25th April 2022
Interview: Amy Bell
Del Prez makes music out of the sheer necessity to create. As drummer for synth rock band Kendama, he spent the majority of 2019 playing shows across the UK. With live music being brought to a sudden halt at the beginning of 2020, he transferred his creative energy in to remixing and electronic music production.
To date he has remixed some of Scotland’s most exciting upcoming artists such as Hyyts, Swim School and Dev Green, and explored a range of electronic styles in doing so.
Del Prez draws influence from a diverse array of music. This includes some of the biggest names in electronic music such as Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers, some of the more eccentric artists like Alison Wonderland and 100 gecs, and the electronic production elements of bands such as Bring Me The Horizon and The 1975.
Combining the most addictive and dynamic elements of pop with the emotive euphoria of electronic dance, Del Prez makes music to lose yourself in.
Thanks, Del for taking the time to speak to ReVamp, how did you get into music and who did you used to listen to growing up?
Thanks for having me! I got a set of toy drums for my birthday when I was maybe three or four and I have been playing music in one way or another ever since. I first properly started playing in bands when I was about 13 in school, and after that I went to university to study music business.
My music taste has always been all over the place, from metal to jazz to dance, but in school I was all about pop punk. The bands I listened to back then were definitely the likes of Blink 182, A Day To Remember and New Found Glory. I discovered Enter Shikari when I was about 16 and they remain my favourite band to this day, especially to see live. I love how they can combine heavy riffs, crazy electronics and massive chorus hooks in to one song, and it was their lyrics that first got me interested in politics and social issues. Towards the end of school I also discovered electronic artists like Madeon, Deadmau5 and Fred V & Grafix and I have got progressively more in to dance music since then.
You have a new single out ‘So Far', what was the inspiration for this single and why did you decide to write it?
So Far lyrically reflects on human evolution, the civilisations we’ve built along the way, and the legacy we’ll leave behind when we’re gone. It also considers the critical junction in history that we currently stand at and the potential future that we have the chance to build. I’ve loved synthwave and eighties inspired pop music for ages, and I thought that a bittersweet, nostalgic track would be a nice way to round off the EP. It was also a good opportunity to get my mate Scott Bathgate to do a wailing saxophone solo.
When you are writing the music, do you look at it from a listener's point of view, and what is your recording process like?
Most of the songs that I write are directly inspired by a few tunes that I’m listening to in a similar style around the same time. This means that I can pick the elements I like most as a listener from these songs and put my own spin on them as an artist.
Everything besides the vocals and the saxophone in So Far are digital instruments and samples, so most of the process is just me on my laptop experimenting with different sounds. I’m fascinated by the infinite possibility of music that you can create using just a computer. That also allows you to work on the move as well, which I enjoy because it feels like a you are in a much freer headspace compared to just sitting at home. I don’t sing myself, so when I’m recording a vocalist I like to let them add their own melodies to the lyrics that I’ve written, and add their own unique style to the track.
How is this different from the rest of the singles that you have released?
So Far doesn’t have the traditional build and drop dance structure like the rest of the songs on the EP, but it still has its own big euphoric moments. It’s generally a bit slower and chilled out compared to most of the music I make. It was fun to focus more on creating a spacious atmosphere with this song, rather than making it punchy and in your face.
What do you want listeners to feel when they are listening to it?
For me the coolest thing about making music and putting out in to the world is that people will attach their own meanings and associations to it in ways that I could have never intended or imagined. I love hearing the variety of interpretations people have of my music and lyrics, and that in itself can inspire me on future tracks. Making music is a form of escapism and way of expressing certain things I’m feeling but maybe can’t articulate in to words. I would hope that listeners would be able to experience that same escapism and freedom to express themselves as I do when I’m making the song.
What is next for you?
I’m playing a show in Edinburgh on the 25th of April at Sneaky Pete’s supporting my good friend Ali and the Parade which I’m really looking forward to. Beyond that I would really like to start producing for other artists and continue remixing, as I love collaborating with other creative people. If you’d like to work with me on a track please fire me a message!