JOHN TEJADA

How did you start?

I had some musical training as a child as both my parents are musicians, but this particular sound I began exploring in 1991 when I got my first sampler and synth. It took 3 years to finally start releasing music.

Where are you based?

Los Angeles.

 Please give an example of your music writing process?

It really changes project to project, but the main ingredient is creating a sound that inspires the next 4 or so steps in the process. Lots of it is sound design. Tinkering and coming up with sounds on my synths and drum modules so that I’ll have inspiring sounds to put together.

What are you working on right now?

I’m hoping to start a new album now and also in the middle of a really exciting project I can’t talk about yet. Soon I hope.

What is your gear setup?

I’ve got a little collection of mostly modern (bit of vintage) hardware synths and modules now. I’ve got a bit of Eurorack, Dave Smith OB-6, Cwejman S1, Minimoog Voyager, all of the Elektron boxes (which I mainly use for live shows), Roland classic things 808 909 etc and a SH-7, couple of 80s interesting poly digi synths, Korg Ex8000 and Oberheim Matrix 1000, a bit of effects from Eventide to Roland tape delay and some pedals. as well as some vintage samplers. May have forgotten one or two but that’s the idea.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

I do like to get outside, especially since I work from home. I need to get out pretty much daily and go for a run or hit some golf balls. I also really look forward to hang out time with friends after the days work is done.

How would you describe your music genre?

That’s a bit of a tough one as it seems each territory has a slightly different way to categorize things. I keep it pretty simple with by calling it electronic music.

Do you know any music theory?

I did start with that around age 4 but lost it a bit after the lessons stopped. Then after high school did a couple of classes to remind myself. I believe it’s helped me even though I’ll forget certain details as I’ll retain that sort of comfortable knowledge of how to get my ideas down in a confident way.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue working on my music projects and to keep exploring my possibilities.

How did you get into music?

Both my parents were classical musicians so from the earliest I can remember music is just what you did each day. You practiced every day. That was engrained in me at an early age so it’s always been a real thing. Early on I was playing piano but when I moved to the states around age 8 I noticed how kids were so defined by what they were into. So I explored all this classic rock learning to play drums and also discovered hip hop culture and all these DJs making amazing mixes. So I just wanted to learn all of it which led me to trying to figure out production and making electronic music. My ear always gravitated towards it, so I wanted nothing more than to do that.

What are you listening to at the moment?

In the past week or so I’ve found this Art Of Noise reissue. Always found “Legs” to be an influence. Rediscovered Flying Saucer Attack. Another new collection of Dilla beats. A new RX101 ep which is sort of vintage Aphex fun. The Can singles collection. Anyway that’s the past week.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

This is a really tough one as it changes and I’ll forget someone based on what I’m currently into. For me a lot of vintage early 90s’ Warp is a huge influence. I’ve always enjoyed how the UK took all of these influences and made it their own influential sound. Of course there’s Kraftwerk. Art of Noise who I mentioned earlier were also quite important to me. Lots of hip hop production, Marley Marl for being a sampling pioneer, early Bomb Squad productions. There’s quite a lot I’m forgetting but definitely a very large pool of influences from different genres.

When are you playing next?

I’ll be in Brooklyn next Friday June 30th at the Paper Box.

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