Beatmaker Goes from Small Village to Big City Lights
For 808 Day, we put our ear right up to the subwoofer. We asked our Roland Cloud Family to showcase its percussive prowess on the software version of the drum machine that started it all. You responded with sounds that reminded us that the boom is real and thriving. We sifted through the ripping beats and chose three monarchs to claim the (drum) throne as 808 Day royalty. These are their stories.
In Sergey Morozov’s words, he’s been “carried away by music since my youth.” Now based in St. Petersburg, Russia, our second 808 Day Showcase winner actually grew up in a small village. From age sixteen on, he began to spend time at his local disco, later learning to mix tracks by rewiring tape recorders. Passionate about pursuing a career as DJ, Sergey moved to the city and found work as a bartender. “Being in a bigger city, I got the opportunity to watch London and American DJs,” he says. “I was inspired and traveled as much as I could during that time, watching the reactions of audiences to all sorts of music. By age thirty I confidently felt like I had a style of my own.” We couldn’t agree more. Congrats, Sergey!
How do you find inspiration?
Surfing the internet of course, Spotify in particular (unfortunately in Russia it does not work). A lot of new music lives in old recordings.
Every album has a certain aesthetic or overall emotional tone. What are some of the first recordings you heard and understood that the production was just as important as the songs themselves?
The first thing that impressed me were clips of Madonna in the early ‘90s. Even then, I realized that using video as part of the production changes how one feels about a song. It’s more than just the music.
What are your practices when writing? Do you have mechanisms or rituals that help facilitate the process?
There is no definite recipe. I just try to hear what is happening inside me and understand my feelings. I’m trying to convey what is special to me and gives me goosebumps.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you see improvisation and error as opportunities?
I’m a nonconformist. Everything I create, I try to record or save in some way. In the future, a musical “moment” may be the beginning of a new song. I’m always inspired.
Each recording session has its own identity via the location, material, people involved, etc. Do you have any recordings that stick out in your memory? What was it that made them so special or auspicious?
I heard a song in a very sad dream. I had recently broken up with my girlfriend. When I woke up, I immediately recorded it in my sequencer. That's how my track “Vera” came out.
Do you believe in the healing properties of music?
In my opinion, music can greatly influence a person’s emotional behavior. In Russia, they say: “A song helps us to build and live.” (These are, by the way, words from a song.) Creativity with a message can definitely help people.
What was the first song or album you heard as a child that made you want to play music? Do you remember how you felt?
As I remember, it was the band ModernTalking. There was something magical because of the synthesizer sounds. After that, I made synthesizers out of cardboard, painted them, and me and the neighbor kids did performances in front of our relatives.