JNTHN STEIN is an incredible force within the music community. A member of Team Supreme and an ambassador for Ableton. He's recently released his latest project, Everything is a Drug, out via etc etc Records, and his eclectic mesh of experimental fusion of jazz piano, blues guitar and off beat rhythms had us absolutely in love with his production prowess.
We sat down with him to pick his brain and to learn more about production, orchestral background, drugs, and more.
Check out his exclusive playlist and our interview below!
Hi JNTHN, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! You have recently released a new track called "Everything Is A Drug." What is a drug in this context and how would you explain this statement in the larger context of the song?
Love, food, weather, people, interaction, play, art, music, water, kitties, sex, coffee, alcohol, weed, pharmaceutical drugs...all of these make you feel something. We experience reality through our senses, and that information is translated by our brain into the full spectrum of emotions and experiences that defines us. Some drugs are good, some are bad. But they're all drugs, baby. Everything is a drug.
You've also released videos and tutorials as an ambassador for Ableton. If you had one advice to give to those looking to make it in music, what would you tell them?
Keep it simple. More does not mean more, more means more distractions and empty paths and confusion by diffusion. Strength and therefore artistry comes through mastering and enjoying few things over having vacant fleeting experiences with many. Find the bare minimum of what you need to be endlessly challenged and stimulated, and ride those instruments as far as your work ethic and imagination will take you.
The music world can feel like a discouraging place. What keeps you going?
I apply my answer to question 2 in every way possible. I don't need much to live and be happy; a room and a bed, fresh produce and tortillas, and of course tools and time to make music. I'm fortunate and hard working enough to have these things now, and for this I am grateful to feel successful, despite the music industry indeed being a frustrating thing, full of bureaucracy, hypocrisy and superficiality. But, when you love what you do and you know you get to wake up everyday and do it, none of that matters and nor will it ever matter. I just do it for the fun and the love, and always will.
As a former orchestral musician, we're going to have to ask you indulge ourselves for a moment- what orchestral pieces are your favorite? We're largely an electronic site, but are there any that you believe could truly enlighten future music producers in composition, style, etc?
Three pieces that changed my perception of music altogether:
Copeland's Third Symphony. This is an epic blockbuster journey that takes you from the folky pastorally beautiful to the cosmically industrial grand with bombastic pride and power that makes you wanna stand tall and bang on your chest, and even defy physics and fly.
Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring. Primal, cacophonous and irritatingly dense, yet evoking the violent animalistic that you've been gradually oppressing and pushing deep down. This piece reduces you back to the smart monkeys we all are.
Ravel's Daphnes and Chloe. Dreamy, intoxicated, lush, vibrant, sensual, florid and semi-lucid. Pure emotion through extravagant harmony and texture. You drank too much wine and everyone's naked and you're in a lavish colorful garden on a hot summer night. Let's see what happens.
Finally, what can people expect from you in 2017?
You can expect me to see most of the world and keep sharing my music with it, as well as nonstop releases. You can expect me to keep changing and evolving as I experience and learn more. You can expect the rest of Everything Is A Drug EP to unroll in the next month or so. And lastly, you can expect me to keep loving what I do.