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A Sit Down With DJ Syn Cole

08:20 Mar/12/2018

In a world where almost anyone can become a superstar overnight, there are few in the “big-room” game that have risen with such subtlety and decorum as Syn Cole. Avoiding the unscrupulous tactics of some of his contemporaries such as buying likes and hiring ghost producers, this Estonian DJ and producer (born Rene Pais), 26, has stepped out from beyond Ash and Avicii’s shadow with only a few original tracks and a handful of big name remixes.


"It's much easier to come up with new melodies, while playing around with different chords & riffs on the keyboard…"


How old where you when you first heard the strains of dance music – who were the artists that first got you interested?

I was about 10, back in 1998. Discovered the older-era production of Scooter and instantly fell in love with it. By then I already got my first keyboard synth and I liked to create simple cover/remixes of the tracks I liked the most, on the synth.

When it comes to production, were you starting with hardware or did you start using software?

I’ve always used software with just a midi keyboard for recording melodies. That’s about it. I use plugins like Sylenth, ReFX Nexus, and Spectrasonics Omnisphere. My main DAW is Cubase. I use Omnisphere and Nexus somewhat rarely, but Sylenth is my main thing. Lots of processing with Sylenth. I use it for all bass lines and leads.

Describe your sound in three words.

Electro, funky & progressive.

What are some of your favorite tracks of the moment?

For inspiration, I actually often listen to film scores, because of my classical piano background. Composers like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and the like are my favorites. But if I’d name some of my current favorite electronic tracks, I’d say Daft Punk’s “Instant Crush,” Mercer and DJ Snake’s “Lunatic,” and Deorro’s "Five Hours".

What was your first big break in the music industry?

I would say playing on the mainstage of Creamfields last year, while having no tracks and remixes released yet. My first Syn Cole production (Silhouettes Remix) had just gone on promo week before.

In terms of collaborating with other artists, do you prefer to work alone in the studio? Or are you at this point more interested in working with others?

So far I only have my own solo releases. There are only three of those so far, but right now, I have three collabs going on. It’s too early to name them, but there’s going to be some big collaborations.

What kind of production software and hardware do you instantly lean towards when you start a new track or remix?

I’ve always been a Cubase user myself and I love it. I just like how fast it is compared to some other DAWs. For synths, I mostly use Sylenth and Massive.

What was your 2017 highlight?

Getting the vocal version signed to Sony/RCA was definitely a highlight for me. Also my Spotify streaming did really well in 2017, exceeded 200 million total streams on my own songs and their remixes. The year-end Spotify stats climbed to 7 million hours of streams & 16 million fans – I was really happy to see this

What’s the best part of being a DJ?

To be able to travel the world a lot, and to have the work as a hobby & vice versa.

Do you have any advice to share with newer music producers?

For me, it’s listening to different music than I produce, not to only listen to my own genre. For example, I listen to classical music like film scores and soundtracks, which have awesome melodies and chord progressions. So, that’s my recommendation, to listen to something different than what you’re going to make.


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