The story behind IDHS

First off, where are you from? what do you do for a living?

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’ve lived in Toronto my whole life except 1 month in Markham and 5 years in Ajax, Ontario. I used to be a digital media producer where I did anything from building websites, flash ads, video editing, graphic design. For a while, I used to play games like Diablo 2, Ever Quest, and other MMO’s and sell in-game currency, items, and characters. I had a room full of computers that would automate characters or control all of them simultaneously from macros. I was also an athletic trainer for a period of time where I worked with anyone from the elderly to athletes. I specifically took an interest in injury prevention and working with people that had complicated structural issues. I’ve always been a visual learner and took an interest in stock trading. I taught myself to read charts and started day trading stocks based on technical analysis. I also own Void Acoustics and QSC sound systems which I rent out. I’ve also bought a lot of broken AV equipment and fixed it up to resell. I have a bit of career ADD.

What drew you to the music industry?

I started playing guitar in my early teens, shortly after I started developing a specific taste in music. I eventually started to play bass guitar after realizing I’m a terrible guitar player. I briefly played in Metal/Punk bands which didn’t really go anywhere. I tried out DAWs quite a few times over the years after that but never really got anywhere. I could never commit to learning and experimenting for more than fleeting moments. I was never drawn to the industry, for the longest time I didn’t want to even have a DJ/producer name. I really enjoyed DJing but I’ve had several bad experiences turning hobbies into careers and never wanted to take it seriously because I thought it would make me hate it. One year I was attending a music festival and I just had a moment where I said, “Ok when I get home I’m going to sit down and finish tracks.” Stuck to it and here we are!

What are your biggest influences on your music?

Around 2008-2009 A friend introduced me to Dubstep and I couldn’t stand it. I remember hearing 2 of my (now) favorite songs Benga & Coki – Night, Skream – Midnight Request Line, and just didn’t like them at all. In my defense, I wasn’t introduced to it on a good sound system, so it was lacking what it really had to offer. Shortly after I picked up a really good pair of Sennheiser headphones and by chance a dubstep song came on from shuffle. I called up my friend and said, “I get it now, I like this.” I think his response was something like wait until you hear it with a subwoofer! It was Fabriclive 37 that really sold me on Dubstep. Caspa, Rusko, Matty G, Skream, Distance, L-wiz, Coki, Cluekid, The Others… 

What a stacked list, and those are just the names I can recall from memory on that album. When dubstep started to get heavy I was all for it, but my interests were starting to shift a lot towards House & Techno. I was also really enjoying Trap around 2012-2017 it was such a fun energetic genre. Rustie, TNGHT immediately come to mind as what got me into that. With one group of friends, we would get together and mix Trap for hours, then I’d take off and be at a Techno party until 5 am. Dubstep really took a back seat for a while. In 2012 or 2013 I went to Movement festival for the first time and that pushed me way deeper into Techno. 

 I’m not sure what my biggest influences are, there are a lot of things that you wouldn’t even be able to hear but got me to where I am now. When it came to wanting to play guitar probably Greenday and Nirvana sparked that, followed by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I definitely gave myself bloody fingertips jamming out to RHCP tunes. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Black sabbath all had a huge impact too. I don’t even want to start trying to explain all the Metal bands/sub-genres, that’s a novel worth of words. When I was in grade 7-8 I was kinda into the dance music they played on the local radio which would probably be called Euro. 

That evolved into some drum & bass (the tune that was in Unreal Tournament comes to mind) which I didn’t know what to call at the time! and a lot of Prodigy and Crystal Method. I remember there was a soundtrack for a Quake 3 mod called Rocket Arena 3. I loved that so much, it was all electronic music and I listened to it countless times. After that, though I was mostly listening to Metal, Punk, Classic rock. I just didn’t want to hear anything else at the time. Right up until 2018 I attended Movement every single year, it was during the Movement festival in 2018 that I realized I was really missing Dubstep a lot. That’s when I decided to create IDHS and start putting out Dubstep tunes and other bass music.

What do you feel is the best track you’ve ever released and why?

Probably my bootleg of SOPHIE – face shopping. I get the most compliments on it, most crowd reactions, and it was definitely the most fun to work on.

Please explain your creative process. What DAW & mixing setup do you use/prefer?

I mainly use FL studio, but I’ve used Ableton for a few tracks. I get ideas for songs randomly and will try to record the idea by humming, beatboxing, or something into the voice app on my phone. They usually never make sense when I finally sit down in front of a computer but often lead to other ideas. Many tracks start out one way and end up entirely different than I envisioned from the start. I will often start with percussion, drums, build in a bassline, and then go from there.

If I don’t have a specific vision in mind, I will pick a key, hunt down a bunch of samples and just build a track out of them. Then I will listen to it and start creating new sounds and replace the samples one by one.

How would you describe your own sound?

I don’t think I’ve found my sound yet. My taste in music is all over the place, so I’m not sure where I will end up with IDHS. When I first decided to put music out under IDHS I thought it would be deep dubstep only, but I’ve already broken that. I would just call it bass music, mostly dubstep… for now.

Tell us a few things about your latest project. How long have you been working on it? What was the concept of the project?

These tracks were actually some of the first ones I ever finished under IDHS, so anything you hear on my SoundCloud or other releases were finished after this. I didn’t have a specific goal or concept with any of these tracks other than to just actually finish something for once, I just wanted to make dubstep. I had a bad habit of creating a sound or loop that I think is kinda cool, starting something new, then never touching the previous project again.

Do you perform at venues? festivals? a resident of any local club or bar? if yes how long and for what purpose?

I’ve played at several venues around Toronto/Hamilton/Kitchener. Every year in the summer my friends and I throw our own parties out in the woods with a stack of speakers and a generator. We’ve also done renegade parties along the lakeshore in the city.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Please explain your creative process. What DAW & mixing setup do you use/prefer?

I mainly use FL studio, but I’ve used Ableton for a few tracks. I get ideas for songs randomly and will try to record the idea by humming, beatboxing, or something into the voice app on my phone. They usually never make sense when I finally sit down in front of a computer but often lead to other ideas. Many tracks start out one way and end up entirely different than I envisioned from the start. I will often start with percussion, drums, build in a bassline, and then go from there.

If I don’t have a specific vision in mind, I will pick a key, hunt down a bunch of samples and just build a track out of them. Then I will listen to it and start creating new sounds and replace the samples one by one.

What are your plans for this year? any upcoming releases?

Create more music. I’d like to release free tracks on big milestones eg: 1000 followers, and work with some other artists. One of my goals with IDHS is to create the perfect techno to dubstep track, maybe I can nail that down this year.

If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?

To anyone that likes, reposts, follows me. I appreciate you more than you can imagine. It’s a big deal for me to hear people actually say they like my music and share it.