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Jai Piccone on Prophet 12, Vanuatu, and the shivers

Walking by day, dancing by night. Aren’t we all? Main man Jai Piccone here from the little hub that is Byron Bay, Australia, is taking matters to another level though. Walking the runways of this world during his days, for names like Burberry and Lanvin, before getting straight down to business on the knobs and switches to produce a refreshing blend of dance music.

It all manifested itself in the form of Mover, his debut EP that came out last month. A collection of three highly polished yet organic tracks, breathing life, ready to tackle the challenges regular club nights throw at you. Attached below is his biting single Racer, and naturally a reason to catch up with Jai in his temporary studio and hear what the fuzz is all about.

How did it all start?
When I was about 11 I started playing music and learning from my older brother’s friends. I started with a guitar. After a few years of learning, I started working under a project called Tora, where I was (and still am) producing and writing, and it began to go well. Then after I turned 16, I dropped out of school to tour for 6 months in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Mexico. During this trip I was exposed to some incredible musical influences. This began to cultivate a further interest in dance music. From this influence, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do more than experiment with dance music.

What inspires you?
I draw inspiration from other music, traveling and relationships, mostly. Being in a new place, finding new music and meeting new people are all catalysts to me starting music I think is worth working on. Also, a good YouTube or Soundcloud music blog binge can definitely bring up some ideas. There’s so much incredible music coming out all the time that I can usually find something that inspires ideas quite quickly.

What does your recording process look like?
I work in Ableton using things like the Prophet 12, Moog sub 37, guitar, samples and a mic to get started. Usually I’ll start with a chord progression, then build a beat around it. I like to arrange it in clip view then jam with it before I record it over into the arrangement section. This makes it easier to know what to take away and when. I do it all in the bedroom, it all looks pretty chaotic. I really like incorporating zoom samples from my travels, it helps if things are sounding too robotic. On my recent EP Mover, you can hear samples from India, New Zealand, Europe, USA, Japan, Vanuatu and other places.

What do you do for a break?
I usually go skateboarding for a break, or swim at the beach.. sometimes go walk. Drink some coffee or something. If I need a longer break, if I’m able to travel in between working on my tracks then this helps me come back with fresh ears and a new perspective which can really help finish things off.

What do you want to say?
I’m not always entirely sure what I want to say, but my goal is to make music that sits in well with my favourite artists, while maintaining a unique sound that eventually, people will hopefully be able to indentify as me. Other than that, I love when music gives you shivers, I’d like my music to be able to do that somehow.

Thanks Jai!

His debut EP Mover is self-released over at bandcamp, and out now, up for streaming on the Spotify and other regular outlets.

All photos by the one and only Byron Ross.