Following the release of his new single ‘Bandwagon’ on MA this month, we wanted to follow up and ask the prodigy behind the music what he’s been up to, and what we can expect from him in the future. Inspired by his achievements at such a young age, we also wanted to know the secrets to his success and see what he had to say to other young aspiring producers out there. See who inspires Guillotine and read more about how he got his name below.
At 16, you’ve already been gaining popularity for a couple of years now – how do you manage to balance producing, studying, and a social life?
I think it’s just a thing of keeping everything organized, getting in a routine and prioritizing your tasks. I’ll keep a checklist of deadlines for my studies so they get handed in on time, my music I usually do at night on headphones to see if I can get any ideas down, if the ideas are good I’ll work on them whenever I have some free time (which is usually at the weekend, and most of my social life is at college so that’s not usually an interference with anything.
What got you started making music – who are your biggest influences, and what was the first big step for your career?
Haha, like most dubstep producers, I would have to say Skrillex’s music was what got me wanting to make electronic music. Ironically enough I was 12 at the time. The first big step for my music career was definitely signing my Hexagon EP last year! It gained a lot of attention through the Most Addictive YouTube channel and other social media. I saw a great increase in my following, especially on my SoundCloud!
I’d have to say my favourite producer currently is Twine and I’d definitely love to meet him and learn about his sound design process! His basses are absolutely crazy! I also love SKisM and Soltan! They’re absolutely killing it right now making some really fresh dubstep which will hopefully push the scene more! I just wish SKisM would release some more tracks but I’m sure he’s busy enough with NSD!
How did you get the name Guillotine?
There’s not a lot to my name actually! I had been producing for about a year under another alias and I felt I needed to rename myself to describe my new music. I wanted something kind of dark and edgy to represent the feel of my music. I was struggling with ideas so I decided to seek some inspiration. I loved Pokémon when I was younger, so I decided to look at the names of some Pokémon moves. One of these moves happens to go under the name ,“Guillotine”. After a quick think I felt pretty certain with my choice and it’s stuck ever since.
Since you are so young (mad props for accomplishing more than most of us ever will before you can even drink) what’s it like writing music and not being able to hear it live? What other ways have you found to network and advance your career?
Haha thanks! Yeah it’s a pain because I’d love to do some live events at some point, but due to my age there are plenty of complications. I’ve mainly found my connections through Facebook and email. When I was starting out I used to hit up promotion YouTube channels through email to see if they would upload my track. I also used to add people on Facebook who I felt had importance over the electronic music scene and I just… talked to them! Once you become friends with these people, they’ll want to help you advance your music career, so be friendly, approachable, and even help them out!
Your newest track ‘Bandwagon’ is insane – tell me about the writing process for that, and more about the message behind the song.
Like most of my music, it just started out as some basic melodies and sounds. The original idea came from my remix of ‘Bandwagon’ by Our Enemies featuring Skyloud! I was like “Hey, people liked this track, let’s do a 2016 revamp!” The track was going pretty well, the mixing was sounding good and that but I slowly realised that this sound that I had could be considered generic. But instead of throwing the whole thing down the drain, I decided to keep it and see what people would make of it. Surely enough, there were plenty of people screaming “generic” and “sounds like Zomboy” in the comments of my track. Of course there were others who loved the track for what it could be considered, a banger. I think the real message is “does it matter?” and if so what can we do to change this?
Expanding on that, how do you view the dubstep scene today? If you could change any one thing about it, what would that be?
I view the dubstep scene as something that everyone doesn’t take very seriously anymore, and for good reason of course! Don’t get me wrong I love dubstep and it will always be forever in my heart! However it’s reached the point of where people are just jumping on bandwagons of hate. These people will just scream and argue about what’s acceptable and what’s not in the scene without actually doing anything about it. If others spent more time producing music rather than arguing the comment sections of YouTube, we would get a lot more done and hopefully, drive the scene forward.
So, who are you hoping to get to see once you turn 18? What’s your dream lineup?
Fucking everyone! The only producer I’ve seen live before is Skrillex when I was 15 and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I’m not really sure what my dream lineup would be but I would love to go to big festivals like Let It Roll, Rampage, etc. They usually have sick lineups which I could go absolutely crazy for!
Where will we see Guillotine 3 years from now?
Making sick tunes and hopefully performing at big events! I’ve always wanted to do a live set so hopefully in 3 years I’ll be doing what I’ve dreamed of! Otherwise I’ll continue making music for all my fans to enjoy, and that in itself is just as important to me!
And finally, what would you tell other young aspiring producers out there?
My best advice would be to gather what you need (DAW, plugins) and see if it’s something you really connect with. With music you need to have that drive and commitment to it. So if you’re willing to live and breathe music production, it’s what you should be doing! From there on just keep going! Learn and research it all. Mixing, mastering, sound design, sample selection. Even learn stuff like marketing and branding! It’s all useful! Remember, Google is your friend. A final bit of advice from me would be to not get too worried about not achieving your goals early such as ‘making it big’. A bit of advice my dad gave me was “As long as you enjoy the journey, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve made it or not.”
Guillotine is definitely one to watch in 2016, and if you want to hear more from Guillotine, check him out on SoundCloud, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the exclusive Guillotine ‘Bandwagon’ Mix only on MA!