FROM OTHER is a weekly radio show showcasing the very best in forward-thinking electronic music. Tune in Wednesdays 10-11pm on fm.whus.org / 91.7 FM.
For the first FROM OTHER guest mix of the new year, we’ve got Clem Deez, producer/DJ and founder of the burgeoning OKNF Collective, stepping up to plate. A half hour of heavy bass house music places accurate context on the Brooklyn-based artist’s mission with his own music and with that of his artist collective. Having just dropped the six-track collaborative EP ‘We Are OKNF Vol. 1’, the tracks in this mix are representative of the sound across the entire EP. With works from Max Barker, Alien, Frustra, LPM, SPRTS, and Clem himself, the release solidifies this relatively new collective as a name to watch in the club music scene. With an ever-growing roster of producers from New York, the UK, and beyond, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Clem and his crew. Check the audio, Q&A, and tracklist below: [WARNING: potential explicit language]
Who are you, and where are you from?
I’m Clem Deez and I’m from Brooklyn NY.
What can you share about your life in music thus far?
Like any/every Asian-American, I grew up playing a ton of instruments such as the percussion, cello, piano, and alto sax, I even took singing lessons for a year (my parent’s idea, not mine). As I got older though I started to believe playing instruments was “lame” so by the time I hit high school I had quit everything except for the drums. I still regret quitting the piano this to this day because I forgot all of the music theory knowledge I’ve learned. But what did stick with me over the years was the understanding of rhythm and grooves that I learned from playing drums. I credit my days as a drummer for my general affinity towards all things house and techno. Minimal melodies and complex drum loops? That just makes sense to me.
What is OKNF Collective?
OKNF Collective is a global artist collective and community where artists can collaborate both in music and marketing. Our artists invest their time trying to grow both as individuals as well as OKNF brand representatives. Finding dope new music seems to come in waves, and in a slump of finding interesting music I found myself looking for up and coming artists. Finding an amazing bedroom producers is rare but when you stumble across one they always seem to be bursting with talent. My goal for OKNF is to become a platform for these producers to showcase their talent and influence tomorrow’s techno, deep house, bass house, and UK garage sounds.
You just recently dropped the first EP off OKNF collective – what can you tell us about the process leading up to this, from the inception of the project to today?
This project came to fruition mostly out of my own frustration. As a no name bedroom-producer with a full time job in marketing, I was struggling to find the time to make music and promote it too. These days with internet marketing being such an integral tool for an artists’ growth, small time musicians need to spend almost as much time promoting as they do actually making music. My goal with OKNF was to create a place where artists could spend less time promoting and more time making music and developing their sound.
I met Max Barker, the first artist on the collective, at a Chris Lorenzo show at Slake over the summer. Max came up to me and asked me if produced because he noticed that we were both wearing acoustic earplugs (get a pair, seriously). We ended up traded soundclouds and I was actually shocked by the quality of music coming out of another bedroom producer like myself. A few months later when I decided I would begin building OKNF Collective, Max was the first person I called.
Growing the team was my favorite part. I had already been following random bedroom producers that I was truly a fan of. Finally reaching out and pitching them the concept of OKNF was great, and getting an equally enthusiastic reaction to our idea was the first sign we were on to something! I was excited to show our fans what we have in store, so about 3 months in I decided to do organize a series of compilation EPs. The first one features 6 artists off of OKNF to bring you We Are OKNF Vol. 1.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I create inspiration. Anytime major blogs or big artists like and repost OKNF artists, I take screenshots to share with the rest of the team to boost morale and keep everyone inspired to work hard and seeing these guys and girl work so hard and stay so enthusiastic about their craft keeps me motivated to do the same. It’s an energy that feeds off each other and grows exponentially.
What’s next for you and OKNF Collective?
We are aiming to release a new We Are OKNF EP every 3 months. I’m also working to have myself and 2 other artists perform at a major music festival in Chicago, starting our own showcases and club nights in New York, and personally, I’d like go across the pond and organize events in the UK where about half of our artists live.
If you had to choose – what’s a favorite event and/or venue that you’ve performed at?
My only real club experience was a few side stage supporting sets for major EDM names at clubs like Webster Hall. One time Tiesto walked by on his way to the VIP area while I was spinning which was cool. But my favorite venue to perform at was the Snake House, my house from senior year of college. These are the nights that shaped me as a DJ and producer, and to this day the nights in the Snake Pit (basement) were some of the most memorable nights of my life.
Any producers/influencers you’d like to shout out?
The influencer list is long. Musically I’d say the entire Dirtybird crew, This Ain’t Bristol specifically Billy Kenny and Kyle Watson, and Perfect Driver. I’m aiming to be structured like 3000 Bass, Certified Jackin, Soundspace, and pretty much all of those genre specific platforms because it makes it easy to find great new music. Between our artists I’d like a community like Echelon, Bodhi, Moving Castles, or Desert Hearts has.
Lastly, what can you tell us about this guest mix?
This guest mix covers all territories. It touches the bass house, deep house, and UK garage that influence the creation of OKNF. I also did my signature pedal to the metal “drop-to-drop” mixing technique to keep the vibes going, delivering Only Killers, No Fillers.
Malik Mustache, N.E.O.N, Vinne – Rock U
Low Steppa & Taiki Nulight – Nu Jam
Hot Natured – Reverse Skydiving (Kyle Watson Remix)
Hackney Polo Club – I Need Your Love
MJW – When You’re Gone
MYM8 & Aaron Jackson – Don’t You leave
Foamo – Without You
Billy Kenny & Abby Jane – I Operate
Rich Pinder & DJOKO – Faith
Tuff Culture – Artillery
My Nu Leng – The Grid
Benson ft. Thom Crawford – Hollow (Billy Kenny Remix)
Albzzy & Ash Lay – Copy That
Clem Deez – You Got Me