Stranjah is a Canadian producer based in Toronto. He’s released drum and bass music on esteemed labels such as Metalheadz, Hospital Records and Critical Music to name a few. He’s been producing electronic music since 1996 and now is sharing his wealth of knowledge & some jinglistic dance moves via his popular YouTube channel.
LoveThatBass caught up with the man himself to see if we could pick up some exclusive production tips…
Congratulations on the success of your YouTube channel, did you expect it to get the response it’s been getting?
I really did not expect it to grow as quickly as it did. When I was at around a thousand subscribers I felt it was nearly impossible to grow on YouTube and at that point I almost stopped doing it.
We love how easy to follow your production tutorials are, do you have any previous experience teaching?
Yes I have been teaching professionally for almost 10 years, in group and 1-on-1 settings. Taking it online was the next step to my teaching career. I’ve been told that I had a knack for teaching even in the early days when I was teaching friends.
Does it take a long time to refine a tutorial to make it viewer friendly, or is it simply just clever editing on your part?
I do a lot of prep, writing and messing around in the studio to figure out what to cover in a video. Once it has been planned out, shooting is easy. Most of the time is spent editing the video. The entire process takes about 12 to 18 hours per video.
Some of your videos show the viewer how to recreate the sounds of a particular artist, or elements for a popular track. Did you learn to refine your studio techniques by emulating your production heroes?
You learn a lot by studying the producers that you aspire to. The trick is to learn and then adapt into your own style. Some people knock it, however, I don’t see it as any different as a pianist studying Mozart or Beethoven too deeply understand the intricacies and techniques of a style.
So which artist did you look up to for inspiration?
Some of the people I regarded in the early days were Dillinja, Ed Rush, Optical, Matrix, Tech Itch and Bad Company
Your recent Stranjah Drum & Bass Masterclass for DJ TechTools must have gained you a load of new followers? I love that site! How did that link up come about?
The people at DJ TechTools reached out to me after seeing some of my content. It has been a great opportunity and teaching in a virtual Masterclass session is quite an experience. You get to meet interesting people from all over the world, and it’s a great way to spread your knowledge.
Will you be doing more with them in the future?
I hope to!
Is putting together a series of classes like that made easier when you have feedback questions from your YouTube audience to reference?
My teaching is like my DJing, I feed off my audience. So the more responsive you are, the better and more relevant my content becomes.
Have you been sent much music from people following your tutorials? If so, what’s the standard like?
Yes, I’m quite impressed by the level of music that people are sending me. I’m hopeful for the next generation of producers.
Anything you’d consider releasing on your own Deviant Audio imprint?
We have a small team at Deviant Audio so releases take time, however, we are always looking out for new music!
What 3 Stranjah production tips would you share with the LoveThatBass audience to help improve their drum and bass productions or to help further their careers?
1. Develop a critical ear – Being able to listen acutely and analyze a track will help you learn.
2. Explore – Don’t just do exactly what the tutorial videos tell you, but explore the parameters, try different rhythms.
3. Learn one synth and master it – When you do, every other synth will become easy to learn.
Any shouts or forthcoming projects you want to tell us about?
Look out for my Serum Preset Pack coming soon. For now you can grab my Jungle and Liquid Production Kit. Also I have a bunch of music coming in the next 12 months. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube to stay updated!
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