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Jack D Elliot Interview


Jack D Elliot Interview

Jack D. Elliot rocking the dancemusic.about.com button


RS: Lucas Prata told me the story of how you came up with "And She Said." When you wrote "Love of My Life," did you picture that as being Lucas and Reina together, or did you have someone else in mind?
Jack D Elliot: We wrote it because I was talking to Lucas and he had this idea of doing a duet with Reina and doing this thing called a Love Tour. Janice and I got together and we sat down and specifically wrote a song for them. They loved it and the record label loved it, so it worked out.

RS: Just like you worked with Janice Robinson, anther dance legend you've worked with was Maria Christiansen from Third Party?
Jack D Elliot: Yes, Maria is awesome, she's a great person and an awesome songwriter.

RS: What are you working on with her?
Jack D Elliot: We just did a handful of dance songs. I've been doing a lot of pop music as well, like I just did two new songs for Taylor Dayne and they're very midtempo ballad-y. So some of those types of vibes I was working with Maria on as well.

RS: So when you're in the studio are you mostly software-based or do you work with keyboards still?
Jack D Elliot: Most of it's ProTools and software, but I have a whole slew of racks of synthesizers and I have keyboards. Most of my time I'm recording vocals and the keyboards they play or I'll have a guitar player come in some times and do some guitar tracks.

RS: Are you strictly ProTools or are you using Logic or Reason?
Jack D Elliot: Yes, I use Reason. I use Abelton Live and ProTools, those are my three main programs. I have tons of plug-ins, like I'm sponsored now by a couple of different companies.

RS: Which companies are you sponsored by for plug-ins and stuff?
Jack D Elliot: Izotope, which makes awesome plug-ins, my favorite one is Isotope Trash, it's called, and now MCDSP - they do a lot of compressors and equalizer plug-ins.

RS: Why do you think those companies came after you, to sponsor you?
Jack D Elliot: I think Nick Lachey was a big reason. Nick was getting a lot of buzz from my name, so I'm doing another interview for EQ magazine and I guess it's just like Sirius radio. Whenever they play the mix my name is attached to it, so a lot of people are seeing it, so the product gets exposure because of that.

RS: You started as a DJ in New York, right?
Jack D Elliot: It's funny because I met Mark Kamins, who found Madonna years ago, and he had this partner, Miguel, and they worked at the Limelight. So I used to play keyboards at the Limelight with a DJ and then I started DJing there as well and that was kind of my start in the dance business. II fell in love with the dance music. Especially the Limelight- it was one of the best clubs in those days and it was definitely a wild scene.

RS: Did you go from DJing to producing, or were you producing before you DJed?
Jack D Elliot: Yes, I was doing both at the same time. I started out doing both but producing is really my forte. I wasn't as big a DJ as a lot of these guys, I did it for exposure and for fun, but producing has always been my thing. Like I got my first record deal with I was nineteen with Strictly Rhythm and George Morel signed me, I did a track called Techno Fix. It was like back in '92 in the days when Keoki was doing Disco 2000.

RS: So as a producer, your productions have a real musical quality to them which is, I think, lacking in a lot of 'DJ' productions. Did you have formal music training?
Jack D Elliot: I have a BFA in studio composition from SUNY Purchase and my whole family were on Broadway – my dad was a musican and my mom was dancer. A lot of my relatives are professional musicians, so it's been in my whole family for years. My uncle was a concert pianist and he taught me the piano for so many years, that's why I'm so stuck on writing the musical sound. It was actually hard for me in the beginning doing some of the underground tracks because some of the underground tracks, sometimes it was about more of the vibe, lacked the musical and I would do like these very musical tracks and a lot of DJs would say it should be more repetitive. I was doing a lot of chord changes, so it took a little while to get into the groove because I was so musically trained.

RS: Is there anyone out there you'd love to work with vocal-wise?
Jack D Elliot: I think Christina Aguilera, that would be my dream.

RS: Is there anything you want to say to all your fans out there?
Jack D Elliot: I just want to say thank you everybody, especially everybody who's contacted me through myspace.com. I think that's the way of the future, it's an awesome way to keep a contact. I definitely respect everybody and thank everybody for their nice comments.

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