Temisan Adoki is a electronic music producer who has been producing for years. His music is a blend of Aphex Twin and Acra and he has recently released his latest project which was given the Best New Music Material tag by 808sandblues. 808sandblues caught up with Temisan and interviewed him about his music, hobbies and more.
So tell us about yourself?
My name is Temisan Adoki, I’m 32 years old and I currently live in Brooklyn, New York. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA.
What kind of music do you make?
I make all types of music. I really don’t want to restrict myself to any particular genre or limit myself to the constraints those issues within genre provide. I guess you could call me an electronic music producer. Or an “EDM” producer, but when I think about that umbrella term “EDM”, I really just tend to think of this mainstreamed type of sound that’s more poppy than most. I came up listening to alot of music, so what I do reflects that. I make techno, I make house, I make electronic music. I just consider myself an artist and a producer first and foremost. The music i make may be inspired by juke, or trap, or grime, but I don’t market it as such. Its my reinterpretation of this sound or those sounds.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
People like Pharrell Williams, Squarepusher, Timbaland, Aphex Twin, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Ken Ishii, DJ Krush, RP Boo, Daft Punk, Move D, Autechre…mainly any musical entity or artist or producsrs that make no compromises to their sounds and want to present that unapologetically to their audiences. J Dilla, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Dungeon Family, Underworld, Orbital, Merzbow, Coil, Front 242, KMFDM, Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Daniel Bell…I could go on. LOL.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I just finished up my latest album “Code Language”. This album is a return to the heavy experimental digital sounds I was conjuring when i first started getting into making music on computers and getting involved in the whole creative process from beginning to end. From making the covers, then basing how the music itself would sound based on the cover artwork and making the titles for each track afterwards. And i would develop this type of coded language that i would understand but maybe the people listening didnt get it until i explained it to them. Kind of non-essential kind of essential and kind of esoteric and nonsensical.
How do you feel about the internet in the music business and the rise of internet rappers?
The internet might be the best and worst thing to happen to the music business. I love it cause it creates an atmosphere where any and everybody can put out a record. But it has also oversaturated the game completely. There are positives and negatives to everything but I think this spread of information, ideas, and media that’s happened so fluidly with the internet is good for the most part. People that wouldn’t of been able to research stuff like Helmut Newton photography alongside graffiti writers like Katsu now have the ability to multi-task and do both. Sure there are issues of authenticity that arise from this and that makes authenticity more sought after in this era.
The rise of internet rappers? Like cloud rappers? I aint complaining. Right now i have over 25,000 songs on my laptop. I got a folder dedicated to newer rappers. Suicideboys, sha hef, and a couple of others come to mind. When i was coming up as a teen in the 90s it seemed like a dream to make rap records and it seemed like so much work and money for studio time to get tapes, cds, records made and pressed. Now all you need is your homies, a copy of fruity loops, a studio microphone and a youtube account, or soundcloud account, or datpiff account and you’re set. Lol.
I listen to alot of newer rap for production. I like Zaytoven, Sonny digital, honorable C-Note, London on the track, Metro boomin, and Harry Fraud.
Who is the GOAT rapper in your opinion?
I’d have to say Nas. Best rapper alive. Of all time….definitely Pac. Without a doubt. I grew up with his music and it was amazing to witness his career unfold when he was still alive and I’m grateful for that each and every dat. He stood for so much more than hip-hop and was a truly influential individual to me and still is.
What’s your favourite albums of all time?
Daft Punk – Homework
Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers
What are your favourite music Genres?
House music, techno, tech house, dub techno, dancehall reggae, industrial, juke, club (philly, jersey, baltimore), juke, IDM/experimental, noise, glitch, punk, hardcore, metal, jazz, high life, afro beat, soca, grime, garage, anything except country basically.
What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
At this point i just consider myself an all encompassing electronic music producer. I do all genres but i don’t try to restrict myself to one thing. This new record, you’ll hear bits and pieces of everything, but at the end of the day it’s a Temisan Adoki record.
I experiment with concepts. There are still concepts I olay around with in the music. Interesting progressions and unusual sequencing. Things that defy conventional musicality and honestly things that defy sense. Like taking sound elements in and out so millisecond moments are exposed more evidently to the listener.
What are your top 10 greatest albums?
Just 10? Lol.
Aphex Twin – Drukqs
Death in Vegas – Dead Elvis
Pole – 1
Bran Van 3000- Glee
Dino Felipe – Flim Toby
Push Button Objects – Dirty Dozen
Anything by Gescom
Do you play any instruments? If so, what?
I grew up playing the piano at recitals. I can play the drums, the clarinet, the violin, the guitar, the flute, the recorder, and then I bought myself two turntables and a mixer in 1999 and never looked back. Lol.
What emotion would you use to describe your music?
It’s moody. I’m a moody individual. But I consider myself a futurist as well. The future is moody, weird, and discomforting. It’s also familiar and unfamiliar. I don’t like to let the listener get too comfortable
“Code Language” has varying moods. But overall its a darker type of album from myself. I guess that’s from me just using this music thing as an outlet. I like to create music the way artists create paintings, directors make movies, and the way writers write books.
What software do you use to produce your music?
I currently use phone apps to make my music. One called Music Maker Pro thati just maxed out and utilize as many samples as possible. Yeah, i make it using my Samsung Galaxy S6. I like how the touch screen allows me to punch in and out in real time and utilize live sequencing to create random fluctuations in the music that couldn’t be done using conventional loops and editing. I’ve worked with every piece of hardware and software imaginable. I started out using sound recorder on windows95. That was in 1997. Then i got my first desktop computer when i started college in 2002 and used Screenblast Acid to make tracks. Then I started using ableton in 2003 and experimenting with live sequencing. Then native instruments kontakt, reaktor, absynth, fm7, maschine. Fruity loops. Reason. Roland sp-303. Tascam 8 track recorders. Korg microkorg. Virtual DJ. You name the DAW, hardware, or software, i’ve used it. I have to use something that gives me the ability to make tracks the way i conceptualize them.
Who is your dream collaboration?
To produce for Bjork or get a guest credit on a Kanye West record. Lol.
What changes would you like to see to the music industry to allow you to make a living from your music?
Hmm. Basically I would like to see the music industry show respect and support to independent producers and independent music scenes….but since it’s an industry that focuses on what makes money and what is more palatable to mainstream pop audiences I consider that a pipe.
What do you think about Donald trump?
Trump and his administration is the amalgamation of everything disgusting, reprehensible, and inhumane about America and it’s legacy. So I obviously do not think very highly of him. As well, with him in the white house its making a mockery of American politics and making politics into a joke. To the point the left and the right are just acting irrationally and not using any sort of logic or reasoning. Just acting upon unfounded emotion like toddlers.
Any hobbies apart from music that you are interested in?
Skateboarding. I’ve been skateboarding since I was 6. Fashion, i have a brand i design for that’s the inhouse label/merchline of the blog I run, The Bones of Houdini. Reading books and art. I don’t watch television or movies. I haven’t owned a TV since 2008 or watched it since then. I don’t know. Something about the intersection between moving pictures and audio and video just irks me these days cause i know about the agenda attached to it and see it everytime I get a glance of TV whether its at the barbershop when I get my regular haircut in Bedford Stuyvesant or at a bar or at Burger king. I’d rather gain knowledge and increase my understanding of the world around me through the news and non-fiction based literature. Truth is stranger than fiction. I feel as if with my music I’m creating a soundtrack to a movie that has yet to come into fruition thats so painfully brilliant and disturbing it may benefit society for it to never be released.
What do you hate most about this world?
Wow. Lol. So much. My main struggle has honestly been breaking through this matrix that has been administered en masse as supposed to how the American public perceives music outside of hip-hop and r&b. I mean love both, but as a black artist operating outside of that matrix its just very plain to see how its taken over all of black music. To the point where people forget that house, technk, drum and bass, jungle, rock, blues, country, etc…was black music. To the point where black people in those genres are considered outsiders. To the point where black people making music in those genres have to have their works devalued and put on a different standard compared to others. I don’t make beat tapes. I make tracks. I make albums and EPs and singles. I dont produce for people really like. I make albums and tracks for myself. This society still has a hard time dealing with music without lyrics. I hate how the pop music matrix has made this EDM thing into another genre of pop that borrows from house and techno…but it isnt either. I hate this atmosphere of anti-intellectualism present in America that allows this to fester.
If you had the power, what would you do or change?
Where would I begin? Lol. I’d for one…encourage people to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions on what “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” means to them. If that means taking that away from other people….then mate you are just f****d. Lol.
What are you planning in the future and what advice would you give to people who like your music and want to follow your steps?
I just released my 45th project. I’ve been doing this for 20 years at this point. I dont see myself retiring. I feel as if I had to refine what my vision was and how would apply to these times. Buts that why i dont watch tv or pay attention to the media outside of social media just to stay informed. I dont want to mimic whats happening or whats already popular. I want to create something new. So yes…if you’re making art or music or whatever…strive to innovate. Not imitate. And dont discouraged. Ive been doing this for ages and have really only started to see some “success” and notoriety now. It may take a while…but keep going. If you’re in this music game for fame and groupies and money….then you got it all wrong.
Anything you would like to add on?
Live long and proper.
Check out Temisan Adoki’s Social Media and Music: