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In Search Of A Trace With Codeko


Exclusive Interview With UK Producer Codeko

codeko interview

Codeko, real name Ed Clark, is an English DJ/producer hailing from London, UK. He has been classically trained in music from a young age: he plays two orchestral instruments, including the piano since he was just 5 years old.

It was clear that music had always been his passion, and when he started producing at the age of 15, his strong musical foundations allowed him to quickly pick up the nuances of electronic music and showcase his creativity.

Having already racked up millions of plays on his tracks, as well as other achievements like his bootleg remix of ‘Find You’ getting support from Zedd himself, it is clear that Codeko is one to watch. This upwards trajectory shows no signs of stopping; having just signed to Cloud 9 Publishing alongside the likes of Hardwell, Armin van Buuren and W&W, as well as a stream of releases lined up for the future, Codeko is going from strength to strength.

Hello Ed, Thank you so much for taking time out to do this interview with us we are so excited!

Not at all, I’m happy to be doing this!

 This is a staple TIE question what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear South Africa?

I think it would definitely be rugby. I am a big rugby fan and watch quite a few matches, South Africa are always a fun team to watch. I actually have the Springboks shirt which a South African friend of mine gave me a few years ago, I still wear it occasionally.

1.    Where does the name Codeko come from and tell us more about yourself on a non musical front.

The name ‘Codeko’ was actually the 4th or 5th name I tried! I went through a phase of thinking of a name that I thought was cool, and then realising there was already a way bigger artist called that and having to change it. In the end I just went with something that you could google and nothing would come up, hence Codeko.

Non-musically, I am currently a student at the University of Cambridge (UK), coming up to the end of my first year studying Physical Natural Sciences.

2.    What inspired your passion for music and what are some of your fondest musical memories from growing up?

For a very long time, what inspired me was actually playing classical piano music (or to be more precise, ‘romantic era’ music). I genuinely enjoyed sitting down at the piano and just playing, and I sometimes still do. I think without this, I realistically never would have continued with music to reach where I am now.

One of my fondest musical memories was probably the day when I realised I could play songs by ear (e.g. listen to a song, then play it on the piano). This has helped so much, especially since transitioning towards electronic music production.

3.    From a young age you have been trained in musical instruments. You play the piano and two orchestral instruments tell us more.

I have been playing the piano since I was five, and started the flute a few years later. Over the years, I have played in quite a few orchestras and other music groups because of this. When I was 17 I actually went on an orchestra tour of Europe and got to play in some really cool venues, such as the Rudolfinum in Prague, which was a great experience. Since going to university however, I don't really have enough time to do this sort of stuff any more unfortunately, I barely have enough time for electronic music!

4.    You started producing at the age of 15 do you think the fact that you are musically trained helped and played a part? How did you learn to produce?

I think being musically trained played an enormous part in my producing career, and without it I doubt I would have gotten into making music.

I first got introduced to music production as part of Music ‘GCSE’ (national UK exams) as basic composition was a compulsory part of the music curriculum. After doing a bit of it, I realised I really liked it, and continued doing it in my free time, long after I gave up music as an academic subject. Everything I know comes either from trial and error or from various internet forums etc.

5.    How long did it take you to find your sound?

I think it took a very long time, probably a few years of mucking about to get a sound and level of production I was happy with. My ideal ‘sound’ also changed considerably as I went along; when I first started producing, my goal was ‘Seven Lions’-esque dubstep - that is not what I make any more.

6.    What encourages/ inspires you to produce music e.g. other music, surroundings, feelings, emotions? Do you ever feel like you have to stay restricted to just one genre? 

What often inspires me is other music. It may be a particular emotion that a track conveys, an interesting chord, use of inversion, or anything else. If it catches my eye I will often sit down and analyse what makes it unique, and then take it into consideration for next time I make a track.
In all honesty, I make whatever I feel like making, whether it is DnB, dubstep, prog house, or anything in between. The only difference is that some of it is unlikely to get label releases as it may not be ‘club music’ (e.g. some of the 110 bpm downtempo stuff I’m making now). That’s not a big deal to me however, because I am really just doing it for the enjoyment so I don’t let that restrict me.

7.    We are bungled with new music being released everyday how do you keep up to date with new releases as well as selecting what you play?

I use Soundcloud a lot, I follow a lot of people on there and so whenever they release new tracks I can spot them easily. I tend to scroll thorough once a day or so to stay on top of all the new releases.

When selecting what I play, it is affected by lots of things, but I again tend to pick stuff that has something unique about it. I am quite averse to playing a track just because it’s new and popular to fill time, I would much rather play an older, quality track instead.

8.    Sell us your music in 3 words?

Fresh, interesting, melodic

9.    You just released your track Trace on Enhanced. Was Enhanced reaction to the track what you expected it to be when you sent them the track?

I wasn't really sure what to expect, a lot of the time I will finish a track and not really know how good it is. If you listen to anything hundreds of times, it will always sound catchy, and then you get sick of it because you’ve heard it too much; so usually I take a few days off after finishing a track and then come back to assess it.

When I sent it over to Enhanced I was in the ‘sick of it’ phase and so wasn't expecting much. However they seemed really excited about it, which was definitely not the reaction I was expecting!

10.  What was your thinking behind Trace, what were you trying to achieve with the track?

I was sitting at the piano playing through some chord progressions when I hit upon one in particular that really had an upbeat, happy vibe to it. The idea for the track was to convey that core, upbeat feeling, but also to add a dance-y theme to it.

11.  One scroll down your Soundcloud and you can see your bootlegs are popular. Did you expect the popularity when first creating them?

Not at all! I tend to make bootlegs and remixes simply because I enjoy being able to take an existing idea and take it in a new direction, but I never thought any of them would get much attention, it was a huge shock when they started gaining popularity!

12. If you had only 5 minutes to play one track that could leave a great impact on the world, what track would you play and why?

Tough question. I think it would be ‘Something Good Can Work’ by Two Door Cinema Club. It’s one of those tracks that makes you feel optimistic just by listening to it. 

13. The music industry is rather controversial, where do you stand with regard producers using Ghost Producers and DJs using pre-recorded sets?

I think DJs using pre-recorded sets is definitely something that should not be done. Not only does it take away all ‘live’ aspects of a performance from a musical perspective, but reflects badly on the rest of the industry as a whole, furthering the perception of DJs/producers as being false and talentless.

In regards to Ghost Producers, I used to think that it was a bad thing for the same reasons. However, having talked to a few ghost producers, my view has changed slightly. Some people simply enjoy making music, but dislike the DJing and performing live that comes with being a producer nowadays. From this point of view, it makes ghost production more understandable.

14. What can we expect from Codeko in the future?

I have some new originals and official remixes lined up for release, which are some of my best tracks yet. I’m also working on some more experimental tracks that may be going up on my Soundcloud in the near future…

Rapid Fire
1.    When you not doing music what can you be found doing?
Probably working, uni life is tough at the moment

2.    3 things you absolutely can't live without?
Computer, my monitor speakers, microwave meals

3.    Eyesight or hearing?

4.    Your favorite item of clothing and favorite scent…
My watch, Carolina Herrera ‘212’ for Men

5.    3 things you would like to change about yourself (physical or personality wise)
I’m super lazy, definitely be less lazy X3

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