Svatoslav Tvardovsky is a DJ and music producer that currently resides in Kyiv, Ukraine. He has quickly established himself as a prolific and gifted producer and few artists have risen to his levels of his success in such a short space of time. From his home studio the 21-year-old Ukrainian has weaved his magic and this has seen him earn respect and support from some of the world’s most important DJs, from Hernan Cattaneo and Barry Jamieson to Chris Lake and Ad Brown. Furthermore Svatoslav is an accomplished performer behind the decks, which has seen him play alongside the likes of John Digweed Guy J, Henry Saiz and Luis Junior, throughout Russia and it’s surrounding republics.
With a full length album penned in for the not to distant future, plans for a global tour, the continued success of his label Stereo Paradise, we were very fortunate to be able to speak to this very busy man.
Hi Svatoslav. Many thanks for taking the time to speak to me today. Have you been up to much this week?
Thanks for having me. So much work every day, radioshow recording, few local gigs, new tracks and label management.
You hail from the Ukraine and there appears to be a huge influx of producers such as Hells Kitchen, Mauro Norti and E-Spectro hailing from Eastern Europe. Why do you feel this is and has your home town been a big influence in your music?
I was born in Moscow, Russia, but moved to Ukraine with my parents when I was about 2-3 years old. Most of those producers are from Russia and in 2011 when I launched Stereo Paradise label I stumbled across them. They were beginners, but I heard big potential and talent in tracks that they made. Not a lot of talented producers here in Ukraine, but my favourite is Stas Drive, he is my good friend and new manager of the Stereo Paradise label. We are planning to relaunch in 2014 after a long quiet spell. New releases will soon be available.
In 2012 you racked up an impressive number of production credits. How do you find time to produce and release so much music over the space of one year?
Yes, maybe around 100. I’m making music almost every day, and when I have 5-10 ready tracks I send to labels. That’s why I have so many releases. Now I am working more on my labels and radio show, also mastering and beginning to start working on my album.
With such an impressive release rate I must ask, did you have a big musical background as a youngster? Were you parents musicians?
Yes, my mother is an opera singer and I started to study music when I was 4 years old but all what I know about music and production I learned by myself. My mother gave me classical music education. I studied at music school for 10 years as a piano player, then 3 years on bass guitar and acoustic guitar. Also I am studying now as a Sound Engineer at University, so have more practice with studio stuff.
Can you tell us about some of your biggest musical influences?
When I was a kid, I listened to classic music a lot, also my grandfather had a big vinyl collection with classic jazz bands, orchestral music and rock’n’roll, from 40s to 80s. Then when i was 13 years old, I started to listen to electronic music. I was really inspired by Russian project “Moonbeam” and producers like Sasha, James Holden, Nathan Fake, Jon Hopkins, and many others.
You recently mentioned on social media that you are a huge fan of Jamie Stevens’ work. What is that draws you to his music?
Yes, he is very talented producer, I listen to all his tracks when they are released. He always uses deep bass groove, classical string instruments, a lot of harmony in his tracks and that’s what I like. He has his own style.
Your label Stereo Paradise has seen an impressive number of quality releases from the likes of yourself, Reflection Soul, business partner Stas Drive, and Alessandro Diga since its inception in 2011. How do you choose the artists for your label? Do you decided on all the artists yourself?
I always choose artists for the label by myself. I have my own music vision and taste. If I don’t like a track, it will never be released at Stereo Paradise, even if this track will be from a huge name or has huge commerce potential.
Can we take a few moments to chat about your studio? What do you use in your current studio? Hardware, software or a mixture of both?
I don’t have my own studio for music production, I am using FL Stuido as DAW on my Laptop, MIDI keyboard M-Audio Radium, and Sennheiser headphones. After that I can go into a studio to complete mixing and mastering. But that’s all. Software works perfect for me.
When you begin to produce a track or a remix is there a particular thought process you look to engage or does it differ for each track?
Each track or remix which I release was made from a blank page. I try to never use templates, or even loops and sample packs (yuuuhhhh!!!). Drum part and main melody with baseline first, then percussion, pads, arps and etc.
What do you feel is the most important element to a good progressive track?
Melody and harmony. If a track does not have melody it is not music, it is noise!
The Stereo Paradise Compilation that was released in November, 2013 was very well received by the progressive fraternity. What made you decide to release the compilation and what were you looking to crate with the mix?
Yes, the compilation was really good. We just contacted our artists and asked them for one great track. Then I listened to all of them and then decided to release the best of the best. I don’t see a lot of good exclusive compilations these days.
I believe 35% of the money made from the sales of your Stereo Paradise Compilation were and are given to charity. What charity did you choose and are you a big believer in philanthropy?
It was a condition from my ex-colleague Mark Betteridge (owner of 99percent Recordings and RELEASE). I don’t remember now, but it was childhood house in Leeds I think. I like to help people who needs help. But don’t believe in charity funds!
There are many budding producers out there looking to break into the music industry. Is there any advice you would give?
As I always said just have your style and make music. Real music. Never copy anybody and also learn music theory.
Besides your label you also run the Stereo Paradise Radio Show. Why did you decide to kick off your own radio show and do you ever welcome any guest mixes by other DJs?
Radio show is a good choice for producers to promote their tastes and present new promos or demo works. I invited a lot of my friends to my show in the begining, but now I make it only by myself.
Is there any advice you can give to up and coming DJs out there?
Please, don’t be a DJ!
Can you tell us what was your favourite gig in 2013/14?
Yes, I played warm-up set for Above & Beyond at Space Club Moscow (Russia). There was 2000-2500 people. Crazy!
Do you have any plans to visit and DJ over in the UK soon?
With big pleasure, but for now haven’t any invites from UK promoters. Hope to receive it one day.
Finally is there anything else you would like to tell us about that you have planned for 2014/15?
Big plan! Relaunch “Stereo Paradise” label, raise my second label “Dear Deer”, try to finish my debut album. I’m sure it will be great and I am planning to use a lot of vocals; I am already working on track with Matt Darey, and performing at some great venues around the world.
Thanks for great interview, hope to see you soon! Good luck to you and all your readers!
Track list is unavailable for this exclusive mix.