Art Department Official
Much Too Much

Known for their pulsing, progressive live performances, the Canadian music production duo known as Art Department has quickly made a profound impact on the underground deep house scene. The sensual dance swagger put together by vocal dynamo Kenny Glasgow and No.19 record label founder Jonny White has elevated them to be considered some of the top DJs in the world right now. From Ultra Music Festival to Coachella, along with an upcoming set confirmed on the Hyte stage at Mysterland, Art Department’s momentum continues to gather devoted followers with every show. The two recently released a new track available for free download on Soundcloud called “Heartbreakers Techno”, which was featured not too long ago on Clayton’s Friday Party Playlist. We highly recommend you give their latest release a listen, and be sure to groove to Art Department’s recorded live performance from the BPM Festival this year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White prior to their performance at Ultra Music Festival. They let us in on some exciting news and upcoming projects, and gave us some perspective on what they’re trying to do with their music.

TMN: I’m here with Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White of Art Department. Jonny, you’re the owner of No. 19 records, correct?

Jonny White: Yeah.

TMN: I hear that you guys have a five year anniversary coming up. Is that right?

Jonny White: Yeah we’re celebrating 5 years and it’s fuckin’ flown by, right!? (Looks at Kenny) So yeah we’re really excited about that, and we’re doing compilations showcasing a lot of people that have been involved over the past 5 years. It’s mental.

TMN: And what are these parties that you’re throwing?

Jonny White: Social Experiments.

TMN: Tell us a little bit about that.

Jonny White: It’s like everybody does with their label showcases, but we’ve branded ours “Social Experiment”, which kind of describes what we’re doing. We’re incorporating a lot of different genres of music, and different types of artists that are on the label. For me that’s the best way to interact directly with our fans and represent exactly what we’re about. We want everyone to feel that energy from the most current music that we’re releasing, or planning to release over the next while. That’s the concept.

TMN: Why Art Department? How did that name come about?

Jonny White: It’s just a great name I thought.

Kenny Glasgow: It was supposed to be a record label in the early, early days.

Jonny White: I’ve got a list of names for shit, you know, and hopefully I’ll get around to using them for something. Art Department was at the top of the list for a while.

TMN: Did you guys both grow up in Canada?

Jonny White: Yes.

TMN: Do you still currently reside in Canada?

Jonny White: I’m in Barcelona. I have a place there (Canada) still but I don’t spend as much time there as he does (points to Kenny).

Kenny Glasgow: I’m in London. I spend most of my time in New York and London, but I do also spend a lot of time in Toronto.

TMN: Are there other areas of the globe that you’re really drawn to? Anywhere else that you guys would like to maybe set up shop?

Jonny White: It’s funny you asked that because just this past week we were discussing moving to Brooklyn. We just did a Social Experiment in Brooklyn at Output, started a residency there.

TMN: You got a residency at Output!? Wow! That’s AMAZING. I’ve read up on their sound system and I hear that it’s one of the best in the world.

Jonny White: Yeah, they’re really good friends of ours, so we decided to do a Social Experiment there. Our flight got cancelled going to Montreal the following day, so we ended up spending a full day in Brooklyn for the first time, and we really, really loved the vibe and energy there.

Kenny Glasgow: It’s a developing area, it’s not like Manhattan, which is already like…it’s Manhattan. Brooklyn now is beginning to be the cool area to move in to. It’s wonderful for shopping, for dining, for almost anything.

TMN: I was actually just recently there up in Williamsburg. Very cool area. It reminds me almost of a movie set type of feel because there’s all this graffiti and everything looks hardcore, but then there’s a bunch of hipsters around everywhere. It’s very gentrified.

Jonny White: It’s almost a cooler hipster in Brooklyn I think. There’s a ton of great record shops, great food. I think that might be the next stop.

TMN: What gear did you guys have when you first started making music? Did either of you have formal music training?

Jonny White: Yeah I really don’t want to answer this one. Uhhh, not a hell of a lot, as far as gear goes. NOW it’s ridiculous, but…

TMN: So maybe a better question is what are indispensable items in your current rig? Things that you can’t live without?

Jonny White: For me it’s my Jupiter 8, that’s the centerpiece of the studio. He’s the gear junky (points to Kenny). I’ve got a few things, but this guy is out of control.

Kenny Glasgow: The Jupiter 8 we were rocking while we were in Japan, amazing synth. For me it’s that, the 909, then the Omega 8, and the Prophet 5.

TMN: When you guys are making new music, tell us a bit about what the process is. What do you start off with? Are you getting a kick and a snare? How do you develop it?

Jonny White: We write together and individually so a lot of Art Department ideas come from him (points to Kenny), just like the bassline and the main melody and the vocal that he’s written. Then he’ll pass parts to me, I’ll finish off the song, or sometimes we just write shit independently.

Kenny Glasgow: We correspond a lot.

TMN: You have the Social Experiment for No. 19 records later tonight after your performance at Ultra. Obviously you’re fond of all the artists that you have on the label. Who is one of the real rising stars? Someone that just blows your mind that our readers should really be on the look out for?

Jonny White: To be honest, they all do. There are so many artists out there and we have to be very careful about who we’re spending time and money and energy on. To me, the whole roster is a bunch of super talented and amazing guys that are also friends and they’re all magicians in their own right. The hottest guys at the moment, I guess, are Eric Volta and Louie Fresco who will be releasing an album for us in a couple months. We’ve been working on that for two years, so we’re really excited about that. You know there’s Nitin, who’s my partner in the label. Clayton Steele who’s doing some amazing stuff. Everybody is super talented. Jimmy Edgar, Dennis Ferrer is doing some stuff for us now, really excited to have him on board. Deniz Kurtel.

TMN: You guys are rolling deep! Very exciting. What were some of your favorite artists growing up? When did you get in to electronic music? What were you listening to before that?

Kenny Glasgow: Before that, I was listening to disco, loose joints, funk, that type of music before I actually got in to playing it live. Then I moved from that in to a New York style, garage-vocally type of stuff, and then straight in to techno.

Jonny White: I mean, we both come from a pretty diverse musical backgrounds. My dad was in the record business, so I grew up on everything. Jazz, rock, a lot of classic rock, I was a hip-hop head when I was younger. Basically everything. A lot of soul. A lot of 50’s and 60’s black music. I was a rocker for a minute. Electronic wise, I would say one of my earliest major influences would probably be Green Velvet or Cajmere.

TMN: Any acts that you’re looking forward to seeing here at Ultra?

Jonny White: Ummm…

Kenny Glasgow: Not that I haven’t seen already.

TMN: What message would you like to send to your fans and our readers at The Music Ninja?

Jonny White: Be very careful what you listen to because bad music is bad for your health.

TMN: A couple of random questions real quick if you don’t mind, to round out the interview. First off, if you had a last meal, what would it be?

Jonny White: I eat everything! Probably chicken wings, to be honest.

TMN: Extra spicy?

Jonny White: Hell no! I’ve got an ulcer.

Kenny Glasgow: Probably Swiss Chalet, or a nice sized steak.

TMN: I don’t even know what the first one is, but I’ll look it up later on. Lamborghini or Ferrari?

Jonny White: Ferrari

Kenny Glasgow: Ferrari

TMN: What do you have on your rider list that you just can’t live without?

Kenny Glasgow: Whiskey, JD.

Jonny White: Jack.

TMN: Favorite performance? Favorite crowd recently?

Jonny White: I would say our Social Experiment and the BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen.

TMN: Blondes or Brunettes?

Kenny Glasgow: Brunettes.

Jonny White: Brunettes.

TMN: Beer or Wine?

Jonny White: Wine.

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