[TMN Interview + Music Video] Taska Black feat. Ayelle – Dead Inside

You may have been seeing bitbird artist Taska Black’s name quite a bit recently. The Dutch producer has been on a steady rise, seeing overwhelming success in 2017 with singles such as “Where We Go,” as well as his collaboration with fellow bitbird artists Droeloe and vocalist Cut_, “Running Away.” Taska’s most recent accomplishment is his release with soulful singer Ayelle titled “Dead Inside,” and just days ago he released the song’s official music video. Lucky for us, we were provided with the opportunity to speak with Taska Black and learn more about the inspiration behind his music and the video in addition to some sneak peaks of what 2018 will look like for him. Watch the video and check out the interview below!

TMN: Rumor has it you’ve got some huge announcements coming up. Can you give us any hints as to what those will be?

TB: No one thing in particular but I’ve got lots of exciting things happening indeed. Exciting collaborations with bitbird artists and others outside as well. And I might also be working on what I hope is my debut EP…

TMN: How did you get into production? Did you have any classical training prior?

I started taking lessons in violin and piano when I was 4 years old. I never liked playing songs from sheet music exactly how they were supposed to be played so I started improvising my own melodies. When I was about 13 years old I got my first audio interface and Cubase to start recording my improvisations and that’s how I got into production. After years of experimentation I thought it was time to take things to the next level so that’s when I started Taska Black.

TMN: It’s huge to be approached by a creative mind such as San Holo’s. What was your initial reaction when he asked you to sign to his imprint bitbird?

TB: Actually it was me sending a mail to them 3 years ago to show them what I was doing. I loved what bitbird was putting out and San seemed to like what I was doing too. We started talking and that lead into more releases on bitbird. Both San and bitbird have grown a lot over these years and I’m super grateful to be part of the family and to have such amazing people around me.

TMN: What do you love most about the bitbird label?

TB: I think we’re doing something unique in the industry. bitbird really feels like a small family of people with their own vision and their own sound. That’s what San does best I think, supporting people who have their own vision whether it’s in classical music or EDM.

TMN: What can we expect for 2018? Do you have any cool collaborations coming up that you can tell us about?

Lots of new music. Some remixes and new original singles. I’m currently working on some exciting collaborations but unfortunately I can’t reveal any of that yet. I’m also super stoked to be playing my first shows in the US this year. Really looking forward to Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza Paris as well.

TMN: Congratulations on the release of your new music video for your single with Ayelle, “Dead Inside!” Can you tell us a bit about the plot or what inspired the creative direction of it?

TB: Thank you! I really saw this track as a chance to show my experimental side of music to the listeners. I had this vague line in my head “I’m dead inside” so I started building off that thought. When I finished the song with Ayelle we started talking to the director of the music video, Joris Weerts. We shared some ideas on how we wanted to approach the video and give more meaning to the song. I think the track really came to life when we combined both the musical and the visual aspect. The video shows how people are not easily impressed anymore in this saturated era of media and the internet. We wanted to make these feelings of depression heard in order to accept and deal with them, rather than to criticize.

TMN: How would you describe a Taska Black show? Are there any features of it that you feel are signature to “Taska Black,” such as visuals or live elements?

TB: We’re currently shaping the show both musically and visually and I’ve had the chance to test things out on the shows I did with San. I always like to play lots of unreleased music and edits of songs that I’m into. I’ll be doing DJ sets only for a while now but in the long run I really want to incorporate live elements in the show so we’re putting a lot of thought into that as well.

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TMN: How did you come up for the idea for the video?

MP: I wanted a documentary-style video, considering the sound which is very summery, I couldn’t think other than beaches, palm trees, sun, and people having fun. The guys from 351 Studio have been brilliant, helping me transforming my ideas into visually striking images.

TMN: How long have you been making music for?

MP: I started creating some decent productions since 2004 although the first official release happened later in 2008 under a different nickname. The first single as Michael Push called “Freeze” is dated 2012 and it reached #3 of the MTV Top 10 Dance chart, between J.Lo and Madonna.

TMN: You’ve changed styles and direction in the last 2-3 years, can you tell us about that?

Absolutely, there are plenty of songs in different styles just waiting for the right moment to be released. Despite the style, all my tracks tend to be real songs, which you can strip down, play with a piano or guitar and they still work.

TMN: What is your favorite city to play a show at?

MP: Loving the pool parties in Miami, especially when in my city (London) is snowing.

TMN: What DAW to you prefer to use?

MP: I’ve been using Cubase since the beginning an that’s the core of my studio, but when it happens I’m not scared to use other DAW’s.

TMN: Where do you see dance heading in 2018?

I’m looking forward to hear something that will change the rules and will be an inspiration for everyone. I don’t see all this sub-genres we have now dying anytime soon.

TMN: What is your plan for the rest of the year generally?

MP: I’m not planning to stop the releases, one of my wishes at this point would be doing a cover of a song I’ve been inspired in the past. Time will tell…

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