When you first hear the name ‘Siente’, you are immediately struck with an image of culture, intrigue but most importantly by a feeling of good vibes. This is fitting as these notions define the sound of these two young, up and coming UK producers. Bringing back the nostalgia of those old-school disco grooves with a modern twist of tropical flavour. A mixture perhaps of both the rising nu-disco scene entwined with elements of tropical and deep house. Their poolside, laid-back sound clearly takes influence from both their Barcelona and UK bases.
The duo have been collectively releasing music with us on Soundcloud for just one year but are already developing a following and continue to increase their repertoire under renowned labels such as Spirit Soul Records. Get ready to hear a festival of smooth synths, disco basslines and just pure tropical ear candy. These guys are on to big things and we can’t wait to bring you more of their success and releases in 2015. See our chat with the two lads as discuss all things musical below.
1. Who makes up Siente? Where & how did you guys meet?
We are Nick Thompson and Steve Lamb. We’d known each other for a while through mutual friends but the first time we really hit it off was when we jumped on the decks for a back to back session at a Hawaiian themed house party. We realised we had very similar tastes and suddenly Siente was born!
2. Siente is Spanish for ‘feel’, how did you guys decide upon the name, what was the inspiration behind it?
We want people to be feeling something (or someone…) when they listen to our music, hence the name.
3. How would you describe the Siente sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before? If you had to define a genre which your music fits into, what would it be?
Nick – It’s house music, but definitely something you can chill out to as well. There are clearly some disco influences but the key thing is you can listen to it in the club but when relaxing too.
Steve – It’s music for the poolside. You can call it deep house, you can call it disco/funk or whatever, but ultimately it comes from our influences – both of us love the slightly funkier, post-disco sound of guys like Kashif, Luther Vandross and even Trevor Horn; they’re tunes that are danceable but interesting to listen to as well.
4. When did you both first discover your love for music, and specifically for making music?
Steve – My interest in making music began playing the Cello at a very young age! I’d always liked a wide range of music and when I discovered House and dance music more generally I just seemed to fall in love. There was a day sitting around in my room mixing various tunes together when I suddenly thought ‘I could make better stuff than this’ so I thought I’d give it a go.
Nick – My love for music originated from when I first started playing Bass guitar back in primary school. Initially I was only interested in music with cool riffs and funky bass lines that I could thrash out. Once I got my hands on some music production software I started experimenting and got into more electronic music.
5. What was the first album you bought?
Steve – Michael Jackson – Invincible
Nick – Gorillaz
6. Who would be your dream past or present (dead or alive) artist to collaborate with?
We’d both have to say Michael Jackson…but given he’s had some love already I guess Bowie wouldn’t be too bad.
7. How does the process of creating songs go down for Siente? Which is your preferred DAW and why?
We both use Ableton just because it’s so easy to get ideas down quickly and it’s extremely versatile. In terms of track creation it really depends – we’re always sending each other snippets of ideas and then we’ll work collaboratively on the best ones over time.
8. As you are a duo, how does collaborating with each other ideas work? Do you each have different strengths in the production of a track?
Steve – We’ll both chop and change at each other’s ideas and try elements the other wouldn’t have considered. Nick’s great at coming up with interesting chord sequences and unusual sounds which become the building blocks of songs.
Nick – Steve’s got a pretty encyclopaedic knowledge of club music so always knows the right sound or instrument to give a track a certain vibe – he can add the edge which makes it ready for the dance floor
9. Do you guys ever argue or have differing ideas about completing a track? If so, who has the final say and how do you guys resolve this?
Yes, absolutely! A bit of healthy criticism on both sides is always necessary to refine a track – though we’ll make sure we always agree on an element before we include it.
10. You guys have been releasing music on Soundcloud together for just over a year now. How do feel that your sound has grown since your first releases?
In the tracks we’re about to release we think people will hear that we’re experimenting much more. You hear our influences in every track so there is a continuing theme, but we’re never content to make the same track over and over again. Of our latest ideas there are some deeper, perhaps more ‘current’ tracks but also a couple of very radio-friendly tunes featuring vocalists – there’s lots of diversity.
11. Where did you both learn your skills from? Are you traditional musicians or self-taught?
Steve – The production side is all self taught – I think you can only learn through trial and error when it comes to composing, each track getting better as you go. With music more generally I’m classically taught on the cello and piano, but taught myself the guitar when I got bored of playing Bach!
Nick – Majority self taught. I started experimenting with the guitar before, mainly picking things up from books. Then this thing called the internet came along and it was a bit of a game changer for me.
12. The tropical sound definitely appears to be rapidly growing in popularity at the moment, what do you guys see for the future of house, tropical house and electronic music?
Well we’ve only got until the next ice age, then tropical might seem slightly out of place. The future of electronic music will be as changeable and evolving as the past – Deep House and Nu-Disco are experiencing a much-needed renaissance at the moment but all it will take is the next Daft Punk to come along and change the game for everybody. We’re digging the more futuristic side of the funk sound at the moment, guys like Pomo, LeMarquis and the Keats Collective.
13. What are Siente’s favourite favourite plugins, VSTs or sample packs which you are loving right now?
We’re always coming back to Sylenth at the moment; there’s just so much that can be done with it. Steve’s been loving the Oberheim OB-X Pro II as well; it has a really DIY, analogue sound which you can expect to hear on some of our new tunes.
14. What is the favourite gig you have played as Siente? When & where do you feel the greatest vibes?
We played a gig in Shoreditch last Autumn for a promoter friend of ours that went absolutely off. It was a real post-work, city crowd but they managed to get their boogie on when we started bringing the sunshine. There’s no beating London for a party crowd, though we’re in the process of securing some gigs in our spiritual home, Spain.
15. What can we expect from Siente in 2015?
Same vibes – though more frequent releases. We’ve been locked in the studio for a while now and are just desperate to get our new tracks out. There will be surprises along the way though for sure…
16. What would your advice be for up and coming producers and DJs?
Steve – Just practice, loads. There are only so many Youtube videos you can watch before you just need to tweak some knobs on a VST and see what happens. Get talking to other producers and DJ’s as well – you never know if that bedroom DJ you’ve been listening to might soon end up on a major label, asking you to remix them.
Nick – Always make sure you are making music you enjoy, simple.
17. What have you guys been listening to lately? Favourite tracks of this 2015 thus far?
Compuphonic – O Cypres
Harrison and Seamus – Mugen
Hayden James – Something About You
Tom Ferry – Better Without You
Siente – Be Mine
…anything by the DiscoThrill or Roche guys as well.
18. Churros con chocolate or Pick ’n’ mix?
Steve – Churros
Nick – Pick ‘n’ mix; that’s nostalgia talking.
19. Jennifer Anniston or Penelope cruz?
Nick – Penelope Cruz
Steve – Aniston…I suppose it’s a good thing we don’t agree on that one?
20. WYR…live one 1000 year life? Or live ten 100-year lives?
Ten 100 year lives
21. WYR…go to jail for the rest of your life for something you didn’t do, or accidentally kill your best friend without any legal punishment?
It would have to be jail – we’re both too nice.
Nick – …by the way, if it was Steve, I’d get over it
Steve – That’s brotherly love for you