Jake Cusack is a DJ and producer with well over 20 years of experience under his belt. Starting at the age of just 14, Jake has gone on to solidify his place in underground dance music with his label Funkdog Records as he spends his time scouting for the freshest Tech House talent. Jake has also had hugely successful releases with tracks such as “Sunrise” and a remix of Mr Brico’s “What Is Life.” Below Jake talks us through some behind the scenes info about his version of “What Is Life.”
What was the inspiration behind your version of “What Is Life?”
Jake Cusack: I wanted to build a record with my access virus keyboard and thought this was a good time to do so, the sounds on the keyboard are just ace but I have hardly been using the virus recently, so I went into the remix with that as my main focus.
Do you prefer creating remixes or originals?
JC: I do like remixing tracks but originals are my preferred choice as the first few sittings where things come together is where it is for me.
Do you have any top tips for creating good remixes?
JC: Listen to the original, take the bits that you like and try and keep true to the original idea. I tend not to use someone else’s beats, bass or FX and add my own to the track instead; I also keep the original track in the project to refer to from time to time.
How long do you typically spend perfecting a track?
JC: Building the idea is the fun part, the inspiration! The rest is the perseverance and it takes the time! I normally have 2 maybe 3 sittings after the track is down to tweak sounds and transitions.
You released your remix and the original on your label, what do you look for when signing songs?
JC: The groove, the feeling, is it something we like? Is it something that all the lovely crazy people out there can dance to? We like to make sure it plays nice with other records so that it will work for DJ’s too.
What do you do when you get writers block?
JC: Leave well alone!! When it’s just not working, take a break, start a new track do anything but try and force something together. I used to sit for hours trying to make things work but as I have matured, I’m able to see things differently. If something is not working for me, I’ll take funk dog out for a walk to clear my head before going back to it.
How does “What Is Life?” differ to your other tracks?
JC: The use of the 303 sound! I love the 303 sound but haven’t used it in years.
You have had such a long and successful career in dance music, what advice do you have for any budding DJ or producer out there?
JC: Just be you! And never give up on that. You will get knock back after knock back, email after email ignored but just keep on keeping on and forget about the hype. Just do you and enjoy it!! The best part of doing something you love is that it’s the journey you take in life and if that path is music, live it, dream it, and love it.
Have you got any more releases in store for us this year?
JC: I have one more EP this year, two original tracks – “Your Love” and “You Don’t Know.”
What can we expect from you in 2019?
JC: More releases and more sessions, we are just getting started! We are also looking for more talent so anybody reading this please send your demos our way!! firstname.lastname@example.org.