Find out about all our releases on Bandcamp. Have a listen, click here.

Getting the lowdown with Pete Tong-championed producer Tjaro

Based in East London, Tjaro creates chunky, bass-heavy music for dancefloors laced with infectious hooks and riffs. He has honed his skills through working with some of the great names in contemporary club music from Tom Findlay (Groove Armada) to Andy Williams (Yam Who / Midnight Riot). 

Connect with Tjaro on Instagram

This month Tjaro drops his debut release this August with Discreet: a two-track EP of slick house music split between peak-time punch and sun-drenched atmospherics which has already found favour with Pete Tong who supported the title track on his Radio 1 show. 

Thanks for talking to us today – how’s the year been treating you so far? 

It’s been really great. I’ve spent a lot of time working on new music and trying to build up a good studio space to write from, which has been a lot of fun and have also spent time building up a strong bank of tunes to release further down the line. Besides that, I have been focusing a lot on the DJ side of things, honing my skills in different equipment set-ups and getting much more comfortable in a live situation. 

First of all, we want to get to know you “from the beginning”. How did your history with music begin? 

My first musical experience was when I was about 8 when my Mum and Dad took me to the Barbican in London. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra was running an event where you could try out instruments and that is where I picked up my first instrument, the cello. I play more guitar these days but that event definitely paved the way for my love of music.

‘Discreet’ EP is your debut EP – how long have you spent behind the scenes perfecting your sound ahead of its release? 

I first started working on it earlier this year. I remember quite vividly going to see Groove Armada at Printworks with my Dad and the way they had that place rocking really inspired me to focus on a more club-based house tune. Literally, the next day I had the bassline for ‘Discreet’ written out, so a big shout out to Tom and Andy for the inspiration! ‘Serule’ was slightly different as it took me a little while to balance out the layers of synths and make it flow as much as possible from a mixing standpoint as well as melodically. But once I was happy with that, the arrangement then came together fairly quickly. Both tracks have been in the works since early February.  

There’s a definite split of sounds on the EP – is this variation something you’ll be continuing with your music in the future? 

 For sure. I tend to find my influences from all different places and then that naturally feeds the music. I never really set out a specific path to where I want to take a track. I’ll have a rough idea of what kind of tune I intend to make, and then naturally it tends to flow in various different directions. I feel it’s important to have that variation in sound; sometimes it can get a little tedious hearing the same style every time and the electronic music landscape today feels more open stylistically than ever.

 You’ve worked behind the scenes with some amazing artists including Tom Findlay from Groove Armada – what made you want to step out of the shadows into your own spotlight? 

Working with Tom was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had so far. I’ve learnt so much from him in such a short space of time and I am so grateful to him for taking the time to help me. Ultimately, I’ve always been really drawn to those artists who sound like nobody else, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to do with Tjaro. Just make tunes that are pure and unique to me. 

What does your current studio set up look like? Lots of hardware, or are you mainly ‘out of the box’ type producers?

 My studio set-up is so far quite minimal and basic. I am studying music tech and, during the writing of ‘Serule’, I managed to get my hands on my teacher’s Juno 6 for a couple of hours, so the synth arp line that you hear during the middle of the drop is from that. Around that time, I also bought my first piece of gear, the Arturia DrumBrute, which has been really great for analog drum sounds and just sequencing in general. I also borrowed a Cobalt 8 by Modal for a couple of months which is a really great virtual analogue polyphonic synth; various sounds from that were used in the upcoming releases that will follow the ‘Discreet’ EP. Beyond that, I create the majority of the sounds within my laptop just using synth VSTs and samples to make up the fundamentals of the track. So, I’d probably lie more towards the ‘out of the box’ producer, but building up a strong amount of hardware is definitely a priority for the future.

What should we be looking out for from you in the next few months? 

Over the last month or two, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of different sounds and ideas and have definitely gravitated towards UK garage and rave. So, expect to hear something slightly different in the next set of releases, infusing more broken elements with the drums and beats. The tracks will definitely move away from the traditional house sound.

What is the best advice you ever received as an artist?

Just stick to your guns and make music that makes you happy. At the end of the day that’s all you can do, make music that’s pure and that comes straight from you, not trying to sound like anyone else or fit a particular box. 

Anything else you’d like to tell us…?

Just wanted to say a massive thanks to Tanzgemeinschaft for giving me a platform to talk about my music

Thank you.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.