Artist Interview: Pierre Pienaar
To celebrate his first release on Flashover Trance (Mahana), we catch up with Pierre Pienaar!
First of all, happy new year to you! You had a good new year’s celebration?
Thank you! Happy new year to you as well! Yes for the first time in years I could spend it with friends and family on the beach.
What are your resolutions for 2016?
The last few years I’ve been writing/producing/engineering a lot for other people, this year I’m focusing more on my own tracks and playing out more. On a personal level I’d like to find a better balance between work and spending time with friends and family as the life of a DJ/Producer can completely isolate and consume you. I also feel I should be drinking more Jack Daniels this year 🙂
You are from Namibia. How is the trance scene there? Is there any good club scene at all?
There isn’t a trance scene here unfortunately. We have such a small population that niche markets can’t survive. But our festival scene has really started taking of thanks to guys like Mammoth Events who does Colour festivals and multi-stage setups which is new to the country and I’m glad to be a part of it and in a way educate people musically.
What gives you inspiration?
Sitting at the ocean always gives me inspiration. Listening to other tracks always gets the creative juices flowing and sometimes certain life events triggers ideas as well.
You are producing music for over 10 years already and did release tracks under names such as “P.H.A.T.T.”, “Melodia” and “Rebirth”.
What is your all time favorite production / remix of yourself? And why?
One track that really stands out for me is the track I did with Technikal called Global Panic. It was near the start of my career and it entered the official UK dance charts at #10. My remix of Ratty – Sunrise is also one of those remixes that brings back good memories. But I’m really enjoying my new work like Far Away, Orbit and Mahana as it’s the type if sound that made me fall in love with trance in the first place.
Your new track “Mahana” is out now, it got support already from Ferry Corsten, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Dimension, Alexander Popov, Kenneth Thomas and others. Can you tell us a bit more about this track?
As I mentioned, this is the kind of trance sound that got me into it all. Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk etc was a massive part of my inspiration back then and now so the concept came from that 1999 era. As for the name “Mahana”, it’s Tahitian for “Light if Day”. I was working on the track and during it I was watching a documentary about something very forgettable, but that phrase stuck in my head and I thought it suited the song.
Did it take a long time for you to finish “Mahana”?
No, I think I finished it quite quickly because I had a lot if inspiration. What took the longest was the mixdown and getting everything to sit just right.
How long do you usually work on a production / remix?
I find that when I have a good flow I always try to finish writing the track in one go. Afterwards I’ll tweak it and polish it off but normally I’ll finish a track in a day or two.
Can you tell us what you use in your studio? Software or mainly hardware?
Software only although I wouldn’t mind adding some hardware. I find that I can just about make any sound I want with the VST’s available these days. I work in Cubase and just love it. I often have to work in the others when doing collabs but I just feel like I’m composing I’m Cubase more than just throwing loops and samples around.
Do you have some tips for people that just started to produce? What is the most important thing they should do, or maybe shouldn’t do?
Take your favourite track and try to recreate it, bit by bit and sound for sound. It’s amazing how much you can learn from it and how you start picking up little subtle elements that make a track shine. When Eq’ing, rather cut than boost and remove any frequencies on all sounds that is not needed. When you start out your tracks will suck compared to others..don’t get discouraged. It will get better!
You did work with people such as Lost Witness, Roger Shah, Dirkie Coetzee and others in the past. Any other collaborations planned? Or do you prefer to work alone?
Generally I like working alone because I’m an anti-social hermit, but I’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately and one currently I’m working on one with Paul van Dyk. Others I’m doing at the moment is with Binary Finary, Carl Nicholson, Sean Mathews, Amy Kirkpatrick and another one with Dirkie Coetzee. I think that’s more collabs in a few months than I’ve done over my entire career! And I’ve got my collaboration project called Honour Kode on with my partner Korina Dahl which I hope to really push this year!
What other things can we expect from you in the near future?
Honour Kode is something I really want to push this year so expect more if that but I also have more uplifting solo tracks in the pipeline which I’m excited about. I also have a remix coming out now for Dirkie Coetzee and Jan Johnston which is very driving.
What is your ultimate geek / nerd guilty pleasure? A gadget, a movie or something else?
I don’t get much time for it and I can’t call myself a gamer but this year I really enjoyed playing The Witcher 3. Who doesn’t like simulated boobs? 🙂
Twitter or Facebook
Early Morning or Staying Up Late
Fish or Meat
Summer or Winter
Batman or Superman