Berlin-based producer and label founder Jacob Groening takes five to talk us through his pandemic experience and the inspirations behind his new label Tori Music.
WWD: Hey Jacob, how are you, what’s good and bad in your world?
Thank you, I am now working full time in a vaccine centre in Berlin until the end of April. This has been a good way for me to survive the grey berlin winter days. It feels good to help to improve the current situation so we can dance all together again asap.
WWD: How have you dealt with the pandemic, whats it been like?
I really enjoyed the first days and weeks after lockdown. To have the time and space to connect with myself in a way I wasn’t able to since a longtime. As well I found a new hobby in the production of visual content, that allowed me to produce the video for the track leslie. Besides that I am very curious about the field of cryptocurrencies.
WWD: Tell us about the he new ep on Tori Music? What inspired it?
It’s called XX like 2020 in old greek numbers. It’s the last production I did in 2020 and it all started with a persian dinner from a friend of mine. Her name is Doreen and her parents were visiting berlin from Iran. After tasting traditional Iranian food, Doreen and her mom (Mojgan) performed a small concert. We decided to organize a studio session the next day as her parents were supposed to leave the following day. After that I worked on the recordings during the second lockdown and out of one recording 2 new songs came to life, Ladok and as well the title track XX.
WWD: Is it weird making music with no djing and no crowd interactions?
Actually yes. when the lockdown started, many artists began to make live streamings or digital parties. This always felt strange for me. After some streamings I decided not to do it again. I miss the contact with the people and the energy of a real dance floor
WWD: Why start a new label now? What is the aim, what do you hope it will become?
The pandemic showed me a lot about sustainability and which resources I have and how to use them in the best way. I realized that it is very useful for me to create a platform where I can release my own music without having to consult or ask anyone prior to releasing it. The music is very fresh as I can release tracks within 4 weeks after I produced them. Usually releases have been 2 years old before they got released.
WWD: Tell us about the artwork on the first one – what inspired it?
This was an unexpected story. The owner of the artwork tagged one of my songs in one of his storys. When I checked the profile, I found great inspiration and decided to contact him and see if we want to collaborate on something. He agreed and gave me this amazing painting of his. You should check him out! Thx again, Serdar Mutlu.
WWD: The first track on the release has no percussion – what’s the thinking there?
I need to surprise myself when I make music, I can’t just work in the same way over and over again. I need variation. I can’t understand artists that go for the one formula, I would rather do something else then. I need to keep the excitement alive, like a child that discovers something new over and over again.
WWD: How much does your home city of berlin inspire the music you make?
Actually Berlin is not a too inspiring source except the studio I am working in, which is my spaceship. It’s more everything that seems far away for me, things that need to be discovered. Usually by accidental situations.
WWD: What else have you got coming up?
Recently I joined the altitude agency from the gardens of babylon and I am really looking forward to working with this forward thinking agency. I also have 3 more eps coming up, one ep which is going to be released with the zero family from NY, then I have another ep on Kamai Music and as well an ep with Tori Music at this point.
Jacob Groenings’s “XX” Ep is out now on Tori Music
Grab it here – https://fanlink.to/TORI001
Photo Credit: @philipnuernberger