In this interview, we dive into the creative process and technical insights of Miami-based DJ and Producer JKATZ, following the release of his latest track ‘Feel Alive.’
Join us as JKATZ shares the inspiration behind the track, his approach to selecting and processing vocal elements, the technical aspects of production, and the challenges he overcame in the creation of his latest track.
EG: Hi JKATZ, how are you? Congrats on the release of ‘Feel Alive! Could you describe the inspiration or creative concept that drove you to produce this track?
JKATZ: Hi! All good! For this track, I wanted to focus mostly on creating a driving bassline that has a catchy and unique vocal to it on that second drop with the opera sound.
EG: How did you go about selecting the vocal elements and processing them to fit the track’s energy and vibe?
JKATZ: Once I was able to come up with the sample of the electric guitar that’s used throughout the track, that helped me find the melodic vocal used for the buildup, that I thought went great together with that electric guitar sample.
EG: Can you share some insights into the technical aspects of the track, such as the software, instruments, or gear you used during production?
JKATZ: The software I used to produce this track was Ableton Live. Instrument-wise, everything was honestly standard, besides that unique electric guitar sample that is used throughout the whole track. For my production, my pads and bassline are created through Serum.
“I wanted to focus mostly on creating a driving bassline that has a catchy and unique vocal”
EG: Can you elaborate on how you crafted the breakdowns and built the energy back up during the drops?
JKATZ: For the breakdown, I took away the atmospheric sounds that peaked the energy, and just used the bassline, only to be able to calm the mood down, to eventually hit the break for the emotional and melodic vocals to come in. That way, those vocals were able to build up the energy for the drop, while adding in many different atmospheres, synths, and pads during the buildup.
EG: The track has a powerful bassline, what techniques did you use to achieve such a commanding and driving low end?
JKATZ: The layering on the bassline is what I think made it so powerful, with such a smooth low-end. Also used plenty of sidechain compression on it to be able to get that perfect sound.
EG: Were there any specific challenges you faced during the production process, and how did you overcome them?
JKATZ: The biggest issue I faced in producing this track was being able to chop up the opera vocals that you hear on that second drop, to make it sound the way it does now. The vocals originally were a 1-minute-long clip, and the way I was able to make it a 9-bar vocal was, that I took some of the most intriguing sounds during the whole vocal clip and chopped it up into the order I felt it sounded best in, which was definitely not easy, but I was able to get it done after working on it for a while. This part almost felt like a puzzle but eventually, I got the sound I wanted.
EG: Can you share some details about your mixing and mastering process?
JKATZ: Just a lot of EQing, Compression, and Automations for the mix.
“My tracks have a Melodic sound, with a lot of unique atmospheres and driving basslines”
EG: ‘Feel Alive’ has a unique style, how do you ensure that your productions remain distinctive while evolving with each release?
JKATZ: My tracks have a Melodic sound, with a lot of unique atmospheres and driving basslines. For the future, being able to find more unique vocals is what I think will help elevate my future productions.
EG: What’s coming up for JKATZ?
JKATZ: Plenty of releases are scheduled for the rest of the year, with a new remix coming in October and my next original coming in November. I also continue my tour next week in Pennsylvania, following Michigan in October, and so on.