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An Interview With Crusy

Following the release of his new Toolroom Academy Course, we caught up with rising star Crusy to chat about his career so far and all things music production...

Bursting onto the scene with his killer release ‘Selecta’ in 2022, Crusy has gone on to have a string of big releases on Toolroom as well as other well respected labels in the scene. These include collaborations with industry heavyweights Dombresky and Mark Knight. He was recently at Toolroom HQ to film the new ‘Latin House’ production course; so we spent some time finding out more about his story and asked for any advice he has for up and coming producers…

Hey Crusy, Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to over the past few days? 

I have been at Toolroom HQ working on the new academy course ‘Latin House’. It’s been amazing, I hope people find the content useful!

What would you say have been your biggest musical influences? 

I started off as a hard house producer back in the day, so I would say I have a few records from that era that really influenced me. One of them is D.O.N.S. – Sputnik, it’s one of my favourite records. Another favourite of mine is Man with the Red Face by Mark Knight & Funkagenda. Those 2 records have had the biggest influence on me.

How do you approach creating music? Do you like to jam out in the studio or work with a solid idea in place? 

I am always in the studio, whether I am making music or not, I like to be there incase inspiration reaches me. However, I only tend to start producing a record once I have a plan for it so I can ensure it’s something that I really want to make. I like to make records that would fit my DJ sets. 

If you could go back to when you began producing, would you do anything differently, knowing what you know now? 

I would keep myself more calm at the start. When I started out I would often rush things because I wanted to reach a certain position or be in a certain place. I would take time to ensure I have the right sounds in my tracks. There is no need to rush this part. You are better off trusting the process.

Many producers tend to struggle with writers block, how do you overcome it personally?

Well, I’m quite fortunate, I don’t tend to get writers block very often but when it does occur, I tend to take myself out of the musical environment, I will get out the house, go for a drive, do something that I find relaxing. I’ll also begin to analyse what I want the record for, is it for my DJ sets? Am I aiming for a particular label? Sometimes stepping back and analysing what the goal is can help get you back on track. 

Do you have any plug ins that you couldn’t live without now when making music?

Yes there are, I couldn’t live without:

  • Serum. It’s one of my favourites, I use it every single day. 
  • Another must have for me is DIVA, I think I use it in every single project
  • Also Valhalla Vintage Verb is one of my go to plug ins when I need reverb for my tracks.
What are your top 5 tips for aspiring producers looking to up their production game?
  1. 1) Make a plan, think about the sound you would like to go for in your DJ sets. Think about how you would change records from other artists if the project was in front of you. This can help you find your sound. 
  2. 2) Be yourself, don’t worry about comparing yourself to others, just make tracks and eventually your sound will arrive to you over time.
  3. 3) Be patient. Work hard, go for it and stay calm, everything will arrive in due time.
  4. 4) Remember that less is more. Instead of adding 4 layers of sounds that are not doing it right, try to look for that sample/preset that makes it by itself and automate it throughout the track.  It will make your track sound much cleaner.
  5. 5) Don’t mix to a master chain. Your song should not have anything in the master while producing. You will get the best out of it if you push each process at a time. First produce & mix, then master.
Do you have any advice on sending demos to labels?

When it comes to sending demos, the people behind the labels are humans to, make sure you’re nice and polite to them.

Another good tip is to make sure you have done your research on the label. Maybe give some examples of tracks you liked that they released previously and explain why you think your track would be a good fit! 

Put your best work forward and keep things short and simple in the email.

Can you describe what a day in the life of crusy looks like?

I’m very much a routine guy, I like to do the same things everyday. I usually wake up around 8am and head off to the gym for a work out. For me, exercise is very important in my life as I like to be healthy physically and mentally, it really helps with my creativity also. Following that, I will head to the studio where I will work on music for 8-9 hours, after that, I will have some time for myself to relax, this could be going for dinner, hanging out with friends or going to the cinema. It’s good to switch off from music so I can come back refreshed.

What do you think was the turning point for you as an artist?

 Yes 100%, just after the pandemic, I had the time to think about my musical direction and I realised it wasn’t heading where I wanted it to. I wanted to evolve as an artist and grow. I started thinking if the sound I was making was where I wanted to be in 10-15 years time. This is when I started to make more developed tracks that were more aligned with me as a person. I needed to update my sound to match my personality. 

Looking back through your catalogue, what is your favourite record you’ve produced?

I would say 2 stand out to me. The first one is “Selecta”, that record literally changed my career and life, it was definitely a turning point as it allowed me to join the toolroom family.

The other one is ‘El Beso’ with Dombresky. It’s a very meaningful track for me. We wrote the lyrics in a really positive way. I really like that record.

You touched on it there, that you are now working with Toolroom. Can you tell us a little about how that came about?

Well I sent Selecta across, they loved it and asked to hear more records from me. I told them yes, I have some more records for them. It was a lie, I didn’t have anymore records at that point in time. So as soon as I had signed selecta, I went straight back to the studio to try and create a second record and that’s how the 2nd was made. I did the same thing with the third record also because again, I didn’t have any music ready for Toolroom. 

I then got a call from them to discuss joining the family and coming under management, that was an amazing feeling!

Are there any gigs that stand out to you in your head when you think back?

I would say two stand out, one of them was in Slovakia just after the pandemic. I think it might have been my first gig back. I played to like 5000 people, it was amazing! 

The second one was when I got to join toolroom in November at Studio 338! I look back on that day with happy memories as I really wanted to play at the Toolroom parties. It was great to get the opportunity to do so. 

Are there any artists you are loving at the moment, that we should be keeping an eye out for? 

Yes, one that really stands out to me is a DJ/producer called KEFFI! He has had releases on Toolroom Trax. I really love his sound and the music he is making. He is one to keep an eye on for sure! 

Have you got any exciting plans for 2023 you would like to tell us about?

Yes, I have got lots of gigs coming up which is great! I am off to Miami, Canada, Turkey and Denmark over the next few months! I’m super excited for it all!

Ever wondered how to make Latin House?

We’ve got you covered. 🤝

We’ve just released the world’s most in-depth production tutorial on the genre, teaching you everything you need to know to make your own polished productions. 🙌

You’ll learn from Crusy, one of the most dynamic up-and-coming artists of the last 12 months.

Everything is covered, from making fire percussion grooves and deep tribal beats, to rolling basslines, super catchy hooks, and seriously iconic vocals, as well as the secrets to a club ready arrangement.

Find out more.