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Shadow Child Interview

With a career of 15 years and releases on revered labels such as Hot Creations, Super Rhythm Trax, Dirty Bird and his own Food Music imprint, Shadow Child has built up a reputation as one of the most innovative producers out there... ⁠
Hey Shadow Child, congratulations on the release of your latest Toolroom Trademark Series Sample Pack! How are you doing and where in the world are you right now?

Thanks! I’m at home in Cambridge writing tunes and also working on a couple of exciting projects outside of music making too. Things are good!

 

The latest pack itself features real analog sounds from vintage hardware in your expansive studio. What was the approach behind your new Toolroom Trademark Series Sample pack? 

I just wanted to give people a flavour of how I work, all my tunes start on the hardware in the studio. For me it’s where the character comes from. Hardware isn’t essential these days to make music of course, but it’s what inspires me and has done for years.

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What are your favourite synths, drum machines or hardware you own? And how were they used in the creation of the sample pack?

That’s tough to answer… To be honest it changes from week to week, month to month, but I know some of the sounds people always asked me about are those Ravey detuned bass lines. I made some of these for the sample pack using the Jupiter 6, Minimoog and Juno 60. Some of the drums were done in the box but integrated with analogue hi-hats from the 808 and 909 too.

Roland TR-808
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Roland TR-909
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Moog – Minimoog
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Roland Jupiter 6 & 8
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As an artist, how do you approach creating new music and where do you draw inspiration from when producing?

I’m always channelling the past to be honest, I don’t run away from that. The early 90’s UK scene still heavily inspires me, someone once said I’m like a musical medium which seems a fair observation! I love combining the sound of 30 years ago with the production techniques of today, sometimes it’s just a vibe – not about sampling something, but taking a feeling from the past and making it fit into today’s scene.

 

As a producer and DJ, you’ve been in the game for a minute now, what was the best bit of advice you ever received as a producer and DJ?

There’s been so much, but you must do your own thing and stick to it. Have faith in who you are and what you do, it’ll carry you and give longevity even when the scene morphs into something else.

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What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started producing music?

I wish I’d learnt to have a better music / life balance. Be obsessed and try to be technically amazing at music but have the awareness that it’s not everything. This is all I’ve ever known, and I’m privileged to have done what I’ve done, but there’s life outside of music that’s so great too, and I only really appreciated that in the last 10 years or so.

What are your top 3 tips for aspiring producers looking to up their production game?

Get inspiration outside of music. Learn and perfect just a few tools to make music and most importantly, take breaks from the studio.

 

What was the turning point for the Shadow Child moniker? What made you create the alias initially and has it evolved over the years?

My Dave Spoon project was really successful but I had too many musical boundaries at the time so I decided to stop. Having a new alias at that time was perfect for me, so Shadow Child quickly became a huge success almost overnight. It’s all about timing and stars aligning. The culture was ready for change, and I felt it at the time. I’m grateful to be in tune with these moments, in the UK scene especially.

Looking back through your discography, what is your favourite record that you’ve produced as Shadow Child?

I love my remix for Yousef on Defected. I’m also proud of my recent Apollo project, “Jupiter” in particular.

Who are your top 3 artists who should be on our radar?

It’s always producers outside of House music for me. I love what Coco Bryce does, also Stones Taro and Ot1k is wicked too. There’s too many to mention but these guys are always exciting and never fail to inspire me.

What’s next for Shadow Child in 2022? Any aspirations, events, releases you’d like to mention at all?

I’m celebrating 10 years of Shadow Child and my label Food Music at the end of the year, and putting energy into 3 creative projects away from the studio. 

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