INTERVIEW with UK producer Zero-Ten

Zero-Ten is a producer/artist from London. When he was a child, he often wondered what it would be like to produce his own music. He had a deep love and passion for different styles of music, playing beats and creating melodies. When he was able to afford some hardware, he purchased a sequencing synth, and that was the beginning of his journey. He learnt how to write music and develop his own smooth and infectious sound quickly. Growing up, he was inspired by Earth Wind and Fire, Brass Construction, and Brothers Johnsons, to name but a few. Zero-ten always had a love for music with energy, so his preference is House music but he is still very much in love with Soul, R&B, Jazz and Dancehall music. Zero-ten’s passion for music has connected him with Mike Sinclair, Eric Dial, Pauline Henry, Robin S, Leee John (Imagination) and Marshall Jefferson. Currently, he is working with PML (Pinky Music London) on in-house and external projects, which include songwriting, re-mixing and production.

1. When and how did you get started producing music, and do you have any formal training?


Zero-Ten: I was in my early twenties when I started experimenting with producing music. My first synth was a Korg 01/WFD. I have had no formal training I guess you can say I’m organically self-taught.


2. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as a producer, and the transition towards your own style?


Zero-Ten: I never really struggled to find my style I was too busy having fun I never wanted to be a producer that copies other producers’ material I was mostly concentrating on creating something original.


3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences that you can remember?


Zero-Ten: I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind And Fire, the Brother’s Johnsons, The Carpenters, Stanley Clark, Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott to name but a few.


4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with people? 


Zero-Ten: The key elements are like cooking food the key ingredients are Love and Positive Energy’ which makes a recipe for great music.


5. What do you think separates you from the crowd of producers emerging right now? 


Zero-Ten: I always look to find inspiration from within creating new ideas sometimes making mistakes turns out to be great ideas. Relying on what other producers are doing is not key for me.  


6. What is your process when composing a song? Where do start, and what usually comes into your head first – the tune, the beat or the vibe?


Zero-Ten: I sometimes create a melody by listening to the drum beat but I switch it up until I feel a vibe.


7. How strict are you with genres? Are you comfortable working with other genres that are outside of your preferred style, if asked?


Zero-Ten: I am happy to venture into other genres so long as I can maintain a healthy vibe once the fun goes out of it we have a problem. 


8. What key ingredients do you always try and infuse into your production work, regardless of the style? 


Zero-Ten: Add some Love, Strong Melodies and positive Energy is always a great place to start but never forget to always have fun doing it.


9. How much do current popular songs from the radio or club scene influence your music, creative approach and/or production decisions? Is it something you pay serious attention to, or do you only follow your own template?


Zero-Ten: Current songs don’t influence me that much. I mostly get excited with new sounds I hear and think of ways to use them creatively.  


10. If you were forced to make a choice, which would you ultimately prefer – working up a crowd in a club setting, or creating a song in the studio? 


Zero-Ten: Creating a new song in the studio is where the magic happens the icing on top of the cake will follow once you have the cake LOL.  


11. What were some of the main challenges, difficulties you faced when starting out as a producer and which are the challenges you are facing now? 


Zero-Ten: Believing in myself is something I had to learn early on. as I have gotten older it has become easier to manage. Remember not everyone will support you on your journey, but if you enjoy what you are doing you stand a better chance. The challenges I face now are to maintain a high level of focus and continue to develop as a Producer and an Artist


12. What was your first hardware/software set-up as a producer like? How has your setup evolved since then, and what for you is the most important piece of gear in your production process right now?


Zero-Ten: Atari St with Cubase VST was my first Hardware and Software sequencing program. I know use Ableton Live 11 with Push 2 controller and a PC I built from scratch running 24 cores and SSD drives. the most important to me would have to be Ableton Live 11 without this I would not be able to do what I do.


13. Which aspect of being an independent producer excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?


Zero-Ten: The freedom aspect to work with anyone of my choice. Cons, can work odd hours to complete projects.


 14. Where do find, and how do you choose, the vocal talents performing on your tracks? And do you also collaborate with other producers?


Zero-Ten: Vocal talents come from many forms some are people I know some are royalty-free vocals and sometimes myself.  


15. What is your relationship with PML (Pinky Music London), and how did this come about?


Zero-Ten: I have known the founder of PLM for many years and it was our love and passion for music that brought us together.


16. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe your overall sound and style?


Zero-Ten: Melodic soothing infectious smooth and addictive.


17. Could you tell us something about the scope of your project, Collusion Cartel? 


Zero-Ten: Collusion Cartel was created to connect with other musicians/artists to create a cool and current vibe House flavour tracks to rock the nearest speakers available.


18. Do you have a favorite track among your releases, which maybe has an interesting backstory and/or message that is very important or personal to you?


Zero-Ten: The first track I did with Pinky Music London “I didn’t mean to turn you on” was what showcased some of my talents and gave me widespread acknowledgement from the team.


19. If you had the choice to produce for any current international artist today, who would that be, and why?


Zero-Ten: Marc Evan’s “The Way You Love Me” has such a rich soulful house voice, I’m ready now, lol


20. Do you have a specific vision or goal that you would like to achieve in the near future?


Zero-Ten: I would love my music to be enjoyed by millions all over the World.



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