Mastering the Groove: An Exclusive Interview with Tech House Virtuoso, CASHEW

In an Exclusive Interview, CASHEW Reveals His Creative Process, Insights into the Tech House Scene, and Tips for Aspiring Producers

October 16 - | 2023

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Cashew, an accomplished music producer and DJ, is a prominent figure in the electronic dance music scene. Known for his unique blend of bass house and tech house, Cashew has made a significant impact in the music industry through his exceptional talent and dedication to the craft.

Career Highlights

Cashew has gained recognition and respect from both fans and industry peers, with a remarkable discography of over 60 songs released on esteemed labels, including Confession, Revealed Recordings, Barong Family, Terminal Underground, and Mixmash Records. His relentless pursuit of musical excellence has allowed him to establish a lasting presence in the world of electronic music.

Live Performances

Cashew's music has resonated on some of the world's biggest stages and festivals. His electrifying sets have graced renowned events such as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Nocturnal Wonderland, Escape Halloween, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), and Coachella, captivating audiences with his infectious energy and sound.

Support from Industry Icons

Notably, Cashew has garnered the admiration and support of some of the most influential figures in the industry, including Tiësto, Diplo, Tchami, Afrojack, Don Diablo, Matroda, Nghtmre, Fedde Le Grand, and many more. Their recognition of his talent is a testament to Cashew's outstanding contributions to the electronic dance music community.

Read the Interview.

Hey Cashew, what inspired you to become a tech/bass house producer, and how did you get started in this field?

It all began with Jauz's "Rock The Party." That track sparked my interest in bass house, drawing me deeper into the genre, and I realized this was where I wanted to work. Over time, as musical tastes evolve, you start to appreciate more minimal sounds. As you work, you discover what you like and don't like. This process led to the creation of my own unique sound, one that resonates with me as both an individual and an artist.

How do you typically approach the creative process when producing a new track?

My typical approach involves starting with a drum groove. Once I've crafted a solid drum groove, I proceed to work on the bassline. After establishing a rhythmic foundation with the drums and bass, I introduce vocals and begin building the entire arrangement. From that point on, there are no limits to where the track can go.

Can you walk me through your typical production setup and workflow?

Most of the time, I work with headphones and a laptop. Approximately 90% of my songs are nearly finished on headphones. When I move into the studio, I primarily address issues related to the low-end and high-end frequencies. This is because I tend to create brighter mixes on headphones, and it's in the studio, using my ADAM A77H, that I notice any issues with high-end resonances.

How do you stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in tech house music production?

I keep myself informed primarily through YouTube. I regularly watch tutorials, even on topics I'm already familiar with, because I believe there's always something new to learn.

How do you balance maintaining your artistic vision with meeting the expectations of your audience?

At my current stage, I aim to introduce innovative elements to my sound, pushing the boundaries of sound design. It seems that people appreciate this approach, and I'm grateful for the support from my audience. The most important thing for me has always been to be true to myself, rather than fitting into a specific mold. I think many people are drawn to my project because of this authenticity.

What techniques do you use to ensure that your tracks have a strong and cohesive groove?

Selecting the right kick and clap is crucial for establishing the groove. The choice of hi-hats is also significant, as they can set the mood of the track. For instance, choppy, short hi-hats pair well with a similar bassline, while longer, open hi-hats work with sustained basslines. My tip for tech house producers is to find a kick and clap combination that feels right and build from there, introducing hi-hats and top loops as needed.

Millean. Walking

How do you integrate live instruments or vocals into your productions, if at all?

I often incorporate vocals into a drum groove, aligning them with the tempo and ensuring they are in the right key. Listening to older songs has helped me understand how live instruments and vocals complement each other in a track.

Can you tell me about a particularly challenging project you’ve worked on, and how you overcame any obstacles you encountered?

When I face challenges, I focus on identifying the element that excites me and gives me that creative spark. If I get stuck, I persevere and continue working on the idea until I make progress. Some tracks come together in 5 hours, while others may take 10 hours. The key is to never give up and always finish your music, even if it initially sounds terrible.

How do you collaborate with other producers or artists on a track, and what do you look for in a potential collaborator?

For collaborations to work, the idea has to genuinely excite me, and it should be something that I'm eager to work on. When I come across an idea that resonates, like a warm and groovy bassline, I know it's worth pursuing. In essence, I seek elements that ignite my creative passion.

How do you approach mixing and mastering your tracks to ensure they sound great both in the studio and on the dance floor?

I heavily saturate my sounds, applying a touch of saturation to each element. This eliminates the need for extensive mastering. My typical mastering chain consists of 2-3 corrective EQs and a final limiter to ensure that peaks stay below 0.

What role do you think social media and other online platforms play in promoting and growing your career as a tech house producer?

Social media serves as the primary platform for promoting oneself in today's digital age. It's crucial to leverage these tools to showcase your music to new audiences.

Can you discuss any unique or innovative techniques or technologies you use in your productions that set your sound apart from others in the field?

I'm a big fan of tools like Gullfoss and Soothe. Soothe aids in sidechaining kick and bass to create space for other elements in the mix, and it helps remove harsh resonances. Gullfoss, on the other hand, enhances the midrange in the master, adding subtle clarity to tracks that may sound dull in that range.

How do you balance the need for originality and creativity with the need to appeal to a wider audience and make commercially successful tracks?

I incorporate catchy vocals and grooves while experimenting with synths and arrangement. This approach allows me to connect with a broader audience while staying true to my unique sound.

What advice would you give to aspiring tech house producers who are just starting out in the industry?

Stay true to yourself and create music that genuinely resonates with you. Don't follow the crowd; focus on what you love. As you embrace your individuality, people will recognize it, and the right audience will gravitate toward you, which is paramount.

Thank you for your time and sharing your experiences!

Thanks for having me!

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