For the 8th Episode of the Soulquest Lab, we celebrate our 2 first months of existence with Birmingham based producer and DJ DeeDONTCARE. We talked about his tools, the very interesting way he started making beats and his ability to float in between genres with such great ease.
Hey man. Thank you so much for being here. Great to have you. How you been ?
Yo what’s good bro ? Yeah I’m doing good thanks
Can you tell us a little about your beginnings in music? When and how did you start making beats and what first got you into it ? Any favorite producers or musicians?
My first ever experience with making music was around 99-2000. I was playing music PlayStation games like making beats on the PlayStation one. One of them was music 2000 and I think they had like a sequel which is on the PS2 known as MTV music generator. Games like that that were my first ever experience with putting together really poorly made kind of beats. At that time I didn’t really take it seriously.
A couple of years later my friends were producing using softwares like Reason and Fruity Loops. I used to just sit there and watch them make music but never really thought that I could do it myself. It wasn't till 2012-2013 that I decided to really take it seriously. I started with a iPad and I used an app called IMPC. That’s how I first started learning how to sample. I just got more curious about the music production so I started looking into buying equipment, saving up for a computer, an iMac and a MacBook. I also bought a Maschine studio. I started using Maschine first and then started using Ableton with it. I haven’t used Maschine in a while. I usually go back on forth from Maschine to just Ableton on its own.
My favorite producer, J Dilla was the guy who got me into sampling. He gave me my first sampling lessons through listening to his music. I learned how to basically get loops and reprogram certain part and make em sound weird haha funky and things like that. He’s one of my favorite. Madlib as well, he’s on a whole other level. Pete Rock, Dj Premier, Flylo, there’s so Many, RZA from Wu-Tang. Also other producers like Black Milk. Even outside of hip-hop, lots of classic 90’s house producers like Kerri Chandler or Larry Heard. Larry Heard’s supposed to be the guy who responsible for deep house. One of the OG’s of house music. In terms of musicians, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, even stuff like Brazilian musician, Bossa Nova, Samba. Bands like Azymuth or artists like Marcos Valle.
You put out very diverse music; Bouncy house joints, Raw Hip-Hop Stuff, Hip-Hop edits, even Baile and Afrobeats inspired vibes. What would you attribute your versatility to ?
I would say just everything that I hear in terms of music. Always try to put different genres together and create something of my own.
Can you tell us a little about the current beat scene in the UK? Does your environment/city inspire you?
The beat scene in the UK is up and coming man. There’s a lot of talent out here under the radar. Lot of up and coming talent. People like Romderful, cay caleb. , Reon Vangèr. You should check em out. It’s on the rise. It was only 3 years ago that I found out there was a beat scene out here. Before that I literally thought there was no one into beats, in Birmingham. I thought I was an outcast and the only guy who listened to different type of music to everybody else. I’d imagine in London there’s a lot of creatives and producers that are into the beat scene. I get a lot of inspiration from the guys that I just mentioned. Definitely.
They inspire me to create all the time. I’m now trying to learn how to play instruments myself. My friend Romderful gave me a guitar recently. He’s been inspiring me to learn how to play guitar and take things to the next level.
So Cay Caleb and Romderful are also from Birmingham? How did you guys meet ?
I met those guys through friends of mine and associates. I knew about Romderful a few years back when he first released his Soulection white label in 2016. I thought he was from America. I had never met the guy and then I think it was in 2017 or 2018 I found out he was from my city. Through connections I got the chance to meet him and we’ve became friends ever since. Same with Cay Caleb. I met him at an event back in 2018 through the same friends basically. That’s how we met.
You have a strong community on Soundcloud and Bandcamp but only a few appearances on Spotify and streaming platforms. That’s a decisions many underground artists now seem to take. Is it because most of your music features other artists vocals and samples or is there any other reason ?
I’d say it’s because of sample clearances. I am a sample based producer for the most part and it’s not that easy to get sample based music on Spotify without getting the sample cleared. There’ way around it like chopping samples a certain way, making it sound a certain way, adding effects over it to bypass it. It’s also risky at the same time so I’ve been kind of holding back at the moment. Hopefully I will have some stuff on there soon.
Your sounds is truly unique. It gives me the impression that your approach is similar to a DJ’s approach. Mixing different genres together, adding vocals, mashups etc. Did DJing introduce you to music production or the other way around and how do those two practices influences each other?
I wouldn’t say Djing influenced my production but I did have early memories of DJing around 20 years ago. Both my uncles on my mom and dad sides used to DJ. They had turntables and Vinyl records. My earliest memories of learning how to beat match and DJ was when I used to go around to their house when I was really young.
I wouldn’t say that it was my approach to wanna start producing but it definitely had an impact on why I got into music in the first place.
Have you ever considered producing for other artists or releasing instrumental projects ?
I have been trying to work with artists because I’m getting tired of doing edits all the time. I do wanna start putting out instrumental projects and work with artists and stuff. I do have an instrumental EP coming up called Practice Hours. The idea was just to put out some unreleased stuff that people never really heard. That should be coming out on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I do wanna get it on Spotify but I’m not sure the samples are gonna get cleared but thats something I’m looking into at the moment.
In terms of production, what’s your process like ? Can you tell us about your workflow ? Any special tools or plugins?
I don’t know It’s not really much to it haha. I don’t really go by doing the same thing every time. I just use basic things like saturation and compression. When I was first producing, the first couple of years I used to over process a lot because I didn’t know much about mixing. I also didn’t know the concept of less is more back then. I was using loads of different plugins and I then realized that I didn’t need to. I don’t really use too many plugins now. I have Fabfilters, Waves, Omnisphere, Lounge lizard. I also use Korg Triton for synths, chords and things like that.
For the most part it’s just Ableton, drum rack, I use Serato Samples to chop up samples. That’s really about it.
We love discovering unique and forward thinking artists here. Is there any underrated artists that you like and that we might have not heard of ?
Producer from my city Reon Vangèr . Then a Netherland homie who goes by the name of August Mae who’s a producer and a DJ. You should check him out. He’s quite underrated.
Great ! What’s next for you? What have you been working on lately?
I’m hoping to start traveling, maybe travel Europe and parts of Asia like Korea and Japan. With this pandemic going on I can’t be certain when that’s gonna happen. I don’t think it’ll be happening anytime soon but hopefully when things clear up I’ll get back on tracks, start traveling, meeting people, get in events hopefully, studio sessions.
I haven’t been working on anything in particular other than just beats. Haven’t had any projects in mind apart from the Ep I mentioned which I’m gonna put out soon. Other than that it’s just beats.
Thank you so much for answering our questions man. We really appreciate your time and wish you the best. Anything else you’d like to add?
I appreciate that thank you for having me. Yeah I’d just like to say check out my Soundcloud page, Bandcamp to purchase any music.