Hailing from Canada, threefold talent Kebi specializes in DJing, Producing, and creating art, viewing his human experiences as a spiritual canvas of expression.
Kebi grew up in the suburbs of New York, where he spent his childhood getting acquainted with many different genres of music that helped shape the sound people know as Kebi today. After learning the piano, the drums, and a short yet solid effort at the trumpet, Kebi discovered CDJ’s and the world of electronic music-and fromt here, his life would never be the same
T.H.E – What software is best to use for beginners?
Kebi – I think nowadays any software can work fine! Work with whatever you are most comfortable with, for it is always the wizard and not the wand ; )
With that being said, I work with ableton and I love it. I find the workflow is incredible : )
T.H.E – What are the essentials a budding producer needs to start making music without breaking the bank?
Kebi – Honestly the only essential is a DAW and some good headphones or speakers. I feel like at the beginning of my journey I was always looking for that next plugin that would magically improve all my music. In the end simpler is always better, so starting with a really simple foundation i think is good for the long run. Then everything else can be used to enhance projects rather that take over the integrity.
T.H.E – Have you got any suggestions for books/YouTube channels people learn from?
Kebi – Yeah! Depending on genre, there are so many different tutorials and videos out there. Everyday I am discovering new avenues of learning and I suggest everyone always be open to learning new tips and tricks and different perspectives! There is no right or wrong when it comes to making music, so experiment with different avenues and see what feels right to you!
One tutorial in particular that i will mention is this guy named Kimba i think out of the UK. He does a really nice job of breaking down the minimal side of house and I use a lot of his techniques in my productions today.
T.H.E – What is your advice on sampling?
Kebi – Ahhh this one has been a tough one for me personally hahah ask anyone and you will get a million different opinions on sampling! First and foremost, as a DJ, i absolutely love old records and using other tracks as inspiration in my own productions. In the past I have used samples directly, yet nowadays i try and work with the sample until it is completely new and ends up being something else and unrecognizable within the track. Or sometimes I’ll build out a track as like a remix almost, and then remove the sample, and write a whole new top line or melody over it! this is a pretty cool trick that can lead to some new ideas if your ever feeling a writers block!
T.H.E – Which part of the track should you start with?
Kebi – The word “should” doesn’t exist to me hahah do absolutely whatever feels right in the moment.
T.H.E – What plugins are best to download first?
Kebi – hmmmmmm, probably waves compressors, valhalla vintage verb, and lfotool. those are three of my go to’s in every track.
T.H.E – Is it important to learn an instrument?
Kebi – I definitely think it helps in the whole musicality aspect of things. The toughest part of being electronic producers is getting our music to have a live emotional feel to it, so i think playing an instrument can help us understand how to achieve this a bit better, or at least add some live component into the mix. also i think being able to play an instrument can contribute to overall satisfaction outside the production realm as well, just as another means to connect with music, the thing we love most, in a super organic way.
Not too long ago I learned how to play guitar, and my goal in life is to become a master campfire guitarist. I don’t need to rip solos or anything like that, just being able to harmonize my voice with an instrument’s vibration is really powerful, especially shared with friends.
T.H.E – Do you think it’s necessary to learn how to mix and master?
Kebi – I don’t know, kinda depends on the main vision and goal. If you are an outstanding track writer and have a budget to send your tracks off and get professionally mixed and mastered, then send it! I think being resourceful is really key. I find that mixing goes hand in hand with the production flow, cuase when you’re ducking things with sidechain and adding space with reverb it can really change the whole vibe of a track. Sometimes on certain tracks ill throw on my own master, but normally i get everything mastered by a different engineer. I think by this point in the song’s life we’ve heard it so many times our ears have a biased opinion on everything haha so i like getting a fresh set of ears to do the final master.
T.H.E – As a DJ, is there anything producers should avoid doing in their tracks that could be annoying for DJ sets?
Kebi – Oooh this is an EPIC question!!! That just got my hyped haha honestly two things come to mind, one, please always leave some sort of intro or outro that is on time and easy enough to mix in and out of. Dealing with massive amounts of midrange frequencies right from the start or at the finish can sometimes lead to a muddy mix. The other thing that comes to mind, is watch your highs. We all want crispy top end and some nice saturation happening, but with too much heat in the top end it can be really apparent when playing on a loud system. Nobody enjoys getting their eardrums scratched ( we all know that feeling haha )
T.H.E – What should a producer do if they’re struggling to find inspiration?
Kebi – Smoke some weed hahaha nah i’m only kidding do whatever is right for you! I’d say my biggest tip for finding inspiration is to find some time to listen to some sort of acoustic music outside of the DJing and production life. There is something about humans and the experiential inspiration behind a lot of old records that can really speak to the deepest parts of us. And it is from the deepest parts of us that our great next track is coming from.