Joey Khodanian is perhaps one of the more musically talented producers in my Traktor playlist. His songs echo a fierce desire towards a more challenging roll of music theory in EDM. Although some producers find ways to make music work with minimal composition efforts, JayKode found his niche in exposing this aspect of dance music.
It is sometimes easy to lose sight of eclectic music from around the world and throughout time. EDM is a true passion for many artists and fans these days but in the end it’s just one style from an infinite ocean of art. JayKode’s music reveals the gaps between influence and creation. He is able to take different elements of music and use them in a way that makes him stand out from the rest.
Last time we caught you at Space Yacht we noticed that you had a Thrice sticker on your laptop. When did you first get into them?
I first heard of them in 2004 when my friend showed me the Artist In The Ambulance album. They’re a huge influence and they’ve been my favorite band for the past 12 years.
How would you describe the influence on your music from genres other than EDM?
Well for one my work has a lot of classical influence. I grew up playing the piano so I was listening to that stuff quite a bit.
Aside from that a lot of percussive techniques come from my love of Timbaland’s music, he’s definitely one of my favorite hip hop producers.
I’m also a big fan of metalcore and hardcore music. In a sense, the breakdowns in hardcore are very similar to the drops in EDM. I hardly take influence from other electronic acts. Flume is probably my biggest inspiration from the electronic world but as far as the structure and arrangement goes it mainly comes from hip hop, classical, and metal.
How has being classically trained particularly influenced your music?
To put it simply, if I didn’t know how to play the piano I probably wouldn’t be producing music.
I always hated practicing. I knew that there was no way I could do this forever. At some point I dropped it completely and my parents told me that I was going to regret this one day.
I played piano from the age of 7 to 12 then picked up guitar afterwards. At some point I wanted to pursue being in a metal band, that’s where a lot of my music writing began. That dream eventually transcended into electronic music. A lot of the riffs and songs ended up being used in my solo stuff.
You released an awesome cover of What So Not and Flume’s Gemini earlier this year. How was the reaction to that?
The reception was great, people wanted to hear more covers and I said I would do a cover a month, but I’ve been totally slacking on that. To be honest editting the video was harder than actually making it. I spent about 10 minutes recording and 4 hours editting. I’m hoping to do more in the future I’m just trying to find proper songs that I can cover.
Could you imagine someday playing piano or guitar live as part of a show?
I wanna to eventually perform the intro track from my Dark EP. I envisioned that with a live piano on stage which might be difficult to make happen. Either way integrating piano into my set somehow is definitely a goal of mine.
Your last major track Beehive was released on Buygore Records. Was that a goal of yours or was it just something that happened?
A little of both. We were shopping around for labels and the more I heard about Buygore the more I thought that it would be a perfect fit. I’m glad it worked out. Buygore is always looking out for their artists and they’ve invited me to come back into their studio to work on music and collaborations. I also know Borgore has been supporting Beehive which is great to hear.
Are there any future collabs you can tell us about?
Haha exactly. I recorded some live guitars on this and we’re gonna get a live vocalist on it so it should be sick.
Your remix of The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face is at over a million plays, how did you go about flipping this?
I wasn’t planning on putting out a song between Beehive and Release, which by the way comes out this week on Elysian Records. The Weeknd’s song is super hot right now and I’m personally a big fan of it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the track and I finished it pretty quickly. Luckily I dropped it at a great time which is why it’s doing so good on Soundcloud.
How excited are you to play at the Yost next Friday with gLAdiator?
Very excited! I’ve been to the Yost a bunch of times but haven’t had the chance to play on the mainstage yet. I did the Skybox upstairs a few years ago for a DJ competition and I saw how crazy it gets down there. I knew I wanted that at some point and I’m extremely thankful that I have the opportunity to get down in there next week.