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April sees the launch of a new label from Michigan based artist NVNTR, we caught up with him to discuss his music, influences and plans for the future…
Hi David, thanks for taking the time to talk to Music is 4 Lovers. Can you start by telling us where about you are in the world, and how life has been for you over these last 12 months?
Hello and thank you for the interview! My wife Jillian and I live in Ferndale, Michigan, USA (literally 1 block north of Detroit). We absolutely love the diversity of this city! The past 12 months have been wonderful on one hand, and terribly difficult on the other hand. Coronavirus gave me the opportunity to focus on creating music and building my studio, while at the same time making it extremely challenging to see my family. I’m hoping 2021 gets better and our family can spend more time together.
Detroit is a city with so much musical heritage, what can you tell us about your relationship with the city and its music scene?
My relationship with the scene in Detroit…. Well, I don’t have much of a relationship with the music scene in Detroit. I’ve mainly focused on my music and what I like, and not to be overly influenced by the history. I am aware of all the greats that have come before me (Thomas Barnett, Eddie Fowlkes & Blake Baxter – just to name a few), and I appreciate them, but I just try to do my own thing.
And as a producer do you feel the weight of that history when it comes to making music?
Honestly, I feel no weight. I just do my own thing. It’s hard to compete with some of the music that precedes me, so I just stick to my sound.
We’ve worked closely with Detroit stalwart and ‘Nude Photo’ co-writer Thomas Barnett over the years, fill us in on how you guys met and what you’ve done together?
Yeah, Thomas and I met years ago while he was DJing at Lush Lounge in Hamtramck back in the 90’s. I was there with a friend who said, “I have someone you NEED to meet.” He introduced us and walked away. Immediately we became very good friends. That friendship has continued to this day!
You’re launching our own NVNTR label, can you tell us why your own label, why now and what is the name about?
I had been working on a couple tracks for the last few months and I felt they were ready to be released. I decided that I would release them myself and start the “NVNTR music” label. I felt it was time to release my music, without having to answer to anyone else. I really wanted pure freedom. “NVNTR” – pronounced INVENTOR, comes from an idea I had while at my day-job as a Product Designer, where I have been granted (4) U.S. Utility Patents. Thomas and I were kicking around a few different versions of “inventor” and he said, “just get rid of all the vowels” and NVNTR was born.
What are your primary passions and pursuits in life, apart music making music?
My passions have always been in the arts. I regularly am found out photographing anything from wildlife & nature to old abandoned buildings. I would love to write a book about my photography one day. If you’d like, you can check out my photography on Instagram @detroitdj My wife and I also love to travel. We try to take 2-3 trips a year. We love to get away from the city and spend time in The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Unfortunately, COVID has kept us home since February of 2020. We do have a trip planned to Washington, DC later this year.
Which 3 albums have had the most influence on you over the course of your life, and why?
#1 Most Influential Album would have to be Thomas Barnett’s “Nude Photo.” When I heard it for the first time, it was like nothing had ever heard before. It was so inspiring… and still is.
#2) Prince “Controversy” – The first time I heard “Controversy,” “Let’s Work,” and “Jack U Off” – I about lost my mind. I was so young and influenceable… These songs hit me hard! Prince was a genius!
#3) Daft Punk “Homework” – This album really elevated my interested in electronic music even deeper, harder, & stronger! I was putting all my free time and energy into DJing and Techno! I remember listening to “Around the World” like a million times…
What do you have planned for the year ahead?
2021 will be pretty much the same as 2020 for me. I’m focusing on making and releasing more music and working on building my live set. Both take lots of time, dedication, and focus… so we’ll see how it all goes! I’m pretty sure some traveling will happen again too!
NVNTR ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ drops on NVNTR Music on 12th April 2021