One of the underground’s most revered live acts, techno powerhouse Saytek speaks through his hardware in ways that few can match. The UK artist hits it out the park with his latest dub techno track ‘IYNDUB01 (Live)’, with warm chords draping over rolling, rubbery drums in a way that recalls the best of Detroit.
‘IYNDUB01 (Live)’ offers a serene and sumptuous sound that builds in momentum, with scattered toms and subtle dub vocals drifting across the face of the track next to fizzing FX. As momentum builds, the drums grow more buoyant, the bass more elastic, and gorgeous backlit chords bring the heat. This timeless Saytek track bathes listeners in rich electronic soul and cannot fail to cast a transcendental spell on the dancefloor.
Celebrating 20 years in music this year, Saytek continues to chalk up career firsts; ‘IYNDUB01 (Live)’ is his debut on R&S Records. Out now, the track also features on the Belgian label’s forthcoming ‘In Order To Dance 4.0’ album compilation, due to drop on 14 April.
To mark this career milestone, we asked Saytek, aka Joseph Keevill, to reveal his top 10 tips for emerging producers, DJs and live acts. Here is his sage advice…
Be True to Yourself
Number one and probably the most important tip is to be true to yourself. You must follow your heart; you have to make the music you love. That’s really, really important. And that kind of feeds on to number two…
Don’t imitate or make music for others or follow trends. I’ve seen people jump on a bandwagon and follow the latest trend, and I’ve seen some of them actually have successful careers for a short period. But most people who do that, they tour for like 18 months or whatever and then they disappear. Also, if you’re imitating stuff that is on labels, you’re always going to be following so you’re never going to be making your own sound: the sound that’s true to you. Follow your heart and make the music you love.
Self-promotion is so important, especially given that there are so many different avenues of self-promotion available, social media being the most important nowadays. But still follow the traditional roots of press and PR and that kind of stuff as well.
Strike Out On Your Own
A really good way to leverage press and PR is to start your own label or start your own club night. That’s really handy because not only are you promoting yourself as an artist, but you’re collaborating with other people, you’re building a network. Working with other artists and benefiting from their networks is a way to get your name out there as well; it’s a very collaborative thing.
Learn the Equipment
Learn the equipment and the software, whatever you’re using, like the back of your hand. Less is more, I think. Have one DAW that you’re really, really good at using; one, two or three soft synths that you absolutely love; a couple of pieces of hardware that you know really, really well.
Don’t Fall Down the Rabbit Hole
There’s a new product, a new soft synth, a new whatever coming out all the time, and I see a lot of people getting trapped in a cycle where they dedicate their time to just buying new equipment and they don’t ever really learn any of it properly. They just spend and they don’t make any music. They get locked into a certain mentality. ‘If I buy that synth or that piece of software, it’s going to make my music better and that’s going to give me the career I want’. It’s not true. Learn the equipment you’ve got like the back of your hand.
Expect a Rocky Road
It’ going to be a rocky road; the music industry is tough. Trying to get your music heard is really, hard, especially when you’re a new artist. Even when you have had some success, there’s going to be quiet periods in your tour schedule. It’s very up and down. There’s going to be times when you’re not making the money you were making six months ago. But even getting to the first hurdle is difficult. As a new artist, you can send out 100 emails and get no replies; you can send your track to 100 labels and get no replies. Which brings me back to my point about starting your own label and your own club nights.
Tame the Green-Eyed Monster
Try not to compare yourself to other artists. It’s something we’re all guilty of at times – compare and despair. We look at someone else and we think they’re doing better than us, and we get envious, we get jealous, and that’s negative energy. That negative energy is not going to help you. Look at your own career and how you can further that. Every artist is different and there’s enough space out there for hundreds of thousands of artists. Focus on your own career.
Build a team around you. If you do have money to spend on PR and stuff like that, then try a few people until you find the ones who you work well with. When you do get an agent or management, make sure they’re the right fit and that you’re working together as a team for your career. Also, being a nice person will help you build your network. If your music’s good and someone books you once, chances are they’ll book you again.
Share the Love
There’s a lot of competition in this cut-throat industry but try to uplift people around you. If there’s an artist you like, tell them you love their work or tell other people you love their work. If you can help someone make a connection in the industry, do it. If you want people to do favours for you, be prepared to do favours for other people, but do them because you want to help people.
While you’re digesting those words of wisdom, wrap your ears around Satyek’s ‘IYNDUB01 (Live)’ track below...