Our very own Demuir took time out to chat to The Underground’s Joel Summerling.
Hi Demuir, how’s it going?
Hi there! Things are great… I’m grateful and blessed.
Where are you based?
I’m from Toronto, Canada. Been here all my life with my background being Trinidadian.
What’s the house scene like there?
The house scene is definitely living and vibin’ out here. Like the people that inhabit Toronto, there is a diverse range of parties types of house music parties you can check out. Everything from open decks night at Bassline Music Bar to massive international headliners at Coda and the serious vibes outdoors – whether at Sunnyside Pavillion or Cherry Beach.
Your new album just dropped via Mark Farina’s Great Lakes label. It’s packed full of awesome jackin House vibes. How’s it been received?
*Big smile* The response to ‘6 Headed Freap’ has been nothing short of amazing with great support from the UK, Ibiza, and BBC Radio 1. Best surprise was the support from DJ’s / Producers I’ve looked up to and admired including DJ Sneak, Detroit Swindle, ,J Paul Getto, and Gramaphonedzie to name a few. Tracks like ‘A Woman’s Worth’ and ‘Acid Lines’ have been making favorable rounds.
The album is titled 6 Headed Freap. Tell us about the title.
My album’s title is a spin on Ronnie Foster’s ‘Two Headed Freap’ LP on Blue Note. The concept brewed in my mind when I discovered this was the record used for ATCQ’s ‘Electric Relaxation’ and learning more of who Mr. Foster is as a diverse musician, producer, and music director.
So my thought was to call the record, ‘6 Headed Freap’ with each head representing each of the genres I produce, which include Jackin’ House, Afro / Deep House, Tech House, Techno, Hip Hop, and Samba
How did you go about recording the songs? Where does your inspiration come from?
My process is rooted in finding samples from old vinyl records and adding musicianship to compliment the sound. My Dad is classically trained and that rubbed off on me quite a bit in playing a range of instruments that are certainly a part of my sound.
Inspiration comes from many things for me. It can be a piece of visual art, a poem, a conversation, or something that has impacted me both direct or indirectly – doesn’t matter what it is. Very happy to have an ability to create and express myself through music.
You also dip your toe into Hip Hop and Samba. Are those genres you are going to explore more in the future?
Definitely! My first foray into music was driven by Hip Hop music and I put out an instrumental album of 33 beats on my Soundcloud page… I’m currently working on the follow-up for release next year.
My Samba album will be spread across 4 EPs. Nick Holder picked up the first instalment for release on DNH records later this year. I’m very excited to introduce more of those sounds into the house arena.
A growing list of names such as Derrick Carter, Darius Syrossian, Mark Farina, Detroit Swindle and DJ Sneak, plus Radio 1 (UK) and DJ Mag are all supporting your music. What’s it like to have their support?
It’s a great feeling. It’s so hard to describe when your art touches those you respect. It’s one thing for them to connect with you at that level, but a whole other level of context when they openly support what you do.
You even have releases coming out on Sneak’s label. What’s it like to work with Sneak?
Indeed! I have an EP coming to Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings imprint later this year and a follow-up on I’m A House Gangster in 2016…
Sneak has a keen ear on beats and I remember him reaching out to me and asking me where I’m from. I think I shocked him when I told him I was from Toronto and we laughed when we discovered I was only minutes from his home. Sneak has been great and he’s very much a no nonsense kind of guy…There is no guessing if he likes your tracks or not. Straight up and rooted dude.
Embracing social media is key to an artists growth and engagement with fans. You are very proactive with your platforms, for example your YouTube channel features you reviewing promos in a car round your neighbourhood. Cool idea and enjoyable to watch. How did that situation come about?
‘Dj’s In Cars Reviewing Promos’ came about when Mark and I were looking to promo different tracks in an organic way. I knew we would be short on time because I had to get Mark to his gig in Toronto. So our manager, Berger, came up with some great creative ideas and I decided to record the whole thing in my ride. I was kinda surprised by the positive response and it’s now an ongoing thing.
We hear you DJ with four decks. Are four better than two?
I use Traktor and believe as a DJ you should maximize on the technology. 4 decks certainly make it more interesting and much more creative.
Tell us something we don’t know about Demuir
I use to run on the same track team with Ben Johnson… My personal best in the 100 Meters was 10.2 seconds. Glad music got the best of me though!