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Off-kilter electro popster Para One on how he made his new single ‘Lean On Me’
How did you begin the track?
“I started playing hi-hats in the studio (I’m a very bad drummer) and thought it would be fun to build some kind of 2-step pattern with them, which I never tried before. I’m not a specialist in that genre, so it was my wild take on it! Then I sung some random words and tuned them, and later my friend Teki Latex came to the studio and replaced them with his own words. That was it, we had a song!”
How did you make and finish it?
“I record everything in Ableton and I used an SH 101, a Pro One and a Juno 106, along with soft synths from Reason. And I used a mic to record drums, voices, etcetera. I like to mix digital and analogue sounds to make it my own. My idea was to have a pop song that would go odd all of a sudden, and then go back to ‘normal’. So I had to build up the experimental parts without losing too many of the main elements so I could go back and forth. It took me time to find that balance, and to make it sound right. I had many layers of drums, and I processed them in different ways before resampling them, and so on. As for the synths, in the end I recorded live sessions of sh101 and Pro One, then edited out the notes that didn’t fit. It’s all hand-made!
What advice do you have for new producers?
When you think things sound weird, keep going: it means that what you’re making sounds like you. As a teenager I’d put demos in the trash as soon as they started to sound different; I wasn’t confident enough to decide by myself what was cool and what wasn’t. And try to learn how to reproduce what you have in your head: then, when you’re walking home and you think of something, you can turn it into a song.
Para One’s album ‘Passion’ is out now on Because