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Tayak [Interview]

24 min read

We are extremely excited to announce the arrival of the talented Tayak with his very first single, Delirium Tremens. This composition carries a touching story of friendship between the artist and one of his friends, for whom Tayak has been a pillar in the process of overcoming addiction. The Belgian artist has chosen SATO as the partner to mark the beginning of his musical career. He is an artist to watch closely, as we firmly believe this is the prelude to a music journey filled with success. The original mix was initially released as a single, and now its time for the remixes to leave their mark. We were fortunate to have the track remixed by Phunkadelica, Senses Of Mind, and Lumoon – all three adding a new dimension to the original composition. We hope this set of remixes will showcase Tayak in the early stages of his musical journey.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Tayak to learn more about the release of 'Delirium Tremens’, inspirations, DJing and more. Enjoy.

Hi Tayak, thanks for talking to us today. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hi, thank you for offering me this interview. The beginning of 2024 has been significant for me, as I've entered the electronic music industry with the release of my first single. After spending considerable time in my studio producing and conducting musical research, things are starting to take shape.

As for today, here's a non-musical anecdote: after several months of not touching my skateboard, I decided to get back into skateboarding!

What’s a piece of music (not your own) from 2023 that had the biggest impact on you, and what makes it outstanding for you?

The track “Hungover” by Mathame, released in 2023, is one of their masterpieces for me. It’s exactly the type of melody that moves me. The chord progression and sound design are exceptional. Initially, in my productions, I didn't often use vocals. However, after listening to several tracks like “Hungover,” I gradually began incorporating singers into my productions. The addition of the human voice to a powerful lead brought a lot of value to my recent productions.

What was the music genre you discovered first before you turned to electronic music, and what made you continue with the latter?

I first entered the world of music through hip-hop (beatboxing) and blues on the guitar. Later, I spent a year busking in Australia with a Japanese friend, Shota, whom I met there. We played guitar with a loop station, creating sounds as we played. Unbeknownst to me, I was already delving into music production. While we played blues during that time, my musical productions began to lean towards electronic music. Another significant moment occurred in a pastry shop in Brussels when the saleswoman played "Singularity" by Bodzin. The sound of the Moog immediately captivated me, and that's when I knew I wanted to produce melodic techno music.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in your life look like?

I always start a good day with an oat milk latte and a kombucha. I make my to-do list for the day with my manager and then I start going through it. I produce only when I feel inspired. When I am not producing, I work on my other businesses, or I find inspiration for my next tracks by listening to some samples or sometimes simply jamming with other people in different places. In Brussels, I used to play a lot in bars that offer good jam sessions. 

Talk to us about where you are from and how growing up there influenced your journey into electronic music.

I grew up first in Paris. Very young, I was attracted to the world of cinema, and I dreamed of being an actor. But as I evolved, what attracted me the most was film music. Certain film soundtracks have had a huge influence on my musical direction. I also think that electronic music will one day, if not already the case, take a big place in the cinematographic world. I want to be part of this movement.

Who else from your home country inspired you when you first discovered electronic music? And what was it about their DJing or production which led you to pursue it yourself?

As I just talked about, it is especially film music producers who have inspired me the most. I am thinking in particular of Hans Zimmer, who has incredible talent.

You have a new single ‘Delirium Tremens’ out now via SATO Records, tell us about the release and how the track showcases your current sound.

This track is a bit out of my current production catalog. I made it for SATO, and so I wanted to get closer to a more "electronica" style than what I'm used to doing. I find it enriching to produce some tracks in other styles. This allows me to discover new musical tools.

There is an interesting story and inspiration behind this track about overcoming addiction, please tell us our readers about that.

“Delirium Tremens” is actually a medical term for a severe withdrawal syndrome in people suffering from chronic alcoholism. It is a state characterized by hallucinations, agitation, and extreme confusion. I was inspired by a special friendship I experienced with one of my fellow doctors. I witnessed my friend's fierce battle with addiction. This track is therefore a true emotional and human exploration. It is also a message of hope for all addicted people who think they will never be able to get out of it.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in writing ‘Delirium Tremens’.

The majority of melodic elements were created using the DIVA plug-in and the Moog Sub 37. "Delirium Tremens" was created while jamming with a famous colleague whose story is transcribed in the track. The drum pattern is quite simple; I was jamming with my TR-08. Once the drums and the melodic elements matched perfectly, the arrangement and the rest of the track came together quite naturally. And the vocals were incorporated later.

There are also excellent remixes from Phunkadelica, Senses Of Mind and Lumoon on the release. How much were you involved in the remixer selection and why do you think they were a good fit to re-interpret the track?

The choice was made with Lumoon. I chose Senses of Mind because, in my opinion, we share similar artistic orientations, and even if they diverge from Sato's style, it was important for me to maintain my melodic techno touch. That’s why I was honored to have them remix the track. The choice of Phunkadelica was made by Lumoon, who liked their style. Lumoon also enjoyed remixing this track, which he really liked and was happy to release on his new label, SATO Records.

This is your first ever release, why was Sato Records a good home for your introduction to the industry?

Lumoon is a friend I met during my medical studies in Belgium. One day, I posted a story from a live performance in Marseille; he contacted me, and we got back in touch. At that time, he had the project of creating a breakbeat label. He asked me to be part of the label, and I accepted. It was very good timing for me because I was starting to want to release my tracks. It happened naturally.

You are also a DJ as I see you have a few sets on your Soundcloud, so please tell us your approach to DJing, and how your podcast sets might differ from playing in a club.

I entered the world of electronic music through production rather than DJing. I have actually done more live performances than DJ sets. This is what attracts me more. Over the years, I have tried to find a balance between the two, and ultimately, hybrid sets are what suit me best. The act of a live performance attracts me.

Where do you source the majority of music for your sets? Is it primarily from producer friends or promo mailouts at this point?

A bit of both. I like to get lost in the algorithms of social media (like SoundCloud or Spotify) to discover talents in the world of melodic techno. Also, I'm fortunate that there are plenty of vinyl shops in my neighborhood where I can browse to find gems.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part?

I start by finding the first track for the set. I know what other tracks I can mix it with, and depending on my emotions and the emotions I feel from my audience, I choose this or that track spontaneously. The ultimate goal is to transmit the emotion that I feel when listening to these tracks and to achieve harmonic transitions.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

I would say:

Lumoon at 12 am

Johannes Brecht at 1 pm  

Mathamé at 2 am

Tayak at 3 am

Mind Against at 4 am

Current top five tracks in your sets?

Portishead – SOS (Johannes Brecht Remix)

Tayak – Delirium Tremens

Mind Against – Walking Away

Nandu – Viciously Searching for Another Dimension

Jepe – Astral Journey  

If you are not DJing, producing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what ?

You can find me at my local skatepark, skating, spending time with my family, or enjoying a kombucha in Bali.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (Something not music related.)

I might have returned to my basic occupation as an emergency doctor, or perhaps I would have pursued my childhood dream of becoming an actor. Who knows?

What’s something we do not know about you?

My sister Sarah plays a significant role in my production choices. She often sends me sounds, whether obscure or more well-known music. She may even hum something for me to use in some way. Even though she doesn't make music, she has a rare musical sensitivity that brings me a lot of inspiration.

What are some of your favourite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

Both the acting and the soundtrack of the series "succession" that I recently discovered are a masterpiece.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Making people happy.

What does the remainder of 2024 hold for you? Do you have a second release coming out anytime soon?

Many releases are coming very soon! I am feeling super excited about it.

'Delirium Tremens' is available now via SATO Records: https://tinyurl.com/2jsay5z2

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