After publishing a number of features highlighting just how our scene’s flourishing in North America over the last couple of weeks, we figured it was time to change the record to celebrate our 20,000 strong community on SoundCloud.
Back in the day, we started out by combining a passion for bass, culture and streetwear (although the latter isn’t quite as relevant here on FKOF as it once was) and – to some extent – that’s still relevant to this day, some five years later. Chris Innasound, a young and relatively mysterious producer who first caught our attention with a phenomenal release on one of our favourite labels, also shares these passions.
Instead of blowing up after his signings on Tempa and Texture Records, Chris is still in the lab making beats to his own schedule. While we’re well aware his sound packs a punch on a system, there’s still a number of unknowns about this producer.
We sat down with Chris to find out more – and discovered a producer that well-versed in crafting sublime sub-bass architecture and raging mid-ranges…
Hey Chris, how’s life? All good at the moment, thanks.
As far as we can tell, you’re a relatively new producer to the scene. Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your musical career? Yes, I am new to the scene – I had my first release on Oris Jay’s Texture Records in early 2014. Previous to this I worked in a studio full time, and spending my spare time on my own productions.
How would you describe the ‘Innasound’ (see what we did there!)? Haha well I guess it’s the sound from within! I think its a culmination of all my influences over the years – from hip-hop to experimental electronic music. All internalised and interpreted into my own sound. It’s always evolving but currently I guess the sound is a contrast between big 808 subs, growly mids and smooth soulful sounds with the odd bleep thrown in, being from Sheffield!
How did your Tempa relationship come about? How have things changed for you since joining the world-famous label? I did a remix of Distracting Me for Darqwan (also known as Oris Jay) which is on the Eliptic EP on Texture Records.
I passed Oris a few other tracks along with the remix – which he then passed on to Youngsta. Tempa’s A&R Manager got in touch and said he liked a couple of them and started playing them on his Rinse show. I then sent him Step Fourth which he ended up signing for Tempa All Stars 7.
Things haven’t changed too much – I’m still working away in the lab.
Where do you go after releasing with Tempa?! What other labels would you like to work with? First off, I’d like to do more with Tempa, however as for other labels where do I start: Artikal Music UK, Deep Medi and Innamind Recordings. I would also like to work with Exit and Cylon on 170 stuff. Too many to mention really!
What does 2015 hold for you; is there anything in particular you want to achieve? More releases and collaborations/remixes. Playing at Outlook is also on the wish list.
What’s your production setup like? Have you got a specific process for building tunes? The main stuff in my current set up is a Mac Pro running Logic pro 9/X and Ableton 9, with Mackie HR624s which I love and a Focusritle Liquid Mix 16 (which is sadly soon to be redundant as I am currently in the process of upgrading my set up and it is no longer supported in Logic X). I have too many plugins to mention all of them but my most recent edition is the Slate Digital virtual console collection. I like what I’m hearing out of them so far. I’m hoping they may help compensate for the lack of Liquid Mix.
I have also just got my hands on a Subpac which I highly recommend. I was blown away by it – so simple but so effective! You now have complete reference over the inaudible frequencies. It’s a no brainer. Big up the guys at Subpac!
As for building tunes, I normally start with drums. I like to get them strong and hitting at the correct levels so they become the backbone of the track.
I like to get a solid foundation to work from and then create some sub/mid sounds. I’ll then normally add some kind of element that has a vibe: pad chord or drone maybe a music loop sample that will set the mood or key. Then I create a couple of sections for the arrangement and let the track dictate where to go from there.
What (and why) is the most important piece of software or hardware you own? That’s a hard one! Probably have to say the Mackies and Subpac! They kind of make up one monitoring unit. It’s like a bottom end bed for the speakers to sit on. I would also have to say my Mac as that’s what hosts everything as I’m very much in the box these days. I know that’s three but I can’t choose haha!
If you could share one piece of advice to producers starting out, or musicians looking to achieve a release on an imprint like Tempa, what would it be? If you think you have something to offer just keep at it. Spend time getting your tracks to a decent standard – and be aware this is something that can take a while. And only then send them out to labels. People are accessible these days with social networking. Try to build a relationship with a label or DJs that will play your tracks. Be open to feedback and just keep sending them tunes; one of them may end up getting signed. If the tracks are good enough and you can get them heard someone will pick them up. A lot of determination helps.
In terms of playing out, where can we catch you over the next few months? I have done a couple of local things recently but to be honest i have been concentrating on the studio side of things of late. The whole DJ thing has took a back seat so nothing coming up in the near future however I’m planning on putting a mix up on SoundCloud soon and will be looking for bookings.
What’s your favourite tune at the moment (dub or release)? What was your track of 2014? That’s tough! There’s so many but if I have to say one it’d probably be J:Kenzo’s Magneto VIP which really smashed it. As for track of the moment, there’s a new bit from Youngsta and Truth called Dabs that’s nice.
What can you tell us about the FKOF track you’re giving away? It’s something a little different from what I normally do but i think it still sounds like me! Apart from that I’ll let the track speak for itself.
Any final words or shout outs? Thanks for your time and all the best for 2015! Big up FatKidOnFire and thanks for the support. Also big ups to anyone rinsing my beats. Peace!
Chris has kindly shared a free download with us as a thank you to everyone who’s supported him since his debut release last year.
It’s also a nice little treat (to say the least) for us to say thank you to you guys for all your support over the past 5 years. And we’re not hanging about – this might be the biggest FKOF free download so far this year… Click play, read on and find out for yourself!
The FKOF Review:
“A woman’s shallow cry softens the mythical textured atmospheres generated, while a steady hi-hat (rich in harmonic content) guides the listener back to this vocal. Thugged-out samples appear and are immediately pitched-down, escorted by numerous layers of delay FX that distort that quick feeling of success. The first drop dreads smoothly, ribbed by a subterranean force that plays a fundamental role in Run It Down.
“The Tempa signee engulfs the listener with high-end beat patterns that sit tight in the mix, unveiling Chris Innasound’s apparent affinity with every single facet in the track’s movement. With the track fading out to leave nothing behind, we now know why Chris Innasound has been picked up by labels like Texture and Tempa. Run It Down continues to resonate in the mind for days after the track itself has ended. We look forward to hearing more from this producer…”