In the midst of completing his new LP "Polar South", and having just dropped the fantastic "Clear Conscience", we grabbed a few words with innovative artist DeModa to hear more about the way he works.
The new single is awesome. When did you start working on it?
Actually, “Clear Conscience” was born all the way back in April, right after I released my self-titled EP, but the track took almost eight weeks to reach full maturity because I had two other all-consuming jobs at the time — both of which involved manual labor — plus DJ gigs. Then the most challenging aspect of finishing the single was mixing the drums. When I started layering synths together, the really cheap hip-hop drums I initially had used were buried, so I superimposed the snare with a heavily compressed 909 and a HPF snap.
Your production style is full of unique elements. What’s inspired you musically throughout your career?
What has motivated me most are the echoes of "no" from naysayers and being told, "You can’t do this," or, "It’s just not going to happen for you." My favorite: "Be realistic." The more I heard such things, the more driven and passionate I became about creating music. In a way, it’s my rebellion - like a punk band. And I’m further propelled by the accomplishments of artists like Porter Robinson, Tchami, and Skrillex, who broke away from the status quo to start something different and original. I love when I hear a new song and just know, "Oh, that’s Flume," — and I aspire to reach a point where people say, "Oh, that’s DeModa."
What is your studio set up like?
With the right equipment, especially my Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones, and the right attitude, I can work almost anywhere. But my main setup is the créme de la créme of bedroom studios. Besides a MacBook, I’ve got two Yamaha HS8 monitors with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 interface, a DBX 166 compressor, and this Behringer XR 1400 Multigate that the sound guy from my old band gave to me. Can’t forget the Auralex Studiofoam for sound absorption, which makes a huge difference.
Do you have any plans for an album or EP in motion?
Well, I’ve been making the most of the aforementioned bedroom studio while producing my upcoming album, "Polar South" - writing, living, eating and sleeping, if minimally, in that very room around-the clock as I try to complete the LP. At times, I find myself talking to my midi keyboard for morale boosts. But with all of the amazing support for “Clear Conscience,” the first single off the record, I can’t wait to release a full-length lineup of original tunes.
Are there any artists you would particularly love to work with?
The list is so long, but I — perhaps delusion-ally — dream of collaborating with Mura Masa to make some catchy hip-hop-meets-future-bass bangers; partnering with Griz to see what kind of funky, emotional, crossover tune we could compose, and teaming up with Mr. Carmack because I need some more booty shakers for my live shows!
Where did the name DeModa come from?
I went to my friend who is a mommy because I figured, "Well, she's already successfully named one human being." So she asked, "Do you want a one-word moniker or half-and-half real, like David DeModa?" And I was like, "That's it: just DeModa." She explained the Spanish phrase means stylish or fashionable. Done.
Could you sum up your sound in 3 words?
Enchanting, ebullient, evolutionary.