Teminite is a name that has steadily been on the rise in recent years, most notably for his unique dubstep releases incorporating bold saxophone solos and emotive piano melodies. With his latest EP, Unstoppable (out soon) fans have so far been treated to two live performance videos of the title track and "Believe."
Unstoppable is full of cinematic intros, tantalizing build-ups, powerful drops, and, of course, a plethora of unusual influences that make Teminite stand out from any crowd, most notably intricate piano riffs and sprinkles of saxophone throughout. The combination of raw instrumentation together with his unique brand of electronic production yields some pretty interesting results, made even more mesmerizing by a series of live videos to accompany each single so far. With such a refreshing take on the genre, we decided it was high time to sit down with the producer from Leeds to talk about the EP, his influences, and more about his musical knowledge.
Hey Sam, great to have you with us today! What’s new in the world of Teminite?
My live performance videos and I’m just about to start my third and final year at music college.
You’re gearing up to release your Unstoppable EP soon – can you tell us a bit of the story behind this?
I wrote the majority of the EP directly after getting out of hospital earlier this year. I was hospitalized due to a nasty Appendicitis, which ended up causing complete havoc inside my body. I could have ended up with long term health issues due to some of the procedures I had to undertake, but thankfully I made it through, completely recovered and I am now back to being 100% again! The Unstoppable EP is about how you should never take life for granted and to never stop working hard to achieve your dreams!
The first two tracks, "Unstoppable" and "Believe," both came with live performance videos – can you talk us through that a little bit?
The videos were filmed in a studio called Natural Light Spaces in Whittlebury (UK). They were filmed in one take, which was challenging for me. It’s a skill in itself to try and completely forget about the camera in your face and to focus on performing the song to the best of your ability. I distinctly remember repeatedly thinking to myself "don’t mess up" whilst playing the last drop of "Unstoppable," because the take had gone really well up to that point so I wanted that take to be ‘the one’. Ever since I saw Haywyre’s live performance videos I wanted to make it happen, so i’m very happy that I’ve now accomplished that goal. The next one is now to take that setup into a live show with an audience.
We particularly love the sax in "Believe." Do you remember the first time you ever heard saxophone being used in an electronic track?
I remember a friend back in school when I was around 12 showing me Calvin Harris "The Rain." I think that may have been the first time I heard the saxophone being played in an electronic song.
So, just how many instruments can you play in total?
Two - saxophone and piano.
Which was the first one you learned, and which one is the hardest?
I’ve been jamming out and improvising on the piano ever since I can remember.
My dad is a pianist, and he started teaching me when I was 4. I then started playing saxophone at age 8. The reason I initially started learning Sax was because my parents thought it would be a good idea to play an instrument that would help out my asthma by strengthening my lungs. Out of the two, I definitely find piano harder, but that’s because I’ve devoted a lot more of my time practicing the saxophone.
And are there any new instruments you’re thinking of introducing into your already impressive repertoire?
When I find the time, I’d absolutely love to learn how to play the guitar. There is definitely part of me that wants to shred on electric guitar, especially playing metal music - hence the keyboard solo with the guitar sound at the end of "Unstoppable." I will probably learn clarinet and flute at some point too, since they are similar to the saxophone so shouldn’t be too hard to pick up quickly. For now however, I plan to try to get as good as I can on sax and keys. I may invest in a baritone sax sometime soon also.
What’s been your most expensive piece of kit so far? And what’s your most prized musical possession?
The answer to both those questions is no doubt my Selmer Super Action 80 Series 2 Alto Saxophone. I love it to bits.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Skrillex, Haywyre, Michael League, Louis Cole and Plini. Those 5 have inspired me so much over recent years in particular.
And what do you listen to when you’re not listening to dubstep? Any guilty pleasures?
A lot of jazz, big band and various fusions of jazz with different genres. Also metal, orchestral and anything funky.
Nickleback and Ariana Grande.
If you could collaborate with any famous musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It’s gotta be Skrillex. He’s the reason I fell in love with dubstep, the energy he brings to his music really resonates with me. He has inspired me more than any other artist.
And lastly, who are your biggest names to watch at the moment?
Oliverse, Sharks and L.M.
Check out the latest single from Teminite ahead of the full EP release on Friday.