Jae Yoon, aka Visionaire, is an up and coming artist from New York City who is known to deliver some hard hitting progressive house and big room tracks. His rise through to notoriety was greatly aided by the fact that Visionaire gave all of his tracks away for free on Soundcloud - which has gained him a loyal following as he uploads new tracks every month. He has garnered recognition from some of the top DJs in the game including Hardwell, W&W, Chuckie, and more. EDM Canada had managed to talk Jae about how he got started, what influenced him, the current state of the big room sound, and much more. Read on and enjoy:
Give us a bit of history of Visionaire.
Visionaire: Me being Asian I had Asian parents obviously and they made me (thankfully) take piano lessons. I hated it at the time, I never felt the music, I never knew why I was doing it, but they made me do it and it was probably one of the best things that has happened in my life (laugh). They also made me take violin lessons and I played trumpet from elementary to high school. I also taught myself guitar and drums. The thing is that I was never actually good at any of these instruments but then being familiar with all sorts of instruments, especially the drums, piano, and violin, producing just came along with it. It was a way for me to put all of my experiences together. When I was 15-16 years old I had gotten my first Macbook and I started fooling around with Garageband. At the time I was really into hip hop so I was producing hip hop for 3-4 years. From Garageband I moved onto Logic, then Reason, then FL Studio, and now I'm at Ableton. 2 years ago I fell in love with house music and from there I completely abandoned hip hop and started making house music only. It was a good thing that I did that because it was then I was just starting to get a fan base. I still remember when I had 67 likes on Facebook, 40 followers on Soundcloud, and asked myself whether it was all a waste of time, but it slowly grew to where it is today. I still have a long way to go but it's a humbling experience to see where I was 2 years ago to where I am today.
You mentioned that you had no real love for music when you were younger - when did you start developing that spark for music in general?
Visionaire: I first fell in love with hip-hop because of the beats, especially the drums. So I taught myself drums and then I started to get into rock n' roll so I taught myself guitar. I was still a huge beat guy, a percussion guy, but it was 2 years ago when I started feeling the melodies like I have never have before. From there I started listening to more melodic songs, even RnB, slow ballads, even classical music. From there I was able to piece it all together.
What was the first track that made you love electronic dance music?
Visionaire: The first house track that I fell in love with was Sydney Samson's “Riverside”, and from there I just started feeling the 4x4 house beat. I then went onto Youtube to find more Dutch house and I found Laidback Luke, Swedish House Mafia, etc. From there I was just listening to more Youtube videos and mixes, I also met DJ Bl3nd, and then I really got into it.
Describe the Visionaire style.
Visionaire: I love melodies and I love beats – so I would say that I love putting orchestral sounds into my tracks. I'd say that it's very big room-electro-house with a drop, and for the breakdowns I'd say that it's very melodic and beautiful I guess. (laughs)
You have an insane Soundcloud page with every track added as a free download, how important is it for your music to reach your fans?
Visionaire: It's everything because it's free downloads that pretty much got me to where I am today. All I care about is that fans have my music, and if they have it, then that's all that really matters. By doing that fans appreciate it and they supported me a lot by sharing my music to others – so it's a win-win situation. So just like that I've kept on building my fan base.
Got a prediction where the big room sound is headed for 2014?
Visionaire: That's what everyone is wondering and I don't have an answer. The thing is that I still love the big room sound but at the same time I understand the whole problem with it. Every song sounds familiar – I get that but it still makes me energetic, it makes me happy. Big room house still makes me very happy so I make it. Last year I was really into the low gritty massive synth kind of stuff, like a very dubstep sound, very hard electro, but without even realizing I transitioned into the big room house sound. If the next big thing comes then I'll probably love that too and I'll start making that.
How do you keep your sound fresh and make it stand out amongst the other big room tracks out there?
Visionaire: So first I have to listen to all of the new music and see what other producers have been doing so I don't sound like them. I listen to shows like Hardwell on Air to get a general idea where the music is right now and when I'm producing I try my best to find a sound that hasn't been used before. There are times when I hear something on the radio and I love it so much that I use something like it in one of my tracks. There are times when I re-use a certain sound because I love it so much but a lot of the times I want Visionaire to be something very different. It all depends.
Do you have any advice for newer talent trying to make it as a DJ/Producer?
Visionaire: This whole thing is an accident, I was in College trying to be an accountant and get an internship at one of the big accounting firms in New York. Music was just a hobby, I just loved it. So I just kept on doing it and it just started blowing up online. So my advice would be to not do it to become famous, do it because you like to. For the first year nobody listened to my songs, like 10-15 people. I kept on doing it because I liked it. In the end that's what matters. If you love doing it then just keep doing it. Luckily for me, this ended being a career.
2014 is here, what do you have planned for the new year?
Visionaire: I'll be playing pool and club parties during Miami Music Week. From there we will try to set up the very first Visionaire tour. Music wise pretty much everyday I open up Ableton and just mess around and see what comes up, see what I want to remix and what not. Every week or two you can expect a new track or remix posted from me. I've got a big collab coming up with Wolfpack and Dmitri Vegas is overseeing it right now so it's very exciting for me.
My thanks to Visionaire for taking the time to talk to EDM Canada. Like I said earlier, Visionaire puts all of his stuff on Soundcloud for free, go visit now and get instant access to his entire discog.
If you want the latest from Visionaire, he has a brand new bootleg pack available on his Facebook page, click here for more information.
Finally, check out Visionaire's latest collaboration with Delivio Reavon and Aaron Gill called "Right Now", it's got a lot of promise: