Umek, you’re a very successful DJ and producer. But you are also leading a data platform related to the DJ & producer world called Viberate. How did you guys come up with the idea?
Viberate was born from a desire to have a better approach to data and live music. We wanted to compare how I was faring compared to other DJs on socials and other platforms, as well as live, but couldn’t find a way to do this. We relied on our own feelings but like in art, this was very subjective. We decided to set up a website that measured online popularity for DJs. We started with 1,200 manually entered DJs, seeing how many likes and followers and so on they had. We opened it up eventually and had 30,000 profiles in 18 months. We saw the need was there and we decided to keep going, expanding from the dance music scene.
Eventually, the project has evolved into an open-source database of artists, labels, events, venues, festivals, and other music stakeholders. For each profile, we analyze data from several social media platforms, streaming sites, events, and other resources and we process them into easily understandable, visualized music data. Each entity gets an analytics profile, much like websites that have Google Analytics certificates.
2 Explain a trick or tool for a producer or DJ to up their game using Viberate.
If you decide to pitch yourself to a label or a promoter and if your stats are shining, you can simply create a chart that ranks you very high and then send a screenshot of it to the promoter or a label, along with a screenshot with a couple of stats that show your strength.
Additionally, you can monitor how different factors, such as ad campaigns, tours or releases influence your online popularity.
3 Some time ago you performed a classics set using the style you were most famous for in the early 2000s. Are there plans to continue that once the pandemic is dealt with?
No, not really.
4 Are you familiar with the Worst Techno Memes Ever Group Page? Would you like to create a techno meme for us? We’ll try and have Mitch Davis approve it.
Yes, I know the group. See below.
5 Is there a specific VST plugin that radically changed your workflow?
I can’t realty specify one plugin, there’ve been several. I’d mention
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6 Do you have a specific work flow when it comes to creating tracks. For instance, do you start with a beat or with a melody?
Normally, I start with a beat, so kicks, bass, percussions, hi hats. Sometimes I hit all the right keys first, and if it sounds really great, I continue developing the track from there. This happens quite rarely.
7 Out of all the productions you have made, what would be your personal favorite?
There’ve been so many good productions over the years … I think I’ve produced-released over 700 tracks so far but it’s hard to choose my personal favorite. There’re classics like Lanicor, Gatex, Vibrancy … Every song is special in its own way.
8 Do you have any advice for upcoming producers?
Be patient. Nothing comes overnight.
9 Is there anything else you would like to share?
There’s a new 1605 Desiderati compilation that came out on December 25, featuring the collab with DJ Rush. If you forgot to buy someone a Christmas present, this is your second chance.
10 How can people find you online?
You can find me on all my official social media channels. Don’t hesitate to follow me on Facebook where I often do something exclusive. For instance, just recently we streamed Zeta Reticula exclusive electro vinyl set. I also do reviews of samples, demos, promos, etc. So, lots of interesting content.
11 Thanks Umek for taking the time for this interview!
My pleasure! I know that times are tough, but we will get through this together. Stay safe!