Progressive House. In my opinion, prog. house is a complicated genre to fully grasp. Most of the big room prog. house tunes consist on simple melodies and ideas compared to many of the more complex sub-genres of dance music (hell Avicii, one of the leading prog. house producers today usually doesn’t even write his melodies, he borrows them from orchestral tunes) however it is still very hard to make a classic progressive house song. What progressive house tunes lack in complexity, they make up for with soul, presence and emotion, in my opinion.
So, when an artist creates a track that does indeed include all three of those qualities, for me, it’s a testament to their inevitable rise to the top and ability as a producer. This is exactly how I felt when I first heard Janski’s “Express” early on this past summer. The piano & prog. house lead hit you hard at that first break down that such an uplifting feeling is created at the drop, making this song memorable and easy to play over and over again. I am surprised that this tune isn’t already a stadium anthem.
Janski is a young producer/DJ from Geneva, Switzerland. A city that has already produced many house superstars. Janski recently moved to Brooklyn to further expand his DJ career and I pray he continues to make great tracks such as “Express” or his “Penguin” remix.
This guy’s music is already a huge introduction for him, so we’ll move right into the interview and learn more about this amazing up and coming producer!
S: Alright Janski, thanks so much for agreeing to do this with us! Much respect man, while you are still relatively new to the blogosphere and dance music scene, you’ve covered a lot of ground in a short period of time and I see you blowing up in the next year! Let’s start with the first question. What is your full name, where are you originally from and where are you at now?
J: Hi guys, thanks for the opportunity! My name is Jan Gromadzki, and I’m from right outside Geneva, Switzerland. I grew up there and just moved to NYC a month ago. Really love it here!
S: Nice, NYC is definitely a great place to be to break into the dance music scene. How did you get in to electronic music originally? And when did you decide you wanted to start producing/DJing? What was the first program/DAW you started on?
J: I got into house music around 2005. I played piano back then but also enjoyed messing around on the turntables at my high school. I started DJing soon after, and have been ever since. I consider myself mostly a DJ because I only started production last year when a buddy of mine showed me Ableton and I installed it on my laptop. I got hooked immediately and that’s still the DAW I use today.
S: What is your current producing setup like? Hardware and software.
J: My setup is fairly simple since I’m new to the game and not rolling in dough. I set up a studio room in my apartment where I use my MB Pro with Ableton and a bunch of plugins, as well as a Korg keyboard and some monitors. I also have my turntables setup to play around with. That’s pretty much it!
S: Today though, that’s really all you need to create hit tunes like your staple tune “Express”. Which is utterly amazing by the way and I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it’s reminiscent of other great Swedish progressive house DJs. How did this tune come about and more importantly, how did you construct such an epic big room tune? How do you go about mixing and mastering a huge tune like that? The dynamics on that track are crazy.
J: ‘Express’ was made after a request from the Polish label MainStream Records. I made that track in a short amount of time (hence the title) using mostly sounds I had made myself through Ableton, which allowed me to get the exact tones I was looking for. I started with the melody and chords and pretty much built it from there. Mixing and mastering is obviously not easy for a track with a lot of parts to it, but it just takes time and patience. I definitely learned a lot for this first release and am still quite fond of it.
S: Now, with many great house tunes, there is the original instrumental version and then most DJs will release a vocal version for all of their fans to sing and chant to. Any plans on release a vocal version to Express?
J: Haha, I’m afraid not. ‘Express’ is what it is. I’m too busy working on new stuff now. But vocals would indeed be very cool.
S: So you definitely seemed to have found a fitting style of music for yourself, who would you say helped influence you as producer and who are you listening to purely as a fan? Who is another up and coming dance music producer that we should be on the lookout for?
J: I have a lot of influences that span multiple genres of music. I really like jazzy, downtempo electronica artists like Goldfish, Youandewan, and Gui Boratto. Otherwise, obviously a lot of influence from current house artists which I enjoy listening to like Martin Solveig, Dada Life, Alesso, Pryda, Hook n Sling, Arty, Johan Wedel, etc. An up-and-comer you should be on the lookout for is NYC’s own FareOh, who’s been making some great tunes lately.
S: That’s quite an impressive list! Progressive house tunes, in my opinion, are great because they aren’t overly complicated so they really connect with their audience and are usually soulful enough tracks to trigger an emotional response from people. What would you say is the message behind your music and how do you convey this message in your tunes?
J: There’s no exact message, but music should make people feel good, whether it be in a club or in your own room. I really enjoy smooth melodies and uplifting sounds, and I try to incorporate these into my music. I make music that makes me happy, and if others can enjoy it then I’m glad I can share that with them as well.
S: Have you gotten a chance to play many gigs in New York now that you are an official resident? What is one club in New York you want to DJ in the most?
J: I played in New York a handful of times last year when I would visit, but nothing major. I have had neither the time nor the chance to play yet since I moved. If I had to pick one club in NYC, it might be Cielo, since it hosts some great parties and has a banging sound system.
S: Where would you like to see yourself in a year from now? 5 years? 10?
J: Now that I’m done with school I’m excited to finally have more time to produce. My plan now is to make more music! What’s to come in several years I don’t really know, but hopefully still making music and playing it out for my fans. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to pursue this passion, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
S: If you could choose 2 producers (only one prog. house producer though!) who would you like to most work with?
J: Oh man that’s a tough one… okay for house probably Axwell, and for non-house…Coldplay? Does that count? They’ve had such a big impact in their music genre over the years, and they are still going strong and working with house artists now. I think I still have their sheet music at home, and at one point in time I could play all of their biggest hits on the piano haha. Otherwise, for a non-prog house producer, Sébastien Léger, who’s a super talented French tech-house producer.
S: I like that! Coldplay especially is an interesting choice. When is the next set of tunes coming out from you? Are you focusing more on originals right now or trying to do more remixes currently?
J: At the moment I’m working on a new remix, and maybe a couple more to come as well. Hopefully this should all be done soon. I also plan on making some new originals, but I don’t know when exactly. I’ve yet to work on a collaboration, so maybe that will also be in the short term plans? Who knows…
S: Do you have any advice for any new or emerging progressive house producers / producers in general?
J: My advice is stick with your gut and make what you enjoy, and not necessarily stuff just to please others. Music is really a way to express yourself, so have fun with it and remember, the box doesn’t exist!
S: Great advice. I think many new producers get stuck on how to make others’ sounds versus experimenting on new ones. Last question! You said you are much more of a DJ than a producer, what is your method of choice to get the crowd pumped up? Champagne Showers? Beach Balls? Stage Diving? Good old fist pumping? Etc?
J: Haha I’m definitely a ‘hands in the air’ kinda guy, and I like dancing around during my sets. I consider myself just as much an audience member as the DJ, so I always play music I want to dance to.
So obviously, Janski is the man and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for this budding producer. Until then though, he left us with a special treat, an EXCLUSIVE mix! Listen to it on our soundcloud and if you like it, the track-list and download link are in the description.
The Drop Media presents: Janski’s Big City DM Exclusive Mix by thedropmedia
\\\\Make sure to show Janski some love and support!\\\