Few things are as frustrating as writer’s block. It has the dastardly power to shake a creative person to the core of their soul. Not long ago German DJ/producer Johnny D, who has crafted tracks for esteemed labels including Cocoon, Moon Harbour, Strictly Rhythm, BPitch Control and Mobilee, unexpectedly found himself unable to make music he liked. Instead of succumbing to the blockage, he worked through it. After much struggle came “Nokey,” a slinky tech-house track heard on Swedish label ACKT Imprint’s ACKT 002 compilation out January 16 featuring tracks by Marco Nastic, Chris Tietjen, HITCH & Andre Buljat and Nicke & R.MA. We asked Mr. D to recount the inspiring story behind how the slinky tech-house cut came to be.
“I made the track in a time where I was actually totally uninspired. I felt a bit blocked with my creativity not knowing why. I was unsatisfied with my studio situation and I was changing my set up all the time! I was even changing the position of my speakers every day and thought the problem would be on the technical side. Finally I fortunately met an old friend and musician that has been making music for a long time and who has had a similar problem some years ago. He explained to me that my problem might me and in my head. I didn’t take that in to consideration before. He told me to keep my mind free while making music. I noticed that I used to be a lot more relaxed but just forgot it and got a bit distracted over the years in music business.
“So while I was stuck in a loop again getting more and more frustrated looking for a right key on my piano, I remembered the wise words of my friend telling me to keep my mind free on expectations during the creative process of the track. I grabbed my mic and sang “Where is my key?” and some ridiculous things. But it was ok. I might not have found good lyrics but I found a way back to a looseness that helps me a lot in my workflow now. Not because I use a mic, but because I learnt not to value every process while working on a track. This is what I love about electronic music: everything is allowed – nothing is impossible.”