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Interview: Kenan Savrun

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Kenan Savrun's journey into electronic music started in the early 90's. Inspired by Faithless, The Prodigy and Underworld, he began Djing in the early 2000s, eventually performing with international talents such as Alex Niggemann, Artbat, Cid Inc, Eli & Fur, Gus Gus, Nick Warren, Oliver Huntemann, Victor Ruiz and Sebastian Mullaert. 2019 then saw the Ankara resident debut as a producer through releases on 3rd Avenue, Eat My Hat Music and Soundteller Records where his progressive sound flourished. 2021 has proved prolific thus far, with Kenan already adding five releases to his discography, the most recent being the 'Bellatrix' single for Droid9. Now on the cusp of a contribution to Juicebox Music's popular 'Elements' series, we catch up with Kenan for an exclusive interview. Enjoy.

1. Hello Kenan, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi, thank you for having me. I am so honored. I have really good releases coming up in March and feel great about it. The last piece of music I listened to was “Telepopmusik – Breathe”.

2. What are your plans for the coming week?

Actually my weeks look like each other for a long time because of the pandemic. We have curfew on the weekends and particular time periods during the weekdays. I am also an interior designer and will be doing my work and music.

3. Talk to us about growing up and living in Turkey, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

I was born and raised in Ankara. I think Ankara is the coolest city of Turkey and I love the place where I live. There were really good cult clubs in my city in the early 2000s and I had a chance to listen to great artists. Those days of clubbing had an underground culture. Not a big crowd but well-versed music lovers and open minded club owners/promoters. I feel grateful that I am living in this time of period.

4. The early 2000s was a special time in Turkish electronic music with artists like Yunus Guvenen/Mavi doing amazing things on labels like Bedrock and Silver Planet. Was he an influence on your productions at all?

I think Bedrock – Heaven Scent (Yunus Guvenen Remix) is a masterpiece. This track was indispensable for me in my early Djing career. I have got lots of inspiration from the early 2000s when I started to do music. The artists of those times were G-Pal, Matthew Dekay, Bart Van Wissen, Deep Dish, Tone Depth and many greater names. They were some of my favourite artists. Was Yunus an influence on my productions all? 100% Yes.

5. Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

Format #1 – Solid Session
Bedrock – For What You Dream On (Full of Renaissance Mix)
Chemical Brothers – Star Guitar
Panoptic – Surface (Original Mix)
Anarcrusan – In My Mind (M.A.S Arcadia Mix)

I think Format #1 – Solid Session was the first electronic music track I have listened to and blew my mind. I was in a day-time club for underage people in Ankara. I was around 12-13 years old ☺ when my passion started with it and continued with the others. I like to play one of them when I am in a good mood. These tracks are some of my inspirations.

6. I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is that true of yourself? Talk about where your inspiration comes from.

I do not like the ‘copy and carry out the popular artists’ sounds to my works. Music has to have a feeling and artists need to give his/her soul to his/her music. My music contains all of my good memories, life experiences, and etc. I am a bit of an old-school artist and get so inspired by music that I loved from the past. Sometimes this can be a handicap for doing my music but I love what I do because I reflect my feelings to my works.

7. You have a new track out this week on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music, tell us a bit about the track and how it showcases your individualities.

Praveen Achary is a really good artist and his label Juicebox Music releases are always top level. I respect what he does. I am so honored to be part of the Juicebox Music family.
The track’s name is Sanguine. I have lustrated myself to do a special track for a great label before I started to do it. I wanted to make a track which can be listened to & played anywhere, anytime. I really love it and hope people will have the same feelings with me. I am so excited for the release.

8. Was there anything which inspired this particular track?

There is always something which I mumble in my head or a melody which is stuck in my mouth and I tap my fingers along with those melodies when I come to my studio. I was in a good mood and focused on my work to make a special one. Sometimes you spend your hours and get nothing. This one was not one of them.

9. What made Juicebox Music the right home for it?

As I mentioned before, Juicebox Music is a great label which has so many big names. Therefore, I thought that it would be a really great option to choose Juicebox.

10. What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of this track?

Currently I have 2 CDJ-800s and a 2-channel Numark mixer. As I mentioned before I am a bit old school and used to have a CD case for playing in my events till 2018. Now I’m using USB ☺. I have a basic studio setup: monitors, soundcard, pc and plugins. There are so many great software which I can get good results by using them.

11. The industry and how fans discover new music has changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. What platform has become your go-to-source when it comes to discover new music?

It was so hard to discover tracks when I started DJing in the beginning of the 2000s. There were not too many digital platforms. Now I check my promo mails and use Beatport.

12. How have you been dealing with COVID-19? Has it played a factor on your creativity in the studio? Or has it made you more productive?

I used to perform at least once a month before Covid-19. However, I can not perform anymore, just like any other artist who lives in Turkey. I hope this thing ends really soon and we get to continue our life again. Nonetheless, I had so much free time in the studio and created good tracks. Also, I started to produce as “Savrun Brothers” with my brother. We signed with really good labels so far. I can say that Covid-19 has brought good and bad things together for me.

13. Once nightlife eventually resumes globally what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?

It will be back to normal some day eventually. However, I am not sure how long it will take. 2020 was really rough on everyone but especially on artists, promoters and all industry staff. I hope that every single artist will perform again and every club owner, promoter and staff will have the opportunity to live like before the pandemic.

14. How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

I try to render a part from my track even if it is not finished yet. I listen to it several times in a day and take notes. I spend too much time on small touches of my work. I was sending them to nearly all of my friends before. I do not disturb my all friends anymore ☺ I only send my works to a few of my friends who are artists and I trust their opinions.

15. How do you see yourself continuing to evolve as an artist in the coming years?

I have been Djing as a professional since 2003 and my biggest regret about music is that I started to produce music so late. The progress that I have gained makes me so happy. If I keep doing what I do with this ambition, I am sure that I will move to better positions.

16. What is your favourite food?

Adana Kebab ☺

17. Iphone or Android?

Iphone

18. Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Being in nature makes me happy & also spending time with my family and good friends.

19. What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I will be making more music to obtain my targets. I hope that everyone will get back to their good life soon. It was such a pleasure for me to be in this interview. Thank you so much.

'Sanguine' is available for pre-order via Juicebox Music: https://bit.ly/3sK0tYM

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