by Rose Blanton
Jonathan Kane, a.k.a. Shreddie Mercury is a new comer to the scene but he’s no dilettante. He has a distinct sound of his own and has won several awards as a result. After watching his upbeat set on Sunday at Wavefront I was looking forward to sitting down with the young producer for a chat.
Rose Blanton: How did you get started?
Jonathan Kane: I’ve been playing music since I was 8 years old. I played guitar. When I was 22, I went and saw a DJ called Leroy at East Side Tavern in Columbia, MO. It was sweaty and grimy and I loved it. I said to myself, I have to learn more about this scene. I went home and watched a lot of YouTube videos and taught myself. I also like to create melodies on my guitar and then transcribe that to my producing.
RB: How would you classify your music?
JK: For people who like to dance and video games! I draw inspiration from games like Zelda. The music in those games actually has some great melodies. I also try to avoid using samples just for legality reasons.
RB: Who are your influencers?
JK: I really like Sigur Ros and Mogwai
RB: Me too! Do you listen to EDM music often?
JK: Sometimes, but listening to EDM can be somewhat like work. I start to dissect it. But I do enjoy it.
RB: You have two original mixes on SoundCloud and Beatport. Do you want to release and L.P. or an E.P. eventually?
JK: Right now an L.P. doesn’t make a lot of sense for me. If I release an album I want it to be one cohesive piece, not just ten different tracks. I think sometime in the near future though I could release an E.P.
RB: What do you want your music to say to people?
JK: That producers DO have talent. I want the musicality of it to really stand out to people.
RB: Do you consider yourself more of a DJ or a producer?
JK: Producer first and foremost! DJ out of necessity.
RB: What do you think is the biggest difference between the two?
JK: A producer is an artist. A DJ is a crowd pleaser.
RB: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned in the year and a half since you started?
JK: Luck can get you very far [laughs], it helps you get attention from someone important in the business, and especially, the attention of the fans out there. They are the ones who support this scene and help sharing music with their friends, and friends of their friends.
RB: How did luck come into play for you?
JK: Leroy, the DJ who first influenced me posted my remix of Phoenix’s 1901 on his blog which is connected to Hype Machine. It was the 4th song I had ever produced. Glassnote Records heard the remix and offered me a few more and that’s how I got a foot in the door. Also entering the Spectrum remix contest on a whim and waking up the next morning as #1 of 2,500 feels like luck too but who knows. It was all so surreal. That contest really helped to catapult me through.
RB: Impressive kid! One last question, what do you think the future holds for you?
JK: Honestly, I never even thought I would get this far. I’m really thankful to be here at Wavefront and I think we’ll just have to see what happens next.
For those of you who have yet to hear Jonathan Kane’s sound, check out Shreddie Mercury’s here.
Photo of Shreddie Mercury by Robert Underwood from nofilterphotography.com