Interview with Producer & DJ Jesse Hutton
Jesse Hutton, 30, has been DJing for roughly 12 years and is finishing up his degree in Audio Engineering. He has tracks that have been featured on the front page of Beatport, opened for acts like Cosmic Gate, and recently DJed Dayglow (the world’s largest paint party). We were fortunate to sit down with Jesse to discuss his career in dance music. His interview can be seen below.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself as an individual and describe who “Jesse Hutton” the DJ is.
Wow, questions like these are always difficult to start. Let’s see… Currently in college for Audio Engineering and already holding a degree in graphic design. As for describe me as a DJ, very meticulous in my transition & music selections while making sure to put on a good show.
Q. When did you first get started in dance music? Listening, DJing, and producing?
My first interest to dance music was around the year 2000. I saw the movie ‘Hackers’ featuring amazing work from The Prodigy, Orbital, and or course Underworld. Growing up in a very small area I was used (graduating class of 65 people) to hearing only R&B, Hip Hop, Top 40 & and Country. “What in the world is this I’m hearing” was pretty much all that was in my mind during this movie. DJing followed fairly soon after. I went to my first “rave” and saw these guys playing electronic music on vinyl records in a dark warehouse on some loud sparkers. Literally 2 weeks later I had my first pair of Numark Blue See-Thru Turntables. Yes, I’ve been a DJing 12 years strong. Production came around much later. I picked up my DAW of choice Ableton around 2008. I did not really being to use it for it’s full potential until around early 2010.
Q: Over the past two years, Dance Music in the United States (primarily Electro and Dubstep), has exploded. Where has that taken your career and what are your thoughts on the popularity of EDM?
Well the past two years, I have been in school for audio engineering which really has been my main focus with some great gigs here and there. I think it’s wonderful that the style of music that I have loved for over a decade has become so apparent in everyday life… I do feel that with the explosion of dance music being a DJ has become even more difficult. Try setting your self apart from the next 10 DJ’s that live in the same city as you. To me, being a impressive DJ is about setting yourself or creating your own style that sets you apart from the rest.
Q: You do both music production and DJ, which do you enjoy more?
I enjoy them both (however sometimes I want to pull my hair out when putting a groove together.. lol). DJing for me is of course easier due to the amount of years I’ve been at it. Production however has giving me being a DJ a whole new identity. Nothing beats playing at a show and mixing in one of your own personal tracks you spent so many man hours on that you lost count, and watch the crowd loose their mind. It’s kind of a synergy of awesomeness being able to do both.
Q. Where does the drive come from as a producer/DJ? Why did you choose Djing?
Ever since I was a kid, I was always the natural performer (or so mom says). From marching band to acting, being on a stage has really been where I feel most comfortable. Not cause of the attention, I just LOVE to perform if it’s for 5 people at a home or 500 people at a club. Something about just being a performer puts a smile on my face. DJing was a very logical step for me, I had played multiple instruments growing up and it just started off as a hobby (as most things do) which grew into what it is today.
Q: Who have been your biggest influences in EDM?
Well from a production stand point there are to many. I try to get ideas from House, Trance, Progressive etc… From a DJing stand point there are two main forces that drive me to keep DJing and never look back. One is Troy (Yeah you buddy) he was the first club owner to give me my first paid residency. We have had our beef but I really look up to him as a business owner who really take the time to understand his customers and keep them happy. The other is DJ Spicy Brown, a local DJ who has been in the game 20 years or so. He’s been one of my main driving forces to perform the smoothest and cleanest mixes that are possible. It’s funny how at the club he plays at (Heaven Night Club) he’s behind a glass wall where no one can see him. I always kind of think of him as the Wizard of Oz… Don’t look behind the curtain… Every Saturday for 6-7 hours starting at roughly 126 BPM working his way up to 130-132 by the end of the night, he manages to just create an untouchable energy level for a DJ that IS NOT SEEN.
Q: Digital DJ software, along with the huge increase in the popularity of EDM, has created a massive influx of noobie DJs. What are your thoughts on the DJ bandwagon?
It’s like any fad, eventually the people who get into the DJing game or any hobby for that matter for the wrong reasons will end up just letting equipment sit around and collect dirt (trust me I know, I live in West Texas thats pretty much all there is… Dirt) A lot of people will not put in the proper time to really define who he/she is as an artist and just give up and move on to the next trend.
Q: Are you currently working with anyone/on anything that Fans should keep an eye out for?
I’m working with a few people actually. A buddy of mine from school named Phillp a.k.a. Flip. The dude is a beast, plays like 6-7 instruments very proficiently. He and I have been coming up with some cool ideas and after the semester is over during the break we are going to really put in some time before the next (and pretty sure last) semester starts. Another is my buddy Deejay Shaolin up in Dallas, Texas. He has become one hell of a producer and we colab back and forth on a few things which will continue to increase over the next year. My latest and probably the coolest addition to project is my Jimmy F*N Freer a.k.a. Flip-A-Bit (wasn’t sure if profanity was allowed lol). Part owner and operator of Audiophile Live Records… This label has already gotten the attention of Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Markus Schulz, The Crystal Method, Paul Oakenfold, Revolvr, Kyau & Albert… and that is just to name a small number of people supporting this label. Jimmy is probably one of the hardest working guy’s I’ve met in quite sometime. I’m very honored to be apart of this label and working with all three of these guys. Good things to come! (Jimmy is such a hard ass) I also run ‘The Club Houze Podcast’ which is available on both Itunes & theonlyjessehutton.podomatic.com for direct download so feel free to take a listen.
Q: What are some of the projects most recent achievements?
My single ‘Zup!’ made front page on the genre on beatport as well as my remix of ‘Neon Revolution’ by Pierce G broke Top 100 in the genre.My latest track ‘Toxic Freak’ – released on Audiophile Live – has also gotten the attention of some pretty heavy hitters in the EDM community which to me is probably the biggest accomplishment production wise.
Q: Tell us about your work ethic in the studio and how you achieve small & large goals?
Hrm, I’ve never really seen production as having to setting goals except when it’s learning a new technique. I see it more like a puzzle and all of the pieces are in front of me…. on a blank canvass… connected to speakers… with pretty lights, knobs and an annoying metronome click in the background (I hope that was actually funny) As far as work ethic, yeah it’s pretty easy to get just lost in a track and spend 8-12 hours in one session. When I find that groove I do not like to leave. When I can’t get in that groove I keep pushing through it by creating melodies, chord progressions, bass lines and save them to venture back to them at a later date (make sure you create some kind of system for labeling your projects.. just FYI)
Q: What is something unique/interesting that most people wouldn’t know about Jesse Hutton?
I am an absolute Anime freak. Subbed > Dubbed… 99% of the time! Let’s see what else.. I absolutely also love the studio recording side of music. I’ve been able to work with some very cool Rock bands, Funk bands over the past year and recently was able to mix my first symphonic piece that really sounds out of this world and it blew the composer away when he heard it for the first time.. Always a good feeling. I will probably befriend anyone, I’m the kind of guy who will typically have a smile on his face no matter what.
Q: Have you ever had a time of adversity or a time of uncertainty in DJing/Producing that you had to overcome, if so, how did you overcome the situation and conquer the odds?
After 12 years of DJing… to many to count. It’s that old saying that mom always tells you as a kid, when you fall off a horse you get back up.. or something like that. Being a DJ for that long all the low points have really made me love what I do that much more. There will always be low points in anyone’s career as a DJ, you just have to be able to get up dust off and keep moving.. Oh and Jimmy is such a hard ass…
Q: What is your dream venue?
The same as every DJ’s dream venue… A Music Festival Main Stage…
Q: Do you have any advice for other DJs/Producers out there?
Yea..… BUY SOME EAR PLUGS!!!! Get $20 bucks, go to guitar center in the percussion section (most of the time) and get a pair of reusable HEARO’S or some kind of decibel reduction earplugs that do not muffle the sound. If you can afford it the next step up is a pair of musician’s plugs from any local audiologist run roughly $150 (mine did, to club goers I recommend these as well). Learn to DJ in them, never let them leave your side when you go to a club/concert/event. You have 1 pair of ears and when they are gone that’s it. Yes medical advances have come a long way but still DO NOT RISK YOUR HEARING!! Other than that, keep practicing, be open minded to new ideas and feedback. And don’t get cocky, there is always someone better than you.
Q: Final thoughts/shout outs?
Thank you for the interview, It’s been fun.. As for shout outs… My little buddy Zack S (you know who you are), Ryan B, Brent O, Jeremy W, Rob P, Ricky M, Dan E, Zack K, Jake D, The Prom Killers (Ron, Bobby & GZ), My rage family from EDC, Rich J up in Austin, to my DJ crew holding Dallas Texas.. I miss all you guys and gals and hope to see y’all soon… To all the people who have come up to me at the end of a set and give me a hug/handshake/pat on the back. To my buddy ALAKAI (look him up on beatport & soundcloud) he’s a monster. I always hate trying to do shout outs cause you always feel like you forget someone! So yeah a big monster thank you to all my local and non-local fans, friends and my family who have supported me to this date!
We want to thank Jesse for taking the time to talk with us. We look forward to Jesse’s future success in EDM. Be sure to follow him on his social media channels. You can find Jesse on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.