Adam K: Elevating Dance Music Since 2006 [Interview]
Adam K is a name synonymous with the very best in Progressive Trance. Hailing from Toronto, the esteemed DJ & producer has collaborated with some of the top artists in the industry, including Kaskade, BT, Mark Knight, Funkagenda and more, as well as pioneered his own fruitful career both as a solo artist and with his musical soulmate Soha.
Only The Beat had the opportunity to chat with Adam following the release of his first single of 2015 and debut on Ultra Music, “Come Alive” featuring fellow Canadian Matthew Steeper, and delved into the evolving scene, dealing with haters, studio equipment and one of his best kept secrets. See what this top producer had to say below!
Adam K Interview 2015
OTB: Congrats on your new single “Come Alive!” It isn’t quite like anything we’ve heard you produce before. What inspired you to go for this specific sound?
Adam K: Thanks! I like different and have never tried to stay just inside one box or sound, as that can be boring. With “Come Alive” it just happened that the difference in this song is that it fits in more with a more mainstream sensibility, although the arrangement of the music is completely different than most pop songs out there (from a producer/arranger standpoint).
The track evolved around the musical hook in the drop. It had to be slower because the melody sounded awful when it was sped up. Then the folky, guitar vibe just gelled with it since the music melody was a straight up folk melody. Vocally, I feel like Matthew just took the vocal where the music already was. For me there’s some great rock influence in there and it all came together in an amazing way.
OTB: On that topic, many DJs have a lot of fan backlash when they charter off into new territory. This isn’t your first time delving into something new as we’ve heard dubstep influences in some of your other music. What’s your advice to producers that are looking to try something new on dealing with haters?
Adam K: Make what you want and what you feel, while still injecting your musical brand into any genre. That’s how you stay true to yourself while still trying something different.
OTB: Dance music has evolved quite a bit since you first entered the scene over 15 years ago. Who do you think has been the major influence on EDM to be where it is today?
Adam K: The guys I think that most influenced the mass increase in the movement we call electronic music are deadmau5 and David Guetta. Obviously there are tons of others high up on the list for me, you know you can’t leave out people like Daft Punk, Carl Cox, Tiesto, AvB, Oakey… man Oakenfold has done some massive stuff over his career, but looking at the surge in popularity of our scene, Joel and David were the guys that cranked it up like 1000 notches. A shout out to Skrillex as well 🙂 and big ups to all of them for helping my dreams come true.
OTB: In a genre that’s currently oversaturated with new music, what do you think makes you stand out amongst the rest?
Adam K: I don’t know if I really do stand out, but my focus has and will always be on melodies. I think melodies and vocals make a song stand the test of time. That’s why years later people still love classic progressive.
OTB: What are your favorite 3 tracks at the moment?
Adam K: Panic Mode – Pairanoid (awesome duo from Toronto)
Permutate – Haywyre & Zeros (lovely melodies..wow)
Grandma – Nom De Strip (because he’s just insane)
OTB: What’s your favorite piece of studio equipment and why?
Adam K: My monitors. They were custom built by a guy here in Toronto named Steve Kranis and they’re just insane. So clear, so loud and so pretty sounding. I guess second to that would be my actual studio. It’s the most important piece of gear I have next to my monitors. The key is hearing what you do clearly. You can’t drive if you can’t see. You can’t produce if you can’t hear what’s actually going on in the mix.
OTB: You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Who do you look up to/admire most and why?
Adam K: I think top of my list are guys like Deorro who just do what they want. The man got sick of touring and literally just stopped. Gotta respect someone who’s not about all the money and just about being happy in what they do.
OTB: What is the biggest item on your DJ bucket list?
Adam K: I’ve always wanted to DJ a party at the Cape of Good Hope. It just seems like a….good thing to do 😀
OTB: Who do you think was the most impressive DJ/producer of 2014 and why?
Adam K: Currently I think Deorro is next level, a god amongst gods. One of my heroes of 2014 and can’t wait to see where he goes this year.
OTB: What’s something most people don’t know about Adam K?
Adam K: I have a third nipple. I don’t really talk about it though…. 😀
OTB: What can we expect from Adam K in 2015?
Adam K: Lots of online tutorials teaching people how to make music, several more singles on Ultra and some big collabs…can’t wait to unleash the details. It’s gonna be a fun year. Oh ya did I mention a U.S. Tour???