In just over 10 years Jimmy Clash has gone from bedroom producer to one of the most in-demand artists and DJs in the EDM scene. We managed to grab Jimmy for a chat about his rise in the scene, his undying love for FL Studio and what fuels his creativity.
Hey Jimmy, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. What have you been up to recently?
No problem! It’s always a pleasure to talk about my biggest passion. I've been very busy in the studio the last few weeks. I’ve finished a lot of new music, and I can't wait to test it all out on tour.
Could you tell us a little about your journey into music production and how it has developed to where you are today?
It all started back in 2007, I downloaded a demo version of FL Studio and started to figure everything out. I always was a creative kid, who liked to create stuff. After a few years of practising, the music finally started to sound decent, and I signed my first record label deal. I developed myself by watching dozens and dozens of YouTube tutorials.
After a few years I got asked by a promoter of a local event to perform at his party, so I had to buy a little DJ set to manage DJing as well. From that moment I started to do DJ gigs, in a few years I had a residency at the #1 and #2 best clubs in Holland. This helped me to be the DJ I am today. Performing in front of a full dancefloor every weekend has helped me grow and taught me a lot. When I graduated at the age of 21, my parents gave me the opportunity to fully focus on music.
You first started producing music at 13 years old as a hobby, and in less than 10 years have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the dance scene. What’s it been like to see your career grow so fast?
It has been an exciting journey, and I have experienced a lot including the rise of the EDM scene itself. In my opinion, today's EDM scene is the best music scene out there. There’s so many different sub-genres, and endless creativity. I'm happy with the direction the dance scene is going.
What would you say has been the biggest factor in reaching the level you’re at today?
Creativity. In every track I put out there must be something recognisable. The listener immediately has to notice it's a 'Jimmy Clash' song. Which is sometimes hard when you produce multiple sub-genres, but in the end it's those little details that makes the record label notice your music.
I imagine your 13 year old self never envisioned the life you have now. If you could go back, is there anything you would want to tell your younger self?
That's a deep question. I think I would encourage myself to keep doing exactly what I was doing back then. The life I have now is the life I dreamt of. It's been a long road with ups and downs, but if I look back I wouldn't change anything. In the end I can be very proud of what I've achieved.
On the tech side of things, you started out using FL Studio, which you still use to this day. Despite a lot of big updates, it still has this inferior reputation amongst a lot of producers. What is it that keeps you using it?
In my opinion, the best dance producer who ever existed used FL Studio; Avicii. It's not about the DAW you're using, it's about the music and creativity. I've been working with FL Studio for more than ten years now, and at the moment I'm not considering another DAW. FL Studio for the win!
Listen to Jimmy's latest single 'Third Eye'
We saw that you’re a fan of Output’s ‘Arcade’, which has taken a really interesting approach as a monthly subscription service that constantly updates with new content. Would you like to see more audio companies following this trend?
Yes, I think it's a very modern approach. You can subscribe to Spotify for the latest music, you can subscribe to Netflix for the latest series, so it would be really cool to subscribe to plugin companies for their latest sound banks. With 'Arcade' that's possible. They deliver very unique sounds, which will make your projects sound fresher.
What would you say are your must-have tools both in the studio and onstage?
For me it's my M-Audio Projectmix, really simple bit of kit, but it does the job. I like to mix all the channels and control the panning of all separate sounds by hand instead of doing it with the computer mouse. By hand is much more accurate, and I'm quicker satisfied with the mix.
We’re all guilty of lusting over an expensive addition to our setups, but I wanted to ask what inexpensive tool has become invaluable to your creative process?
OTT and CamelCrusher are two free VSTs that I use multiple times in every single project. Throughout the years these plugins have become essential for me. Both will make your sounds fatter and crunchier.
Leading on from that, what non-musical sources of inspiration do you find help with your creativity?
I'm the proud owner of a dog. I go outside three to four times a day to walk him. After some studio hours this helps to clear my mind and get fresh ears. When I come back I know exactly what to do in the project. It’s a great tip for producers who are dealing with writers' block every now and then.
What’s next in the pipeline for you?
On October 18th my new song 'Never Wanna Let You Go' will be released on Protocol Recordings. It's a collaboration with Kill the Buzz that I'm very proud of. We worked on it for a very long time and we're so happy to finally present it. It's a very musical/melodic song with emotional vocals. Hits you right in the feels!
And finally, what’s your top piece of advice for anyone trying to find success in the music industry?
Be creative in your music, practise a lot, read books about music, watch ''how to'' tutorials, stay humble, be nice to everyone and the rest will follow automatically.
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