Haidak has been an integral part of the Audiophile Deep roster for the past few years, releasing now his 4th EP on the label. We sat down to talk to him about a few things including his discovery of electronic music and his somewhat recent move from the United States to the Netherlands.
Many of our fans probably have heard your music on our Audiophile Deep label before but don’t know the first thing about you. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well I grew up in the Washington DC area and lived there until I was around 19 at which point I went to Spain for a while. It’s was in this time period when visiting Amsterdam that I started to get exposed to more techno and house music. I ended up moving to Amsterdam literally because it has an awesome music scene. I’ve been here four years now and not planning on leaving any time soon. Some of my hobbies outside of music include buying awesome socks and traveling. Did South Africa last summer and just got back from a month abroad in Thailand with some more trips planned on the horizon. I think I like traveling so much because I actually do activities while I travel. When I’m in Amsterdam literally 80% or more of my free time is spent in the studio. I’m also an avid Star Trek fan.
How did you first get into underground electronic music?
Well I originally discovered electronic music very young – downloading things off LimeWire and other such websites (THATS A NAUGHTY HAIDAK). I got early tastes of Aphex Twin, Carl Cox, old Tiesto, but I really got into trance mostly at first. I was producing it for quite a while but as I traveled more I got exposed to more techno and house and that really resonated with me. I think you can definitely hear the trance roots in some of my productions though as I really tend to like these sort of long evolving melodies.
How has living in the Netherlands changed your perspective on the underground culture? There is such a difference to how things flow here in the United States in comparison.
Well when I started first leaving the United States EDM was really exploding and huge so you had to look a lot harder to get exposed to really fresh underground music. In Europe it’s really been an institution since it began and as I traveled around I really got a taste of different stuff. To me though the Netherlands and more recently Germany have had the biggest influence on me musically. I really spent a lot of time going to events when I first moved out here. Catching some of the last parties in the late Trouw, or spending entire nights in Radion, Ruigoord, and other various Amsterdam clubs I was constantly being exposed to fresh new music. Not to mention the festival scene here is insane. My first summer I think I attended like 17 music festivals. I was really the proverbial kid in a candy shop. Over time I’ve kind of continued to explore around and spent time in Berlin, and had a chance to play there I’ve continued to try and develop my sound and add to it as I get a chance to explore more scenes.
You have recently declared you are going to be heading down a tougher techno route. What is to be expected out of you in the next couple months production wise?
Well to be honest I’m sitting on like 30 unreleased tracks right now and I’m only producing more every day. I have quite a broad range of styles I like to produce, but I’ve just really been feeling tougher techno sound lately. Audiophile Deep is sort of moving in a direction that I have been going in myself so there’s a lot coming up. I’ve made an agreement to start doing a bimonthly release with Audiophile so expect a lot more upbeat material mixed in with my more usual melodic tech house sound.
What is a piece of gear in your studio that you cannot live without. Why?
I don’t have a ton of external gear. I work mostly in the box as emulation technology has improved so much in recent years, and this way is more affordable. Down the road I would like to start collecting more analog gear and I love working with it, but as of now my one MUST HAVE piece of equipment is definitely my sound card. My universal audio Apollo twin mkii. A lot of producers don’t realize how important a soundcard is. It really lets you hear the sounds properly and mix properly which is key to a professional sounding track. It also allows me to use quite a few of the UAudio plugins which are honestly as close to the real thing as you can get that I’ve heard
What is a crucial tip you would give a new comer looking to get signed onto a quality label?
Network network network. And honestly I’m the kind of guy who would much rather spend more or less all of my time making music, you simply have to network. End of story. And that’s just true of life in general. People like to help people they like. Or if you have something you can offer to an A&R or something along those lines, go that route. Also, it is possible to get signed just by emailing your tracks. I mean honestly that’s how I got in with Audiophile in the first place. And I think the next step which a lot of people maybe neglect is really following up and building those relationships with labels. I think you turned down the first 5 or 6 tracks I sent you? But then finally it started going well. Be friend with A&Rs, look them up, talk to them. Don’t don’t constantly shove your music in their faces but just be someone that’s like-able. On top of that you honestly just need to get lucky as well. I’ve sent tracks in that got denied by labels then resent the tracks and got them signed later on. It can even depend on if the A&R is in a good mood. The stars kind of need to align in that sense.