Jody Koenders aka WHOISJODY is one of the most promising rising stars in the electronic music scene. Hailing from The Netherlands, JODY’s first single ‘Feelings’ got signed on Spinnin Records as the #1 track on their Talent Pool.
He creates super house, which is a mix between deep house, tech house and nu-disco, a unique sound with a definite party warranty. JODY just dropped his first Pacemaker mixtape with a delicious selection of house music, so we figured it was the perfect timing for a little interview. Find out more about WHOISJODY, succeeding in the music industry, dreams and inspirations.
WHOISJODY? Please tell us a little about your background. When did you get interested in music?
Like in many families, growing up with different styles of music was an important part of my music development. My mother is a jazz singer and my stepdad is a big fan of the Stones. Through my sisters I got familiar with all sorts of small punk and rock bands. I later gained interest for hip-hop and even started a hip-hop group with a couple of friends. We called ourselves ‘HomeBase’, with me on the drums, two other friends on the decks and bass guitar, hilarious…
Who were your biggest influences while you were growing up?
That would have to be The Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson and Nirvana.
Before you started your music career, you used to be a professional snowboarder. Quite a fascinating background! What’s the story behind that and how come you quit?
True, had an amazing time for 10 years traveling around the globe and snowboarding at the best spots. Competed in big air & halfpipe competitions. However, my career came to an end after a serious accident during a competition in Oslo. I was pretty lucky to step out of it alive. Took me a year to recover and getting back in the game wasn’t an option.
The Netherlands is full of talented DJs, artists and musicians in the electronic music scene. What do you think it takes to stand out and reach out to the audience?
Preserve what you love to do and keep doing it, that’s the main thing. As a beginner DJ/Producer you have to work really hard. Besides creating top notch productions you have to take care of your marketing & PR as well, especially in the beginning, you have to take care of everything yourself.
You have a bedroom (like… literally) studio, that is where all the magic happens. How does your setup look like? What tools do you use to make music?
Haha, true. Well my studio setup is pretty basic. I work with Ableton, have an M-Audio Oxygen 49 Midi Keyboard, 2 KRG Rocket 6 monitors and Ableton Push. Furthermore, I work with a lot of Waves plugins and different software synths, like the Sylenth, Moog, Korg M1 and Massive to name a few.
Since you have your studio at home, how does it work out for you to divide your personal and professional time?
Having your studio at home is sometimes a bit hard but also easy if you all of a sudden come up with a new idea. However, I have periods I when I don’t produce that much and other times I can be sitting for days. Hopefully I’ll get a proper studio one day, outside my bedroom.
What do you like the most about producing and DJing and what are your biggest challenges at the same time?
The biggest reward is of course people liking and dancing to your music. At the same time you always have the little devil on your shoulders saying: are you really going to release this?? But then again it’s very easy to get excited about creating a new track, it’s a big commitment, because you do it and then you have to live with it when it’s finished. It’s in your section in the ‘record store’ for ever. Besides the whole production procedure you have the whole ‘getting in contact with labels’ hassle. Which can be a pain in the ass sometimes, because there are more disappointments than positive feedback.
How do you discover music yourself? Do you buy records or you prefer digital formats and streaming? What are your most trusted sources?
I listen to a lot of mixes from other DJ’s and undiscovered music on Spotify. Besides that, I buy music on Beatport and Traxsource. And recently I bought some records again at the local record shop Rush Hour.
You define your sound as “super house”. So how is super house different from regular house music?
I guess I like to call it super house because I mix all sort of house genres (deep, tech & a bit of nu-disco), however it’s got to have that WHOISJODY groove: deep vocals, baseline and that rolling snare & hi-hat. You have to feel it!
If you would have to name 3 artists whose sound you really like at the moment – who would they be?
Kölsch, Dennis Quin, John Monkman.
Do you have a dream location where you would like to play one day?
Hmmm hard one… At this stage of my musical journey I guess I would love to play in a lot of different places. But if I had to choose one, then it would have to be Burning Man.
Your first single ‘Feelings’ got signed to Spinnin Records’ Talent Pool. I guess that is somewhat of a dream of every electronic music producer. How did you get in touch with them?
Feelings is actually the first step towards the new direction of music I wanted to make. I basically sent it over to Spinnin and they were enthusiastic about the track. The rest is history.
You also run your own label that’s been a bit more under the radar during the last years. Any plans with this in the future?
Eskill Records has been on the low key for a while… I needed to figure out what to do with the label and see in which direction it needed to go. Basically it needed a fresh new image and structure. So I gave Eskill a new corporate identity and music wise it will focus on house (deep & tech house). Soon Eskill will be releasing some new music again.
What would your advice be to young producers and DJs who want to make it in nowadays music industry?
Above all, persist what you are doing. You’ll come across more setbacks than positive moments. Believe in yourself and don’t forget to have fun!
What are you working on right now? What’s next for JODY?
At the moment I’m working on a couple of new tracks, which will be coming out this summer. Doing a collab with a singer from London in a couple of weeks which I’m really looking forward to. Unfortunately can’t tell you who she is yet, but you’ll know soon 🙂
Please tell us a bit about your experiences with Pacemaker for iPhone and Pacemaker+. How do you like the app, what are your favourite features and what would you like to improve?
It’s a pretty cool app, it gives you the opportunity to put together a mix really fast. I would recommend the + version, as it gives you more possibilities mixing wise. I quite like the fade in and out option, which gives you a more precise wave form view. And overall the easiness of adding or deleting tracks as you’re mixing.