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Interview: Jordan Schor

Hello world and welcome to my first interview this year! Today we have up and coming producer who created this monster of a remix that you see above you! I am of course, speaking about Jordan Schor! Jordan was kind enough to give up some free time to do this interview!

3.47: Normally the artist I speak to go by a nickname, why did you go with your real name?
Jordan Schor: Jordan is my real first name; however Schor is not my real last name. My real last name (which I’m going to keep a secret for now) wouldn’t work as it would clash with the artist profile I’m trying to build for myself.

3.47: That’s interesting to hear, can I ask if it is a different style of music you’re using for your real name?
JS: Nope, it’s just this alias that I make music for, nothing else.

3.47: When did you first started getting noticed as a producer?
JS: I first got noticed when I released my first track Solace and Torment. I had some experience and connections working under a different alias, so when it came time to release Schor’s first track, it received support from Kyra Promotions and DeadMusicFC on YouTube which really helped me out. To this day it’s still my most played track on SoundCloud by far.

3.47: That’s great to hear they were able to give you the major push you needed! Is anyone else in your family a musician?
JS: My dad and his two brothers were all in their high school band growing up. I was in my own high school band during my time there, but that’s about the extent of musicianship in my family.

3.47: Do you find it easier working with instruments than working on a PC to make a track?
JS: I’ve always written music on PC. I do have a MIDI keyboard which I use to figure out melodies and chords and stuff but at the end of the day I click in all the notes in the piano roll. FL Studio is really great for that because their piano roll is the best one I’ve come across by far.

3.47: What inspires you as an artist?
JS: I draw inspiration from many places, but one that’s becoming more and more prominent would be music I listened to before I started producing. I often say that there are times where I wish I never started making music because it’s taken away so much from being a listener. I can’t listen to a track anymore without analysing every little detail of it, so songs that I listened to before I started producing will always be special to me.

3.47: Yeah I get what you mean! I think that’s a cool thing as well though because you can listen to a song and think … Hmm it needs this or that and before you know it, you made a remix of it! How supportive have your friends and family been?
JS: My family has been nothing but supportive in everything I do; my friends are not quite the same. While they still do support me and wish me the best in what I do, they don’t really seem to care too much (which is perfectly fine in all honesty). I think it stems from the fact that, out of all my friends, only one of them goes out of his way to listen to electronic music, so all my other friends by default lose interest.

3.47: Yeah that can be pretty tough at times with friends. It’s hard to say where to ask for views on the songs you’re making. I really don’t know what to suggest because I was going to say, ask other artists that you know. I mean don’t know if you have anyone in that you can work with to do that or not, but may help. Also it’s great to hear you’re getting support from family as well! Family can be your driving force towards a lot of things! Who would you like to work with next? Anyone famous?
JS: I would love to be able to work with all of my inspirations to start making music, a few of them being Nicky Romero, Kaskade, Zedd, Hardwell, Alesso and Tritonal. As for vocalists, I think a collaboration with Johnathan Mendelsohn, Amba Shepard, Matthew Koma, Bright Lights or Lucina would be really cool.

3.47: Some big names there! Can only hope you get to see it happen! How hard is it being independent and trying to get your voice out there?
JS: It’s pretty hard but I’m making it work. Being an independent artist, I’m responsible for absolutely everything, so not only do I have to make the music; I have to manage myself as well. I’ve built up decent connections with YouTube promoters and that’s really helped me up to this point, but it would be really nice to have real industry connections that could potentially land me a record deal or put me in a position to work with any of the above mentioned artists.

3.47: Well give it time! I think once your name gets more out there then you never know, you could get picked up! As you were saying you do it by yourself, how much time do you spend trying to make music per day?
JS: I try to spend as much time as possible, but I believe music is something you can’t force. If I don’t feel motivated on a certain day I won’t do too much, but there have been times where I’ve sat down for easily 5+ hours in one day to work on a track.

3.47: Do you have any unfinished tracks sitting on your hard drive? If so would you be putting together something so people can hear them?
JS: I have more than I can count. There’s a saying I heard once that went “for every finished track there’s 10 unfinished ones” and I think that’s pretty damn true. I do go back and search for cool ideas in my old project files to potentially release, but that’s all they’re good for.

3.47: As I say to people, nothing is a waste because it can either inspire someone else or help them in their hour of need! Most of the producers I spoke to use FL studio to make their tracks, are you the same?
JS: Yes, I use FL Studio. It’s the first DAW I came across and the first one I started to learn, so I just stuck with it. However, I am attending audio engineering school in September and just bought pro tools last night (which I’ve heard very mixed reviews about but we’ll see how I like it) and I’m looking forward to being able to give Logic Pro ago while I’m there.

3.47: I say it a lot but I got to be honest, FL Studio looks scary! How did you learn to use it? Also I’m glad there is a school where you can go to like that! How long will you be there for?
JS: To be fair, FL is the easiest DAW to pick up in my opinion. Going into using FL with no experience 2 years ago I was able to craft up a (pretty horrible) electro track, but at least it was something. I just recently activated Pro Tools on my laptop and have yet to figure how to actually get sound out of it. I’m convinced I haven’t set something up properly but when doing troubleshooting and trying to find the problem, everything seems to be where it should be.

3.47: Are you surprised at how big your fan base has become?
JS: Yes and no. Yes because it’s incredible how fast I’ve managed to grow since my first release (currently pushing 1,000 SoundCloud followers) and no because I went into my current alias with production experience as well as already established connections with promoters, so I already had the tools to get myself to this point before my first release.

3.47: Do you regret having the previous alias now?
JS: No, it was a good way for me to get a feel for the promotional part of music and build up some connections. Additionally, I sent some pretty horrible music to some high-profile people on my past alias and I don’t want be remembered by those crappy tracks when I feel like I’m ready to actually work with those people.

3.47: What was your reaction when you saw the feedback coming in about your music?
JS: I always love reading feedback on my music. It’s nice to see others actually enjoy something that I put a lot of time into creating. I try to respond to as many people as possible and interact with my fans.

3.47: Yeah I think it’s always important to hear feedback because we can learn from it. When you do get bad feedback, how do you normally deal with it?
JS: If it’s constructive criticism, that’s always welcome. Sometimes you just need someone to tear one of your tracks apart and point out every flaw so you can fix it. If it’s someone hating on you for the sake or trolling or whatever, ignore/block them. They aren’t worth your time.

3.47: If you had the power to run your own music label, what would you call it?
JS: I actually came somewhat close to starting a label with a friend, and we agreed on the name “Magnitude Records”. It didn’t work out for a number of reasons, but if I did start one, that’s probably what I would go with.

3.47: Do you still talk to your friend or is that not the case now?
JS: I assume you mean about the label. In that case, no there has not been any label talk as of late.

3.47: What has been the weirdest request you had?
JS: The weirdest request I’ve ever had was a bookings company that wanted me to be a part of their team but could hardly speak English. Considering I’m Canadian and English is our first language, that’s not really something I can overlook. Other than that, I’ve had a number of requests to join smaller labels and stuff of that nature.

3.47: How did that happen? Did they just contact you by email first? You said about smaller labels requesting you to join, is there any that you have taken a liking to?
JS: Yeah, it was just a random email I got. As for when I say smaller labels, I mean so small that some of them had less than 100 followers on soundcloud, with no content aggregation system, no methods of promotion, anything. I don’t benefit from joining those labels, so I reject their offers.

3.47: What would you say are the advantage/disadvantage of been independent?
JS: Advantages: having 100% ownership of my music and being able to release what I want and when I want.
Disadvantages: lack of exposure, both from the absence of an added fan base but also stopping me from getting my music on services like Spotify and Beatport.

3.47: I was going to ask about that, what do you need to do to actually get your music on to iTunes or Google play? Also how much of a cut do they take?
JS: I don’t know the specifics, but 3rd party aggregators are the way to go if you aren’t signed to a label, such as TuneCore or CD Baby. If you are signed, I believe the label takes care of it for you. As for cuts, I’m really not sure what they take, but I know revenue from sales is already a dying thing in the music industry. It sometimes baffles me how labels stay afloat.

3.47: Are you hoping to perform live?
JS: I do DJ on top of making music; however I’m much more involved in producing at this time. However, I do plan on performing at some parties in college and I also have an upcoming audition at a nightclub in the same city so we will see how that all turns out.

3.47: You nervous about the audition?
JS: Pretty nervous, mainly because I don’t really know the atmosphere of the club or what its main style of music is. I’m sure I’ll be fine but you never know; I could end up accidentally throwing down some big room bangers in a techno haven. I doubt that’s gonna be the case though

3.47: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
JS: Favourite song of the moment: Florian Picasso – Origami
Favourite song of all time: Alesso vs. One Republic – If I Lose Myself
And although it’s not my favourite track of all time, I think the best song ever written is Madeon – Technicolor

3.47: Madeon … His tracks are just crazy! Him and Uppermost are tracks I listen to help me feel pumped! What’s your favourite movie?
JS: I don’t watch a ton of movies, but one that I ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought was the Lego Movie. I went with 2 other friends to go see it, and we laughed harder than everyone else combined despite being older than 95% of the people watching it.

3.47: Don’t feel bad about it! I think it is cool they have these little jokes that adults can pick up! You looking forward to the new Lego Batman movie and Lego Movie 2? My partner gets pissed off with me because I sing “Everything is awesome!”
JS: Will definitely see both of them!

3.47: What’s your favourite video game?
JS: I’ve been playing the hell of the new smash bros on wii u as of late, and I feel like I’m starting to get pretty good at it. I know there’s a pretty big smash scene in London where I’m going to school so I might see if I can get involved in that. (PS: If you main Sonic I hate you and you’re a horrible person)

3.47: Oh a Nintendo gamer! I was pretty shocked to see Ryu from Street Fighter in there! I know it was rumoured but to see it been real … Well they are doing it right! Who are you hoping to see make a guest appearance? I think it’s confirmed now Shovel Knight will be one of them.
JS: Ryu is awesome! I’ve been trying to pick him up recently and I think he has the potential to be a high-tier character. His input shoryuken is one of the most satisfying things to land in the game (right behind falcon punch of course). As for others, I think it would be really cool to see Dante from the Devil may Cry series in smash. I might have to drop Zero Suit Samus and make him my main regardless of how good/bad he is.

3.47: What would you say is harder, making an original track or a remix?
JS: Although it can be tough to try and fit an already-made track around your production style, I think original songs are much harder to make because they require knowledge of music theory. If you’re remixing a track, you can kind of get away with not knowing theory, but it’s essential for original works to know how to write and arrange the song.

3.47: How hard was it to write music? As you said before you was in a band but, did coming over to a different style of music help at all?
JS: Well, that band was the school concert band, which was strictly playing music and competing against other school bands, so writing music on a computer is the only thing I have experience with. As for difficulty, I feel like it varies. Some days I have progressions and melodies just flying out of my brain, and others I struggle to make something that even resolves.

While we’re on the topic of remixes and difficulty, I would like to point out that it takes no more than 5 minutes to make a typical festival trap remix, so for the love of God stop supporting them. I know a guy I went to high school with who got literally hundreds of thousands of SoundCloud plays on said remixes when I could literally recreate an almost exact copy of his work in about half an hour, whereas Code 0 and myself spend well over 40 hours on our collab we just released. It undermines the effort of those who actually put time into their music and I believe it needs to stop.

3.47: I think this could be an ongoing battle that won’t end anytime soon unfortunately.Without causing a flame war, have you since spoken to the artist at all?
JS: I remember talking about Carnage’s remix of Spaceman by Hardwell with some friends on Twitter, and Carnage himself joined the thread and got really egotistical saying stuff like “The biggest records are always the simplest, and that’s what I was going for that track.”. I don’t remember exactly what I said back, but it was something along the lines of ” how can you even call it your track when 99.9% of the work was done for you?” and then I got swarmed by his delusional fans.

3.47: When it does come to doing a remix, do you pick your favourite song and make it your own?
JS: When remixing a track, one really important thing to have access to are the stems. It’s really hard to do a proper remix without them, unless you can recreate the important parts of the song (something like Levels by Avicii would be an easy track to remix without stems). So unfortunately there are songs I would love to remix but can’t because I don’t have the stems, but I am currently attempting to remix Untouchable by Tritonal because the stems just got released so stay tuned for updates on that!

3.47: Remember people you heard it here first! How long do you normally have to wait for the stems to come out?
JS: Most songs you won’t find stems online. They only get released to the public in the event of a remix contest, so unless there’s one of those the best you can get is an acapella to work with.

3.47: What’s the best advice you been given?
JS: The best advice I’ve been given is that, when you start, you’re gonna suck. This especially holds true to music because for the most part, very few people have a solid background in music before they start producing so it’s mostly new to them. I think this is a piece of advice that should be passed onto everyone starting, however harsh it may be, because once you accept that you aren’t as good as your idols then you can start working towards bridging the gap by watching tutorials and applying new knowledge.

3.47: It’s very true though. I know there can be some who could make a one hit wonder straight off the bat, but for others, it can take a long time. What advice can you give to others who want to be like you?
JS: Same thing as the question above, but there’s another one I want to throw in here. It’s the idea that others will want to see you succeed but never to a level that makes you better than them. In other words, there are a lot of fake people, especially when it comes to EDM. Learn to find people you can trust and know will support you.

3.47: Again very good advice! I think no matter what you do in life, someone is always going to feel threatened one way or another. Have you come across that yourself a lot of the times?
JS: I know that I’ve felt threatened by other artist’s success before. In that case, I try to remind myself that they’re in the same position I am; trying to push music to as many people as possible. I usually helps me forget about them and do my own thing.

3.47: What do you do in your spare time?
JS: Play video games, hang out with friends, go searching for new music, go swimming in my pool

3.47: You hear that people! He has a pool in his house! Party in his pool!
JS: I’ll DJ 😉

3.47: Do you have any other hidden talents?
JS: In terms of my daily life, I would say music is my hidden talent. Not many people know that I make music, let alone to the level I do. It’s something that I’ve never really bothered to blast to the world because I know I really don’t benefit from people such as my former classmates knowing. The people that should know, do know, and moving forward that number is going to increase because I’m attending a music-oriented program.

3.47: Yeah it very a good point because like you said before, it will separate the fake people to the real ones. The annoying part can be some of them you trust and then can simply be one of the worst people. If you had the chance to run YouTube what would you change about it?
JS: First thing would be the layout. I really don’t like the current layout of the site because it’s so lame and boring compared to previous incarnations of it. Earlier forms of the site allowed for so much more customization and branding of your channel (even though you had to be partnered which was a lot harder back then) but now all you get is a small banner. In terms of functionality, I don’t think a whole lot needs to be done; maybe just tune up their servers so it runs smoother.

3.47: Yeah and if they can sort out the mobile side that would be great as well! On the subject of Youtube, do you think it has gotten out of hand now? Sure it’s about people uploading videos and music, but now having movies where you can rent there… I dunno, I feel like it’s lost its appeal. What do you think?
JS: I would like to say that I still can’t believe pewdiepie makes upwards of a few million dollars by recording himself screaming into a microphone while he plays video games. That’s a job I would love to have. In terms of the appeal, I feel like YouTube really hasn’t changed much. It’s still the go-to site for videos that literally EVERYONE uses, although I feel like it needs some competition to force it to improve.

3.47: Soundcloud seems to be another one that people are having problems with, what would you change about it?
JS: I don’t usually have problems with SoundCloud, but according to others they go through hell trying to use the site. I would definitely improve the efficiency and consistency of the site to be more functional, but the main thing I would try to push for would be to ease up on the copyright strikes. SoundCloud used to be a safe haven for unofficial remixes and bootlegs, but now they aren’t so safe.

3.47: Yeah I was reading about a former guest on here saying that they shut down him down due to that! Is it like Youtube with the 3 strike rule? Also when did all started to take affect?
JS: I’m not sure if there’s a 3 strike rule or not. I’m also not sure when this all started, but I do know that soundcloud is doing this to try and appeal to labels for monetization purposes so they can compete with the likes of spotify.

3.47: Are there any upcoming artist like yourself that you’re keeping a close eye on? For example in your eyes, they are going to be the next big thing?
JS: It’s really hard to predict the next big thing, especially with the amount of talent out there; I’ve come across 12 year olds who have made festival-quality Melbourne bounce tracks. That being said, I don’t think I can say with absolute certainty that a certain person is going to blow up anytime soon.

3.47: 12 years old? That’s … Just … Crazy! Are they any independent artists you look up to at all?
JS: To be honest, I don’t listen to a ton of independant/smaller artists. I usually go music hunting by going through YouTube channels of record labels, so I don’t usually come across many independents who blow me away.

3.47: What can we expect from you in the future?
JS: Hopefully you can expect some damn good music! As stated earlier, I’m attending a music program in college so I’m hoping that will really up my production game to a level where I can really start to make my mark on the music industry and start making a real name for myself. I’m constantly working on new stuff so connecting with me on social media like Facebook and Twitter would be the best way to keep up, although I’m much more active on the latter.

3.47: Gotta admit I’m still not used to Twitter due to 140 character limit! Have they changed that now or is it still the same?
JS: Nope, still the same!

3.47: Final question! Any words you want to say to your listeners out there?
JS: If you made it all the way to the end of this interview, thank you for being awesome enough to read all of this! Hopefully I made a fan or two from answering these questions. Other than that, not much to say other than the usual “check out my soundcloud” speech 😉

3.47 would like to say a massive thank you to Amazing Police for spending the time doing the interview! Until next time guys!

Jordan Schor Links


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