Squire is one of the most exciting and talented artists around at present. He has delivered a unique sound that merges techno and house with an incredible variety of influences. The key to his success has been his complete focus and respect for music traditions, and a keen open eye to the future of electronic music.
Despite his young age, he has already had releases on labels including Kindisch, Flying Circus Recordings, Mobilee, Do Not Sit On The Furniture, TrueColors, My Favorite Robot Records, All Day I Dream, Bar 25 Music, and 3000 Grad Records.
He is certainly an artist with a very promising and long career ahead with his productions going from strength to strength. Decoded Magazine grabbed a few moments with Squire to talk about his music, his early career, and of course his time as a Formula 1 driver.
Squire or Jaime Alguersuari as he is known by many was just finishing his breakfast after his daily run and was about to head into the studio when we spoke. I decided to ask Jamie what first got him into the music scene; what drew his attention when it came to electronic music… “Competition, we use to bet who had the most exciting and thrilling record between my friends in Ibiza (when vinyl had a bigger market and online platforms weren’t as developed). We had a basement where we were playing records for ourselves and we would be showing the newest record we found at our record store. I was very lucky as I was already travelling due to racing so I could stopover in London or Berlin to dig into some music”. We will come back to Jamie’s F1 career in a few minutes… I went on to ask him who some of his biggest influences were when he was growing up in terms of music… “Moby, I love ambient and environmental sounds such as atmospheres or long sustained pads. He is a masterclass with that and composes epic, romantic, melancholic music, three values that I believe are a MUST when making music.”. Certainly, something that anyone who listens to Jamie’s music would surely hear and agree with!
Moving on (well kind of backward but you know what I mean)… Motorsport fans will, of course, know Jamie used to have a career in Formula 1. I asked him to tell us a little about his time as a Formula 1 driver… “I started racing go-karts near my home place. My dad brought me into the sport and I started racing when I was eight. I was driven by a lot of passion, probably family passion, then everything got more serious. Red Bull had a driver selection in 2005 to pick young drivers into their driver development program to F-1. They picked me up and I started racing around the world (racing is a very very expensive activity) in exchange I had to win championships and beat my teammates in order to be in one of their F-1 teams. In 2009 I had my first race in F-1 and scored 31 points through the years with Toro Rosso. We had a lot of difficulties to develop the car as my team was quite small, but even so, we got loads of points and beat world champions… All in all, it was a great experience and adventure that I will never forget”. Certainly, something not many people can say that have or will ever experience… pretty damn incredible if you ask me… I went on to ask Jamie about why he left Formula 1 and chose to dive into the world of electronic music?
“In music you are yourself, creating art is something unique, you have it inside you and most of the time you’re sitting alone in your studio.”
Jamie continued… “You keep on working every day until you get that magic coming and it’s something you can achieve on your own, exploring who you are, how you feel and what you want to tell to the world. Racing is something very different, you depend 100% on technology, on mechanics, aero engineers, on a huge team of people to make sure they deliver the best car for you… Of course, driving is a lot of fun, but your potential will always be limited by technology and by budget. Also, racing is a competition that depends on more than just you…”
“…music is not a competition at all, and the only one whom you compete with is yourself.”
I feel that the last sentence is something a lot of artists (old and new) could seriously learn from! Moving onto to Jamie’s music, he is an artist that has had releases across a number of high profile labels and for good reason, his music is bloody good! That simple! I asked how long it took him to develop a sound he loved and felt was a reflection of him, which is not an easy thing… “I’ve been making music for ten years now. I guess like everything in life, it’s all about practising and listening to so many references. I am only a hard worker that loves what I do and trying to have as much fun as possible. Every time I head into the studio I try to challenge myself and try to get it wrong. Getting out of your comfort zone and making mistakes makes is how you learn; this is actually the best way that I’ve developed my sound and my technique on making music. I still have a lot to learn, I hope I have a lot to learn… it would be so boring if we wouldn’t have anything else to learn in or outside of the studio”.
For new producers out there in the music production world, I asked about what advice he would give to those setting out on their production journey… “Enjoy, have fun! The moment you don’t enjoy experimenting with sounds, or sampling or recording or even processing an audio clip you should stop. I strongly believe that any job in the world has to be derived from joy or passion in order for you to do your best! Any time I’m forcing myself to do something in the studio and not really feeling it I should stop and do something else…I go cycling a lot or play tennis or cooking…Any other input that can take you out of that loop and can reset yourself to be back in the studio with a different perspective and thought…And most of the times it works and the magic happens”.
Something I know many folks suffer from, when trying to complete a track, is knowing when it is finished and when to walk away. I asked Jamie what he looks for in his music when trying to finish a track, and how he knows when it is complete? “The first question that comes to my mind is if I would play this track in 5 or 10 years’ time… it’s a difficult one but sometimes we tend to think what others (meaning labels, DJs, people from the industry, your crowd) will think about every track you release. And I think in order to not to lose authenticity, you should ask yourself if you still feel this track after listening to it 1 million times… if you still feel it and go crazy about it then you know it’s finished and ready to go”. Certainly, one for the tech-house and monotone techno producers to think about… sorry had to get that dig in there!!! I went on to ask Jamie about some of his favourite studio gear when putting together a track… “My Juno 60. It’s a great synth and the sound is so clear and warm. I really enjoy losing my mind on that. It’s a beautiful instrument”.
For those into production, you will have all had that one track (or more) that has been an absolute nightmare to finish for whatever reason. I asked Jamie what his nightmare track was to complete, and what made it so tricky? “Probably a track called ‘Shaker Life’, I recorded a singer (Larde Darde) in London and we were simulating a song from Richie Havens. I loved that original track and my idea was to do a cover of that song but more dancefloor-oriented. I ended up working so much on the vocals and was never convinced 100%, so I used the parts when we were talking between us and left them as ambient with some effects around. It felt very cool but it was not the first intention of the whole song. It was released on Flying Circus two years ago”. You can check out that very track below, and what a beauty it is too!
As an artist today you are expected to do everything, from writing music to DJing, and managing your own social media platforms. I asked Jamie how he managed to get through all the tasks of a modern-day artist, and if he really struggles with any aspects… “Yes, that’s very right, it looks like nowadays you have to be good at everything… producing, DJing, social network etc. It’s difficult to find time for everything, as we’re not machines so I guess you have to focus on what you know you’re good at, or what you think you’re good at and push that side of you. It has to feel natural and organic, you’re not going to do something against your will, I think you would lose authenticity and credibility…so just be yourself no matter what…” I went on to ask Jamie about which of the platforms he prefers to use over others and why? “I like twitter, I follow many things out of the music world and it gets me updated with daily news, sports, economics… It’s a great platform”. One I would certainly agree with. A lot of folk slate Twitter but I personally find it very useful for quick updates in sport and music.
Moving onto gigs over the coming months, I asked Jamie what he has planned in his calendar… “I’ve just released my longest LP yet on Truecolors with 5 originals and 2 excellent remixes from Raw District and Jonas Rathsman. I’ve just played at Fort Festival and my next record will come out early next year on Get Physical. I’m really looking forward to composing new fresh music this winter and be ready for much more”. Not sure about you, but I cannot wait to hear some more of this man’s music! Bring it on I say!!!
Many of you Squire fans will be well aware of one of his recent collaborations with the superb, Pablo Bolivar. I asked Jamie how the collaboration came about, and what it was like working with Pablo… “Pablo is a good friend of mine in Barcelona and we’ve been crossing music for a long time now. We decided to start something together and we started working individually on our own. We then sat down and showed our cards and loved what he did, and he picked 2 ideas of mine too. We developed and arranged them together and that was it! It was actually a very straight forward and efficient work”. You can check out the incredible work from these guys below:
Jamies’s release, ‘Find Me on Fire’ is out now on Bedouin’s trueColors imprint and what a gem it is. I asked him to talk a little about the release, and how he chose the artists on remix duties… ‘Find Me On Fire’ was done almost 2 years ago. This record has a bit of everything to be honest. I very much enjoyed making it! ‘Lost in Malibu’ and ‘Pink Panther’ are two very trippy melodic tracks, I love to play them in the daytime, the rest are darker and harder, but they have a Squire touch too I guess. They all came very naturally, and trueColors and I thought it made sense to release a record with all these tracks together. I’m happy they found a good home! And of course, the remixes are very different to the originals, that’s what it’s all about really. I’ve been playing a lot of music from Raw District and love the Rathsman productions, so they both made a great team for remixes”. Jamie touched on something there and I feel it is something many remixes miss… they should be different from the original, not just a rehash of the original. An art that very few people have, but, as Jamie has said, both remixes on this release are very different and bring a lot to the release.
As we draw the interview towards a close and as we near the end of 2019 I asked Jamie what he would like to achieve by the close of the year and into 2020… “I would like to keep the good energy up in the studio, and to be honest whatever has to come it will be great! We can’t ask for more really, health love and great friends! I’m very privileged!”
I would like to thank Jamie for an incredible chat and taking the time to provide such superb and inciteful answers. It is always a pleasure talking with artists that want to talk freely about their passion. I (and the Decoded Team) wish Jamie all the best for the rest of 2019 and a superb 2020. Here’s to more superb music from the man behind Squire!
Squire ‘Find Me On Fire’ LP (trueColors) and ‘Common Sense’ EP (Mobilee) are Out Now!