The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: STARTFROMSKRATCH
After a flurry of bold and enticing delights over the last year, Chicago-based producer STARTFROMSKRATCH has now returned to deliver his next club-ready anthem 'Of Yesterday'.
Bringing back more of that bright and engaging piano-house sound he is known for, 'Of Yesterday' is one of those instantly exciting earworms you just don't forget in a hurry. With its mixture of warming atmosphere and energetic beats, he is certainly looking to grow even bigger in the months ahead.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and influences over the years.
What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?
The first artists whose music I truly connected with were The Game and 2Pac. I think I was 10 years old when I started listening to them and the storytelling is what made me love their music. Their ability to paint a picture of life and the encouragement they gave the world to push through issues and move through obstacles resonated with me at a young age. The connection was based on loss. I experienced death at a young age and throughout college had friends pass away and every time I was in a dark place I went back to songs of struggle. The harsh realities that The Game and 2pac describe were reminders that my life wasn’t bad and that when bad things happen you have to keep going. Never stop trying to show the world what you can do and who you are and don’t let anyone get in your way. Treat people better and love the ones that love you. Both of them helped me a lot.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
I did not form a band when I was young but I did discover that I could dance at a very young age. I used to mimic the moves of Michael Jackson and I could always keep on the beat. My parents encouraged my brother and I to express ourselves through art and music and I almost did a choreographed dance to RESPECT by Aretha Franklin for our 5th grade talent show but my stage fright got the best of me. Shortly after I stopped learning anything related to dance but continued to be fascinated with music and the stories that it could tell.
What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?
I would say right now my inspiration comes directly from my mood. My mood dictates everything I do. Usually if I am happy, I’ll listen to songs about love or partying and I’ll go and find vocal samples to match that and then produce a song around that. If I’m upset the music that comes out reflects a feeling of loss or sadness. Sometimes if my mind is loud I’ll create songs that give me peace and calm me down. The music creates itself and I always try to remind myself that I make music for me.
Being an unknown I have been working with demos and samples a lot but I really want to work with singers and songwriters and produce music for them. I am currently writing a few songs right now about my past experiences with loss and love and family but they are in the very early stages. Those are going to be special because they will be a direct reflection of everything I have gone through.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
A song out in the world that I wish I had written would be Happy by Pharrell. Pure joy. That song is pure joy. And it brings pure joy to anyone who listens to it. Makes me happy all the time and I wish I had written it.
If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?
I have had a very short career so far and I am just getting started, but there was one moment when I realised this is what I am meant to be doing. I was sitting on my couch playing with my keyboard and I played one note and the sound from that one note made me tear up. I had to stop and reflect on what just happened. The sound that one note made blew my mind and triggered so many different emotions. It is hard to describe but it’s a moment I wish I could relive over and over and I hope to have many more moments like that in the future.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
This definitely depends on what the music genre is. If I produced a Hip-Hop or R&B song I would say Teyana Taylor or Mary J. Blige or Snoop Dogg. They all bring it to another level every time. I would also add DMX to that list because he brought people into a different space every time he performed.
For dance music I would have loved to share the stage with Avicii and done a collaboration with him just to learn from him. Carl Cox is also someone I would have loved to do a set with.
And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?
I would love to do collaborations with Diplo, Tiesto, Marshmello, Martin Garrix and Porter Robinson to name a few. I would also love to work with Ellie Goulding, Halsey, Skylar Grey, Stacy Barthe, and Bebe Rexha. There are so many artists I would love to make music with but I know I have a long way to go.
I would love the opportunity to produce music for Dave East, The Game, Nas, Kendrick, J Cole, Ashanti, Teyana Taylor, Snoop Dogg, T.I., Fabolous, Jadakiss, and Trae tha Truth just to name a few. I love hip-hop music and I love artists that grind for their community, for their craft, and for their family. Nipsey Hussle was someone I wanted to work with and I cried when he was killed. His work ethic, love for his hometown, love for his family and friends, his desire to be great and his encouragement of others to be great was unmatched.
I have a long way to go before I am good enough at my craft to produce for the above artists but I’m absolutely ready and prepared to work hard enough to do so.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years time, I will be producing music full time and working with a team to run a studio and a brand. I want to work with different charities and foundations across the country, mainly in Chicago, to help give more kids opportunities to improve their lives. I also want to be touring and when I am not touring I will be spending most of my time either in the studio producing music or at home producing music. I want to produce an animated TV series and I also want to finish writing my book. Currently I work a job during the day and then produce music until 3 or 4 am most nights. The work ethic is absolutely there but I have a lot more work to do before I achieve what I intend to achieve.
Mainly in five years time I want to find peace of mind and be able to do what I love. Both of these things have eluded me for a long time but I know now how I can achieve both things, I just have to do it. And I will.
STARTFROMSKATCH's new single 'Of Yesterday' is available to stream now. Check it out below.