Thorne Miller Interview
Thorne Miller is a Pretoria-born producer, mix-engineer and some-time DJ. He has been releasing music since 2012 with a remix and then his debut 'Omnipotent EP' on his regular label of choice, Just Move Records. His emotive musical style and focus on quality not quantity make him worthy of much more attention that he’s perhaps received having worked with the likes of Chris Sen, Jude Brown and other. With a new release out and another on the way with Sen, I caught up with him to find out more.
Probably around when I was a teenager, I started playing with music software - having no idea what I was doing or trying to make, that then progressed into something more as well as many sleepless nights with my new found addiction. Later on, I started getting into DJ’ing and that’s when things really started to kick off – People were actually enjoying what I was putting out and I knew that meant something and had to pursue it.
I think South Africa truly has something unique to offer music wise and has for a while now, not only for house music but in general. I believe it is an amalgamation of originality, diversity and artists really pushing each other to achieve something meaningful.
Most likely when I started going out and in the early days of DJ’ing, I really listened what the other guys were doing and what drew me in. Listening to early Soul Candi compilations, going to Deep House parties in Johannesburg etc.
It's difficult to say, but I have always been drawn to stranger more eccentric music, I cannot stand music that has been produced for mass appeal, it just sounds so generic and artificial to me. I think there are a lot of people that feel that way, and in a sense that drives my sound knowing that there is someone to appreciate what I am doing.
I think it is a bit of a combination of both, the latest tracks that I have been working on feel like they are becoming more soulful too. I do not necessarily go for a certain sound when producing – just whatever feels right!
Learn music theory! The basics at least, once you know the rules you can break them even further. That and the fact that not everyone is going to like what you put out and that is ok, as long as you like it and enjoy making it.
I have to be in the mood – There are many days where I wake up and just feel that I have to put something together – that creative state and inspiration doesn’t always last long, so when it comes I have to get the ideas down – that’s the most important part I think.
Originality, artists that are not afraid to push boundaries and truly express themselves without worrying about judgement.
Absolutely, I think music has become way too disposable. It’s those artists that put in that little extra that makes them standout.
My MIDI keyboard , Yamaha HS7’s and Ableton 10.
With remixes I always try to extract the best sounding parts and then re-use them and re-arrange them into something unique to try and give a different perspective. Remixes usually feel a lot easier to make compared to originals.
I’ve been working with the label a long time, and over the years became good friends with Miguel, We are always talking about music and sending each other tunes – so it’s a personal thing and the fact that I appreciate what they release – they always keep it real and I believe that is the main reason people are drawn to the label too.
It would have to be Kayemzat Xi - Club PMWC (Thorne Miller Remix). Dropping in a couple months time, on Just Move Records.
I think tracks that have a decent vocal and interesting sounding parts, always fun to play with and see what I can come up with.
It would have to be the Wet Cinnamon track I did with Chris Sen and Ms.Kelle (now known as Kelello), that and the Parts Of Us EP with Jude Brown were special to me.
I think Jude Brown stands out for me, we never met but just clicked the moment we started working together, and it was all remotely! We would send each other parts back and forth and each time the tracks would just sound better and better.
As well as Splancnic and Shervaan Bergsteedt; some people just have an ear for it I think, and that made working with them a breeze.
Its always a pleasure working with Kelello, everything she sends is just gold. I believe it delivers a strong message, a reminder that is much needed in these times.
Chris and I worked long and hard on that track and we sure had a lot of fun making it, I’m really excited for the world to hear what we did! It’s a vibey track with soothing vocals from Candace, A talented, singer-songwriter from Knoxville, Tennessee. It will be available from the 10th July 2020 on Just Move Records.
Chris has been DJ’ing and producing for years, and we have known each other for quite a while as well. He really is a technical wizard and has a love for what he does, I believe that shines through every time we work on a song together, we also push each other and I think that shows in the end result. Expect more collabs soon!
I think there are so many great up and coming producers but I would look out for Verdagris and the young talented Rick Koen.
It gets tough, but I dedicate the weekends to music production and any other time I can spare.
I used to DJ quite a bit, but rarely gig nowadays. I do think that you can learn a lot from DJ’ing as you can see what moves people and how they react – being able to picture this while producing is something I do a lot.
It can be hard in the beginning – finding your sound and what inspires you, but just keep at it, if you like what you are making, someone else will too!
A bunch of new remixes on Just Move Records, including an Original EP with Splancnic! Maybe an album too!
Where can people follow you?