Big things are happening on Enhanced Recordings this year. As the label showcases more and more emerging talent, its veterans continue to release quality EPs and even a studio length album. One of those veterans is Estiva, a producer turned DJ who was had steady releases on Enhanced for over seven years. This humble and incredibly talented artist has a serious dedication to his craft; one that results in a constant fight for perfection on all levels. I had the honor of chatting with Estiva last week ahead of his stellar remix EP for “Voices” featuring The Spacies, which drops today.
You have five remixes for “Voices.” How did they come about?
One of them is the acoustic version performed by The Spacies; it’s an amazing pop ballad. Joorn Bold is the winner of the remix contest…congrats to him; it’s a big-room progressive house tune, really hard-hitting. Same goes for Preon and Savid’s remix…they’re both really talented young producers. Lash‘s remix has a more future house feel, and then the last one by Jeremus is a really funky electro-house remix. There’s something for everyone in this remix package. Also there’s a bonus track which is the Sirenscoel remix of my other single ‘Feels Right.’
What was the last album you bought?
‘Get Away’ by CHVRCHES was the last track I bought. The last full album was With You by Dirty South.
Well it’s new to me, and that’s what counts. As long as people listen to music that makes them happy who cares how old it is or how many people know about it before you discover it?
Well, who are some other artists you’ve discovered lately?
There’s a band called Broods and their album was produced by the same person who did Lorde‘s album. They’re similar sounds but I think I like this over her. If you like Lorde then you’ll definitely like them. Like I said before, CHVRCHES; really anyone with that great melodic sound. Electric Youth? They’re really dreamy, they did the theme song for the film Drive called ‘A Real Hero.’ It’s great music, very indie synth-pop.
Would you rather have one giant gummy bear as tall as you, or a bag as tall as you of regular-sized gummy bears?
Oh, the big one for sure! A giant gummy bear as tall as me sounds amazing.
But you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere with it. And it could get sticky and gross.
I have a large gummy bear, why would I need to go anywhere? And don’t worry, I would take care of that thing.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you about your career?
It wasn’t just from one person, I kind of phrased it myself after collecting advice from several people. When it comes to creating music, the best things and the most creative things come out where you’re having fun. Forcing things in a creative process can kill your inspiration. I’ve found myself plenty of times in the position that I felt like I was forcing it. Don’t pressure yourself, start creating exactly what your mind and gut tells you. Even though this doesn’t help you immediately, it will bring back the joy of creating something from nothing. This puts you in a different mindset that allows you to do what you wanted to do in the first place, but couldn’t because you were forcing it. As a bonus, you’ve learned so many things while doing crazy stuff in the studio that you often find out you can use some of it later on for the serious stuff!
If you could play b2b with any DJ of any genre, who would it be?
Eric Prydz. He’s one of my favorite artists and I like watching his interviews. He’s a cool guy, very talented.
And he seems very chill like yourself. Is there anything that ever makes you really angry?
Angry? I can’t remember the last time I was angry. I may get disappointed when I see bad things going on in the world, but it’s not like a person can get me mad because of something they say or do. I’m always asking myself, ‘Why should I get mad over this?’ It doesn’t really affect me. I would just prefer to put my energy into the positive things rather than focus on the negative. It changes how you look at the world.
You are wise beyond your years.
(Laughs) I’m old. I just turned 27. I’m almost 30!
What’s the one thing you enjoy about being older?
When you’re grow older you or wiser and…uh…that’s about it. You get stronger? I honestly have no idea. What the hell is good about being old?! Maybe the younger people look up to you because you’re older. But I don’t know why anyone would look up to me just because of that.
If you could have a super power what would it be?
Wow that’s a tough one! With those questions they can go two ways: you can benefit yourself or others. So I’d want to be super tall or fast so I can bring food and water to the world really quickly. I could make myself invisible and do crazy stuff, or I could help people.
What will be your biggest challenge in 2015?
When Prydz plays a three-hour set he can play three hours of his own music. Maybe he doesn’t, but if he wanted to, he could without it getting boring. He touches the full spectrum: tech, house, progressive, etc. That’s what I really want. If someone books me to play a two-hour set, then I want to play two hours of music that I created. Nowadays you see some of the big artists and they don’t produce their own songs anymore. So when they play the biggest festivals, they’re playing everyone else’s music and not theirs. As a producer, I want to create a lot of music and I want to be able to play all my songs and have people enjoy that. But It’s also a long term goal. I can’t make that much music in a year. Still, it’s a challenge to keep that mindset during your whole career.
Do you still prefer production over DJing?
I enjoy both worlds. If I had to choose, I pick producing; it’s more where my heart is. But it really is cool to play your own tracks in front of loads of people. I’m pretty happy to do both.
I know you’re a perfectionist. At what point do you hear a track and know it’s done?
No track is ever perfect, unfortunately. It’s something I have to accept. There’s always something you want to change or add. And there have been times where I get this sadness in my heart and I have to say, ‘okay this isn’t perfect to me, but here you go.’
What is your latest studio obsession?
It’s a really simple effect tool called the DJM Filter. It’s just a high and low cut off to filter your music. It’s a really simple tool, but it’s an effect that every DJ uses and it’s nice to put that in your productions. It’s nothing big, just a tiny element.
You have an unlimited budget for your studio. What do you spend the most money on?
I wouldn’t upgrade much, I’m alright with the equipment I have now. I would buy a new studio space and build the best soundproofing so I could hear everything well.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to inspire people to create whatever they like, not what they think people want.
What else can we look forward to hearing from you in the next few months?
After the remixes I have two vocal tracks finished and waiting to be picked up. I’m really busy in the studio, especially this month since I haven’t been touring. I have a lot of different things going on, it’s hard to describe. I just hope people are open to hearing new stuff, new sounds, and new ideas from my side. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I know there’s going to be a lot of music and variety in 2015. I don’t think the sound that was big in 2014 will carry over to this year. People want to her something new and I hope to be that for them.
Be sure to grab your favorite remix of “Voices” ft. The Spacies today exclusively on Beatport, and tune in to Enhanced Sessions every Monday.
Photo: Jo Taylor Photography