We sit down with South African born, Los Angeles living DJ & producer Jono Stephenson to celebrate his forthcoming single ‘I Can’t Save You’ on Fideles IMPRESSUM imprint. We discuss his take on the melodic techno sound, his favourite tools, the last record that blew his mind and more…
Hey Jono, what’s good and bad in your world right now?
I’m currently enjoying living in a new country and city which is vastly different from back home in South Africa in the best possible way. I recently moved from Cape Town to Los Angeles to pursue my career and its been wonderful so far, not without many difficulties but regardless… its great!
What draws you to your sound, why do you like the style?
I like how melodic techno is really pushing the boundaries of sound design now and is holding its roots from where it came from whilst adapting and evolving to suit the current market needs.
What is your unique take on it, what do you add to the conversation?
I think there is so much talk around the commercialisation of melodic techno and the fact it’s not strictly underground but I also think that’s a great thing and the natural progression of events in any industry that succeeds. Adaptation and evolution is what it comes down to and it doesn’t mean people can’t produce that “underground” style of melodic techno or attend underground events – it just means the industry is bigger a whole and now everyone from the bottom to the top has more opportunities because more people care about the genre.
How does it work when you DJ – what’s your aim? Do you have a certain approach when you first start out a set?
I mostly play my own music but I’m always attentive to the crowds reactions and play music that would fit with the vibe but most certainly transition into my music and style of it eventually.
Tell us what inspired your new EP on Atlant?
I made Dancing Echoes roughly a year ago when my mother passed away and it’s essentially a poem immortalized through music and I felt Atlant was the perfect family and imprint to help share my music with the world.
What are some of your favourite tools in the studio?
My favourite tools are actually software tools such as serum + diva which I feel produce such a warm analog type sound whilst retaining grit.
What are you looking forward to that you have got coming up?
I have a wonderful single on Fideles label Impressum called ‘I Can’t Save You’ coming October 27th which I’m looking forward to!
What was the last set or record you heard that made you really go wow?
That’s a very tough question and I have a few but one that I’ve been listening to alot recently is Sideral – Trills on Mind Against’ Habitat recordings.