I had the opportunity to sit down with Jim, Bizzey, and Nizzle of Yellow Claw at TomorrowWorld this year for a late night discussion on the most important topics in the world of electronic music, namely branding, production, and safe sex. The trio was a pleasure to talk with—it was easy to tell how passionate they are about making music, as well as how deeply they understand the importance of branding and creating an image for oneself. Take a look into the minds of Yellow Claw:
Batch: Who are your biggest inspirations?
People that make music, but also create a brand for themselves. We really look up to Skrillex. The music, the touring, everything he does is inspirational. The same thing goes for Diplo—everything’s so detailed. We’re very interested in all the different levels of being an artist; it’s not about only playing parties. Everything from the merchandise to the videos has to be interesting.
Recently, we started our own label as well. It’s a good way to put our friends’ music out, and the people whose stuff we normally play, we can put that out, too. What we now notice, as artists, is that once we reach a certain level, people around us who make music as well start to trust us in knowing what’s right. It’s so cool that we have a lot of talented producers in Holland. We’re working with them right now and releasing amazing stuff; we just recently released an EP from Wiwek… it’s revolutionary.
Batch: What’s your background in music?
We all have very different backgrounds, from songwriting to classical piano. Basically, when you are young, everybody who makes it—from making their own music to forming their own brand—was interesting to us. A variety of artists, like five years back, the guys who really made it on their own were an inspiration. The fact that they made their own shit… keeping focused… and it’s even more inspirational that a lot of those guys, like Afrojack, live an hour away from us. It’s very close. And they’re just flesh and blood, so if they can do it, we can do it.
Batch: What software are you using these days?
We do a lot of shit in FL Studio 11. We record a lot in Logic, make the mixtapes in Logic (not in Ableton, like everybody else), and do real recordings. Our favorite plugin is the FabFilter. Basically everything for FabFilter, as well as Timeless (and we’re not going to say what reason we use it for yet, but we use it in a very weird way). It works.
Batch: If you were a new producer now, what would you do?
Soundcloud. Make a lot of music. It’s critical: make a lot of music, make 20 tracks and say, “ok, 15 are shitty, but these 5 can work.”
Batch: If you went back in a time machine to give advice to your younger selves, what would you say?
Stop fucking around. Don’t watch TV all day. Start your career. And have safe sex. Don’t make girls pregnant. And don’t sign anything. Don’t even negotiate, just throw it away. Focus on making music.
Keep up with Yellow Claw here.