Jarred Beeler is without a doubt one of the fastest rising artists in electronic music right now. Under the name DJ Plead he has quickly gained a reputation for forward thinking dancefloor focussed tunes that blur the lines between contemporary club music and the music of his Lebanese heritage. The last 12 months have seen Beeler take to the airwaves on Rinse, Boiler Room and play all over Europe.
Recently Jarred has joined Liveschool’s Artist Support team, working closely with our students, alumni community and team of trainers.
We sat down for a chat about what he’s been up to, how his cultural heritage informs his music and what’s coming up.
DJ Plead sees you drawing from the sounds of the middle east & your cultural heritage, what was it that drew you towards this approach? And was there a specific creative moment that sparked you in this direction?
It first started when I was working with my band BV (fka Black Vanilla). I just started experimenting with trying to emulate the rhythms in Lebanese wedding music and it went from there really. It was a nice constraint to work within. Before that I was a bit confused about what music I wanted to make.
How are you using Ableton in the Studio?
Ableton is where everything starts and ends for me. I use a lot of third party plugins, but its still all in the box.
Lately I’ve been using the Drum Buss device quite a bit and pulling down the transients to make drums tighter and shorter.
And I also learned from Thomas McAlister (Cop Envy) to mess with the warp types on audio files. One I use a lot of warp by transient and then pull down the numbers to gate the track in a way.
Is there a time you’ve heard your own music being played somewhere that has spun you out?
Its more just people texting me when they are in a club being like ‘so and so is playing your track..’ or even send me a video or an audio clip. This would really encourage me when i was starting out and it still does!
What’s the best music advice you’ve been given? Or what would you go back and tell yourself as a beginner?
I’d tell myself to keep it simple and that adding layers doesn’t improve a track if its not good already.
What do you usually do when stuck on a track?
I still really struggle with this. I take a break for a bit from it to gain a new perspective. Then I just duplicate all the parts excessively and chisel things away.
I feel that, for me, it’s rare that a dance track that needs lots of work to finish will end up being a good one. Most of my best tracks were quick to finish.
You’ve recently launched your label Sumac, what was the thinking behind starting a label?
It was started as many labels are, to release my own music as well as friends’ music. Jon Watts, Tom Smith and I launched it with a Poison record (a project by tom smith and I).
Is there someone else’s work that changed the way you think about music?
Recently Beatrice Dillon’s album on Pan has provided me with a new outlook on music in a way.
When and how do you turn to others for feedback or input?
I sometimes turn to others for feedback but I find it hard to gauge if people actually like this.
I try (if I can) to wait until a track is finished before sending it off. I’ve had some really questionable tunes recently and it probably wasn’t the best idea to send them away for feedback this early because it made me not want to continue working on them.
How much is music a solo pursuit for you and how does collaboration factor into your work?
The last 12 months has seen a ridiculous amount of collaboration in comparison to solo production. In terms of releases there will be at least two collaborative records coming out this year and hopefully a solo record as well.