It is said that hard times can forge a hard work ethic. For Marijan Raskovic, aka “Jelly For The Babies,” this is certainly the case. For Marijan, music is life. His first synthesiser was a Casio SA-20, and the 100 sound banks that it came with were enough to capture his heart. Coming from the time of a severe economic crash in Pancevo, Serbia, Marijan struggled for a better life, while learning the ins and outs of music production on his home computer. Over the years, he has refined his approach, and his “Jelly For The Babies” moniker pioneers what he calls the “candy flavoured sound.”
Hi Marijan, thanks for joining us at Decoded Magazine. Tell us about your musical influences while growing up. Have they changed a lot to where they are now?
Always with me! No, well I listened to almost everything; from Punk Rock, to hip-hop, to electronic music. I draw my ideas from a variety of different music. The Prodigy has influenced me the most. That group mixed up electronic music with guitars, jungle rhythm, punk core blah blah…with everything, and created something unique! Also legends like Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Karl Jenkins, Enigma.
You grew up in Serbia at a time of great unrest. Tell us a little bit about your home town and the music scene there.
I was born in Pancevo, but I left that town when I was 3 years old, so I was raised in Arandjelovac. Its a beautiful town surrounded with beautiful mountains and lakes. The town has an enormous park, thermal waters, and a great history. You should visit Arandjelovac definitely! The music scene in Serbia is recovering from a big slap of EDM music. Everything, probably like everywhere, goes commercial. We have lot of talented musicians, they just need to focus their ideas in the right way, but just because of the economy (I think) they are aiming at making money, no matter what they do with the music. If commercial music brings money, we will do commercial music….Well not me, music is my great passion and I wanna stay “Jelly”.
Bit random, but whats the food like in Serbia?
Food? Well that’s my second passion for sure! We have some great local dishes! I’ve tried lot of foreign dishes, but Serbian/Bosnian/Balkan food is probably the healthiest and the tastiest food on the whole world!! When my friends from England came here they were very impressed, they couldn’t get enough haha!
Your first release was in 2007, how has your sound evolved and changed since then?
Firstly, my sounds were concentrated more on experimenting, and finding myself in this. I learned a lot from artists such as Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo, Robert Babicz, etc. I listened a lot more techno music back then, like Carl Cox, Alexander Kowalski, Dave Clarke, Laurent Garnier. However, I have always wanted to put a mark on my work so that when someone hears it they say: “this sounds like jelly!” From time to time my music has become slower and deeper. I say: “as we grow old, the bpm goes down.”
Jelly for the Babies is a very interesting name. What is the story behind it, and what does it mean?
Haha. Well, first I want to say I am a straight edge kind of guy. I don’t drink, nor use drugs. I didn’t use drugs even when I came up with “Jelly For The Babies.” I was born crazy lol. Didn’t take me so much time, it just came to my mind like BAAAAM! Let it be “Jelly For The Babies!” My friend was like: “What? Why?” I responded was like “Why not?.” That’s the whole story. It’s not interesting I know, but that’s the story lol.
Which DAW do you use and what is your favourite/go-to VST and/or Hardware, and why?
I use Fruity Loops. I think it’s user friendly and to me it’s easier to work with FL. My favourite VST is Tone Gladiator because it has a big bank full of quality synths. I still haven’t used them all.
When working on a new track, where do you begin and why?
I always start with melodies and bassline. I think that’s the hardest thing to do. When you whisper or imagine a melody you do start with the melody. Bassline is always hardest thing to me cause i don’t want always to play same basslines but if it fits well in my melody idea it doesn’t matter (to me). Just needs to be simple and that’s all. Simplicity is the key!
Tell us a bit about “The Purr.” How can you best describe the overall sound and vibe of your label, and what are your goals with it? What does the cat say when he wants something good?
We want good music on our label, so this is a massive PURR to all artists who have good, unreleased, music to send us! Deep, mystical and melodic is the sound we are aiming for, but from time to time we also want groovy and bouncy. It depends on the mood.
You’ve made us an exclusive mix. When making a mix, how do you prepare for it?
Is there something in particular that inspired your guest mix for us? I don’t prepare it. When preparing for something it usually does not turn out the way I wanted. In this one-hour mix you have “jelly” from the bottom to the top. It ranges from calm melodic tunes that I love to listen to, to bouncy dance floor tunes which are the ones I play the most.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge in your music career so far?
Working on a remix for Robert Babicz. Ahh man, I had my last exam in my faculty and I was thinking about that remix 24/7. I did not focus on the exam…I thought about the remix!
Do you have any advice you can offer for up and coming producers?
Do not force the music. Put your ego aside, and the music on the forefront.
So what’s coming up next for Jelly for the Babies?
A remix for my good friend and great producer Di Rugerio on Mirabilis Records, and a remix I did for Heavenly Bodies Records called “I Hate You”.
01// Bunte Bummler – Behaviour
02// Davide Squillace – Blossom
03// Seth Troxler, Tom Trago & Subb-An – Time
04// Sven Vath – L’esperanza (Ame Reinterpretation)
05// Mind Against – Oracle
06// Cristoph – On The Inside
07// Kwabs – Walk (Sasha Extended Remix)
08// UMEK & Mike Vale – All I Want (Dosem Remix)
09// Pirupa – Every life feat. Leon (Tube & Berger Remix)