James Sirait, or more easily known as, ACADEMI, is a Canadian bass music producer who keeps it professional. This young up and comer have a strategic means of executing his craft. With huge aspirations in sight and mind, we haven’t a doubt he will accomplish what he sets his sights on.
Please welcome, ACADEMI to the storm!
Question 1: For the unknowing reader and soon-to-be fan, can you explain to us the backstory behind the name ACADEMI?
Answer 1: The backstory of ACADEMI took some time for me to figure out as I had wanted to find a brand that described me on a personal level while maintaining a simple and yet effective name for others to appreciate it for what it is! On a personal level, I chose this name as a variation to the word Academy. The word academy, as you know it, is an institutional system for education, however, I chose to strive past that definition and dig deeper. For me, the music I am striving to make and share with everyone is to let people learn how to love and appreciate their life no matter what point they are in their lives. I hope to do that by sharing beautiful and powerful music that resonates with people’s lives on a cosmic level.
Question 2: Being from Calgary, Alberta is rad. You’re our second Canadian feature! What do you believe Calgary does better than any other areas in Canada. What about Canada as a whole compared to other countries in the spectrum of dance music?
Answer 2: In my honest opinion, I believe Calgary does better than other areas in Canada because it is a small enough city where you will be able to form long-lasting relationships with people you meet at shows and festivals in Calgary. Once you’ve gone to events and introduced each other after the second time at a dance music show, you form an instant friendship. Calgary is also a major city in Canada, with a decently large population that allows for diversity in the variety of music events we can host in the city. It is large enough to bring a different artist twice a week, every week and still bring in a lot of people to enjoy different types of music especially dance music!
For Canada as a whole, compared to other countries in the spectrum of dance music, I would say from my long experience of going to music festivals in Canada and US (I haven’t been to a music festival outside of North America) I can say that the Electronic Dance Music community are extremely caring and kind and that is not exclusive to Canada. Some will say that Canadians are much nicer, but that isn’t very true, I’ve met many Americans at music festivals in the US that have proven themselves to be more caring and kind to others more than Canadians. It honestly depends on the specific people you run into! I cherish the PLUR culture, where we take care of each other and look out for one another while enjoying the music together, like a family!
Question 3: Who are some of your major inspirations and influences in dance music?
Answer 3: My major influences in dance music stem from Future Bass, Chill Trap, Melodic Bass, Hard Electro, Dubstep, and Experimental Bass. The artists I take inspiration from are INZO, Flume, Kaivon, Adventure Club, Illenium, and Virtual Riot to name a few.
ACADEMI · Boomin’ Bass House Mix
Question 4: Your new track Existence dropped today, what sort of creative process went into that gem?
Answer 4: Existence being the first track I’ve ever made is special to me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure where it was going to take me. I was just sound designing and playing around with Serum, and I made several patches that would be considered future bass, experimental bass, and dubstep. I made a supersaw derived from future bass music, a dubstep growl, and created more weird and pleasing experimental bass sounds inspired. Once I put it together, I really dug it, and I kept going with it! Releasing it, I know there is still much improvement needed to be made, as I am consistently watching tutorials, workshops, experimenting and learning; going back there is obviously many things I wanted to change to make the overall track better, but I know I am growing as an artist and I will continue to grow in every track I make!
ACADEMI · Existence
Question 5: What lead you into the dance music community and what kept you there all this time?
Answer 5: I’ve been listening to EDM since I was 12 years old, from artists like Tiesto, Afrojack, Excision, and Avicii. My first dance music event was when I was 18, and it was called Pure 2014 in Calgary, Alberta where Armin Van Buuren was headlining. It was honestly amazing beyond my wildest dreams, I resonated with the music so much on such a deep cosmic level, and I found that you could listen to dance music and it could be expressed in so many different ways. For me it was not exclusive to a certain type of feeling or mood, you could listen to it in every type of mood or situation, where each sub-genre within dance music brings out a different side of yourself in the best way possible. I realized when I was 21 that I should make music production my career, and I started DJing at venues in Calgary when I was 22 and opened up for Ray Volpe my very first time in front of 600 people. Words could not describe that experience, and I knew that this was my true and real passion in life.
ACADEMI · The Bass Canyon 2019 Mix
Question 6: What sort of new and exciting things can we expect from ACADEMI in the near future?
Answer 6: Going forward with ACADEMI, I am making a goal to release an EP and a couple singles in 2020 with inspirations from classical music and indie music outside the dance music spectrum, with inspirations to future bass, dubstep, and melodic bass within the dance music spectrum. Once the quarantine is over, the company I manage, called Bass Voyage Entertainment, which is an event promotion company in Alberta, the owners and myself will be working to book more artists to host events in the major cities in Alberta, and over time we will expand all over Canada. Once I release enough music to gain enough traction for my brand, I will start co-headlining events with other aspiring artists and build a collective group of artists to share the music we love.
Question 7: What sort of feelings can you speak of and describe when your debut show with Bass Voyage Entertainment happened?
Answer 7: My debut show with Bass Voyage Entertainment was the YDG show and it was exciting because it was the first set I played with a different company where I was able to take a creative route in my song selection and mixing process. In other words, I had the ability to play whatever I wanted. The previous company I worked for, where I had played several shows with them in 2019, was more strict in my song selection process and I did not feel as I was able to be as creative as I wanted as it hindered my mixing process.
Question 8: You’ve opened for heavy hitters like Tynan, Inf1n1te, Gentlemens Club, and Eptic. What can you say about a mind-melting experience like those?
Answer 8: Opening for those artists was unimaginable and breathtaking; and the fact that I opened up for all of these artists (in my opinion) in the best venue in Calgary called The Palace Theatre (previously Flames Central) took the cake for me. The artists I mostly opened up for are heavy bass artists ranging from Dubstep to Riddim to DnB to Experimental Bass. I love playing these heavier sets live, but for me, as an artist, I decided to take the chill bass route when it came to music production as that was what I felt in my heart was the right thing to do, and the chill bass realm was what I knew would continue to make me happy producing for the rest of my life. Obviously, I would produce some heavy bass tracks and collaborate with artists in this area of bass music, but I wanted to focus mostly on the chiller side of bass music!
Question 9: Whose in your scope as far as collaborations go? Big and small, let’s fill the spectrum here!
ACADEMI · Dirty Dubstep Mix
Question 10: Who is in your area that deserves more credit and spotlight in their musical careers? Give them a healthy shout-out below!
Answer 10: My best buddy Markus Dielissen who goes by the name of TIRANT in my personal opinion deserves as much credit and spotlight for his music. He has been grinding for 4 years producing music without releasing anything until he found his sound and it was just right. He released his first track on Soundcloud called Autumn Fall and it is incredibly unique, which takes into account different sub-genres of dance music that I think is very cool.
James, thank you so much for your time and energy in this project! You have an immensely bright career ahead of you. We are beside ourselves with this interview and hope we can do a follow up in the near future.
Keep up the great work, and until next time!