Hello readers! So our “Producers Month” special has been getting a positive response from readers and those who’ve stumbled upon our blog for an interview with the producers we’ve talked to so far. To continue this trend, we present our interview with a man who’s been getting a lot of hype these days for his work not only in the American music industry, but especially overseas in Korea. He’s known to many as the guy who produced boy band EXO’s song “Peter Pan”, among many others. But he is so much more than just that. Who am I speaking of? It’s none other than iDR! Enjoy!
Denzil Remedios (aka iDR, DR, theofficialdr) is a Canadian producer/DJ/artist/multi-instrumentalist, based out of Toronto but spends a lot of time globetrotting. He is well known for his work with names like American Idol, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Tynisha Keli and Claude Kelly over in the Americas, but out in Korea, he is one of several producers under Marcan Entertaiment – the hit makers behind songs from U-Kiss, EXO, Super Junior, Girl’s Day and Lee Hyori. He performs in Toronto, Seoul and NYC from time to time when not in the studio, and he’s taken some time from his busy schedule to answer our questions. Happy reading!
Hi, this is iDR! I do a little production, a little DJing, a little singing and a lot of laughing.
How long have you been doing music for?
I’ve been doing music for as long as I can remember. I was born into a family of musicians. My dad sang, played guitar and performed quite a bit. I can remember starting to learn drums and piano from the age of 4. My passion and hunger for learning music grew from there and here we are!
What kind of artist/producer do you consider yourself?
A pretty diverse one. While I get pretty busy with EDM music, I’ve written and produced everything from Pop and R&B, to Classical music scores for film and TV. My work in K-Pop music is probably where most of my success comes from (so far).
As far as music is concerned, who gives you your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from everything (literally). This could be another artist, another producer, a song, a relationship, an experience, a location.. anything and everything.
Your supporters come from all over, recognizing your name for different artists. Your most notable fan base comes from that of the larger KPOP fan base globally. Of all the artists you’ve worked with in Korea, was there one that stood out for a particular reason, and why?
I have to say all the artists I’ve worked with so far are pretty special and extraordinary in their own way. Creativity and art is something you appreciate in the moment so I can’t really pick one artist that tops any other. I share special moments in music, friendship, business and artistry with everyone I’ve been lucky enough to work with.
I was working in a session in New York with 12keyz and Reefa a few years ago. Reefa knew Ryan Jhun from Marcan Entertainment and introduced us at that session while Ryan was visiting. 12Keyz and myself were working as production partners at that time and we played Ryan a catalog of songs which he loved. We’ve worked with each other since that day.
Aside from songwriting for artists, you’ve also done some scoring work for TV shows. Is there a show you’d like to score for in the future?
Are you kidding me? Game Of Thrones!
You released a single last year called “Computer Love”. Any plans for some original material to be released soon? Possibly a tour or more shows?
Most definitely! I recently released another single called “Burn Out” last month and I plan to drop a full EP showcasing more of my DJ/EDM material which is most of what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been performing between Toronto, New York and Seoul but I plan to bring the show to more cities in the future.
To me, music is a living, organic entity. It cannot be fully predicted by even those who claim they “know” where it’s going. I’ve been doing this far too long to realize that. I do think just has Hiphop has become Pop, EDM has become Pop and Country has become Pop the future of music will include cross genres and a mixture of all types of sounds. As long as the music sound has a popular familiarity with it’s audience and a new edge, it will work.
One question I’ve received from fans on multiple occasions, and I’m sure you’ve gotten this a lot – is there anymore news you can give fans on the K-pop show in Canada that you announced late last year?
I’ve been working with the Marcan team over the past few months to help put a K-Pop show/concert together. I’ve been trying to get the most “bang for the buck” and make this a great concert that hopefully can include more than just one K-Pop idol group. We CAN make this happen with the help and support of our Canadian fans. I’m going to make the possibility of this event an interactive experience with the fans. We will announce something literally within weeks, possibly days. I haven’t stopped working to try and make this happen!
What are your five most played songs on your iPod currently?
Wow! That changes almost daily. Right now it’s “Come Back Home” by 2NE1, “Everybody Is In The Place” by Hardwell, “So Appalled” by Kanye West, “Treasure” by Bruno Mars, “Freak” by Steve Aoki, Diplo & Deorro.
Who are some of your favourite artists/producers currently?
Everyone I just mentioned in the previous answer. Also Martin Garrix, Zedd, Pharrell Williams, SOHN and so many more.
Name any artist you would like to collaborate with, and why.
Once again, all of the above that I’ve already mentioned.
I’m on a MacBook Pro, using Logic Pro. I find the flexibility and creativity that Logic delivers meets my demand. I also use Ableton for production and DJing and a wealth of software synths and plugins.
When you have spare time, what do you do for fun?
I’m pretty adventurous, but I can be a homebody too. Everything from movies, amusement parks, travel, live music and concerts, hanging out with friends and family and checking out new restaurants.
Name one thing that fans may not already know about you.
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya.
Any advice for aspiring producers/songwriters?
Producing and songwriting, as a career, is a really tough thing to get into at a high level. Be in it for the love of what you do, not for the money you might make. It takes belief, failure, endurance, time, more failure, risk, talent, patience and more failure to make it in this industry, so have some fun while you’re doing it. You want to be the best? Start working with the best, ask the best questions, learn from the best. Stay humble. Take criticism. Learn how to take a “no”. Most importantly, train your ears, know how to listen for key, pitch, beat, timing, chords, references and arrangements etc. Btw, it helps when you can play an instrument when producing and songwriting.
Any final words for the readers?
I always appreciate all the support and love I’ve received from all fans and readers. If you’re reading this now, I appreciate the time you took to get to know me and my music. I love hearing feedback and interacting with all fans and readers. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Facebook and my website. Twitter: @idrmusic1 /Facebook: www.facebook.com/iDRmusiconline / http://www.idrmusic.net
Many thanks to iDR for allowing us to interview him, and we look forward to his future projects! Until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!