.

Nowadays there is less that I can compare with the great work of Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode, I personally think. But I love to listen to music that is influenced by them. Music that can be done better than before. What I’m trying to say is, why I can’t I do this style or why I can´t I add my own interpretation create something on top of something that already exists? If an artist today thinks he is unique he must be mistaken. Just because his music is influenced by someone who has done something similar or almost similar. It’s a jungle out there and if somebody is making similar music as you are creating, feel blessed man … you are influencing people. Be proud!

We are at the end of 2015. What’s your highlight of this year?
I was working so much this year and my highlights are already being processed: so many contacts I gained, so many labels and future releases. But I think the best highlight is that I’m feeling really comfortable with what I´m doing nowadays. And it’s best goal to aim for.

When 2015 is almost over, 2016 is just around the corner. What can we expect from you next year?
As said, I’m getting better and for my future releases I will sign on big labels. I’m working on my new life show in which I will play some keys and percussion. If I am brave enough also my own vocals.

TGMS: Go for it. And by the way, there are enough effects to make you sing like Michael Jackson!

To end on a light note, if not music, what would have been the alternate chosen career for you?
Well I have many options, hehehe. I love abstract painting, architecture, design and of course cooking!!

TGMS: Thank you very much for your time, David. I enjoyed the talk!

Thank you man!!!

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