Up and coming producer and Los Angeles transplant, Zere talks to the DNB Vault about how he discovered Jungle/Drum N Bass, his production as well as current and upcoming releases on Bryan Gee’s Chronic Label, Randall’s Mac 2 Recordings and Trace’s 117.
For those that might not be familiar, please introduce yourself.
My name is Ric aka Zere. I’m 28 and was born & raised in Cleveland, OH. Eight years ago I got in my car and drove to Los Angeles where I am today.
Tell us about your younger years, before you discovered Jungle/DNB.
I grew up listening to funk, hip hop, much reggae and everything in between. I took guitar lessons for a week if that counts as training. Other than that I’ve always gone the self‐taught route. I developed an interest in music at an early age when a friend got a guitar for xmas one year. I bugged the hell out of my parents until they got me one the following xmas and took up the drums later on.
How did you get turned on to Jungle/Dnb?
I heard Jungle/DNB for the first time out here around 2009. [My] older bro told me about Respect Thursdays in Hollywood and it was wrap. From there I started hitting parties and getting more familiar with the scene. When I started producing DNB I realized, if I want to play my own tunes, I have to learn how to mix. From there I began digging for records and putting in time on the decks. Since then I’ve been blessed to play some dope venues and release music on labels such as Mac 2 Recordings, Chronic Records, Grindhou5e Audio and E‐Motion Records.
Who are some of your favorite producers?
Dj Premier , J Dilla, Dillinja and Break are up there with my top favorite producers , Clean production, great selection of samples and big beats from these guys.
I first heard Dillinja when I’d go kick it with my boy Ren Jawa. I remember tripping out when he dropped a Dillinja track in his scratch routine.
For our readers that are into music production, please tell how you got started and describe your current studio set up?
I messed around on reason [shortly] after high school making hip hop but never dove into production. I started taking producing serious around 4 years ago. I’m currently running Logic Pro 9 , Roland Gaia, Akai MPK 49, Virus Access C, Mackie 8 channel mixer and Yamaha HS8 for Monitors.
How would you describe your production routine?
My inspiration to start new projects usually sparks over the weekend when i can wake up knowing I don’t have work! During the week I hit the lab when I can to keep working the fresh ideas. Sometimes all that it takes is making a dope bass patch, hearing one sound in a sample or a quote in a movie. From there, I try to get a rough sketch down before the idea withers away . If the project has enough direction I’ll be motivated to finish. If not, it’ll end up in the unfinished graveyard. When I’m not feeling very creative I do sessions of just making sounds for future projects.
Do you prefer collab or solo and why?
They both have their benefits. When you collab you have another person to save you from processing your kick for 2 hours. I think the best part of working with someone is when they add something to the beat you never would’ve thought of. On the flip side, working solo you can really focus on the vision of the tune.
While we are the topic of production, what are you currently working on and do you have any upcoming or recent releases?
I recently had a few tunes released on Chronic Records. My Sho ‘nuf ep on Dj Randalls Mac 2 Recordings will be out July 27th, 2015 as well as a tune called Lock up with Jaybee forthcoming on 117 part of the Forbidden Codes 2.
Have you received feedback or support from any big names?
DJ Support from Randall, Dj Hype, Bryan Gee, Friction & Dj Trace.
Any parting shouts?
Shouts to Randall, Magnafide, Dave Owen, Jaybee, No Face, Reen Gabriel Habit and huge thanks to everyone supporting what I do!!!