What aspects of your Serbian roots and Chicago upbringing do you find influence your music the most?
My Serbian roots along with my Chicago upbringing both share an appreciation of love for culture and music. From Serbian folk, rock and pop music to Chicago house. With both aspects combined you can derive fast paced euro dance, with groovy, jackin Chicago house music.
Were there any early influences that got you into music — in particular, any electronic music worth noting? Or even a genre that inspired you that wasn’t dance-centric?
My early influences I would say were Dj Funk Hot Mix 5, Daft Punk, Joey Beltram, Paul Johnson, CZR, Green Velvet. I remember hearing Joey Beltram’s ‘Energy Flash’ play for the first time at a warehouse party and it literally sent chills down my spine. I think I spent weeks trying to track down the name of the record if not months. lol!
What’s the techno scene in Chicago like and how has it helped you flourish as an artist?
Chicago Techno has been evolving throughout the underground and club scene over the years and of course, it is the pioneering city of House music. It’s been inspiring to see artists stop through our city and perform as it drives you to be more creative and push yourself to do more.
What sets apart your particular brand of techno from other techno producers at the moment?
I like to incorporate Hard-house along with a wide range of Techno and its sub-genres. There is so much good music out there that you can get truly lost in a marathon set. I take inspiration from such a huge range of styles and I like the freedom of not being pigeonholed into one genre, I think this is perhaps what makes me unique.
As a DJ, do you prefer performing at intimate venues or for larger crowds?
Both can be unique in their own way, but I would have to go with intimate venues just because you can build a stronger connection with the audience. It takes you back to the roots of the scene when pyrotechnics and big festival stages weren’t yet a thing and it was purely about coming together as lovers of underground music. But you can also lose an audience if you fail to read the dance floor.
What’s it like to operate your very own imprint, Slow Dancing To Techno?
It’s a lot of work but at the same time a lot of fun! Having said that, I am still learning but enjoying the process and the ride. Not having to send out demos is one benefit of having your own imprint and I’m really looking forward to being able to put out music that resonates with me and my style of underground music.
What’s there in store for those checking out your latest release ‘STTÆB’?
You have a hard, driving remix by my close and dear friend Rojii who is also based in Chicago. The original, by yours truly, which I’m very proud of and a bonus vocal flip that you is free for download off my bandcamp store
There is also a really futuristic visualizer that we put out in conjunction with the EP.
How has your sound evolved since you emerged onto the scene only a few short years ago?
I feel that my sound has evolved a lot over those years and I believe it always will, as that’s part of the joy and journey of being an artist. However, I always tend to keep part of my roots in each mix and/or production as I think it’s important for your music to be recognisable as you. There are so many amazing artists out there that inspire us on a daily basis, and with an ever-changing music scene it’s hard not to keep evolving. I think it’s healthy for an artist to change and experiment with their sound over the years.
Your signature sound is hard-house and techno. What other genres influence you on a daily basis outside of these two?
I like to listen to Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&B, Disco, Chill, Punk Rock, Rock. Good music is good music and if it sounds great, I won’t hate! I think it’s important to incorporate influences from outside of the electronic music spectrum, it keeps it fresh and unique.
What other techno/house artists are you currently listening to at the moment?
Nastia, Julia Gover, Eris Drew, Milo Spykers, Truncate, Ben Sims, Nur Jaber, Sugar, Paula Temple, I Hate Models, DJ Jock, Submerge, Jason Patrick, Rob Threezy, VTSS, Daria Kolosova, Schacke, Hadone, MRD, Courtesy, Hector Oaks, Sandrien, Avalon Emerson, Anetha, Nina Kraviz, Helena Hauff, Mama Snake, Rebekah.