#InDepth Interview with the brilliant duo Judah

It has been a long time waiting, but finally 2019 sees the return of the much-loved Judah duo Chris & Daniel. This record has been a feature in the boys sets across North America over past 12 months and finally it sees its release via Zerothree. Featuring the vocals of Adeva, the home of REALPROG present In And Out Of My Life.

The name of the game here is big, main room progressive music with attitude; a record that is sure to cause mayhem and spark all sorts of emotions whether at 2a.m in the club or 2p.m in the headphones. Judah have a real habit of delivering peak time records and this one is no different. 

This is Judah. This is REALPROG. Supported by Above & Beyond & Cosmic Gate. 

We are happy to announce that Judah have accepted the challenge to answer in this very indepth interview so here you can enjoy their answer while you pump up the volume with In and Out of my Life. 

Dimitris: When did you start your involvement with electronic dance music and which music style you are more affiliated with and why?

Chris / Judah: Dan and I started DJing around 2004. We started producing our own music shortly thereafter. We came together officially as Judah in 2012. We make progressive music mainly, progressive trance and progressive house. We’ve dabbled in deeper styles as well as some techno too. We don’t like to box ourselves in with just one style of music.

Dimitris: Did you had the opportunity to attend any kind of music production course or are u completely self taught? 

Daniel / Judah: Almost everything is completely self taught. We first started out our career getting into the DJing side of things, but then felt like it was a natural progression to start making music on our own. I was approached by Andy Moor in 2009 to work for him as a branding manager and in exchange he taught me the in’s and outs of making dance music. During that time Chris studied digital music technology alongside software engineering at University. But other than that everything is self taught. Lot’s of youtube tutorials haha.
Dimitris: Do you consider that is essential for any artist to complete any production course?

Chris / Judah:  Not at all. I think it’s useful to watch tutorials and videos online if you’re struggling with certain aspects of production, but in general the best way to learn is to get in the studio and produce produce produce.

Dimitris: In which label was your first ever release and how did you manage to attract the attention of the label?

Chris / Judah:  Our first ever official release was on Ava recordings. For “This Moment” We used a local vocalist friend and finished the track for Andy Moor’s Breaking the Silence vol 3 compilation. After that we released a few remixes on Anjunabeats, which helped us pave the way for our first single on Anjunabeats.

Dimitri: Please pick for us your Top 5 tracks that you have produced and you consider them as being highly important for the progress of your career.

Daniel / Judah: London Grammar - Strong (Judah Remix) - this was our first ever song, and put us on the map everywhere.

Boom Jinx feat. Meredith Call - The Dark (Kevin Wild x Judah Remix) - this track really set us in good with the trance crowd. 

Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynn - Real Love (Judah Remix) - still today one of our favorite songs we’ve produced. It was the first time we’ve ever worked with a major label… a lot of fun.

Judah - Zero Day - this was our first Anjunabeats single. It is prob one of the most proud moments we had, because a label we loved finally signed something that truly was representative of our sound and not necessarily what was popular in trance at the time.

Judah - In And Out Of My Life - honestly we think this song is really big. It’s just fun and easy to listen to and works wonders live. We’ve been playing this record for over a year, and we are finally ready to see a release. 

Dimitris: Let's focus on your latest release In and Out of My Life on Zerothree. Please tell us from where did you got the inspiration for the track and what kind of music influences is including?

Daniel / Judah : Honestly we was just searching through beatport for some cool vocal samples one day and came across this Adeva one. We immediately fell in love and then just started experimenting with the hook. Usually when we produce vocal tracks the either come together quick or they don’t happen at all. Big inspiration were Eric Prydz, Jeremey Olander (circa 2012 sound), Fehrplay, etc.  

Dimitris: How long it took you to produce it and was an easy or difficult process?

Daniel / Judah: Pretty simple process to make… not so simple to get it to get it cleared and to the public. It’s such a huge vocal that we never thought it would see the light of day honestly. We are so glad it did!

As far as the production process… it was done within a week. Once we had a clear direction… it flowed pretty naturally.

Dimitris: If you have faced any difficulties please tell us about them and how did you resolved them?

Daniel / Judah: Big difficulty was to get the vocal re sung correctly…. And then getting it processed correctly. That took some time. Other than that, it came pretty quickly.

Dimitris: Which was the biggest challenge that you faced during the production of this superb track?

Chris / Judah: The vocal is a very popular vocal from the 80’s, which made it difficult to obtain the rights required to release the track. Luckily we had a great vocalist do the resing for us, and it sounds amazing.

Dimitris: Can you describe to us the steps that you went through the production of this track and of any other track?

Chris / Judah: We usually start with chords & a melody, in this case building them around the vocal, then percussion, bassline & interesting bits, bang head against the wall for a while, work out the arrangement, repeat until it’s in a good place. For us there’s usually no standard process, just ideas and studio time.

Dimitris: When the track finished did the label accepted it as it was produced or did the label recommend you to do some changes or fix certain things?

Daniel / Judah: It was instantly accepted. It was one of those tracks fortunately resonated with the A&R - which rarely happens.

Dimitris: Is this track an original composition or is it based on a template from another track produced from you or another producer?

Daniel / Judah:  It’s ours definitely. The track has been around for years, and many other artists have covered it / remixed it. We think we give it our own personal touch.

Dimitris: Please describe to us the studio that you have produced the track? 

Daniel / Judah:  We currently produce in two separate studios. I recently moved to Dallas so my setup is minimal. Our main Judah studio is back home at Chris’ house in Minneapolis. 

Everything in this track was made inside the box (software) from my little laptop. So for this song all it was was a laptop speakers and midi keyboard. That’s it.

Dimitris: What is your favourite hardware and software set up? 

Daniel & Chris / Judah: Prophet 6, Ableton push 2, mix of soft synths like Massive & serum

Dimitris: Do you have in mind any new gear that you wish to get in order to raise the quality of your production?

Daniel / Judah: Loving the Sound Toys stuff. Looking to purchase that after our trial period is finished. 

Dimitris: Do you master the track yourself or the mastering is task for the record label? 

Chris / Judah: Actually we have our good friend James Cayzer (Jaytech) who has been doing our mastering for the past two years. He’s really great at it and we love the outcome.

Dimitris: Do you understand mastering as being essential?

Chris / Judah: 100% yes, and I feel like it’s useful to have someone else master your music. This can give it a bit of life and let it take on a new form. Sometimes you’re too close to the track to properly master it.

Dimitris: There is a growing trend of vinyl coming back for good. Would you like to see this track released on vinyl or any other of your future tracks?

Chris / Judah: I like the idea of physically immortalising music, but we didn’t grow up on playing vinyl so I’d prefer to save the environment a bit, keep it digital!

Dimitris: Do you prefer digital files or vinyl?

Chris / Judah: We missed the vinyl era so we never DJed with vinyl, but I do enjoy putting on some nice Ludovico or Nihls Frahm on vinyl while sitting by the fire in chilly Minnesota.

Dimitris: Do you have any future releases planned and when will be released?

Daniel / Judah: We have a couple new tracks coming out on Anjuna we believe. :)

Dimitris: Please note down your favourite Top 5 tracks at this moment!

Chris / Judah: - Oh man. I’m kind of all over the place

1. Tinlicker - About You

2. Anything Township Rebellion makes

3. Eli & Fur - Night Blooming Jasmine (Rodriguez Jr. Remix)

4. Andrew Bayer - Open End Resource

5. Gareth Emery feat. Evan Henzi - Call To Arms (Cosmic Gate Remix)

Daniel / Judah:  
1. Denis Horvat feat. Lelah - Noise

2. Camelphat & Cristoph feat. Jem Cooke - Breathe

3. Rangleklods - Young & Dumb

4. Reflekt feat. Delline Bass – Need To Feel Loved (Tinlicker Edit)

5. Jeremy Olander vs. Kamaliza - Zanzibar (Sthlm Edit)

Dimitris: Do you have any more DJ gigs planned for the next few months? If yes please note them down here.

Chris / Judah: We’re halfway through our All In Tour, with Genix, Fatum & Jaytech. We’ve got a few stops planned in April, May & June!

Dimitris: Best piece of advice you got in relation to your career so far and best tip you learnt recently to make your tracks better....

Chris / Judah: Be true to the music you like to make and listen to. Don’t try to force your sound to fit that of any particular record label. If your music it good, it will speak for itself. Plus it will be more original that way.

Daniel / Judah: Also remember that every time you get into the studio, you learn something… either about production or about yourself. Patience is key, but so is persistence. Learning when to grind it out and when to give your ears a rest is very key. Almost all of the ideas I’ve come up with for have been when I just went outside and took a walk.

Dimitris: In 2018 the electronic music talent AVICII died and this has alerted several artists to become more health conscious. Are there any lessons to learn as an artist out from this sad event?

Chris / Judah: Mental health is no joke, even the light amount of touring we do can be exhausting. Your health always needs to come first and foremost.

Dimitris: Can you give us your best travel tips in order to survive the long travelling hours?

Chris / Judah: Patience, a good book, a bit of self reflection & noise cancelling headphones. A lot of musicians would love to be travelling for work. Make sure to take a step back and appreciate the moment.

Dimitris: There is a big movement for revival of classic tracks and as a result of this retro events have boomed with music policy of solely classic tracks. What is your opinion about events or stages only with classics and can you choose for us your absolute 3 favourite classics?

Daniel / Judah: It’s an awesome idea!

-Solid Globe - Sahara (Markus Schulz Remix)

-Jase From Outta Space - Do What You Want (Infusion Remix)

-Ridgewalkers feat. El - Find (Andy Moor Remix)

Thanks so much to the amazing Daniel & Chris aka Judah for this brilliant interview.

Thanks to Greg Sawyer at Additive Music PR for organising this interview.

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