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The song, Save Me by Bilal Khan, was already a huge hit, and a really soothing song. 
Now SaMu (Samir Akhter, a 23 year old music producer from LA) has put his own beautiful spin on it, and I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to dig deeper into the artistry behind it all. and the way that SaMu thinks, and works as a producer.



How do you normally put a song together?
The process usually starts with me jamming out on the guitar or a nice Rhodes preset on Ableton. 
Once I find a progression or loop I like, I’ll just keep stacking it until I have something I can arrange out. Everything is played out and recorded; 
I never have the patience to program using the piano roll. Recording usually happens in Pro Tools since I like that environment better for finishing tracks.

How do you prepare yourself to make music?
The only thing I think you can do to really prepare yourself to create music is to make sure there isn’t anything that’s going to take your attention away or cause you to stress out while you’re creating. 
The vibes have to be great if you want great music.

How long does a track take to put together?
That really depends; but I think 80% of the record usually happens in the first few sessions. After that, it’s an endless cycle of trying new sounds or mixing techniques until the record sits just right. 
I’m getting that process down to about a month now, but I’ve done projects that have taken a year or more to finish. Sometimes an idea or instrumental just has to sit for a while until the right vibe comes along again.

What equipment/software do you use?
90% of my initial production happens with a MPKmini, Ableton Live, and a Launchpad. Most of my songwriting is done with my PRS.
I used to switch DAWs constantly and always be on the hunt for the newest equipment or controllers. I was using Bitwig for a long time when I decided to try out Ableton because I was focusing more on dance music. I fell in love with the way Ableton’s environment and plugins sound. Also the way the interface is structured; it forces you to focus on the most important things and let details be details.

Who would you say influences your music?
Career-wise: Calvin Harris, Diplo, Jauz. I actually used to make music with Jauz (we went to college together) before he dropped out in pursuit of his music career. He went by KidRanger at the time. 
At first I didn’t really have plans to put my own music out; I was ghost-producing and engineering for various top40 hip hop/pop/r&b artists at the time. I guess you could say this is the ‘start’ of my musical journey.

Which artists should we check out?
ZHU. Huge fan. 
Don’t think there’s anyone like him out there in the contemporary edm world. Gorgon City as well. Also love Nora En Pure for doing her thing.

How would you describe your sound?
People have said it has a hypnotizing effect. 
It’s catchy, bouncy, groovy, fun, and happy at times, yet still deep and emotional. 
I emotionally dive into the song when I’m creating it, and I try to recreate that experience for the listener.

What situation do you see people in when they listen to your music?
I make dance music, but it’s not as hype as what you would hear headlining a festival like tomorrowland or EDC. 
I stay catchy and groovy, so hoping that DJs start throwing me in the mix on air or at their local clubs.

Get in touch with Samu!
Instagram: @samu.music


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