Grammy nominated producers Wh0 have worked with industry heavyweights Nile Rodgers, Basement Jaxx, The Prodigy, Tiesto, Meduza, Bob Sinclar and Oliver Heldens just to name a few. They have amassed over 35 million streams on Spotify alone & are set to have a huge 2022.
"The LCD2CB’s detail is astonishing: tightness of bass and treble, also the right amount of mids." - Wh0
Here's our talk with the guys in Wh0:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?
Most certainly, the day we spent at Abbey Road 2 years ago with Nile Rodgers was a particularly special day. Listening to Nile recall some of his old stories, watching him play the guitar (OVER OUR SONG!!!) was truly a spectacular moment. We also attended our first writing camp in 2021 which was run by Musical Freedom, Spinnin’ Records & Music Allstars. This camp was a truly great experience. We settled in for a 5-day intensive camp, turned up with 30 tracks ready to be vocalled and walked away with over 15 of them written and recorded. We finally got to meet all the amazing singers, producers & label employees we talk on email with regularly. I would like to give Peter from Musical Freedom a shoutout for inviting us to this!
How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?
Each project is totally different, which is why our dynamic works so well. Generally, if we have a remix come in, one of us will start it and just pass it back and forth till it’s finished. It may not be the most glamorous technique but it works like a dream! I think it’s important to say that we live 300+ miles apart, so we work completely independently, all through Dropbox, which really brings great freedom to writing new ideas, your studio routine, working hours etc. The same person always mixes and masters all of the music, whilst the other sorts and schedules our new Radio show & label releases (+ the animations & visuals).
How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?
Music has always been a huge part of our lives, since an early age we have both consciously and subconsciously pulled influences from all around us. My granddad is a Jazz pianist & my dad a drummer (and always loved synths and equipment), so I grew up surrounded by music. Their tastes varied from Jazz standards to soft Rock all the way to House & Trance classics. I also had many friends at school who loved Hip Hop, from the classics like Wu Tang, Eminem, 50 Cent all the way to the current scene, like Aminé, Tory lanez etc. So I have always made a big effort to listen to a wide variety of music, which is vital because each genre has something unique to give from the perspective of a music producer. I also used to run a mobile disco company when I was much younger, so I had to learn all the classics you would typically play at a UK Disco / Wedding / Party. This is actually where I really started to hone my skills down as a DJ.
Hey I am the other Wh0 guy lol - I started learning classical music (piano) at the age of 5, I hated it until the age of 8, that was when I realised that you can invent your own melodies. Then I was hooked. I taught myself jazz and blues by listening to Oscar Peterson, Petrucciani and Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Gary Numan, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd were big influences when I was growing up. Then I discovered hiphop (N.W.A.,Public Enemy, etc) and electro (Afrika Bambaataa) which led to house music and hardcore! I started playing jazz in hotels at the age of 12 but then I met a DJ when I was in a hip-hop band that introduced me to samplers. That was when my world changed! I produced hardcore which then changed to house music. Then I had my own electro/rock band, which evolved into drum and bass … and now I’m back doing house! A full circle :) But this time I feel very at home and we’re here to stay!
Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?
Going to university to study Audio Production really threw me into the technical world and allowed me to catch up on the experience I needed to step up into the industry, not as another mediocre producer/artist. Also making a conscious effort to keep healthy, learning about routines, positive affirmations, visualisation etc helps keep the focus and vision clear with Wh0 and being a music producer / DJ / Artist as a career because we all know it’s not an easy job and sometimes you need the backup of a strong mental headspace to keep on keeping on!
My Uncle is an amazing musician. When I was a kid I wanted to be like him, I used to listen to him all the time practising. I spent years touring with Pendulum and Prodigy and those were very important moments in my career because you learn from people at the top of their game.
Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?
Not gaining the recognition on certain releases it deserved (I’m sure MANY other producers have experienced this feeling). Our solution is consistency. We have now been releasing an original or EP every 6-10 weeks for 3 years whilst also putting out remixes regularly. This coupled with learning constantly to improve your craft, growing your own team, social reach and trusted ears for feedback, you will end up achieving that previously missed out goal.
Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favourite tools/instruments recently?
When it comes to analogue gear we can't live without our Pultec EQs and our Neve 1081’s. Plugin-wise UAD and Acustica are definitely at the top of their game!
Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?
Consistency, belief in yourself, no ego and don't have a second job for security. Cause you will end up doing that second job for life.
How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?
We've been working with headphones for only 5 years, everyone listens to headphones now so it is important to hear your music as a consumer too. We listen to “near” final mixes on Audeze headphones because they sound very similar to our ATC studio speakers, but we also hear our masters on iPhone headphones and mobile phones/ laptops.
How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?
Before the LCD-2 Closed-Backs we were using EL- 8s. The LCD2CB’s detail is astonishing: tightness of bass and treble, also the right amount of mids. We’re working on a remix for Acraze - Do It, To It. We’re using the headphones to check the bass and kick after mixing it on our ATCs just to see if we can improve on the low-end layer. Then we use them at the end of the mix to hear the stereo and to see if we can improve tightening the mids and treble layers.