Premiere: Juñor creates ‘Lotus Flower Diamonds’ from bargain-bin samples

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Premiere: Juñor creates ‘Lotus Flower Diamonds’ from bargain-bin samples


Welcome to Crate Diggers – our new collaborative series with Savers. Each week, follow us as we team up with some of Melbourne’s most inventive producers. Their mission? To raid the vinyl section of Savers, pick some records, sample those bad boys and make a brand new track from scratch. They’ll be taking us through the entire process, as well as premiering the track with us online each week. Let’s dig. 

This week, Melbourne hip hop artist Juñor took to the crates. Since bursting on to the scene in 2015, Juñor has quickly solidified his position as a pioneer of Australian hip hop. With a resume that includes work as a rapper, DJ, producer, engineer, songwriter, media identity and label executive, it’s no wonder he’s regarded as one of the hardest workers in the country. Check out this tune ‘Lotus Flower Diamonds’ with producer PattyBoomba.

How did you decide which records you were going to take home with you? We wanted to try and create the entire track from samples, this meant getting records with a good amount of various instruments to give ourselves more to work with. However, to have some fun, Patty and I chose a record each without consulting each other and then we picked the other three together. We specifically chose one with a lead vocal, one with majority guitar, one totally flute, one movie soundtrack, and a genre compilation record.

How did you approach the sampling process? We gave each record a complete listen through and tracked them into Ableton. Whenever we heard a part of a track that we thought would be a good sample, we would tap the record player to create an audio bump in the soundwave so we could tell where the sample was in the record. Using a similar strategy as we did selecting the records, we listened out for individual sounds like drum breaks, vocal lines and guitars that would be a good spread of samples to use.

What mood/feeling were you trying to create? To be honest we went into the store and then into the session with a totally clean slate. We intentionally had no plans and wanted the direction of the production to be lead by our excitement of hearing different samples for the first time. It was cool to spontaneously create.

Do you find that some genres are easier to produce than others? Genres with a set structure are definitely easier to produce as there’s almost a template for you to follow. However, what we tend to do is not follow any genre and just let the vibe of the session dictate where things go.

Which genres work well together, and which are quite hard to work with? Both Patty and I listen to and work across all genres so it’s pretty natural for us to blend a wide range of sounds and influences. As a progressive maker of hip hop whose entire sound is based off the idea of having no limitations, I think parts of all genres can work outstandingly together if produced in the right way. It’s a matter of being creative and thinking outside any box.

What does it take to be a good producer? Make music that sounds good. Just because someone might be operating on a million dollar system doesn’t innately mean anything. They might not have the creativity or the mind to create music that sounds half as nice as a kid in their bedroom playing with a cracked version of fruity loops on an old laptop.

What skills are essential? You need some understanding of sound design, of audio technology and musicality. If you’ve got those three things you can be a good producer. But it doesn’t guarantee it. You still need the magic.

Can you describe the emotional journey of making your Savers track? It was lit. It was different. It’s always a vibe when we’re in the booth together. Patty and I had a tonne of fun working on something that’s totally separate from my upcoming EP. When producing the EP or our other work together which we co-produce, we don’t use external samples due to clearance issues, so it was fun sampling to create a track – it’s been years since I’ve done that.

What limitations can arise from working with random selections? It’s always a bit of a lucky dip because you don’t know what’s on the record. You’ve just got to make the most of it.

If you had one piece of wisdom for aspiring producers, what would it be? Study Kanye West.

What’s so great about the Savers record collection? I love op-shopping and reprising old looks in a modern way with fashion, so it was cool to apply the same process to making music.