We took a moment to talk with our co-founder of Beat Sessions that’s being aired bi-weekly on the iTunes Podcaster & Acast. Including beat makers from all over the earth in a mix that lasts 60 minutes. Please press play on his latest music video below:
How did it all start for you?
Musically it all started at the piano for me, but playing the guitar definitely took over in my teens as I started to listen to a variety of music beyond what was being played locally. I was a self taught guitarist until I attended a music college for guitar performance, but I actually spent more time in the studios being inspired by all the sounds and learning how to use the gear. I was always a passionate music fan, but the interest in recording and creating music was starting to grow.
Who is your biggest inspiration? / Who do you have a lot of respect for?
I have a lot of respect for artists who are attempting to do their own unique style, or try something new in music. It’s an art form that I have a lot of respect for, and I think its truly an important part of the human experience or our universe. Musically I am inspired by nature, science and psychology as well as other art forms like painting or photography.
Radiohead and Sonic Youth were two bands as a teen that really inspired me to look further into music and discover what sounds or art had inspired their music. I discovered a lot of amazing underground music and also started listening to jazz artists like Max Roach, Art Blakey and Clifford Brown. Around this same time, I started listening to more electronic music from DJ Shadow, RJD2, Four Tet and Aphex Twin. As far as hip hop, Madvillainy easily remains my favorite record and I am a huge fan of anything Madlib cooks up as well as MF Doom. MF Doom and Open Mike Eagle are definitely my two favorite MCs and their lyrical prowess is completely inspiring.
When did you start creating music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I have played instruments since I was young and recorded music or bands in college, but I never really wrote my own tracks or tried to put myself out there until I started my Cesium Swimsuit Soundcloud profile about a year and a half ago. There were a few analog experiments before I started the page, and I decided to start sharing some of the music just to see if I would get any feedback or basically as a place for my musical ideas.
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?
Not actually being a DJ? Haha. It’s something that I have stumbled into that I just decided to go for when we intially started discussing the idea of Beat Sessions and promoting underground beats. It’s interesting for me because I can build a vibe or mood to a session with a variety of amazing worldwide music.
There are so many stellar beat makers out there bringing their own flavors and I am always inspired by the tracks that I hear. Each episode can take you through a variety of sounds, cultures and locations. I also always try to only feature underground music, or music that I have discovered on Soundcloud and support artists you might not otherwise discover.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
Each episode is a collection of my favorite tracks, new NINETOFIVE releases and submissions I have been listening to that are beat focused. They could be lo fi, future bass, raw hip hop or some chill jazzy beats and I try to blend them all into an episode that feels like a natural sequence. I try to be aware to feature newer material to support and promote the artists but I also have a few rare gems in the mix that I hope to bring some more attention to. Aside from hoping listeners enjoy the episode, I also hope they also discover new artists to dig into further.
What is it that you love about the scene?
The music, easily. I love that I can hear jazz, funk, soul and a variety of other influences in the music. I also appreciate that music is a universal language, and we can all share the love of good music.
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
Wave by Eli Way sounds just as fresh as the first time I heard it every time I listen to it! It amazes me. Just an instant chill vibe and a grin on my face.
Thank you for the interview Jeff, is there anything you like to add?
No problem, it was great to answer these questions and chat about Beat Sessions. I am just thankful for the continued support for my music and Beat Sessions man. I am looking forward to releasing more music and hosting more episodes!