Trooko on the “Bahia” EP, being nominated for the Latin GRAMMYs, and more.
Aditya – Hello, we’re glad to have you for this interview. How was the first half of this year for you?
Trooko – Hello! I’m happy to be here. The first half of this year was pretty good. I was able to travel more and do more in-person sessions.
A lot of music I’ve been working on for a few months finally started to come out!
Aditya – I had the opportunity to listen to your upcoming EP ‘Bahia’, the EP is packaged so well and offers flavours of Indie Dance, Electronica, Afro, and more. What’s the creative process behind this EP?
Trooko – Thanks for listening! I think it varies for Amapala – I started with 4 on the floor kick, then started building that bass line synth with heavy filter cut and resonance, and went into a constant build up type of track packed with energy.
For Siempre, I tried to capture the tranquillity and movement I remember from the waves in Roatán and Utila (Bay Islands Honduras). I tried to copy that movement with the synths.
In Vamos, I had started the keyboard progression and I wanted to recreate the music I loved from the early ‘90s. That’s where the super talented, and good friend, Citrico comes in and adds the magic I was missing – both with his voice lyrics and funky guitar.
Aditya – Could you share more info on your newest solo project?
Trooko – My solo work has similar influences to my sound as a producer, but I can expand more with rhythm and create more movement than I would producing an artist. I get a bit crazier!
Aditya – You’ve once again been nominated for the Latin GRAMMYS! How do you feel about that?
Trooko – Every time I am nominated, it feels surreal. It’s awesome to see songs and/or albums I loved working on receive recognition, like Bomba Estereo Deja being nominated for album of the year! Just being nominated is such an Honor!
Aditya – What’s on your pipeline for now?
Trooko – I’m really excited for Residente’s new album and ILE’s new album to drop! I love their artistic vision and I’m proud of the work we did. I can’t wait for everyone to hear them! As a solo artist, I have some cool collaborations and remixes coming out soon and I’m also finishing another EP!
Aditya – What’s your studio setup like? What specific gear/plugin you cannot work without?
Trooko – I’ve gone through all NI maschines and I love them all, but I’m really happy with my maschine +. I have used it in many scenarios without a computer and also used it as my main interface in studios. I also dig Softube’s console 1, SSL UF8 & SSL UC1. They really speed my production process!
For mixing, I’ve been diving into a hybrid setup using more analog hardware and it’s become an addiction.
My current setup/workflow is I produce in logic, then do a rough mix as I produce, then bounce out all stems with nothing in the master bus.
Then I open pro tools and load all stems and sum the outputs to my SSL Big Six in groups like main vocal to a mono Channel then backing and hook vocals to a stereo channel. I have a drum channel and put bass on a mono channel. Then synths, Gtr’s or whatever elements the track has in other stereo channels and finally FX in a stereo channel usually at the end of the board.
I tend to use Light EQ on the big six and I use my AudioScape Opto Compressor on vocals sometimes mixed with an on board SSL Master Bus Compressor on the Big Six.
On the master bus insert, I have the Heritage Audio Successor going into the SSL Fusion, and in the fusions insert I have the AudioScape Golden 58 Tube Preamp that I sometimes use in MS mode. It really adds warmth and brings main elements to the front and then print back to protocols and some more tweaking with some EQ like the Maag and Kush Audio Clariphonic and then limiter plugs.
I’ve also been digging Jacen Joshua’s, the god particle. I use it from the beginning when I’m producing and then again when I print my final mix. It really helps to check that everything is in place and adds a bit of glueing magic!
Aditya – You have an extensive discography, which is your favourite track and why?
Trooko – That’s a tough one…I really enjoy each song I’ve been a part of, but ‘Immigrants we get the job done’ has a special place because of what it stands for. I identify with the concept, lyrics, and love every artist’s point of view on that record! I also enjoyed doing ‘Guerra’ with Residente. Aside from producing it, I was able to write a small part of that song and I got to meet and work with Tony Royster Jr and Omar Rodriguez Lopez!
Aditya – Who are your influences and why?
– Michael Jackson – As a kid i couldn’t get enough of him music and rhythm
– Quincy Jones – When I found out he was behind Michael and many other great artists really made me get into production.
– Timbaland – his bounce was everything
– Daft Punk – the way they would use samples, loops and filters opened up a new world to me!
– Chemical Brothers – From their aggressive synths, drum sounds, and the way they compose their songs to their live performances I think this band might have been one of my biggest influences and aspirations!
– MR Oizo – at first i was sold with flat eric and then everything from Analog Worms to his films
Aditya – Any tips for the beginners out there?
Trooko – Trial and error can go a long way, especially when making music. Try out new synths or new plugins and go with what sounds good to you. Even if it goes against the “rules” and it sounds good, go with it. You can always fix wrong keys and work out the technicalities later. It’s all about getting the right feel and performance first. If you ever get stuck, then go into the manual or YouTube and go from there. You can always learn more theory and more audio techniques, but I think trial and error is a good way to develop taste and instinct.
Aditya – Lastly, who’s your favourite Marvel Character?
– All time marvel character has to be Spider-Man
– Current marvel character is dr strange
– And all time superhero even tho he is not marvel has to be Batman