Today we have an amazing end of the year interview with the Vice President of Kick It Recordings, Sneaker & The Dryer via Satellite Records!!
We here at Kick It had an amazing year so a big thank you to all our readers and listeners who made it possible!!! Be on the look out for some amazing tracks, EP's and events in 2013, it's sure to be our best year yet!!! On with the interview!!!!!
Sneaker & The Dryer Interview
Q: Tell the world about the origins of Sneaker & The Dryer. What led to your involvement in Kick it Recordings with Farace?
Sneaker & The Dryer was started by myself and Red Echo in late 2004. Back then we were playing Nu Skool and Tear Out Breaks mostly but we were already mixing in other styles as well right from the get go. After a good couple of years together, Red Echo went his own way and I kept Sneaker & The Dryer going working with multiple people over the years from turntablists to drummers, guitarists and other DJs as well but all under the S&D moniker.
Currently, Sneaker & The Dryer is a solo act specializing in all things Bass Music. My main focus has moved more to Electro House as it’s my favorite genre at the moment and it is some of the most high energy stuff out there which is what S&D is all about. I enjoy keeping things interesting though so I incorporate everything from Drum & Bass to Breaks, Dubstep, Moombah, Funky House, Hip Hop, Trance and more into my sets. Between that, the amount of my own exclusive edits I play and lots of live remixing, looping and Acapella layering, you never know what you’re going to get from a Live Sneaker & The Dryer set but you can bet it will be bangin and have the whole crowd rocking!
I joined Kick It Recordings in January of 2010. Back then Farace and I were both working with another label and I was already supporting Farace’s stuff as I was a fan of his work. I brought him up to New England for a couple of shows and soon after the label we were working with ceased operating. Farace had already started Kick It Recordings about a year and a half prior to all of this and he was running things himself so I offered him my support for Kick It as well. I started off just wanting to help with promotions and getting the labels name more recognition but I quickly began taking on more roles and within a year I was V.P. with Farace and I sharing the responsibilities of keeping the label running.
Q: Let fans know about NSB Radio. What is it?
NSB Radio is the world’s number one Breakbeat Radio Station winning the title at The International Breakspoll Awards the past 5 years in a row. On the air for over 10 years now, NSB streams live DJs 24/7 from all around the globe in 2 hour increments. Each DJ sends their stream out from the comfort of their own home or studio and it can then be listened to anywhere on the planet via www.nsbradio.co.uk NSB Radio also covers major festivals like The Glade Festival in the UK and many others and they often do live Broadcasts from different club nights around the world.
I myself have been on NSB Radio for over 7 years now. I originally started with one show, “The Shoe Skool Sessions” which I still do every Thursday night from 8-10PM EST. Listeners can join in the NSB Radio chat room and let me know they’re out there and we always give shout outs to anyone who comes in. On my Thursday night shows I also do a Live Stickam feed with 2-3 different cameras broadcasting multiple angles at the same time so people can watch the show as well! For over 2 years now I have also been doing a second show, “Kick-in It w/ Btz aka Sneaker & The Dryer” on Wednesdays from 10am-Noon EST. That’s 4 hours of S&D per week for Free and I often play extended sets, sometimes up to 6 or 7 hours!
Q: How has your sound as an artist evolved over your career?
Well in about as many ways possible I would imagine. From what type of gear I use to what style of music I play has all changed over the years. I originally started out on turntables, Technics of course, back in 1997 and I was playing mostly Hard House and Hi NRG. Then I started to play a lot of House, funkier stuff but still lots of energy, DJ Dan’s “Needle Damage” is a good example, lots of Disco influenced stuff as well as I’ve always loved Disco. From there I started getting into Breaks and Drum & Bass and I played only those two genres almost exclusively for a couple of years. By that time I was using CDJs most of the time but I still loved my turntables for scratching!
In early 2009 I made the switch from CDJs to a MIDI Controller and I haven’t looked back! The amount of flexibility you have and the things that you can do go far beyond a turntable or CDJ. Currently I play Bass Music with Electro House being the main focus but I keep people on their toes and due to my background, I play a “Breakier” style of Electro House.
Q: What are you looking for when you consider signing new talent or bringing on a remixer for the label?
Just like Sneaker & The Dryer, Kick It is all about big tunes that are aimed straight at peak time dance floors. So, the first thing we look for is someone who makes energetic tunes. They’ve also got to have some soul to what they do; a lot of Electronic Music can be produced well but it feels lifeless and over manufactured. Kick It has always been about giving new artists a platform they can get their name out with so we are always taking on new artists to help give them their start.
Q: What are the best and worst parts of running a label?
Well seeing as music is my number one passion in life; working with music on a daily basis and artists from around the world is definitely a plus! It’s always exciting to get back a remix for a track as you never really know what it’s going to sound like until you hear it. The hardest part is the amount of your time that you have to dedicate to the label and the considerable amount of tasks on your plate on a daily basis. If you want to make it work and make it to the top, you’ve got to give it 100% and that means doing a whole lot of things you might not want to.
Q: What do you use to produce and what is your process?
My DAW of choice right now is Ableton and I’ve been working with that for about 3 or 4 years now. For producing I don’t use much hardware other than a Midi Controller with Knobs and Faders for Automation input and a MIDI Keyboard for playing riffs. I like to start with one or two bits of the track that are going to give the overall feel of the tune. Maybe a few bass notes or some synth stabs. Something musical that’s going to dictate the key and vibe. Then I usually spend a day or so on my drums building them around those sounds so they fit in harmonically with the track. From there I like to build a full 8 bar section that will pretty much be the peak of the track and then dissect that to make the different sections of the song.
Q: What’s coming up on the label that we should know about?
We’ve got tons of stuff coming out right now and we’re really making a big push for the end of the year with at least another four releases before 2013. Disco’s Over is up next with “Rainbows” which is going to be a massive release! It’s an Electro House stormer with equally heavy Breaks and Dubstep remixes from Deformaty and Antinox. Farace’s “Technosaurus” is right after that and it’s another massive tune with a killer video to go with it and two huge remixes from Dustin Hulton and Flatland Funk, serious business! We’re also getting close to our 100th release now as well so be on the lookout for something big when that drops in 2013!
Q: Tell us a little about the roster.
Well it’s a pretty varied roster with over 50 artists from all around the world making a wide range of styles. We have some well known names like Farace, Dilemn and Access Denied as well as some super talented up and comers like Kwerk, Audio:Hertz and Disco’s Over.
Q: What is your best asset for getting the music out there?
Really for us so far it’s been building our own network. From DJs and Producers that will get behind the music to the Kick It Family which is a group of supporters from around the world helping spread the Kick It name. Obviously any social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud are great ways to get your music exposure and having a good distributor is also important.
Q:Any advice for someone out there who would love to be on Kick It?
Sure thing, work hard, learn as much as you can and take the time to listen to people you look up to. When you think your tunes are ready, send em over to firstname.lastname@example.org and you never know what can happen.
Free Downloads by SneakerAndTheDryer
Sneaker & The Dryer on Facebook - facebook.com/sneakerandthedryermusic
Satellite EDM Interview - blog.satelliteedm.com/2012/12/12/label-spotlight-kick-it-recordings/