The 21 year old Antwerp based producer, Taska Black, has quickly swept the dance music landscape with his luscious anthemic tracks. His journey started at the young age of 4, with violin and piano lessons, which then led to dabbling in production, where he ultimately blossomed and fell in love with the freedom of expression he had through it. Now Taska has been taken under the wing of San Holo and has found a home within bitbird, and even more recently had his Monstercat Debut. If you we're wondering what his favorite plug-in is, his pet peeves, and what he has in the works then check out our interview below!
Hey Taska, thanks so much for letting us have a couple minutes of your time! Let's get started with a couple short questions, so we can learn more about you.
Who’s your biggest inspiration? Benny Blanco
What is something that drives you? The will to be better at everything than I was before.
Something on your bucket list. Perform at Coachella.
Biggest Pet Peeve? When people use way too many hashtags on Instagram
Favorite Holiday? Christmas
Any hidden talents? I’m a procrastination expert (don’t tell my managers)
Now let's talk a little more in depth...how was school and growing up for you? Were you the cool kid, the nerd, the athlete? And how did that lead to you being in music?
I had a very average childhood I guess. I’ve always been an introverted kid and I still am, but over the years I learned how to deal with that. I’ve played the violin for a long time since I was four but never liked it, only now I’ve come to appreciate it again. I also took piano lessons for 10 years and I think that’s where everything started. I figured I was better at improvising melodies than playing songs from sheet music. When I discovered that it was just a small step into production.
How did you come up with the name Taska Black and how does that relate to your music?
I told myself multiple times to come up with a cool story behind my name because the truth is pretty silly; A friend of mine directed a short movie about a homeless guitarist in my hometown Antwerp. At that time I was looking for a stage name and this guy in the video was talking about his dog called ‘Taska’. I ended up using that name and added the word ‘Black’ which refers to my darker aesthetic and musical style.
How did you make the move to working with bitbird/San Holo and how has it been?
I got in touch with them pretty early on. They were still a promotional platform on Soundcloud and I liked what they were putting out so I sent them my song ‘Right Now’ which we ended up releasing on the label. Both bitbird and San grew so much in 3 years and I’m so grateful to be a part of the family. San has believed in me since day one and gave me an audience to begin with. bitbird will always be kind of a home base to me.
What DAW do you use and what is your favorite plug-in.
I use Ableton Live! It’s hard to pick one favourite plugin but I do use Waves S1 way too much. It’s basically just a stereo shaper but I use it on every element of a song to give it a place in the stereo image.
Say we’re starting a track from scratch just you and me. Where do you start and how do you know it’s finished?
I always start in front of my piano or MIDI keyboard. I get a chord progression going and let my creativity do the rest! And to answer that last question; you never know when it’s finished, it actually never is. Sometimes you just have to call it a day.
What was the best & worst part of 2017 and a lesson you learned along the way.
The best part was my manager calling to tell me that I was playing at Bonnaroo 2018. The worst part was finding out I wasn’t allowed into music conservatory after quitting my engineering studies. It turned out for the better though because I decided to just start doing music full time instead of going to college. One lesson I did learn along the way was to take some time to relax and not think about music. After a while I felt like I didn’t appreciate music as much as I used to anymore because of the work I do.
What should we be expecting from you in 2018?
I have a lot of music to show this year. New originals, maybe even an EP, remixes, very exciting collaborations I can’t talk about yet. As far as shows go I’m super excited to be playing at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza Paris this year, that’s all I can say for the moment unfortunately...