Celebrating his latest release ‘Falling’ Toronto-based producer and DJ Vaxx has stopped by to chat with us about his new release, music, and more.
Toronto-based DJ/Producer Vaxx is setting the bar high for North American electronic talent. Vaxx, who promotes a rolling tech house sound with tribal influences, has had music out on a wide variety of labels, including Toolroom, Low:Res, Roush, Glasgow Underground, Under No Illusion, Country Club Disco, Distance Music, and many others.
Vaxx is a frequent visitor to venues like Coda and One Loft in Toronto’s developing nightlife scene and, as one of the founders of the highly regarded tech-house imprint Wasted Music, has long been a fervent supporter of the tech-house movement. Now Vaxx has signed with Doc Brown’s Unlearn Records and released his most recent song, Falling.
Hello Vaxx, thank you for taking your time to chat with us. How is the summer treating you and where are you staying now?
Hey! Of course, thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure. The summer has had a slow start easing out of the last of COVID restrictions in Toronto, Canada. It’s been a little slower on getting back to normal here compared to other places. But, parties are ramping up now, so it’s nice to see people excited to be back on the dance floors. I’ve already played a more intimate patio event last week, and in mid-August I’ll be playing an outdoor day event with HANS x UPH Collective.
Your most recent release ‘Falling’ has unique and groovy vibes. The vocal makes it even more enjoyable. Could you tell us how this track was born?
When I made that track, I believe during the pandemic, I was experimenting with some quirkier sounds that add some edge, but was also in a phase of using very big club vocals, which I envisioned would do well for larger clubs or festival stages. The bass and percussion are pretty similar to my typical style (very rolling), but I also wanted to load it up with some random synth hits and fills, so I think it came together nicely. As for the vocal, I’ve always enjoyed sultry female vocals passing off a more emotional vibe. So, I did my best to incorporate this element as a nice contrast to the instrumental to balance it out.
It also features a banging remix from Unlearn label boss Doc Brown. How did you meet Doc and how did you come to release on the label?
The circle of producers globally is relatively small when you spend enough time checking Beatport releases in your select genre and become familiarized; so, Doc Brown is someone that I’ve definitely been aware of for some time. Fortunately, we have a mutual friend from Toronto, MC Flipside, which is a good friend of mine and legend in his own right. We talk quite a bit about the industry when we get the chance to, and Doc Brown has come up in conversation several times, especially when discussing Florida. I can’t remember exact details, but I’m sure that we’ve met indirectly through that route. Unfortunately, earlier this year in March when I visited Miami for MMW, we didn’t get a chance to cross paths and enjoy a beverage face-to-face. I reached out to him for a single on my label Wasted Music, which was released recently, entitled “Buggin’ Out”. I sent him my track “Falling” in turn as a demo, which he remixed, and here we are.
It’s been only 2 years since your first release and you already have gained support from world-renowned DJs such as Marco Carola, Max Chapman and Eli Brown to name a few. How long have you been producing and who are your influences?
My first release was actually in 2016, and I’ve been releasing pretty consistently since then, but those older releases aren’t very good at all, haha. Production style and quality is an evolving process for every artist, I believe. I probably started producing in 2015 or 2016, I can’t recall exactly. It took me a while to find my sound and learn the mix-down tricks and production techniques to really get my catalogue where I’m starting to be happy with it. Most of my influence is from European and South American tech house and minimal/deep tech. I really enjoy rolling or bouncy bass-lines with a plethora of percussion. I’m less melodically inclined. Some notable influences include Max Chapman, Iglesias, and Proudly People. Less specifically, anything that you can imagine being played at a Music On event, is a big influence on me.
What’s the usual process when you’re in the studio?
When I’m starting a new track, I usually spend the night getting the main groove down in a 4-8 bar segment, getting the bass and percussion groove to somewhere I can see expanding on or I’m really head bobbing. Then I mix it down somewhat so that next session I don’t feel like I’m starting from scratch. Then the next time I sit down, I expand on the arrangement to make a breakdown, figure out what sort of breakdown I want to explore, what synth elements would work out, and try to find vocals I’m happy with (the most difficult part of production for me). Later on, I’ll work on the mix to get it somewhere that I feel I’m happy with it, before working on the full arrangement and detail work (i.e., send/return tension channels, FX elements to smooth out the vocals, etc). Once I’m happy with all of that, I will export individual stems, or bus stems (depending on where the track is at), and mix it down with more detail in a separate project file.
Could you tell us how does your daily routine look like?
I usually wake up early, well before I have to start my day job hours. Make coffee, follow up on some news and current events. Check emails I got overnight. Check my music socials. Start working. More coffee. Food. Rob a bank. Kidding, just checking if you’re paying attention. Finish working. Make dinner and meal prep food for other days. Relax a little bit. Decide if I’m going to turn off for the night, read a book or watch a movie, or if I’m going to work on production. Sometimes I teach a one-on-one production lesson via livestream through an outlet called DSRPTN (inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org). Get ready for bed. Repeat.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Finally, what can we expect from Vaxx and Wasted Music for the rest of this year?
I have a pretty full release schedule for the rest of 2022. I have a remix coming out on Marylebone Records, a track coming out later this summer on Circus Recordings, a single on my own label Wasted Music with a remix from label co-boss Daniel Cuda, an EP with Juan (AR) on 303Lovers, and quite a bit more. I’m working with Reverb Agency based in Miami, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to announce some things we have planned soon. As for Wasted Music, Daniel Cuda and myself have been working pretty hard on the label releases and branding over the last few years, and I can say we’re quite happy with where it is currently at. As I’ve stated, I have a single coming out on the imprint, and a stellar EP from Australian artist Joel Cantone to close off the summer season. We will likely be slowing down the label a bit just after the summer months, but our demobox is open, so we encourage producers to send us their submissions. Demos can be sent to us at www.wasted-music.com or via email at email@example.com. Apologies for all the plugs, haha! Thank you once again for having me!
Purchase Vaxx – Falling via this link