“The Analytic Powers of a Psychologist”
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE YOU MEET PEOPLE THAT YOU INSTANTLY BOND WITH AND FEEL THAT THEY ‘GET’ WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO. JNO IS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. GENUINELY NICE, GIFTED AS NO ONE ELSE AND A VITAL PART OF THE COINCIDENCE FAMILY. TIME TO ASK SOME QUESTIONS TO OUR BROTHER FROM THE EAST.
This year it seemed that everything was happening for you, at least for us watching from the outside. How will you look back on 2019?
2019 was absolutely a mind-blowing year for me, where several of my dreams came true and several goals have been achieved! I really couldn’t imagine when started playing and releasing music two years ago, that I would already do the things that I do nowadays. Playing at Tomorrowland, receive so many support from the biggest artists that I admired when I started my career (and still do ). For example, when I had my very first gig I played some tracks of ‘The Reason Y’, and a year later I’m invited at his birthday party in Berlin. Although I’m fully aware that this is just the beginning of a beautiful journey and that there will be a long and though road ahead.
Where does JNO draw his inspiration from?
Well, that is always different. First of all, I go to a lot of parties and festivals of course and I always try to listen very carefully and analyse the crowd. And as I’m a psychologist, I try to use the analytic powers of a psychologist (laughs).
Let me explain, whenever I see the crowd is losing their minds, I try to figure out what it was in the track that triggered them. That is how I made the track ‘Psychosocial’ for example: I was at Complex Maastricht where Sam Paganini played. And he played a really simple track with only a snare drum. People were losing it every time those snares came in. That’s when I thought, I’m going to make a track where a snare drum is the main element of the track.
Secondly, I have my girlfriend who has some sort of sixth sense for music. She always knows how to get me out of the famous ‘Producer dip or writer’s block’ and lift my tracks to the next level. Often she would come up to me and says ‘hey listen to this track or listen to this set’, ‘this could easily have been a track that you would have made’. For example, we were driving to Germany and she said: ‘listen to the set of Charlotte the Witte at Pukkelpop, you might get some inspiration for a new track’. So I listened and finished a whole EP in less than two weeks. Which eventually was signed on Second State a few days later.
After Coincidence you landed in the warm arms of Second State. How did that happen?
That is a question I would love to answer, especially when everybody is asking me to give their email address to send music too. But first of all, I need to say that the label manager Didier already mentioned that my sound would be typical Second State material, so maybe he is a fortune-teller… I dunno? So It starts with spending a lot of time in your studio, and work hard and it ends with putting a lot of time and energy into networking. People need to get to know you, which is my best advice. So for me, it all started with a track called ‘Ignorant People’. I made this track and I send it over to Amelie Lens for some feedback. And the lovely person that she is, she took the time to listen and to give some feedback ending her email with.’ Please send it to me when it is finished!!!!’. So that’s what I did.. Later on, I was invited to go to her ‘Techno for Humanity Festival’ where she was playing a B2B set with Pan-Pot. All of a sudden she plays my track, and one the Pan-Pot guys turned around and asked me ‘is this your track’? So that is how I got in contact with them. I send all of my new work and they singed the track Generation ID on their VA, and approximately two weeks later I signed my first solo EP.
One of the things that made you stand out when you first sent us demos was your impeccable sound quality. Where does that technical ability come from?
First of all thank you for this great compliment, which means the world to me. I think it has to do with several things: dedication, feeling for music, and I think the most important (in my case) a good mentor. About three years ago when I wanted to start producing, I met this guy called Nick Pauptit of BBDVH. I started taking producer-lessons that he provided. I learned that this guy is absolutely a magician, he has so many technical skills, tricks, and a feeling for making the most beautiful melodies. In the beginning – after about a year – he had learned me everything that he had to learn in seven years. He helped me a lot with the mix-down of my tracks. We became friends and we kept producing a lot together. Eventually, I developed my own skills and now three years further I’m helping other people who were at the same stage that I was back then. The best thing about Nick is that whenever he had learned some new tricks, he immediately shared this with me. He still does by the way (laughs). And my final version of a track will always be sent to him for some final mix-down feedback. So I’m very grateful that I met this guy and what he did for me. Because of this, I always try to help other people as good as possible, whenever they send me their tracks. When I see a dedicated person who keeps developing himself, I will definitely run the extra mile, try to take the time to give some proper feedback.
You live in Maastricht which is basically on the border of Belgium, Germany, and Holland. Is there such a thing as a local scene, and does it help to be on the edge of multiple countries?
The scene in Maastricht isn’t that big I must say. We do have Complex Maastricht, which is one of the leading venues in the Netherlands when it comes to techno parties. They have booked the biggest artist in the world (and they still do), but more importantly, they give talented (unknown artists) a chance to show themselves. That is what they did for me as well. And no, I didn’t see the benefits of living on the edge of multiple countries yet. Maybe later when I’m a bigger artist it would be easier to pick an airport for the bookers (laughs).
Rave Cave or Main Stage?
Oeff, if I could experience the main stage once in my life than I could die as a happy man. But if you really have love for the music and want to experience the love of the dedicated techno loving crowd, then I would 100% sure say the Rave Cave. There is nothing more rewarding than to play at the small en cosy Rave Cave and see that people are staying throughout your entire set, especially considering the wide range of big artist that are playing on Tomorrowland.
I should consider to fire that bird immediately. No just kidding, YESSS there is a new EP called ‘Floating Under Water’ coming up. As Coincidence was the first label that I ever released on it feels like coming home again. So I feel honoured to be back again and I’m really excited what people are going to think of this EP. The EP consists of three pretty heavy (140bpm) tracks which is something I haven’t done before and people may not expect of me.