Interview: Getting to Know Finnish Electronic Talent Smok

Following their landmark 50th release, which saw longtime label favourite Rony Rex celebrate a decade of his musical career with his ‘10’ compilation, independent Finnish dance label Youth Control is back with another immersive dance. It comes from the dynamic producer Smok, who delivers an enslaving new single, ‘Desire’ featuring the talented UK-based singer/songwriter SOPHIE MARIE. Download/stream here:

On ‘Desire’, Smok says: “Making Desire was a long process, but the time I spent honing it was worthwhile, and I’m really happy how it turned out, and I’m honored I got to work with SOPHIE MARIE as her vocals perfectly highlight the essence of Desire and its vibe.”

We recently caught up with Smok to talk about his latest release, how he keeps himself in a good mental state, advice for artists and much more. Check the interview out below:

Thanks for joining us today. Where are you writing to us from, and what have you been up to over the last few weeks?

I’m currently chilling in my home studio in Oulu, Finland and listening to new deep house releases and perhaps in hope to get some new ideas. Past weeks have been pretty busy as I have had some gigs, and I have been finishing a remix for a fellow Finnish artist.

Tell us about your journey into music and what led you to this point.

It all started in 1999 when I was still a minor, and a good friend of mine took me to a local event. The party was revolutionary for me as I had never experienced anything like that before. Three different stages, big sound systems and music I had never heard before. That night sparked something in me, and I wanted to hear more of this kind of music and to understand what these DJs do behind the decks. After that event, I started attending more parties, meeting like-minded people, and finding a local DJ who taught me how to mix records with turntables. Not long after I started DJing, I got interested in music production, and since then, I’ve been constantly learning. I think I wouldn’t be in this position without good friends and the network I have managed to build over the past two decades, checking out parties at local clubs and visiting Amsterdam Dance Event, which has been a very good way to advance my career in music.

How do you effectively promote yourself as an artist?

This is a tough one, and I would be a wise man if I knew a solution that would work perfectly! For me, social media has been a very important thing for many years, like for everyone nowadays, but of course, nothing beats personal contacts and keeping them alive.

Tell us about your latest release.

Making Desire was a long process, but the time I spent honing it was worthwhile, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s got some influences from afro house and melodic techno, but essentially, I would say it’s a deep house tune. I’m honored I got to work with Sophie Marie, as her vocals perfectly fit the vibe of Desire.

What has the feedback been like from your latest release?

Very positive! I’ve got some nice feedback and support from my old fans and friends but also from people and fellow artists who found my music now for the first time.

How do you take care of your mental health?

There are two things, and the most important one is sports and music comes in a close second. It doesn’t really matter which sport it is, hitting the gym, playing beach volley or running, as long as the intensity is high enough, and that makes me feel a lot better pretty much every time.

Talk us through your creative process.

I wouldn’t say I have a specific process I follow every time. Sometimes, everything starts from a beat and sometimes from a bassline or chords, depending on what kind of vision I have. The most important principle for me has been that if I start making a track, I will also finish it whether it’s good or not, and after that, I can put it aside and move to another one.

What advice do you have for other artists?

Be persistent! Just keep on doing your thing, listen to other’s music, learn new things and keep developing your craft.

What is your biggest goal this year, and how close are you to achieving it?

I didn’t really set any big goals for myself this year, but there’s always one, which is to make more and better music than before, and I think I have achieved it, at least on some level!

Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future?

Something very different on a new alias. More of that later when it’s time to get it out to the world, so you should keep an eye on my socials for more info!

Smok’s ‘Desire’ (feat. SOPHIE MARIE) is available to download/stream via Youth Control:


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