Joining us today is the talented Jack O’Kings; as we discuss his favourites from 2023, talking through his top tracks, artists, and genres, we learn more about the sounds that inspired him throughout the year. Having been immersed in the rich and diverse music emerging from Electronic Music during the past 12 months, Jack O’Kings dives into the melodies and styles that left their mark, inspiring his own creativity as he continues honing his unique and distinct signature production sound.
Could you share your top three favorite tracks or releases from the past year, and what about each of them resonates with you as a Producer?
From the past year, some of the releases I’ve personally enjoyed are ‘Leave Me Alone’ by Fred Again.., ‘Making Time’ by Sultan and Shepard and ‘Make It Easy’ by Robby East. They resonate with me as they showcase unique styles and production techniques.
Were there any specific tracks or artists from the past year that served as significant sources of inspiration for your own music production?
I’d say that ‘Making Time’ by Sultan and Shepard has been an inspiration for my own music production. I primarily like their sound as their tracks feature a warm, analog character. They often favour vintage analog synths for their natural warmth and rich harmonic textures. This adds a depth and organic feel that contrasts with the precision of digital sounds.
Can you highlight a track from another artist that, from a production perspective, you found particularly impressive or innovative, and what elements stood out to you?
I’d say that the production techniques Robby East uses are pretty solid and I like the way he uses analog synths to achieve a natural Chill House sound which is easy to vibe along with. I particularly admire the way he mixes his tracks and ensures all the elements are perfectly mixed together and don’t clash with each other.
What were your favorite books or written works that you read in the past year, and did any of them influence your creative process or mindset as a Producer?
My favourite book that I’ve read in the last year is ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell which highlights the 10,000-hour rule which I follow every day to become the best Producer.
Share with us your top movie or film picks from the past year and describe how they may have influenced your music or creativity in unexpected ways.
I have recently been inspired by Michael Bay’s ‘13 Hours’. The film focuses on fast-paced scenes which helps to generate excitement and tension and I’ve been inspired by the epic and bombastic nature of Bay’s film scores. This type of music can be used to create a sense of excitement and anticipation, so these ideas I can bring into my own productions.
Were there any notable trends or developments in the music industry or production techniques that caught your attention in the past year, and do you see them shaping the future of Electronic music?
In terms of trends, I noticed the rise of Stutter House which incorporates the use of stuttering vocal samples and bouncy rhythms – this has emerged as one of the most prominent trends in Electronic Music in 2023. The genre’s popularity is largely due to the success of artists like Fred Again… I also believe that the lines between different genres of Electronic Music have become increasingly blurred in 2023. Artists are experimenting and blending elements of Techno, House, Trance, and other genres to create new and exciting sounds.
Did you explore or discover any new music genres or styles in the past year that have inspired you to incorporate fresh elements into your own productions?
I’ve taken a shift to producing more melodic-based music, primarily taking inspiration and focusing more on producing Melodic House as it’s a genre I’ve begun to fall in love with. I really enjoy artists like Ben Bohmer and Lane8 and want to understand how to achieve the same level of chill in my tracks.
Can you share an example of a track you produced in the past year (it can be a released or unreleased) production that represents a creative experiment or a departure from your usual style, and what led you to explore this new direction?
I’m currently working on ‘Break My Heart’ which is a creative experiment and more of a move into the Melodic House/Melodic Deep House scene. It focuses on using my chill sound/style to help tell a story for the listener and guide them on a journey throughout the track. I wanted to focus more on producing more chill tracks as I haven’t really had many club shows yet.
Reflecting on live performances you witnessed or participated in, can you describe a particularly memorable moment or show from the past year and what made it unforgettable?
Meeting Mike Williams during ADE was one of the best moments of the year as I got to talk to him, talk a little about music and why I came to see him. Seeing artists I look up to is amazing because they were once in my position and now they are in the position I hope to be in a few years.
In what ways do you feel you’ve grown or evolved as a producer over the past year, and how have your musical tastes and preferences transformed during this time?
I feel my sound has grown and matured in the past year, focusing on being more commercial yet still bringing that signature sound my fans know and love. I focus more on producing chill vibes; however, I do occasionally produce something that isn’t my usual style to spice things up and keep things fresh.
As he continues paving his way within the genre, we’re sure Jack O’Kings will remain a name to watch out for; with a determination and drive to keep growing as a Producer on the scene, we have no doubt the next chapter in Jack O’Kings’ musical journey will be just as exciting, bringing more captivating music for fans to enjoy. So, don’t forget to follow him across social media to stay up-to-date with his upcoming releases and projects.
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