Amidst the sea of festivals lifting our Canadian summer, We Are Lost hits Toronto with a bang this weekend for its North American debut – we’re beyond excited to take the trip there, physically and musically. At the helm, a deep conductor who needs no introduction, Israeli producer Guy J. We know him for exploring emotional depths and progressively building responses through music, and of course for his infamous Stereo marathon sets with maestro Hernan Cattaneo. We were lucky to catch up with Guy J before his sound waves sweep us off; enjoy!
HS: First off, I just want to say it is a huge honour to have the opportunity to interview you! If I had to name one producer out there that really inspires me, it has to be you. My favorite album of yours is “The Trees, The Sea & The Sun”, I listen to it on repeat everywhere I go! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, let’s get right to it..
We’re super happy to see your “We Are Lost” event coming to Canada, tell us why did you chose Toronto for your festival?
Guy J: Thanks :))) Toronto and Canada in general have been one of my favourite places to go in the last years. I got connected to the people and it’s become a place I love coming back to, seeing the growth and the love from the people for my music. I’ve been working with Oz in Toronto from the first show I had there till now, and since we have very solid relationship, we thought it would be great to do this kind of event in Toronto as we both know there is an amazing crowd for it and that he will be able to produce it in best way.
HS: With your “Lost & Found” label and the “We Are Lost” festival, how and when did the idea of being “lost” come into play? How does that reflect in your sound and the sound of artists you push?
G: The idea of Lost is on the positive side of the word, if you can say that 🙂 The music on the label, thanks to the producers who release on it, have a very “space” vibe to it and it’s very rich with sounds and elements to lose yourself… again, in a beautiful way.
HS: We love the constant quality material on your label; what do you look for when searching through demos for Lost & Found?
G: Thank you, I always search first of all for music that is original and that I know that is made from the heart. You can tell when music is made with passion. There is so much music being released every day nowadays, so I’m looking for things that I believe are original in their ideas and their sounds.
HS: What do you try to do differently than others, as an event producer?
G: I have to say I’m not an event producer, I team up with people who do that professionally and for who this is what they do best. Every person in the chain of making events has their own knowledge to carry it out. I know how to do music and have musical vision, which I can bring to the table regarding the lineup and set times. But in the case of ‘We Are Lost Festival’ in Toronto, Oz knows best how to organise it and how to turn these ideas into reality.
HS: Montreal goes crazy for the marathon sets with Hernan Cattaneo at Stereo in December… Can you tell us a bit about your experiences on these yearly nights? Within the party length of 2am – 10/11pm, what is your favourite time?
G: Wow I love that party and the people who come for it so much, I also can’t wait. I think first of all, Stereo as a club is one of the few places that can do justice to this kind of music thanks to its amazing sounds system. The music I play and produce has a lot of elements and you need amazing sound in order to enjoy and appreciate it. Having a marathon in Stereo is unique all the way through, I get to play all genres of house music there, and tracks that don’t always fit well in my sets when playing the usual 2, 3, 4 hours sets.
HS: What has been the most surprising moment you’ve had during a set with Hernan at Stereo?
G: Hernan is amazing DJ and even though we got to play B2B already a few times, I get surprised every time because this man is a machine, he can stand and play for hours and hours and build the set in such a beautiful way.
HS: Tell us a bit more about how you navigate these marathons sets, about your own internal process and how you navigate crowd reactions to keep building a long story.
G: I think because the party is so long there is no sense of time there, so Hernan and I just go with the flow and trust each other, leading the set in different directions. Of course, it’s still a club set, you keep the “bombs’ to the end 😉
HS: You wear many hats, being a touring artist, label owner, festival founder and producer; how do you balance your time between all of these? What mistakes have you learned from by juggling everything?
G: I think the biggest mistake will be thinking there won’t be any mistakes, with music the label and the event. It’s an endless process that you will always learn something new from, and there always will be ways to make it better. So the balance is to accept mistakes and not lose control… or how we say, not to get Lost 😉
HS: What quality would you like to see more of in the music industry?
G: I think in the last year electronic music has become more musical again, which was missing for me before. While there are mountains of music being released, if you dig good you can find great stuff.
HS: Brian Cid just released an incredible EP on Lost & Found, can you tell us a bit more about your thoughts
when you first heard the tracks?
G: Brian Cid is one of the few producers that I believe will always be releasing on the label, he is very talented and very passionate about his productions.
HS: What main challenges and developments have you observed within the prog music community? Where do you see it headed?
G: The main challenge regardless of the genre is to create original music, I think the prog community is a very united and very down to earth one. Progressive is back big time.
HS: We also have a few questions from the Husa Sounds community:
Aside from the fans, what keeps you passionate about your work everyday?
G: I love what I do, I love making music, I love producing and in my mind to imagine the impact of a track. It’s a magical thing night life and electronic music… I’m lucky to be part of it.
We know that you love your pizzas, if you had to name one, what is the best pizza you’ve ever had?
G: Its really hard to chose but Librreto in Toronto is definitely one of my favourite pizzas.
What’s your satisfaction of software vs. hardware / analogue?
G: I Love analog hardware because when you record something you have to work with it, and there is no going back. It’s a special feeling, besides the warmth of the sound coming from analogue. Software also has its benefits as it’s a very unlimited world.
How do you know when a track is complete?
Only when its released 🙂 I go back always and work on unreleased tracks.