Leeds based producer Vesta has just teamed up with vocalist Heather Melgram to deliver the empowering Neon Heart, out on Flak Records. He stopped by OTB for a quick chat and heres the results...
OTB: So how has the summer been so far? Many highlights?
Vesta: Great, thanks! I've actually been locked away in the studio working on some new material for the past 3 weeks so feeling slightly pasty and in need of some sun.
OTB: How do you look back on your early years as a raver? How have your tastes changed since then?
Vesta: My very early years as a raver would have actually been most likely at the centre of a mosh pit or singing along to some indie band in a dingy rock venue. Then seamlessly from Indie Rock, to Drum & Bass, to House.
OTB: So what sort of music did you grow up with then? And when did you become interested in house music?
Vesta: I grew up with an eclectic mix. My dad loves his rock music, so a lot of AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Beatles. My first CD's were Human League and The Pet Shop Boys. I think when I first heard Daft Punk's 'One more time' I really started to take an interest in Dance music.
OTB: Was there one moment where you realized this is what you wanted to do then?
Vesta: I went to university to study music production, but with the intention on being a producer at a recording studio working with bands. Then I met a few people who made electronic music and was inspired by how much power you had with a computer and a midi keyboard.
OTB: So how did you learn to make music? Did you take classes? Or just through trial and error on your laptop?
Vesta: I got an 8 track recorder for my 15th birthday which really kick-started the whole thing. I taught myself how to record (badly) and use some basic software. I studied for a degree in Music Technology, which really helped me with my productions. During this time I met some great people who inspired me, and helped me to start producing electronic music.
OTB: How long did it take until you got to a stage where you were pretty assured with your sound?
Vesta: It's taken a few years to feel happy that i'm producing tracks to a good quality.
OTB: What other challenges are you faced with at the moment from a music point of view?
Vesta: I've just moved house, so i'm getting used to the room and how it sounds. I'm also now juggling two alias's, my first being electro-swing producer Jamie Berry and now house producer Vesta.
OTB: When was the last time you heard a track that was really stunningly produced? What made it stick out for you?
Vesta: I just listened to Dear David's track 'Hypnotised'. It's really nice to hear an idea which is actually very simple, but made incredibly complex and beautiful through production.
OTB: From that point of view, which track of yours was the biggest challenge to put together?
Vesta: So far, it has been Neon Heart ft. Heather Melgram. I couldn't find the sound I wanted for the chords so I ended up throwing lots of synths and pianos together to create, what seems like (I hope) one layered sound.
OTB: And when you’re coming up with a new track, what do you start on? The samples? The bassline? How does that all work for you?
Vesta: If I have the vocal then I always work on the drums first with the vocal in the mix.
OTB: So can you explain the latest Flak release to us a bit then? What was the vibe you were going for with it?
Vesta: I was hoping to produce something which was emotive, euphoric and had plenty of energy. Really wanted to give Heather's voice the centre stage, so built the entire song around her vocals.
OTB: What do you see as the future of your productions? Would you ever make music that’s not house and techno?
Vesta: Definitely. I already produce music for other people, and that gives me my fix for wanting to escape the four-to-the-floor drums for a while.
OTB: And what else have you coming up that you’d like to shout about?
Vesta: Well, my next release is on 11/08 which is 'Neon Heart ft. Heather Melgram'. In all fine online stores. Also, i'm just making the finishing touches to my next EP which will be out around September time. Looking forward to getting out and playing again in the next few months and getting myself ready for a (hopefully) busy festival season next year!
'Neon Heart' is out now and available for purchase here.