Greenleaf interview for “Vykhod Sily” Podcast


Hello there! Please introduce yourself. Who are you and where are you from?

I’m Greenleaf based out of New Orleans. I’ve been involved with Jungle & Drum&Bass for around 20 years now.

How long have you been producing?

I’ve been producing music seriously for about ten years now.

Where did it all begin for you? What was the main influence on you in terms of drum’n’bass music? What were the very first tunes that stroke you most?

I first heard Jungle when I was around 15 or 16 and was hooked immediately. I had never heard anything like it and it combined elements of all the music I was into at the time. Back then, my main influence was a local guy that went by Kise. He used to give me top ten lists of everything I needed to be hearing and buying. It’s hard to pinpoint the first tunes that really got me excited because it was so difficult back then to hear the music in the states much less find out what any of the tunes were. There were a handful of guys playing Jungle and D&B back then, so you had to check them when they came around. You could get a few mixes on tape back then as well, but nothing like in the UK. My favorite tape from back then would have to be Dieselboy’s Supreme mix. That tape was huge.

Are you working in any other styles, if yes, please specify?

I mostly just work with Jungle and Drumfunk, but I dabble in other genres here and there. I’ve done a few things in genres like Downtempo, Bounce, Dub, HipHop, etc.

Do you have already any vinyl releases? Or are they just planned?

I have one vinyl release out on Pinecone Moonshine. Big up to Nic TVG for that. In the future I’d love to get some more music out on vinyl as it’s a medium that’s very close to my heart.

What is the most significant release of yourself? And why?
That’s a hard question haha. I suppose there have been a few releases of mine that have been significant to me personally for different reasons. All of my music is very personal to me on one level or another so it’s hard to pick one over another, if that makes sense.


What are you working at right now?
I have a couple releases lined up on a couple of labels that I really respect as well as a few new tunes and remixes that I’m really excited about. I don’t want to reveal too much at the moment, because they’re all still in the works and I always think I’ll jinx myself. Haha.

How do you like the idea of a collab working? Have you ever worked on tunes with any other producers?
To be honest, I feel like I work better alone but that’s not to say that I’m totally opposed to working with other people. I do prefer to be in the same place at the same time as opposed to sending stuff back and forth over the internet. I feel like there’s more of a vibe when you’re both in the same room. I also really like the aspect of learning that’s involved when you’re working with someone else. I’ve done a couple of tunes with Ricky Force in the past that came out really well. Big up Ricky!

Are you using only digital or analog hardware as well? What musical software are you using at the moment?
I use Ableton 9 as my main DAW/sequencer as well as a hoard of other plugins. As far as external gear, I have a few little synths and effects that I use here and there should the mood strike me. The thing I’ve really been focusing on lately is finding new breaks that haven’t been used by a ton of other people. I know that’s a bit of a cliché at this point, but being the vinyl junkie that I am, I love a good dig and using breaks that I haven’t used before is always a bit of a thrill for me.

Please, describe you sound? What’s special about it to capture listener’s attention?
I suppose it varies from tune to tune, but overall I’d say my style is very drum-oriented. I played drums for years when I was a kid, so they’ve always had a huge impact on me even before I discovered Jungle/D&B. More recently, I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the sounds of New Orleans into my music. Growing up here, I was constantly surrounded by all kinds of different music, and the impact it’s had on me is something that I try to convey in my own music. Jazz, Funk, Blues, Gospel, Punk, Metal, Bounce, the list goes on and on. All those different sounds have contributed to my sound.

What attracts you personally in the sound you’re working at?
I think the thing that has always attracted me to music in general is hearing something I’ve never heard before. Also, the vibe of the music is really important to me. It has to make me feel something. As I said earlier, my music is very personal to me so I could be inspired by anything really. Other people, a sound, a book, a sample, it could be anything really.


Will you name 3 drum’n’bass producers who stand out for you at the moment?
There are so many great producers out there at the moment. It’s gonna be hard to only mention three haha. Double O is like a machine. That guy has so many good tunes and a very unique sound. He also has been a tremendous influence and a great friend to me over the years. Rumbleton. Like Dubz, Rumbleton has a style and sound all his own. I’ve nicknamed him the Dubfunk Master cause he blends elements of Dub and Roots with Funk and Soul more seamlessly than anyone else I’ve heard. Lastly, I’d have to mention martianMan. He’s come out of nowhere in the last couple of years bringing straight fire. His tunes has a very classic feel to them and I love the way a lot of them are so long and evolving. Like I said though, there are so many others that deserve a mention here. Big up everyone involved for real.

How long did it you to realize that you were ready to step out with your very first release?
I was working on music for a few years before I really got to a level that I was “happy” with haha. It took me a lot of reading and trying things out before my sound became what it is now and I’m always trying to improve and learn new techniques. I also was fortunate enough to have people that believed in me to help me along the way. It didn’t happen overnight, that’s for sure haha.

Your dream or wish – what’s the label you want to see your release on?
There are a lot of labels I’d love to release on. Subtle Audio, Scientific Wax, Inperspective, RuptureLDN just to name a few. There are so many labels that are putting out great music, I’d be happy to be involved with anyone pushing the sound forward.

How do you see the future of the half step sound in the drum’n’bass scene?
I play a bit of Halfstep/Dub tunes here and there. LXC’s 45Seven imprint is a favorite and anything by Flatliners, Untouchables, and Morphy/Dubmonger are always great. Dub Clinique is also putting out some quality releases from some fresh talent. I think the sound will be around as long as people are interested in making it and hearing it.

What are positive and negative things have you observed in drum’n’bass music over the last couple of years?
The most positive thing I’ve seen is that this music still brings people together. People still love to go to nights and brock out and vibe and meet new people. The music is still relevant after 20+ years and that’s a big positive as well. I try to be an optimist so I’ll stay off the negatives.

What will drum’n’bass be like in the nearest future, any ideas?
I think it will continue to grow and morph just like it always has. I think change and evolution are a part of any genre of music and D&B is no different. It’s always been a genre that people can bring any sound into and incorporate into it. I guess it will just depend on what the producers bring to the studio at the end of the day haha.


What’s the most important thing for the beginning producer? Will you share an advice?
My biggest advice for new producers is to be patient. You’re not going to sound the way you want to right away. It takes a lot of time and work. I’d recommend reading as much as you can about dynamics, EQ, compression, etc. Also, never try to force anything. If a tune is not going the way you think it should, then let it go and work on something else. If a tune takes an unexpected turn and is almost writing itself, then go with it. Finally, stop talking about what you’re going to do and do it. Don’t talk about it. Do it.

And the final words here?
Thanks to everyone that has supported my music over the years and to all those who believed in me since day one. There are literally too many people to name names, but if we’ve connected in any way, then know that I have the utmost gratitude for each and every one of you. Much love!

Thanks for the answers.
Keep it going and good luck with the new releases!


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