If you watch his performances on YouTube, or ever get the chance to see him performing in person, you’d think Florida-based producer DiViNCi started out performing, as his entire approach to music seems to come from that high energy performance angle. However, like most beat makers, it all started in the solitude of his bedroom.
“I was just a teenager in my bedroom making music,” DiViNCi says, “and from that I just really fell in love with creating music. I used to get pretty energetic doing that, but nothing like how I am on stage. Back then, I only had a four-track, so I only had one chance to make the arrangement.”
This soon led to the life events he sees as synchronous:
“It got to a point where it just made sense to take these tools on to the stage. That was when I thought, ‘wow, I want to do this more,'" he explains. Until then, his explosive performance energy had been in embryo, but his early stage time saw it rapidly come to life. “When I started to trigger those things live on stage, I would get really into it. That’s when I figured out this is a completely different environment, pulling out a completely different energy from me. That was where I learned the most about performing, just by doing it.”
Getting over his initial self consciousness on stage was a big factor in DiViNCi's desire to be present in the moment, in all walks of life. What makes him so interesting as a producer is that, since these formative experiences, he has always approached producing from a high energy performance angle. Whereas for most producers, you could argue it’s a pretty low-energy affair, doing everything in the studio, and only moving to twiddle equipment, or a fader:
“The urgency of the stage means you have to do everything in real time; it’s a lot quicker than how things move in the studio most of the time. Just the fact that I only have one chance to do things on stage, as opposed to being in the studio; being able to meticulously obsess over things and tweak them. There’s none of those safety nets on stage.”
A fair point. Check this video clip out below, and you'll see what he means..!
“With the right people involved, you can do things that you could never do by yourself; there’s just an energy about sharing music that makes music more alive, and less personal," DiViNCi insists. "It stops you being up in your head too much, which can often isolate you from reality. With reality, there’s a lot of energies intermingling, and I think that’s important to infuse into your music.”
This may sound a little esoteric and mystical for some, but if you’ve ever been to a big concert where everyone is totally absorbed in the music, you’ve experienced this for yourself.
A Sound Choice
To surf the ebbs and flows as well as DiViNCi does, it goes without saying that you need the right kit. For his audio interface, he recently began using RME’s Babyface Pro. He first realised its value while in an exotic location:
“I was out in Honduras teaching, and I found that the Babyface Pro really came in handy there,” he remarks. “I just love how portable it is, and that, despite how small it is, it’s probably the best sounding interface I can get at that level of affordability. It’s solid too, I was impressed with the case and everything.”
He goes on to say that the Babyface Pro has been a “life saver” in situations where he hasn’t been able to access his usual, full set up - something other producers like Supa Dups concur with. He’s only been using RME this year, so his feedback so far is encouraging.
DiViNCi is also a big Ableton Live fan; it's really helped him fulfil his potential, both in the studio and on the road, he explains:
“Ableton Live is my main dog these days; I’ve been using it since 2011, when I was reworking Ms Lauryn Hill’s live set up, and using that to run a bunch of parts of the show. It then slowly started to work its way into my personal set up. And then as I got Ableton Push, that revolutionised everything all over again. What I admire in both Ableton and RME is that they’re companies that are really concerned with the artist and creativity first and foremost - that makes a huge difference to me."
DiViNCi's zen-like outlook on life is particularly impressive when you find out how many projects he’s working on, on top of the workshops he teaches. His band, Solliliquists of Sound, with whom he’s lived with the last 10 years, continue to work together, and the band’s side project, Chakra Khan, will see its first album, Love Is At the Core, released next month. He’s collaborating with Orlando rapper, Acey Wasuto, and will finally be releasing his solo album, Electric MTHRFKR, at some point in the near future:
“If it is a particular genre, I don’t know what genre it is. It’s sporadic, very much a stream of consciousness," DiViNCi reflects.
Well, there’s certainly a lot of energy going into that particular stream; and it’s one we recommend you take notice of, as DiViNCi continues to manifest brilliant music constantly.
Words by Adam Protz
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