Sep 15, 2021
Letting It Drop With Versus
Today we're catching up with American producer Versus, who's been crushing it with his 2021 releases. He shares really inspiring stories behind his recent work, including "Breakthrough" with Stevie Krash, Kremerk and Nino Lucarelli on Kryteria and his brand new release "Let It Drop" on ZERODEEP. Read on for an inside look at all of the latest in the world of Versus!
Hey Vin, thanks for joining us today! What has this year been like for you? What have been some of your personal and/or musical highlights from the year so far?
Hey guys! Of course, thank you for having me! 2021 has definitely been a year of growth for me both as an artist, and in my day to day life! After the success of my record "R.A.V.E." with George Z on DOORN last November, I feel like I've really hit a great stride in the studio and have really been building on the 'Versus' sound! I'm a producer who loves to challenge myself in the studio, and I am constantly trying different genres and sounds! For a while I felt it worked against me because I wasn't pushing one specific sound forward, but these last two years all of those records and experiences have really shaped the sound I'm pushing now!
It's also been an awesome year of releases for me so far! I was really excited to work with labels like Kryteria, Black Hole, Enormous Tunes / No Definition, and most recently Zero Cool / Zero Deep! My release on Kryteria Records, "Breakthrough" with Stevie Krash, Kremerk and Nino Lucarelli really means a lot to me. My dad passed away in 2018, and at first I didn't know how I would continue on my musical journey. He was my biggest fan, and number one supporter. A month after he passed I sat outside and started an idea. I had a previous demo with Roy Orion, and Nino Lucarelli on the vocals that my dad absolutely loved. I hit up Nino, and asked him if he could lay down some vocals for this new idea, and for over a year I really wasn't sure where to bring the record. I was talking with Stevie Krash about working on something together, and when I showed him the original ID with Nino's vocals he was instantly inspired! He sent me a record he was working on with Kremerk, and thought it would be awesome to combine the ideas. Almost three versions later, the final version of "Breakthrough" was complete and we got the news that Kryder wanted to sign it to Kryteria and include it on his Metaverse album! It was so special to see the reaction to the record, and to see it have such an awesome release platform! I can't thank everyone involved enough for that! Besides that, I've worked on some really awesome records I'm excited to share, and also put together what might be my first album for 2022! It's a collection of records you wouldn't normally hear me release as label singles, featuring some really talented producers, vocalists and songwriters!
Let's dive right into your new track on MOTi's Zero Cool Deep imprint, "Let It Drop." What was the inspiration for this track, and what was the production process like?
"Let It Drop" has to be one of my favorite records I've worked on to date! The original demo sketch was started during my last week in LA in 2020, and once I got my studio situated in New Jersey, it was the first project I revisited!
Last year we heard some really dope house records released. "Caress Me" by Ben Hemsley, "On My Mind" by Diplo & Sidepiece, and "Energy" by KLP & Stace Cadet really stood out to me! I love the playful energy those records have, and how the vocals in those tracks really set the record up to engage any crowd. Once I found the vocal sample for "Let It Drop," I instantly had the idea to have them play out on the drops and carry that same kind of energy. I wanted to keep the dirty house vibes, but make sure it was a record that could work in any prime time set.
When did you first meet MOTi and the Zero Cool team? What was it like working with them for this release?
It has been awesome working with the Zero Cool team so far! They really have a great team over there, and have been very accommodating leading up to the release. I definitely look forward to working with them on some more records in the future. Unfortunately I have not met MOTi yet, but I've been a fan of his music for a while so it's a real honor for me to get the stamp of approval on "Let It Drop" from him! He has always been one of the producers whose records really stand out from both a quality and creative standpoint. Hopefully as things get back to normal, I can get the chance to meet him and check out the Zero Cool office and studios. I saw their setup recently on Instagram, and it looks like an awesome creative environment. Definitely would love to write a banger there!
"Let It Drop" also has an awesome music video to complement the track! Can you give us some insights on how the video came about?
Thank you so much for the compliment! It was such an awesome process putting this video together, and working with some amazing people to bring the vision to life. When I first finished this record, I had a rough idea of what I envisioned for this video. I told my videographer / photographer Joe Nardello about the original concept, and that I wanted to really bring my content to another level on this one. We've done a lot of videos with footage from touring / shows, and with b-roll of the locations – but for this record I wanted to do something different and make it fun for the viewers. I brought on Matt Dinneny who is a super talented photographer / videographer, and along with Joe, the three of us came up with the concept for the video. I met Alyssa (the main actress) at the studio I work out of Your Space NJ, and knew eventually I wanted to work with her for a video. The concept was to focus on her, keep the colors pretty simple and based off the cover art, and basically during the drop have different things exploding. We had four actresses that really brought such great energy to the set, it made the whole process really fun! Once we started shooting, we would run off of the original ideas we had, adjust when things wouldn't work, and just like in the studio – we saw that some of the unplanned shots are always the best outcomes. Being the first official video planned out and shot for one of my records, it was such a cool process! I can't wait to keep raising the bar and working on some awesome content alongside my releases.
You have a weekly radio show named Party Starter Radio. Take us all the way back – what led you to start a show and what was it like for you getting the show off the ground?
So at the end of 2019, I felt like the momentum around Versus was really starting to build. I wanted to give people a chance to listen to my sets and know what to expect when they go to one of my shows. At the time I felt like I was really bouncing all over the place with sounds and releases, so for me this was a chance to showcase how they all came together for a performance. Besides this, I wanted to create a platform for other producers, and upcoming or undiscovered artists! Having my music supported by bigger artists has definitely been a major factor to some of the success of my music. I decided to really push forward and pursue music because Tiësto played one of my mashups to open up Tomorrowland. Meanwhile at the time, I didn't even own Ableton or know how to produce. I recorded the mashup on a mixer in my basement haha. But it gave me that sense of hope that maybe I did have something musically to build off of. If I support some undiscovered music and give someone the motivation to keep pursuing their dreams, it's all worth it for me! And in the long run, I have some big aspirations for the show. Eventually I would really love to bring it to XM radio, and have the show feature weekly interviews and guest mixes from other artists. I want to create a platform to showcase the freshest records, and also give artists an opportunity to let the listeners in on their personality a bit too.
How do you select tracks for Party Starter Radio? Has the show changed at all since you first launched it?
I try to go through my emails at least once a week, and am constantly going through Beatport, and 1001Tracklists for new records. The response to the show has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's built up to where I'm getting 1000+ promos a month! The only change to the show so far is it's now usually a 90 minute show as opposed to a 60 minute show, so I can support as many of the tracks I like as possible. The new format has worked out really well, I usually start with a lot of house in the first 30 minutes, move into some electro / big room, and then transition to some progressive and deep house to close things out. It lets me really bring the listeners on a different musical journey every week, and bring them the freshest music from a bunch of different sub genres of house. If anyone would like to send music in for the show, my promo email is email@example.com.
Do you have any other new tracks in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
Yeah I have a bunch of new music ready to close out 2021, and to kick things off for 2022! Right now I have about 20 demo IDs that I have been finishing up, and picking the best of the bunch to put out. At the end of this month I'll be releasing two remixes for free download of Dr. Dre - "What's The Difference" and Migos - "Straightenin." I always love to try and flip hip hop records into some dirty house, and these two have been going off in my sets all summer! I will also probably release one or two more records in November and December to close out 2021. Right now I have been working on finishing my first album, and working on some big records to kick things off for next year. I'm finishing up a record with Albert Breaker that I'm really excited for – I think it'll be a big one. And I also have another solo ID called "Roll Call" which has some big dirty house vibes that I can't wait to get out!. I'm really excited to finish these records up in September, and start up a bunch of fresh IDs!
Lastly, as we look ahead to the rest of the year, what has you excited and motivated?
I'm really having so much fun everyday working towards my goals. Early on, producing can be difficult to learn and it can be an extremely frustrating process trying to get your music signed. The music industry has a lot to take in and truly learn how it operates. I feel like as the bigger label releases have come for me, and artists I look up to continue to play my music, it has taken the pressure off when I go into the studio to write new ideas. I stopped sitting down trying to make records that would fit certain labels and instead sit down and see what inspires me first. I'm also really motivated to keep building a solid team around me over the next few months. Listening back to all of the music I've been working on this year has me really excited and more motivated than ever to keep building out the vision of the Versus and Party Starter Radio brands!
Thank you again to the 1001Tracklists team for having me today, and make sure you stay connected with me on my socials for all things Versus!
You can stream or download Versus - "Let It Drop" on your platform of choice today! https://zerocool.lnk.to/letitdrop
short link 1001.tl/rx6dhu