The next generation of Detroit producers is now well underway – walking in the footsteps of Kenny Dixon Jr and Theo Parrish, and under the weight of expectations that comes from hailing one of the greatest musical cities in the world.
Generation Next, by virtue of his name, clearly takes this responsibility quite seriously. The carefully paced, understated grooves that he regularly puts on on 7 Days Ent. speak of a maturity and desire to hone a craft – Generation Next hasn’t yet “broken through”, but it seems that suits him just fine.
We caught up with the producer for an interview alongside an exclusive mix recorded especially for us which you can listen to below.
Your music is obviously tightly bound up in family – Big Strick’s label 7DaysEnt. has been the home of all your music so far. To what extent do you think that having a stable place to release has helped shaped your music?
I think having a stable place to release my music helps me and those who support me because they know where they can go to find records and what to expect when they listen.
Detroit seems to be a very sharing, collaborative place to make music. You and your father have already put out plenty of material together – will we be seeing any collaborations coming out from you and anyone else?
In Europe all we hear from the media about Detroit for the past few years is bad news – economic downturn, failing public services, indebted local government. How is this impacting the musical community in the city?
The impact politics and economy have on an artist is an individual experience and it reflects with the emotion in the music they produce.
Going against that narrative, what are some of the things about Detroit you think deserve shouting about?
Well this summer there has been a lot of music festivals and I think it is attracting more people to the city. Detroit is a community that everyone takes a part in and everyone supports whatever you do.
Your sound brings to mind a lot of the deep house music coming out of New York at the moment – especially people like Jus Ed and DJ Qu. Is there some connection to the scene there, do you guys hang out?
Well my dad, Big Strick, and Jus Ed are good friends and Jus Ed has given me a few pointers that I use to produce.
Of the tracks on the EP, ‘Ender’ is probably the most immediately dance-floor ready – do you consider this kind of thing when you make music, that DJs will use some tracks and others are more for home listening?
Absolutely, Omar S once told me you have to make tracks for different types of people; the bedroom DJ, the big room DJ, the club promoter and the club owner. So I try to make tracks for everybody’s listening pleasure.
Who are some of your favourite non-dance music artists?
Well I listen to a lot of rap music mainly Drake, Earl Sweatshirt, Ilovemakonnen and PartyNextDoor.
With one eye on your name, Generation Next, do you think the new wave of Detroit producers will be able to maintain the incredible quality of music that comes out of the city? Is there anyone you’re particularly excited about?
Yeah I think we will live up to the hype because we bring a new flavor to our productions. And I’m real glad to see Jay Daniel out here because he has some of the hottest stuff out of Detroit right now.
The Black Madonna recently said that if you want to be a successful DJ – “Europe is the place to be”. Is this felt to be the case amongst local Detroit producers? If so, is there a feeling of disappointment towards Americans for being uninterested in a uniquely American music?
I can’t speak for other Detroit DJs only myself but I think if you do it right you can make it anywhere. And yes it is a bit sad Americans aren’t as big into house music as those outside of the US but that’s life you just got to find another way.
Could you tell us a bit about the mix you made for us? [where/how you recorded it, the idea behind it and any standout tracks]
Well I recorded the mix at home in the 7Days Studio, and used 2 turntables and a CDJ. I had to play some new records and records I haven’t played before. I started the mix off a little deep, then I wanted to transition into more dance floor friendly records followed by a bit of acid.
You’ve had a great last few years with a string of really consistent EPs, do you have any long term plans for 2016 and beyond?
Just continue releasing quality dance records for everyone to play.