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Q&A: Vilenius

Welcoming the newest addition to the Nightrunners (the label curated by Top Billin’s DJ Flipperi aka Heikki), the man with boogie in his heart, Vilenius. Hailing from our home town Helsinki, Vilenius blasted into the disco/house scene with his laid-back take on house music and love for a softer groove. As Nightrunners continues to serve you with the best in disco, Vilenius truly fits in the team. Read this Q&A to find more about the man in the tracksuit.

1) Go ahead, represent.

Hi guys, it’s Ville from Helsinki, Finland. At 25, I’m working at the night shift and during daytime making music under the alias Vilenius. In August, I’ll start studying film/tv technology and hopefully find a few new creative projects here and there. There is a nice sound studio facility, so that’s where you’ll find me 🙂

2) Lay down some early influences.

Since childhood I’ve been into pretty much everything between roots rock and The Soulquarians. In the field of electronic music, belgian Spirit Catcher was and is a major influence. Initially their remix of Finland-based artist Baxter’s Slope led me to discover a world of futuristic synth-heavy house music made out of fat basslines and laserbeams. Another strong influence is finnish house/disco producer/dj Roberto Rodriguez. His twenty-year career does include some tasty and inspirational electronic music.

3) How about today then.

In general, I’m influenced mostly by all kinds of deep/garage house and disco sounds. In addition I try to inspire on some totally different music, be it Steely Dan or Michael McDonald for instance. Having a wide range of music influences is good. For me, setting strict musical goals doesn’t work out well. The results are far more interesting if they’re influenced by the different ends of the musical spectrum.

4) How did you hook up with Nightrunners.

I met Kalle (Koobra) while working on short film production and after listening to my music, he asked if I’d remix his latest EP. Remix for ‘Stupid’ came to life pretty straightforward. I chopped Koobra’s guitar tracks and added some synth pads and percussions here and there. ‘Only You’ remix was more of a surprise for myself. I put the vocal stems and boogie chords together just for fun and it turned out nice. The whole process took maybe an hour. Eventually Top Billin’s label manager Heikki got in touch with me and the remixes were released in May.

5) Everybody has a turning point, what was yours.

I got dumped by my then-girlfriend so I had nothing better to do than start finally finishing my tracks. That would be the initial turning point. In the sense of musical style or genre, I believe there will still be many to come.

6) Name a shame track.

All of that horrible 90’s hit dance music. Such as MO-DO’s ‘Eins, Zwei, Polizei’.

7) Do you like em Brown, Yellow, Puerto-Rican or Hatian

Yes, Brown, Yellow, Puerto-Rican and Haitian.

8] My precious 12″.

I have a few original Love Records pressings in my shelf. Old finnish jazz such as Carita Holmström and Pekka Pohjola, sampled by Dj Shadow on ‘Endroducing’.

9) Best sample flip you know.

Personally I like to cut samples into tiny pieces and then combine them into totally unrecognizable and unique pieces of sound. Another thing for me is to sample old unfinished work. This way old project folders can turn into treasure chests 🙂 It’s a hard thing for me to name a single best sample flip. I’d probably go with something by Moodymann. Not to forget Dj Shadow. Compiling an entire album out of samples a nice feat.

10) Likes?

I like music in almost all of it’s forms and in the making. I also love a good cup of coffee, Islay whisky, a quality cigar, jaffa cakes, synth envelopes, sleeping, good people, nice films and Finnish summertime.

11) Dislikes?

Bad breath might be a turnoff. Almost everything else is a matter of individual taste.

12) Your chance to promote what you got coming up next / in the future.

I’m aiming for an EP release at some point in the future. For now, I warmly welcome everyone to follow me on Soundcloud, Facebook etc. and you’ll be posted on whatever it is I come up with 🙂

13) Shout outs?

Huge thanks to Kalle, Tuukka, Lobo & Riikka for the support. Shout out to everyone else digging good music. Cheers!