Watch this fun-as-a-pig-in-sh*t video highlighting Northend's massive tour alongside Chris Lake, Michael Woods and TJR. Then meet Northend with VIBE's exclusive Q&A.
Northend: Being able to play nine shows, four with Chris Lake and TJR, and five with Michael Woods, was a highlight of my musical career so far; and I learned a lot from all of them.
Chris Lake mostly taught me how to cheat at laser quest. That guy stood in a corner for 20 minutes covering his chest target, shooting at people as they ran by. On a musical level, he showed me that it is possible to play a show, get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, and wake up early to get a solid days work done. That’s something that didn’t occur to me initially, that even though I’m playing shows and travelling; I need to be able to keep up with my production schedule and all of the other work that needs to get done behind the scenes.
TJR is an unbelievable DJ and watching him made me realize how much work I needed to put in on my sets. It was almost depressing watching him DJ but it was definitely an educational experience.
As for Michael Woods, he taught me a lot about production and mixing of my music and gave me some amazing tips that I’m using while writing now.
Any wild tour memories from this experience?
A lot of those were on the Michael Woods leg of the tour. I feel like wherever he goes; the wild moments happen. Our night in Kitchener was probably the best in terms of wildness. We had just finished playing and we got to the hotel and we really didn't want the night to end so we were thinking of things to do and we ended up playing ‘nicky nicky nine door’, which is insanely annoying if your the recipient of it so I apologize to the victims of our madness. You can watch the tour after-movie to see the antics. This obviously includes us opening a door to find 2 naked people doing what naked people do. To this day I'm still not sure why their door was left open while they were doing it! Either way, I'm happy it made it on film because I couldn't stop laughing about it for the rest of the tour.
What was your fascination with Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, while on tour?
It's not so much a fascination with ‘nicky nicky nine door’, but it was about 4am after a Friday night show with Michael Woods; something weird had to happen.
Other than Woods and Lake, who are you influenced by? Producer-Djs? AND Rappers?
My main influence in the dance music world has to be Tiësto. I know I'm not the only person with that answer but he was the one that turned me on to the whole genre and he is still one of my favorite producers. Growing up though I listened to what my family played in the car and at home, including bands such as U2 and Pearl Jam.
How would you describe your sound to a complete electronic music novice?
I think to a complete electronic music novice I would say my sound is danceable melodically driven music. I do make some of the darker, harder hitting music, but I think my music generally has an optimistic feeling to it.
Beatport named your track “Keep It Down” one of the biggest tracks in electro house. What can you attribute to this successful release?
"Keep It Down" was the first song I ever finished and was happy with. I made it after about a year of me being in London so It was sort of the accumulation of a year of just learning how to make music. In the end it ended up being my first release on Beatport too which made it even cooler. It was a very simple song, simple chords and a hard hitting but simple drop as well and I think that was the appeal with that song.
"EDM" is getting a lot of flack from the underground world being named to mainstream. Do you agree?
I think what's happening with dance music is really great! Artists like David Guetta and Avicii have become household names. The part I love about the whole scene is that there are always going to be subgenres that can fill any void in the underground world left by guys like Guetta breaking out into the mainstream. Genres like deep house are really thriving now and I think that in some ways plays off of the fact that dance music acts like Tiësto, Swedish House Mafia, and Deadmau5 have become so popular amongst the pop audience. So to answer the question, no I don't agree. I think that exposure to the mainstream can only benefit the entire dance music world.
What are your key elements in keeping your music cool and different?
The most important thing for me is making music that represents me as an artist. I spend a lot of time listening to a variety of music from rock to hip-hop. I’m also conscious of the fact that EDM is evolving rapidly, and in order to stay relevant, you’ve got to experiment and try and bring something new to the table. I’m still early in my career as a musician, so my main focus is to try and keep mutating my own ideas into new directions.
You moved from Canada to London to find more inspiration for electronic music. After all, Canada has some amazing electronic talent especially in d n' b, plus there's Art Department… did you experience that at all?
I actually didn't experience that before I left to the UK. When I moved to London I knew nobody in Toronto that had any connection to dance music. I moved in the hopes of meeting people who enjoyed making music as much as I did. I also wanted to DJ so I had hopes of moving there and finding somewhere to play. I also wanted to get our of the comfort zone of my surroundings. Funnily enough, it was a company called Provoke that heard a couple of my songs on Soundcloud, which led me to signing with them. They are based out of Toronto, so after 2 years of being in the UK I ended up moving back to my home city. It was a long journey that brought me full circle, but London gave me the inspiration to make music that I was proud of. London has an amazing scene for dance music, that I definitely attribute to me growing as an artist. I didn’t get to DJ at any events though; so that is on my short list of goals!
You have a tour and a few new tracks coming out next year. What are you most excited about in 2013?
I have a few singles scheduled for release in the early part of 2013, including my collaboration with Stereotronique called ‘Reverence’. I’ve also started putting together my first album, which is in the early stages of development, but should see the light of day around the beginning of the summer. I’m also about to shoot my first music video, which is for ‘You & Me’, another collaboration I did with Jed Harper that features vocals from Lincoln Blache. I never thought that I would have a music video, so I’m still kind of shocked that it is happening.
As for touring, there is a plan in the works right now for me to start touring in North America. After touring around Canada, I’ve become a bit addicted to the idea of being on the road, so I can’t wait to start seeing new cities and meeting new crowds.
Mainly, I’m really excited about people hearing my music, and hoping that people will enjoy it.
I also want to add a huge thank you to Vibe and to everyone who reads this interview. Getting support is an amazing feeling, so I can’t say thank you enough.
Thank Northend back by scooping his new song "Day One" on Beatport!