Vincent Floyd — Michael Jordan of Deep House Culture
1) How would you compare the enthusiasm of deep house musicians now to when you started produce stuff in 80s?
I’m not sure how enthusiastic current producers are, one thing thats certain, recording in the late 1980’s manual labor. During that period music equipment was expensive so most people shared and swapped synths, 707s, 303s, 909s and 808s. The process of recording took far more effort and was very time consuming. Coming from laying down sync tones, cutting tape, recording one instrument at a time, sometimes without a sequencer; I appreciate what is available now. Without software, I think that 70% of post DAW producers wouldn’t exist. It’s the equivalent of telling a child to walk to the library and search for a book to get information instead of Googling it on their phone.
2) Do you have a favourite label or a favourite deep house producer?
As far as artists go I love Larry Heard, Marshall Jefferson, Ron Trent, Virgo Four, the Victor Romeo releases were my influences. I also like Byron The Aquarius, Trinidadian Deep, releases from Vibraphone Records, Burek, Saft/Pulp, La Freund…this list could go on and on; there is a lot of good stuff out there to choose from.
3) Do you have any superstitions to get you into the right frame of mind for music producing?
I am inspired by peace, being relaxed, love, paintings, books, beautiful things, sometimes not so beautiful things. I’m not superstitious, I don’t need any particular object or abstract conditions to get me going.
4) How do you relate the power of deep house music with the evolution of house music?
Deep house has a mood and feel that can be enjoyed by the general music lover. People who like jazz, and melodic music usually like deep house, this pulls them under the umbrella of house music which makes it more universal.
5) Are you fan of some kind of sport? what’s your favourite team?
That’s a funny question because I don’t pay attention to sports at all. I am more of a fan of a particular athlete, like Michael Jordan, who is outstanding, than an overall sports fan.
6) When did you start writing/producing music — and what or who were your early passions and influences?
When I was about 9 I fell in love with everything Prince. Although I loved a lot of other artists such as the Beatles, it was Prince who inspired me to want to play guitar and try to play and do everything. That’s when I started to attempt writing songs and making recording with two tape recorders. Starting from that level, any technologic advancement is exciting.
7) Tell us about your studio, please. What were criteria when setting it up and how does this environment influence the creative process? How important, relatively speaking, are factors like mood, ergonomics, haptics and technology for you?
I used to have an 8 track reel to reel, two 16 channel Mackie CR-1604, 11 rack mount synths, etc; these things were not great for mobility. These days I need different environments so I like renting a room, an Air BnB wth a good view or that has an artistic vibe and go record there for a few days. Because I like different enviornments, its best to take my laptop and a DAW controller. The mood, temperature, wall colors, flooring, and textures of my surroundings have become very important to me.
8) What are currently some of the most important tools and instruments you’re using?
I’ve been bouncing around between Ableton, Reason and my old friend Sonar. I love Propellerhead’s Reason, the look and feel is like the old gear that I’m used to. I’ve come to realize that I was more productive prior to using DAWs. There are too many options, those options can become limiting if you know what I mean.