Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the EDM scene's most promising, and youngest producers; Throttle
. The 16-year-old Throttle, aka Robbie Bergin, has made a name for himself over the past year or so and has already built up a solid fan bas of almost 25,000 fans on Facebook
and 5,800 followers on Soundcloud
. In addition to that, Throttle is trying to change the way that other artists think of the younger generation of DJ's (20 and younger), so that they will be taken seriously. He's already well on his way too, with a podcast that he launched, called 'Dirty Disco'. Learn about this and more with my interview with Throttle below, as well as his first episode of the 'Dirty Disco' podcast to listen to while you read!
So what was it that first triggered you or interested you into creating electronic dance music? Had you previously played any instruments that influenced it?
I began learning guitar at the age of 8, which sparked my interest in music in general. Then when i was 12/13 I was exposed to dance music, and the entire new world of DJing. It wasn't until I was 14 that an interest in production began to flare. I gave up about five times in the space of a few months before I really knuckled down and decided it was something I wanted to take seriously.
Were you all self taught? What equipment did you start out on, and how did you learn?
I've never had any production lessons, simply because I feel that it's integral to discover things through your own experimental ways. The fundamentals of getting around Ableton was something I learnt predominantly on YouTube. I work solely from my MacBook pro, and produce on a pair of $99 plastic speakers, along with my DJ headphones.
The most important thing during my learning process was reading in depth about the science behind effects such as EQ and compression, rather than simply copying someone's setting from a tutorial on YouTube as so many people do. That was what held me back in the early stages of my production, not understanding what I was doing.
Do you practice on any sort of MIDI controller or anything?
I love to mess around on my Launchpad, and still play around on my Hercules RMX, the MIDI controller i bought when I first started out!
How has it been trying to balance school with making this a full time profession?
Not easy at all! I've always taken pride in my school work so I've always had intentions of finishing high school. When the opportunity came around to complete a remix for Usher's "Numb", I was given just over a week to do it - one of the toughest things I've ever had to do. But at the same time, I learnt an enormous amount making that track.
Have you had the opportunity to play some live sets or parties?
I've DJ'd at lots of house parties, but as far as actual sets for Throttle, I've only ever performed at two events. My primary focus right now is production, and I am hoping to enlarge the "Throttle" brand.
What two events were they? How did you feel up there?
They were both small underage events, only around 300 people so it wasn't too nerve-racking!
Where do you hope/expect to be a few years from now?
That's an incredibly tough question!
A goal that's been with me for ages has been to do well on Beatport, so hitting the top 10 on Beatport is somewhere I'd like to be - realistic or not (you have to dream big!).
It's just so hard to set realistic goals nowadays, as good tracks can either explode or completely fade away for no given reason at any moment - so the only thing you can do is dream big!
If you could play any show/festival/venue, etc. what would it be?
Obviously it's a stock standard answer, but Tomorrowland. It feels as though Tomorrowland is hundreds of years away from me right now, but hopefully someday I'll make it there!
If you could collaborate with any artist out there right now, who would it be? why?
Throttle: There are so many artists that I would love to work with right now, Madeon, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Dada Life, Wolfgang Gartner - These are just some of the artists that continually blow me away. They would be so fascinating to work with as they are some of the artists that have shaped my sound the most today (Knife Party would be insane as well).
Their production level is incredible.
OTB: If you could ask any one artist any ONE question, who would it be, and what would the question be?
Throttle: I get one question?!? You're killing me!
I'd ask Daft Punk what it was that inspired them to make music, those two guys seem so far away from the music world that I'm in, they're literally gods to the scene!
OTB: Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel that the one track that kick started your rise in popularity and 'brand growth', was 'Next Big Thing'. What was the response from your fans/your response to their positive reaction?
Throttle: You're absolutely right.
It all happened at once really, I won Louis La Roche's remix competition for his track "Untrue" on the day that Next Big Thing was released.
Furthermore, Project 46's single, "Reasons" hit the number 1 position on Beatport in that week. I was incredibly lucky because at that particular time everyone was looking pretty closely at Monstercat. The track then rose to #8 on hypem, and I think #38 was the highest it reached on the electro house charts on beatport. It was the first time i had managers, labels and booking agencies reaching out to me. I received an overwhelming amount of feedback from fans - I made sure I kept a list of all those who reached out to me, so I'll always know who supported me from the very beginning.
Is that part of the reason you give almost all your tracks away for free? As your way of giving back to your fans?
Throttle: Absolutely, I think free tracks are one of the best ways to give back to those who have supported my music. I'm really big on fan interaction, and try stay in touch with as many of them as I can. Whilst the money side of things is important, building a loyal fan base is equally as important.
OTB: What big thing can we expect from you for th rest of 2013? i.e. shows, EP's, new tracks or anything?
Throttle: I'm currently working on a heap of new original material, lots of exciting stuff that I can't wait to finish up and release!
OTB: If you could give one message to your fans, what would it be?
Throttle: A simple thank you is my message to my fans. I think a lot of the time fans fail to realise the substantial impact they have on artists. Waking up to new emails everyday from fans around the world is incredibly inspiring and I'm incredibly grateful for it.
OTB: Last question, not EDM related, if you could marry one person, who would it be?
Throttle: Mila Kunis, no doubt.