Feder: 5 things I’ve learned about music production

(Image: © Rankin)

Originating from Nice, Feder (real name Hadrien Federiconi), decided to make the move to Paris after gaining influence from the house and hip-hop scenes, making his mark with 2013 debut track ‘Sixto’. 

But it was his original release, ‘Goodbye’ that placed Feder on the radar as one to watch. Charting at #1 on the iTunes Charts in 28 countries, ‘Goodbye’ was also #1 on Shazam Charts in Europe and is the #50 most Shazamed track of all time. His follow up ‘Blind’ shared similar success with earning Top 10 status in 12 countries and earning a place in the Top 5 of the French Spotify chart. 

Following a string of hit singles over the past year, French producer Feder returns with his exciting 4-track debut EP titled Breathe, out now via Atlantic UK.

We managed to get Hadrien to stop for a few moments to give us five top tips that have shaped his production career so far.

1. Trying to refine your art

“The usual ‘less is more’; sometimes in music, when you try to add too many elements, you’re losing the soul of the first parts you composed. 

“When I started producing music, I thought it was never good enough, so I added layers over layers, but in the end you often lose the initial spirit more than anything.”

2. Groove matters

“I started producing electro swing first, similar to Parov Stelar and Caravan Palace. With this kind of music, groove was an essential part, if not the most important one. The main question was ‘how to create this swing feeling within the rhythmic part?’ I’m still asking myself this question, even when I’m producing now.

“Having your drums part being totally straight on the grid limits your groove possibilities. With dance music in general, it’s ok to be a bit laid-back or a bit after the beat. It allows your music to get more character and more swing, which will eventually lead to people dancing.”

3. Stay connected

“In my opinion, I think it’s essential to stay tuned; curious about what’s new, what has been released, new tech or instruments. It can have a real impact on your art. 

“I like to geek on forums and watch videos to discover new way to create sound or to get my mixes better. I’m very often astonished by new talents and new sounds. I think it’s crucial to stay tuned if you want your music to last long.”

4. Go off your own beaten track

“Within an artistic career there’s always the question of ‘can I try this? Will I allow myself to go that way?’

“Taking the risk to get out your comfort zone allows you to offset some frustrations and to give your public some new and fresh stuff. 

“What I mean is, trying to do something different can only bring good things. Either it’s working, which is good for you and if it’s not? Well, at least you know it and you got it out of your mind. No matter what, trying is good.”

5. Mistakes can also bring really good surprises

“I always loved making mistakes with chords and rhythmical elements, as it was always opening up a new possibility. I’m not saying that I always keep the wrong chords because it’s just not working, but I can then start a new track with a new chord progression based on that happy mistake. And then sometimes it’s just slightly off, so I decide to keep it. 

“It goes the same way with rhythm. You record a beat, and sometimes you screw up a hi-hat. You didn’t put it where you wanted to, but it turns out to be better like that.”