Dutch DJ/Producer Justin Prime has made quite the impact already in the dance industry. Starting off producing on his own as a sound engineer graduate, he quickly found his own signature sound. Being inspired by the hardstyle sound, he began to produce within this genre. Although his love for hardstyle music is still there, he finally decided to switch from hardstyle to house music, which resulted in multiple hit records!
How and why you started your music career? Who inspired you the most?
In my family it’s normal to play music. Everybody plays a piano, guitar, saxophone or sings. My grandfather was a really good musician and he could play so many different instruments that it’s actually ridiculous, not to mention he was a really good singer too. When I was 5 years old, my mom told me I had to choose an instrument to play.
So I chose the piano (good choice afterwards) , so my mom bought me my first electric piano and my grandfather started to school me twice a week and give me homework. Sometimes I didn’t felt like it, and I just wanted to play my Super Nintendo. But he could tell exactly when I haven’t done my homework, and as punishment I had to practice for another hour or so hahaha. When I became 16 years old I started to produce my own songs with Fruiyloops and quickly switched over to Cubase. I received my first record deal when I was 18 years old. As a child I used to listen a lot to Michael Jackson and a lot of American pop bands. I also listened to a lot of Dutch dance music and film score music. I think this really influenced my taste for music and is also the reason why I have such a broad view based on my productions. I have two sides, dance related productions but also more pop related productions and I believe both can exist perfectly next to each other. I’ve actually just finished a collaboration with Onderkoffer where I also bring back a little touch of that 80’s/filmscore vibe.
With which artists or vocalists would you still like to work with in the future?
Sia, Adele, Ellie Goulding to name a few. I really like working with great songwriters and artistic people, they really inspire me to also get the best out of myself.
What’s your favourite DAW? And which VST or instrument you like to use more?
Definitely Steinberg Cubase. I think I’ll keep using this DAW for a very long time. I still like using the Sylenth VST and Serum for some of my lead sounds, and I actually used my Virus Ti2 hardware synthesiser again today. Ohh and Kontakt, there are some killer banks out there like Exhale, Signal, Gravity and some more. I also recommend everyone to buy an UAD card for mixing/mastering purposes, because it really makes a difference.
Can you pick 1 or 2 must plays in your sets and why?
Darude – Sandstorm (Bass Kleph Bootleg Remix) This one is already a few years old, but I still play it in almost every set I play because people just go crazy on this one. Very well done. And of course my track Cannonball with Showtek. I think it’s fair to say this one turned out to be a classic nowadays, and people still go crazy every time I drop this one. For the people who missed it, I’ve recently made a “Prime’s 2017 Edit” of Cannonball, you can download it for free from my Soundcloud page.
Where did you found the inspiration to produce “Wasteland”?
At the beginning of 2016 I decided that I wanted to expand my horizon as a musician. I didn’t feel happy anymore in my own studio, with the music I was creating and where I was heading to. I’m that kind of person who get’s pretty bored after sticking with something for too long. I always want to reinvent and keep developing myself as a musician.
I started to feel caged and not able to express myself, based on what I thought people would expect from me. Now I understand that the person who caged me, was actually me. Music must come from the hearth, and that’s exactly what I decided to do. So I pushed the reset button and looked into the mirror, searching for myself, who I am as a person, what I feel and what makes me happy. I started to play new instruments, and I don’t only produce, but also write my own lyrics now.
‘Drowning’ and ‘Tomorrow Sounds’ were one of the first songs were I’ve set a new sound for myself, and so it only came natural with Wasteland. That doesn’t mean I won’t make club records anymore, so don’t worry 😉
Could you elaborate a little more about your collaboration with Cristi Vaughan?
I received Cristi’s vocal through my manager, and I immediately felt that mellow kinda vibe. I was like “wow.. this vocal is pretty neat, I need to work on this one”. So Basically I just got behind my piano and started playing around with the chords progression and once that was done the rest followed naturally.
In most cases you first start off producing the instrumental and then create the top line. With this project I actually worked the other way around an let Cristi’s vocal guide me through the whole production. Because the vocals are so dreamy, I didn’t want to transform the song into a standard 128bpm dance track, but rather create this laid back kinda vibe which compliments the vocal.
How was 2017 for you?
Pretty good! Last year, where I came to rest and I’m all zen again in my studio. I have decided to do less shows and more studio time. I’ve made a lot of new music, have great studio sessions with really talented artists, playing new instruments and expanding my knowledge as an musician.
Any advice for those up and coming Djs/Producers?
Read a lot of tutorials on google about mixing and mastering.. you can find them anywhere on the internet nowadays. Also get yourself some piano lessons, it will help you evolve musically wise.