QA : DJ SWISHA

QA+SWISHA

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Photography by David Brimacombe

 

1. Who are you? 

Isaac Treece aka DJ SWISHA.

2. What do you do? 

DJ, producer, some mixing/mastering.

3. Where do you often create/produce? 

Mainly at a studio space some friends and I got recently. Before that it was basic bedroom setups, friends houses, and honestly still anywhere I can be on my laptop.

4. When? 

 Whenever.

5. Why do you play music? 

Started DJing in 8th grade when I lived in Los Angeles. A friend had DJ gear and PA speakers so we practiced together and would play house parties/random gigs. Making any type of money that young felt crazy so that definitely inspired me to keep going haha. This was 2009 in LA so I was playing rap, edm, electro house, bro-step and all types of cringey stuff. These genres were new and fun to me at the time but I knew I didn’t identify with them. Discovered Jersey Club at a party in 2010 while I went back to visit my family in Philadelphia. The sound instantly caught my attention and I knew this was something I could pursue and try to bring back to LA. In short, the connection between genres and their history always intrigues me. I’m playing with that concept to show people that music is music. Respect the roots and histories of genres and cultures, but it’s all connected. Don’t be so quick to judge/label a sound. 

6. When did you start making music? 

My dad is a musician so he got me started on drums early as possible. I ended up playing in all types of bands since I was really young before DJing. Always gravitated toward Punk, Metal and Hardcore from the beginning since I was raised around the punk/skate scene. In peak Myspace era I was discovering people that made Grindcore/Black Metal by themselves using DAW’s. I downloaded FL Studio and tried to do the same but was never satisfied with anything I made besides my drum programming. Tried making Dubstep, hated it because I couldn’t stand trying to learn synthesis/sound design. Then it pretty much all clicked when I found out about club music in 2010.

 

7. How would you describe your own music? 

Music for the club.

8. Any track of the moment? 

9. What influences your work? 

 Honestly everything. My friends, day to day life, the internet (memes), going out, etc but DJing in any form is my biggest influence.

10. What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact? 

Everything self taught.

11. Favorite designer? 

That’s tough… It’s a tie between Rei Kawakubo and Raf Simons.

12. Favorite book? 

Not a big book person but Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson is my recent favorite.

13. Favorite classic movie? 

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

14. Favorite music label? 

Dance Mania

15. Your dream collaboration? 

Benny Revival.

16. Are you analog or digital? 

Digital.

17. Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play? 

A Macbook that’s been on its last leg for years, Ableton, lots of VSTs/plugins, Novation Launchpad, Akai MPC 1000 & 2000XL, some effects units and Roland machines.

18. Describe your creative process? 

For DJing, I honestly just throw tracks into playlists and wing it. Sometimes I’ll go back on histories and compile blends that I liked in the moment. Definitely treat DJ sets as an escape from the producing mindset.

Producing is always different but I’m definitely reliant on rhythm. Can start on Ableton with an idea or a sample but drums are always the biggest part for me. I use hardware a lot to make 8 bar loops and track them into Ableton then utilize the recordings like they’re stems for a remix.

19. When are you the most prolific (creatively)? 

Either while traveling, getting home after traveling for a while, or after a good night out whether I DJ’ed or not.

20. Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual) 

Another hard one… Bandcamp, Amoeba Music, Brooklyn Record Exchange, A1 Record Shop, Hardwax.

21. Do you have a healthy lifestyle? 

This question really stressed me out haha. I don’t think any 24 year old living in NYC has a healthy lifestyle.

22. How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby) 

Getting a studio really helped me even think about how I balance my time off from music. Before this I never had separation and rarely took downtime from working on music and would end up in crazy highly productive stages then not work on anything music related for weeks. Now that music and gigs take up most of my time, I consciously make time to relax when I’m home and it makes makes me excited to go out to the studio to productively work. 

23. Any future plans? 

Most excited for an EP I have coming out on Fools Gold Records. Besides that I’ll keep self releasing music. I’m working with some labels on other projects. Also anticipating/planning some of my biggest shows yet!

24. What’s your life motto? 

“It’s time for the percolator”.

25. Any “mot de la fin”? 

 

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