Before The Music Interview Series – Cvsh Bvnditson
How did you come up with the name of your project?
It’s actually my birth given middle name and last name. I’m kind of one of those Dillon Francis type guys right now.
Where did you first hear electronic music?
Man, it was probably back in 2004 in my buddies basement. He showed us a DJ Dean song. It all started from there.
What was your first edm show?
2008, Love Fest 2 by Bondad.
Did you know you wanted to start producing after that show?
No, it was ages after. I didn’t decide I wanted to start producing until 2016. I went to shows as a fan all those years and in 2016 I pulled the trigger to start producing.
What made you wanted to start producing?
Honestly, I had a moment of clarity on Holy Ship. It was my favorite music festival that I regularly attended. It hit me one day on ship. I thought, I’m paying all of this money to travel, see these artists, and hangout at the events, I should be the one doing this. I have a huge love for music and a deep passion for all this stuff, I always have. It only made sense for me to give the scene my creativity.
Did you start producing right after this moment of clarity?
In 2016 I had that realization and started buying music production equipment. I was having the hardest time figuring out Ableton on my own. At the end of 2016 enrolled into Salt Lake DJ & Production. I really started going at production hard in 2017. I wasn’t even making music in 2016. I was just trying to figure out things like what MIDI is and how to run Ableton, which was like an alien language at the time.
How has SLDP helped you as a producer?
I owe everything I know to those guys. Derek Beck, the owner of the school, treats me like a family member. He calls to check up on me and see how my music is coming. He’ll always show up at my sets too. I get my visuals made professionally now, but he made my first ones. He’s really down to have the students succeed.
Who does your visuals now?
My visual guy I found by dumb luck on Twitter. I saw a local SLC Dj, Obayashi, post she got amazing visuals made by i_o’s manager Halil. I hit him up on Twitter and his work is phenomenal. Dude must be a graphic design wiz.
What is Missionariez Crew and how did you get involved with them?
I got hit up by the person who started it, who’s actually not in it anymore. He’s moved on to do bigger and better things. Shout out Colby Alred, AKA, Cub Chunes. It was started before me and I was asked to join when there were three members, I was the fourth. At the moment we have five guys and have one international member in Belgium. He goes by the name Deturo Dubs. Missionariez was started by a bunch of dudes in Salt Lake who love Riddim. We have a fun play on words with the CTR thing. We say Choose The Riddim instead of Choose The Right. We actually just released our first collab EP, most of the members have a track on it. That was released last week on Black Friday. You can find it on our Soundcloud, Missionariez Crew.
Your Black Soul EP was released 2 months ago, what can you tell me about that?
The Black Soul EP is my latest work. I poured my heart and soul into the EP. All of the sound design was done 100% by me, no presets. That’s something I’m very proud of. These are truly organic pieces of music I composed myself. Black Soul was my 3rd EP release, and you can expect many more to come. Stay tuned in 2020.
Can you explain your creative process?
Lately I found a new process that works for me. I mess around with sound design in Serum, which is the main synth I use. I’ll play around on that until I make a sound that sounds so cool it inspires me. From there I will lay some drums out, play the sound, make it come alive, and add some bass. I usually start with the drop first and build everything around the sound I created in Serum.
What can you tell me about your studio? Where is it, software, plugins, physical tools, etc.
I’m a bedroom producer. I have a whole room in my basement dedicated to that. In there I have a couple desks. One has a Pioneer controller I practice DJing on and the other has everything else. I don’t even have a keyboard. I just use my laptop and plug that into a visual monitor. I have two studio monitors, Yamaha HS8’s. I draw everything in with MIDI. Like I said, I don’t use a keyboard, I don’t use a launchpad, it’s just my fingers clicking around with my mouse pad. I try not to get too crazy with plugins, Ableton supplies me with basically everything I need. There are a couple out there I really like though. I just got some Sound Toys plugins on Black Friday that are going to be really awesome. Obviously I use Serum. I want to get the Kilohearts stuff like Phase Plant, that stuff is awesome too. I keep it basic with my studio setup. You really only need headphones and a computer to produce.
Do you have any new music in the works?
Yeah, I’m sitting on a bunch right now and a lot with Missionariez. I’m even sitting on some finished tracks that I’m shopping around for labels to release. I’m unsure if I’m going to sit on my music and not release until 2020. I just started a new production class at SLDP with Squnto. He’s going to teach an advanced class and I’m one of the first students to go through it. Squnto is a super nice guy and seems like he has a very detailed plan laid out to teach us everything we need. He also set up a private Discord for us so we can keep in touch each day. I feel like my productions are going to improve dramatically, which is why I might not release anything for the rest of the year. I’d like to start out 2020 strong with some new fresh ideas.
What do you feel is the best song you have released and why?
Siklok, a producer from Salt Lake who recently moved to Miami collabed on a track with me and it was released through Artist Intelligence Agency. That song has the most plays out of any track I’ve put out. I think it’s at 26,000 plays right now which is great for us. I always make sure to play it in every set. You can find it on Spotify and Soundcloud. We both really killed it on that one, it hits.
Who inspires you?
I get inspired from anything. I even get inspired from conversations I have at work and cartoons I’m watching with my daughter at home. I’ll hear a vocal sample, want to chop it up, and make a song out of it. I even get inspired by non EDM music. I get inspired by Rap too. I have some really big inspirations in Dubstep. I look up to Subtronics, Infekt, and am really into Svdden Death.
Would your dream collab be with those guys you just mentioned?
Yeah any of those guys would be a dream collab. Obviously Skrillex, that guys the man. A dream collab would probably be Akeos too, he’s killing it right now in the Riddim scene.
Outside of EDM what are your favorite artists?
I love Lil Peep, huge influence. You’ll catch me listening to Roddy Ricch too. I listen to a lot of Juice Wrld, he’s freakin tight. I even listen to Drake and Lil Pump. I was bumping some Lil Pump all day in my car yesterday.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
I have a couple that get me out of my cave. Snowboarding is a huge one. Salt Lake seems to finally be getting dumped on. It looks like we’re going to have a great winter. Video games are another hobby. I didn’t play video games for a long time and I’m getting back into them. Ever since Apex Legends came out I haven’t played anything else, it’s kind of a problem.
What is your favorite part about being a producer/DJ?
Probably going out, playing my tracks, and seeing the crowd reaction. Listening to old music on my music on Soundcloud too. I’ll listen to tracks from six months ago and hearing my progression is so fun and motivating. It keeps me wanting to make more, it’s addicting
I know you play a few instruments, what are they?
Growing up I took four years of private violin lessons and learned how to read and write music. From there I took up the electric guitar and took three more years of private lessons with that. I’ve kind of always been musically inclined my whole life. I went through a phase where I only skateboarded and after that EDM took over.
Do you feel playing instruments has helped you with your current music production?
It goes hand in hand. I didn’t realize my ear was trained to hear certain keys. When I first started I would keep pressing keys until something sounded good. As I got better I started learning music theory and how to keep everything in key. I realized I was already doing that without even knowing it. Music has helped me with the process by naturally hearing what sounds good. I’m pretty selective with my sounds, synths, and how I structure everything.
What is some advice you would give to someone who is just starting to produce EDM?
You don’t need the most expensive equipment or top of the line stuff to produce. Get yourself a computer, music software, and headphones. Youtube is a pretty good source to learn things, but I wouldn’t rely on it for everything. Find a friend, someone you know who makes EDM who you can talk to for help. If you don’t have a friend to help, join Facebook groups and ask questions there.
If you could have any of your fans remember one thing about you, what would it be?
Hopefully it would be the music. I’d like them to remember how unique it is and how easy it is to rage to. Hopefully they can feel the music and it sticks with them. Seeing a Cvsh Bvanditson set is going to be something super heavy to headbang to.
What are you proud of, but never get an excuse to talk about?
I’m really proud I was asked to play Das Energi this year. I didn’t have to win a contest to get a time slot. They asked me to play on the beach stage and open it up the first night. That’s the biggest accomplishment of my career. It was the biggest stage I’ve played on. It was the highlight of 2019, hopefully 2020 is bigger and better.
If we finished this interview and you found a winning lottery ticket for 500 million, what would you do with the money?
That’s crazy, I’ve never put too much thought into winning that much money. All my family would be taken care of. Their debt would be paid and they’d all have new houses. Even my girlfriends family would be taken care of. Life would be good. I don’t think much would change. If I had all that money I’d still be sitting in my basement producing music for people to headbang to.
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Ethan Freeman – V2 Presents Intern