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"I wasn’t sure, but it worked!": How Preditah brought garage flavour to Jorja Smith collab 'On My Mind'

How grime/two-step super-producer Preditah made Jorja Smith collaboration ‘On My Mind’

  • Interview: Gavin Herlihy | Photo: Gavin Wallace
  • 5 September 2019

What inspired the track?

Jorja and I started a studio session. Her and songwriter Ed Thomas were working on a topline melody, I played a few chords using Native InstrumentsKomplete Kontrol to match the melody of the topline, and we started building the track from there. The tempo was originally slower and the key was lower as well, but it was a nice starting point to begin writing from.

How did you finish it?

I made the entire track in Logic Pro. Once we got the verses recorded, I started to put the drums down using Native Instruments’ Maschine. [I went with Maschine’s] default drum sounds which I had used before to save a bit of time. I actually used the same drums in a remix I did for Chase And Status, which again featured Ed Thomas, who also wrote ‘On My Mind’ with Jorja.

I created a simple sinewave bass that I beefed up using distortion to create a bassline. For the musical elements, I tend to use live-sounding instruments layered with Rhodes or pianos, and that’s what I did with ‘On My Mind’. I layered Rhodes with trance synth sounds to create the atmosphere I was going for. I finalised the production from there, Jorja recorded the vocals and it ended up being a rough demo version that was kinda left on ice. We were supposed to finish it, but we were both busy with gigging and tours.

About a year and a half later, Jorja decided she wanted to finish it after she came back from a tour. I’d been working on the track in my own way during that time anyway, so I showed her the newer version I’d made, but even though she liked it, we decided to go with the original. I added some of the newer touches I’d worked on, just to make it sound more unique. Ed suggested that I throw in some garagey vocal chops and do my thing, which I wasn’t sure about at first, but it worked!

Check out the studio set-up Preditah used below.

Roland FA 06; Bass Station II

Novation Circuit; Focal Twin monitors

Korg Volca; Maschine Mikro MK3; Akai MPC Touch; Antelope audio interface; Komplete Kontrol; Adams S3H Monitors; Passive monitor controller

Ibanez bass guitar

Logic X; Adams S3H Monitors

Korg Arp Odyssey; Moog Subsequent 37

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