We live in a peculiar era of music. What persists around us is a constant clash of new and old. The collision of styles, sounds, and tools of the past and present put interesting pressures on artists to create something which is completely their own. With the power of laptop production and knowledge of the classic principles of music breeds a new generation of musicians. Limited only by time and enhanced by their personal, constantly expanding abilities, these unique talents reign true in an industry gripped with mediocrity.
Amongst these forward thinking producers rests the uber-talented Jake Weary, aka Agendas. This New Jersey native, Los Angeles transplant has been molding and adapting his style and passion since he could walk. Armed with a rich voice and an ultimate melodic ear he pushes his music to defy the norms of the electronic sound that have been so universally accepted.
Last month he released his new “Tones” EP and it is a true portrait of his uplifting, exciting, and varying style. Every track is a masterfully layered demonstration of his undeniable talent both behind the computer screen and on the microphone. His captivating voice settles perfectly into his minutely detailed synth work, creating a constantly building and swaying mood.
The title track features IvsEYE artist K. Rudd and begins to outline the insane potential of Agenda’s production. This new-age hip hop beat is contrasted perfectly by his dreamy, fervent groovers ‘Anythin Goes’ , ‘Dublin’, and ‘Telefone Thunders’. They are the best communication of his high skills as a vocalist and some of his most original work. ‘Brave Kid’ and ‘The Current’ are my favorite off the release, with a more beat centered approach and epically melodic synths.
We got a chance to follow up with Jake about his style, his new EP's, and what he's up to this summer. Check it out and grab a copy of ‘Tones’ to hear for yourself.
Maxfield: First of all, congratulations. The EP is fantastic. You seem to have expanded even more on your unique sound and style. What was your direction or focus going into this project? Was the final product similar to what you had imagined from the get go?
Jake Weary: I don't think my approach to this EP was different than any other, really. When I produce I tend to mess around for about an hour until I hear something I can move forward with. The hard drive in my computer crashed a couple weeks ago while I was in the middle of mixing all the tracks and finalizing the EP. I didn't back anything up the whole week and my hard drive was messed up, so I lost a lot of tracks that I had originally planned on releasing. Fortunately, I was able to recover mixes I was happy with for these select tracks.
Maxfield: One of the best things about your release is the incapability to peg it down with one sweeping genre term. If you had to call it something, what would it be?
JW: Damn, I don't know. I really try to avoid limiting myself to certain styles. I listen to an assortment of genres. I just like to evoke the way I'm feeling at the time through the music. It also depends on the other artists I'm listening to at the time I guess. Let's call it "Next Level Pop-Hop."
Maxfield:What is your production equipment of choice? Software? hardware? What did you use primarily for the EP?
JW: I'm a logic guy. I've made shit using Ableton before but I was never happy with any of it. I tried as hard as I could to stray away from using too much midi on this EP but it was pretty hard not to. As far as plugins go I mostly used Massive, Albino, Omnisphere and some others. I recorded a lot of live instruments on the tracks i.e Guitar Bass Drums and other weird things I could find that made noise. As far as live hardware , Microkorg, Casio SK1, Korg Triton. I like to sample my voice a lot too and create synths with it.
JW: It definitely has its perks. It took me about 5 years to really feel comfortable with the way my voice sounded. I got over it when I realized people were digging the shit I was putting out with vocals on it. I try to utilize my voice like any other instrument. If it works in the melody, use it. If it doesn't quite fit the feel of the song, don't. Simple as that.
Maxfield: How has your relationship with the WEDIDIT Collective shaped you as an artist? Despite your relationship with those artists, your style remains very much your own. What do you attribute this to?
JW: I didn't really get involved with the WEDIDIT crew until I met Jasper (groundislava). He introduced me to the guys and we all hit it off. Talented group of kids. As far as our relationship, I've really only had the pleasure of collaborating with Jasper. Would love to do something with Shlohmo and RL Grime in the future. Everyone's on their own grind. People are hard to get a hold of. However, IvsEye and WEDIDIT have recently started working together on shit quite a bit, so we'll see what happens. Some next-level content is coming from that whole collective in 2012. I will promise you that.
Maxfield: What should we expect from you this summer?
JW: As of right now, I'm planning on releasing a new EP every month this summer as well as a grip of music videos and short films etc. Will definitely be playing some shows in the NYC and LA area as well, so look out for dates.
Check out the EP on Agendas Soundcloud.