Q&A: David Keno

Daniel Andersson, otherwise known by his stage name David Keno, has released some amazing music over the past few years. With tracks signed to many great labels including Suara, Formatik, Relief and of course Toolroom, it’s easy to see why he’s so highly respected amongst his DJ / Producer peers.

We managed to catch up with Daniel to talk about his brand new sample pack ‘Toolroom Trademark Series – David Keno’ as well as music production, inspiration and his home country of Germany. Here’s how the conversation went.

Tell us about your Trademark Series. Where did you draw inspiration from for the pack?

The pack shows what my way of producing is right now. Some of the samples were taken from actual tracks I already created and some of them were produced especially for this. I wanted to show my style that varies from house to techno but also the stuff that goes more in the bass music direction. It’s not just another tech house sample pack, it shows my own personal style and I hope this inspires other producers to find their own style too.

How long have you been producing music now? Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started?

I started making music by playing guitar in bands about 25 years ago. Then I bought a keyboard to compose music for my bands. Eventually I discovered that this keyboard was also a synthesizer and could play drums. So I found out that I could make tracks all by myself without going to the rehearsal room and tell the other bandmates what they should play. That opened a whole new world of possibilities for me. So I kept on practicing and producing for several years and my tracks got better and better. Eventually I thought they were good enough to be released and I started sending out demos.

What is it about Germany makes it such a special scene in electronic music?

That’s a good question. We have a lot of good clubs here which brings the kids in touch with electronic music. After a good night out they go home and are inspired to create music or dj themselves. Like that the scene grew bigger and bigger.

But the rest of the world is catching up pretty well I think. There is a lot of good music coming from all other places, so Germany shouldn’t be slowing down if they want to stay on top.

What gets you inspired to make a track?

My studio is a big inspiration. Just jamming around with a hardware sequencer to come up with a new melody or looking for a new sound on a synthesizer or just playing around with my modular system always brings up a new idea for me.

You’ve always had an amazing relationship with the label! Why is your music the perfect fit for Toolroom?

Toolroom has always been around since I started making music. In the beginning I never sent them any demos because my sound didn’t really fit their style. After a couple of years went by my style changed a little bit and I think also Toolroom changed a little and at one point I played more and more tracks of them in my dj sets and that was the point I realized this could really work. After they responded that they like my tracks I was really happy. Now several releases later I got to know them better and I like the way they work, they are very professional and just easy to work with. In addition to having a great taste in music obviously 😉

David Keno in 5 records?

Here are 5 of my favourite records in my dj sets right now:
Mattei & Omich – The Circus
Raxon – Orix
Dilby – Kickin It
Lil’M & Jok – Mantra
Terranova – Cosmochord feat. Flashmob

How do you manage a busy touring schedule and making music? Do you like to produce music on the go?

Luckily I am able to produce a lot on my laptop which is also my studio computer. I used to have a big desktop machine but the advantage of having the whole studio with me while traveling is very important these days. Sometimes being away is also very inspiring so I think it’s a good thing not to sit in the studio all the time.

What can we expect from you in 2018? Any remixes, tracks, you can tell us about?

I have a lot of releases lining up right now. I have EPs coming up on This Ain’t Bristol, Food Music and Katermukke. A remix on Lapsus has just been released. I’m not planning on slowing down.

What will summer 2018 look like for you?

This summer looks already pretty good with some nice festivals but I am also planning on keeping things going on the producing side. When the weather is nice and with all the parties it happens quickly that you forget to make good music.

Can you give us a tip for producers who will use your sample pack in their productions?

Try to use the samples to create your own style. Work with them. Use them as a starting point to create something really unique. Go crazy. Don’t be shy. Trust in yourself.

I work a lot with loops and samples myself. But instead of just dragging a whole loop into my project, I use a sampler, spread the whole loop over the keyboard and trigger the single slices separately with the single keys. In ableton this can be achieved by loading the loop into a “Simpler” and use the slice mode.

A big thank you to David Keno for partaking in this interview. Check out his brand new sample pack ‘Toolroom Trademark Series – David Keno’ here, packed with tons of bass heavy samples executed flawlessly, ready for drag and drop production. Stay tuned for more Q&As by producers and artists that admire at Toolroom Academy.

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