This versatile London-based house producer is going from strength to strength right now
Whether you know him best for 2019's Afro-tinged club smash Switch (alongside Dope Earth Alien), his collaborations with Richy Ahmed as LoveHrtz or his live sets at the likes of fabric, Watergate and The Warehouse Project, there's no doubt that Jansons is hot property in house circles right now.
The London-based producer only made his production in debut in 2017, yet he's already clocked up releases on such respected labels as Four Thirty Two, Knee Deep In Sound, Circus Recordings, 8bit and Hot Creations, as well as having a MiniMix featured on Radio 1. And no wonder: he specialises in the kind of house music that's firmly rooted in the US tradition but has been touched, too, by the tech and prog brushes, making for a back catalogue capable of finding its way into a wide range of house sets.
Following the all-conquering success of Switch last year, he's seen his recent remix of Steve Lawler's Don't Ask fly up the download charts, and his remix of Chaney's Find Your Love on Skint looks set to repeat that success when it drops later this week. So now seemed like a good time to find out more…
As you've never featured in iDJ before, let's start at the beginning… tell us a little bit about our background, and how you got into making music in the first place?
"I started DJing at quite a young age and loved it. Buying records became a bit of an obsession and that led to an interest in production, so I enrolled on a basic music tech course at college and it grew from there.
"When I moved to London, I started focusing on setting up a decent a home studio, which allowed me to start engineering for other artists. After a couple of years, I was in a position where I could do this full-time and I moved to my first purpose-built studio in Hackney. I continued to invest in my set-up and moved to the studio I’m in now, working with other artists as well as on my own productions."
So you were a DJ before you were a producer… but if push came to shove NOW and you could pick only one, which would it be?
"Yeah, DJing definitely came first – I’d spend most of my spare time practising on my turntables after school. By the time I started college, I had my first local residency in Lincolnshire and I remember entering a DJ competition in Manchester. I love producing just as much as DJing, so I really wouldn’t want to choose… but you can’t beat creating music."
Some of your earliest Jansons releases came on Richy Ahmed's Four Thirty Two label, and you record together as LoveHrtz. How did the two of you first meet?
"I first met Richy years ago through Pete, his first tour manager, who had a studio upstairs from me when I was in Hackney Wick."
What are the pros and cons of working as a solo artist vs as a duo, and vice versa?
"When I work alone I never really know what I’m going to end up with, which I like. However, I can be very self-critical so change my mind too much. Working on a collab is more of a laugh if you’re both together in the studio, and it’s great to feed off each other’s ideas. But timing can be the tricky part, because you’re working to two schedules."
Do your working methods differ between solo and LoveHrtz projects, and if so how?
"Solo projects usually start with hardware in the studio – playing around with synths and drums. LoveHrtz tracks are generally built around a disco sample!"
Your recent remix of Steve Lawler's Don't Ask has been doing well. How did that remix come about, and have you been pleased with the response?
"I’d previously remixed for Steve Lawler so it was nice to also be considered for Don’t Ask on Danny Howard’s label, Nothing Else Matters. It was an enjoyable remix to work on, with a great vocal, so I’m pleased it’s been well received."
How's lockdown been treating you – both on a personal and a professional note? Has not being able to play out had a big financial impact?
"It hasn’t been too bad really – I’ve used it as a time to work on music. I’ve done a few live streams and mixes too, which has kept me busy. It’s disappointing that so many events and festivals have been cancelled but everyone is in the same boat.
"I’ve also been able to engineer remotely, which has helped with my studio rent. Despite everything that’s going on, I’m feeling focused and looking forward to better times ahead."
As we emerge out of lockdown, it's already clear that the club/festival/music industry landscape is going to look quite different. So what post-CV19 changes would you like to see… and what possible changes do you worry about?
"I’d like to see lots of new stripped-back, small parties emerge. Not being able to travel as easily would be a real shame."
Finally, what else is going on in Jansons world right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"I’ve got a remix coming up for Chaney on Skint, as well as the follow-up to Switch with Dope Earth Alien. Plus two exciting collabs and LoveHrtz Vol 3."
Words: Russell Deeks
Chaney feat The Manor's Find Your Love, complete with Jansons Remix, is out on Skint on 3 July