Having already conquered some of the most respected labels in the industry, Leeds based Tennan takes control of this month’s interview and guest mix.
UpFrontBeats envision this guy to be a super talent this year, with releases on Moon Harbour, WOW! Recordings and Criminal Hype all in the pipe line. His infectious enthusiasm and dedication to neat percussion work and deep basslines has gained notice from some of the industry’s best.
UpFrontBeats thanks Tennan for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide an in-depth look into what he has in store this year, his thought process behind his forthcoming release ‘G-Funk’, and creating a mix which shines light on this exceptional talent’s.
Let’s start from the beginning, how did you first become involved with electronic music? Where and how did your first big break come about? What has driven you into taking a career in electronic music?
It all started when my brother and I got our hands on a Commodore Amiga 500 and started chopping up loops on a software called OctaMED. We were absolutely hooked! We used to buy the Future Music magazine every single month keeping up to date with every new equipment, artist and release out there and with lots of dedication to the music we managed to expand our studio and eventually improved our productions.
I’ve been involved in many music projects over the years and I can safely say that my biggest break was my debut EP “Dance To The House” that came out in 2016. I sent a few demos to Steve Lawler which he started playing and then later released as an EP on VIVa Limited. Needless to say that it was a dream come true!
The thing that has driven me the most into taking a career in electronic music is simply the love for it. My life literally revolves around the studio and I’ve always been fixated with analog synthesisers and drum machines. Analog gear is definitely my biggest turn on.
Over the last year, you’ve built up quite a catalogue of weapons, but which release are you most proud of and why?
Definitely my “Everyday” EP on Moon Harbour Recordings. The response has been absolutely overwhelming so far, as the main idea was to create something different than the norm with this release. Moon Harbour has always been one of my favourite labels and this EP was especially made for them.
You’re set to release the ‘G-Funk’ EP on Matthias Tanzmann’s Moon Harbour this February, how did the three-track project come about and what was the thought process behind the EP.
I sent a few demos to Matthias for an upcoming release that they have scheduled which he liked so we decided to put these out as a second EP. The idea was to make a sequel to my “Everyday” EP but this time around focus more on the groove, create an old school vibe while taking into consideration the Moon Harbour trademark sound.
As well as your own releases, you’ve build up quite a reputation for producing killer remixes for some of the biggest names around. Given the opportunity, is there a classic track you would particularly like to remix and why? Does the track hold any memories?
Oh man! I would love to remix “Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust. This track brings back so many memories and powerful emotions. I remember listening to it on MTV when I was younger and spent most of my best summers listening to that song.
UpFrontBeats has you down as one to watch in 2018, can you let us into some of your plans? Any notable releases or remixes ahead? Any exclusives?
Aw, thanks so much for that. I have two EPs coming up, one on WOW! Recordings and another one on Criminal Hype. One remix on Piem’s forthcoming “Vision Of Paradise” EP, another track on Moon Harbour’s “Inhouse Vol.8” compilation and another track which I’ve exclusively made for Elrow Music. Can’t wait to share these with everyone.
Recently, we’ve had an influx of super tracks which are set to be released over the coming months, but are there any tracks you’ve been playing recently that deserve a mention?
I am really digging “Readme” by Rui-Z at the moment, this has been a serious weapon in my sets. “Why” by Prok & Fitch has also been one of my favourite’s lately as well as Green Velvet & Mason Maynard’s “Auto Mate”.
You’re down to play Twisted Fusion’s 3rd Birthday at London’s Lightbox this March, what can be expect when they come to hear you play? How do you go about creating the perfect set? Any secrets?
Groovy beats, repetitive spoken riffs and rumbling bass lines! It all depends on the set times though, opening a room is a whole different ball game compared to playing a headline set, or a closing set for that matter. Creating the perfect set requires an expansive collection of music to choose from and searching for music repeatedly is definitely a part of it.
Talking production, how do you like to begin a project? Any particular plug-in you swear by? Anything you plan to purchase to strengthen your arsenal and why?
I always begin with the drums and then move on to the bass line, a solid groove is essential. After that I do the arrangement and begin adding the elements, vocals and designer effects. Last part is always the mixing process. I really dig Sylenth1 and Diva for creating bass lines and Native Instruments’ Battery for compiling my own drum kits. Back in the day we needed tons of hardware to create tracks but with today’s technology a laptop can be sufficient. It all depends on the sound you would like to create and identify yourself with though.
In three words, can you describe the perfect track?
Stripped back beats.
We’re super excited to bring our readers an exclusive mix from yourself, but what should they be listening out for and how did you go about putting the mix together?
On this mix I’ve basically tried to bring the vibe I create on the dance floor by offering my current and latest sounds. Hope you enjoy!