After a busy year of creating and collaborating, Trapanese ninja Karan Kanchan is showing no signs of mercy with his unique brand of J-Trap. Between an upcoming sample pack being released though Acolyte and Splice, as well as a steady flow of upcoming projects, its safe to say that 2018 is going to be an even crazier year for the young Producer/DJ. Following the release of “//Trap Bandit//” featuring Natalia Natchan, I got a chance to talk with Karan a little bit about some of the projects he’s worked on lately as well as his newest track “//Sake Shot//” with fellow Jwala artist BrijPlease.
Hey Karan, thank you so much for taking some time to share a little bit with us, how are you doing today man?
> Hey, I’m doing good man, it’s my pleasure to be a part of this !
So you’ve been pretty busy lately, collaborations with both Natalia Natchan and Kalmi following the release of “//Namasensei//”, a feature in Grapevine Online, and a new track “//Sake Shot//” with BrijPlease that just dropped on Tuesday. How are you feeling about everything you have going on at the moment?
It feels good man, this year has been amazing so far. It’s been super busy, as i had to manage all these releases and shows with my University lectures and assignments.But luckily i have been getting a good response on my music, and i am really thankful to each one of those who take time to listen and appreciate or criticize my work. Its because of them that i am able to work on my music more and improve it.
What was the inspiration or emotion behind the new track “//Sake Shot//” and how did everything start coming together?
> Well it all came together when i started layering sounds for the drop lead. I wanted to take a different approach for making the sound . usually i synthesis my synths, but this time i wanted to make something different, So i layered a snare, a hi-hat ,my signature shamisen and a synth shot .All these sounds are from my next J – Trap Sample Bank coming up on Acolyte.audio soon! So that’s how i had this pluck and attack kinda lead for the drop. Also i wanted to keep it minimalistic in the drop but at the same time powerful. Thats how the idea started.
Did you and Brij work on the track in studio together or did you collaborate via internet?
> Hahahha, Only if i had a studio. Well this is really funny but i made this track with brij in a Shopping Mall, in its Food Court. We had my laptop, and my headphones. We took turns and made the whole track in 6 hrs in the mall while munching on some Chicken Wings hahah, i am never gonna forget this collaboration.
How did the rest of the process develop and what were some of the memorable moments during production?
>So it was a Sunday, and i had just started working on this idea. When i got a call from brij. We were supposed to meet at my place, but i had some relatives come over. So we decided to meet at the Food Court of this Shopping Mall and we started working over there. Also the whole 6 hrs at the Mall making music was memorable.
Tell us a little bit about Jwala and what all of you fellas are doing together. How did everybody meet, who all is involved, and what kickstarted the official formation of the group?
> Jwala is a collective of seven artists primarily, who focus on releasing monthly compilations featuring artists from India who are trying new stuff out and working towards their own sound.We focus on building a platform that doesn’t judge artists on their number of followers or number of plays. Also to bring audiences of different genres together. The Jwala members before having jwala in place are basically internet friends who made music in their bedrooms, who met at this one place , one show which was put together by REProduce Artists – Listening Room. Thats where we all met for the first time and decided to put this thing to work.
Speaking of working with other artists, you recently released “//Trap Bandit//“ with Natalia Natchan and worked with Kalmi on his track “Nuri”. How is it working with all of these other artists and sharing ideas?
> These collaborations have really been fun. I found out about Natalia when she left some comments on my track. When i saw her profile i came to know that she was a singer. I sent her a message on soundcloud, she is a dj as well and said that she plays my tracks in her shows in Japan. I felt so happy, because it was one of my goals of 2017 for my tracks to be played in Japan! Trap Bandit was actually one of the happy accidents that happened. I was working on a new track , when i got her message saying that she tried this Kawaii Rap thing and she wasn’t comfortable to send it to anyone else who didn’t; understand music.She had recorded her vocals on a very basic online free beat. When i played that track , i realised that its tempo was close to the track that i as working on. I immediately asked her to send the acapella , and layered it on my track and Boom! It was sounding great! That’s how it came together, then she recorded it again with both the verses. The Track with kalmi was also done over the internet over the mail and facebook. I am working with these people again very soon!
Do you have any more collaborations planned that you can speak about?
> I have a few collaborations lined up,not just in matters of music but also visuals and art stuff. 2018 is going to be exciting 😉
What about your studio setup, what DAW are you running on and what kind of equipment are you using? (e.g. computer, monitors, headphones, controllers, etc.)
>I don’t have a studio setup as such. Just my MacBook Pro 2013 with bootcamp to run Windows 7 with FL Studio 12, My Samson SR850 headphones and a USB mouse, that’s it. I wish to buy monitors soon, so that i can produce more efficiently for longer hours.
But for me to make music, i just need my laptop and headphones.
Can you share anything about your workflow with us? How you start and develop a track and how do you split up your studio time to stay organized?
>I don’t follow a specific pattern of workflow for a track, but i keep making a lot of different stuff daily and because of doing so, you get many sparks of ideas and then i continue with that idea to complete it into a full track. I am not a very organised person at all, My project file’s are something only i can understand – because i don’t label stuff or organise them.
I like to dedicate most of my time in and around music and care less about the other stuff. But i have to balance it with my studies.
What are some of your favorite production techniques?
>Nothing specific, but i love to make sounds on serum, going crazy with the FM and Filters and also i like to process samples and turn them into something that sounds totally different from what they actually are.
How long have you been producing and what made you serious about pursuing your music?
>7 years ago,when i heard Electronic Dance Music for the first time because of YouTube recommendation and that changed my life. I started making music simply because of curiosity of how these electronic sounds are being made. I became very serious about this 2 years back when i joined my University which offered a specialisation is sound engineering . Also i wanted to create something of my own.
How and when did J-Trap start to define your style?
>It was 1st Jan, 2017. I rebranded my alias with the entire J-Trap theme.Till 2015 i was following trends and making music that was popular. I realised towards the end of 2015 that i wasn’t happy with it. So in 2016 i took a break and just started practising all genres, to get knowledge from each style of music and learn new techniques in music production. I wanted to make something that i was happy with and that i could call it my own sound. I didn’t release much music in 2016. Towards the end of 2016 i was listening to a lot of japanese classical music, so i tried to combine it with the Trap/Dubstep music synthesis that i was learning back then on serum and then J-Trap came into place for me.Also i am a really big fan of japanese culture overall, the people over there and their kindness,japanese infrastructure and more. So in 2016 i planned my stuff for 2017 and worked towards it. Luckily some people have started identifying my genre’s and my tracks are being played in japan and more places worldwide too.
Did you have to push through any initial obstacles to get your music project growing?
>There is always going to be obstacles, you will not see them until you actually start working towards your goals. It’s easy to set goals, when you start working towards,you start to realise all the obstacles. But it depends on us, whether we choose to complain about it or work towards it. My parents were already paying my Sound engineering college fees, so i didn’t want to ask money from them to invest in my musical profile.
I started ghost producing and made some money to get my Artworks/Logo done and some money for promoting my stuff online.Being an indian,not a lot of international producers take us seriously.But after a while people started asking question to me like “where do you stay in japan?”. I have been asked about being japanese a lot. But i guess that’s a good thing, hahaha.
Do you/did you have the luxury of working on music full-time?
> Not as of now, i still have six months of my college/university remaining.But even right now, whatever time i get – i try to focus it more on music and collaboration ideas, not just musical but Art as whole.
What is your favorite music to listen to and what are some of the major influences on your work?
> I really look up to Skrillex, Diplo, HeroBust, Getter and more as artists when i listen to Trap Music. The kind of creativity and sound design skills these guys have is outstanding! But what i generally listen to is more of cute J-pop music, Carly Rae Jepsen,The Weeknd and more. But my main influences for J-Trap music comes from japanese classical music artists like Yoshida Brothers and Wagakki Band.
I don’t want to keep you too long and I really appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions for us here, I’m really excited to see what you have coming next and I know you have a lot of supporters out there who feel the same way. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?
>I would like to thank each one who has supported me and my music in even the smallest way possible.It means a lot. Also thanks to team Acolyte for this Interview and featuring me as the Spotlight Artist. I can’t wait to finalize the new J – Trap Sample Bank which i have been working on currently with Acolyte.Audio.
If you’re a fan of Karan’s music don’t forget to follow him on Soundcloud and Facebook, great artists grow and thrive on the support and input of their online communities!