STOPCALLINGME & JakeShoreDrive talk new single ‘SEE IT’, influences and more: Interview
Comprised of Flynninho and Maximo Quinones, Chicago duo STOPCALLINGME made their debut just this year, and they’re the freshest duo on the block that everyone needs to know about. Following successful solo careers, they combined their talents and achievements together to create a super project that has high ambitions and bags of talent. Each playing at the same shows as the likes of Cheat Codes, RL Grime, Valentino Khan and a whole host of other massive names, they’re set for world domination.
For their new track ‘SEE IT’ they’ve teamed up with another young talent who goes by the name of JakeShoreDrive. Also hailing from Chicago, this tech house / deep house DJ embodies the addictive type of energy that makes you want to come back for more. With notable achievements such as being the direct support artist for Don Diablo and gaining residencies at multiple well-known clubs, there is truly no stopping JakeShoreDrive and STOPCALLINGME with this collaborative track. ‘SEE IT’ is perfect for hyped up club situations, but the overall chilled vibe means it’s versatile and can be listened to in any situation. To talk about the new track and to share their inspirations and more, we got the artists together for an interview.
How long have you been producers / DJs for? Tell us about the origin of your music. What inspired you to pursue your careers as artists?
Flynn: I’ve been DJing for three and a half years, but producing for five. I grew up singing and my dad was a musician, but never really considered music until after my soccer career was nearing the end. I always have loved music, but when I went to my first festival (Spring Awakening 2015) my eyes were opened to EDM and I really have not loved anything else more. I just walked into being an artist to be honest – I never planned on this being a thing but once I started I realized this is something that I am going to do for the rest of my life and I am beyond grateful it has gone the way it has so far.
Max: I have been DJing now for five years, and producing for three. I have always been around house music and it became a staple piece of my sets. I then began to think it was time to create my own productions of house so that I can play it out. My inspiration came from southside Chicago parties.
Jake: I have only been producing for a year now but have been DJing for almost 10 years (hard to believe)! As a kid, I was always drawn to music and performing from my family. People were always singing and dancing. I saw the joy it brought everyone. Over the years, the same feeling of joy also installed confidence in myself to be a performer and an entertainer in front of small groups of friends or large groups of strangers.
Who do you consider to have been your biggest influences throughout your career that have made an impact on your productions?
Flynn: For STOPCALLINGME, our big inspirations have been groups like Loud Luxury, Cheat Codes, Gorgon City, and Disclosure that made sexy house music that is unique while also being able to be playable any time, anywhere. Whether that is on the radio, at the club, festivals, or at home, songs like ‘SEE IT’ are timeless.
Max: Also as artists, we have influences from our environment that we see daily within Chicago, with everyone from legends like Gene Farris to upcoming stars like John Summit. The whole DJ culture in this amazing city, people we work with daily, are really also beats in the studio.
Jake: I’ve always been influenced most by the artists that don’t box themselves into one genre. Chris Brown, Kanye, Diplo and most of all Sonny Fodera. I think each of these artists have a way of making universal dance music that can be loved by anyone and make people move! I’ve studied and emulated a lot of what Sonny is doing. From his branding, to production styles, and even how he weaves his personal life into it all. On top of people knowing my music, I want them to know me.
Congratulations on your new record ‘SEE IT’. What is the story behind this record?
Flynn: ‘SEE IT”s vocal is telling a love story, so the track itself and the overall vibe was made to fit that. What I envisioned was a guy seeing a girl and falling in love and seeing her the way she couldn’t see herself – full of beauty, mystique, etc. And so for us, Chicago is that girl that is full of all of those qualities.
Jake: See It came was also a chance for some friends that have been grinding it out on the Chicago music scene to make a statement. We wanted to make a song that closed out the end of summer but could be listened to everywhere by anyone. It’s groovy, reminiscent of the 90’s house vibes, and clean. We knew we wanted something that would allow everyone to see Chicago through our eyes, a place where dreams can come true if you work hard enough.
You have also released the music video alongside the track. Could you tell us what was the inspiration behind the music video? Take us on the process of making it.
Max: The video wanted to show all the good times we have as not just friends, but brothers (We love you Jake). However, you saw the day of fun through each of our perspectives, respectfully. The lyrics go “See it through my eyes” so we wanted to show you our view on life through each of our eyes. Super cool if you ask me.
Flynn: Building off the last question, as artists all from Chicago we really wanted to capture Chicago’s beauty that exists and show what we see through our eyes every time our feet hit the pavement in the city. Honestly, it was also a really good opportunity to have some of our closest people shown off too, so the project was very intimate from everyone who is in it to Colton Bachar, my baby brother basically who filmed and produced the whole thing. For us three, it will hopefully serve as a visual to look back and remember as well.
Jake: We have the pleasure of being friends with one of the best videographers in Chicago ‘Colton Bachar’. I met him though Flynn and Max. Basically, I came to him with an idea that would showcase the beautiful Chicago lake front and match the wavy vibes of the song. We wanted the them of entire video to reflect “Seeing It” (a day in Chicago summer) through our eyes. We wanted to make it feel like a normal summer day in Chicago where a few friends were grabbing some white claws meeting up with a few babes and taking the boat out. We utilised drones, go pro, body cams, car cams, etc. to really make the audience feel as though they were a part of the video.
STOPCALLINGME, You both (FLYNNINHO & Maximo Quinones) have established yourselves individually and you’ve been releasing tracks regularly. What was the idea behind forming this joint project/moniker?
Max: Well Flynn and I have been DJing together for about three years now. The more and more we DJed side by side, the better chemistry we got. It is so fun being on stage with Flynn and just crushing it and feeding off his energy. We then decided that since we are already playing Major clubs together, we might as well give us a staple name, and STOPCALLINGME was born.
Flynn: Max and I are best friends and perform regularly together both in the club scene as well as for shows here in Chicago at places such as Prysm Nightclub and Concord Music Hall. This is something we have wanted to start for a long time, but after establishing our own brands and realizing how much we can both do together and apart and that we could do both still do our own brands while having a joint project, we started STOPCALLINGME. We are literally family, and there isn’t anyone else I would honestly rather do this with- we have this magic together both in life and in music and push each other to be the best we can be on every front. I am super grateful for my man Max!
STOPCALLINGME, Topping the last question, can you tell us the difference between your individual projects and this alias? How do you decide which track gets released to which alias?
Flynn: I know for my own brand FLYNNINHO, I make a lot harder and darker music that generally is of a bass house identity. Obviously, not everyone is into dark, hard, festival bangers all the time. As an artist, I have a wide variety of tastes and make a lot of different things, so having this outlet to put out more melodic, deep house tracks has been a blessing. I’ve seen artists who previously made aggressive music try to put out softer tunes and sometimes face difficulties or blowback for it. Generally, when I have an idea that is dark and aggressive, that will stay towards my own brand while if I start a melodic idea, it will head towards STOPCALLINGME.
Max: I lean more into Tech house. STOPCALLINGME is a sweet middle for us as it is sexy deep house which is being released through our project, which we both love. It is fun because we get to release the music which isn’t really tech house or bass house and we enjoy it (Wait till 2021, we have a variety of sounds coming out!).
JakeShoreDrive, You’re about to release a new EP titled ‘Another Weekend’. How would you describe your upcoming EP? Give us a breakdown of each record!
‘Another Weekend’ came about in collaboration with an amazingly talented vocalist/and friend named Doug Bako. Doug can do anything with his voice, so I wanted to get experimental. “Jimmy Choos”(Track 01) is a story of when lust disguises itself as love and old habits die hard, we find ourselves always going back to what’s comfortable even though it’s not always best. This song is meant to connect people who have been through hell and back, and understand the feeling of overcoming the relentless grip of a bad romance. The juxtaposition of the vocalist’s melodic tone, and the depth of the baseline evokes an impassioned feeling. The provocative nature of “Another Weekend” (Track 02) seduces those that are seeking fulfillment through the intoxicating nightlife realm. This dark, upbeat, tech house groove paired with seductive monologue builds suspense until it drops into the addictive lure of the euphoric after hours.
JakeShoreDrive, Congratulations on your upcoming residency! What is it like to have a residency in one of the house music capitals of the world, Chicago?
With everything going on… it’s a BLESSING. I haven’t had a steady income from DJing in 6 months. With things slowly getting back to a functioning nightlife, it couldn’t come at a better time. People are READY to live their lives, dance, and connect to the music again. Any time someone can lock a residency in Chicago, I consider it very respectable. I’m honored to be playing at one of the best venues in the city “Clutch Chicago” every week (Friday’s 6-9pm Happy Hour Set). It’s also been really cool to market and create an event based off my brand “WEHAVEFUN”. I can’t thank the people of Chicago enough for believing in me and supporting me.
Looking at the whole Covid-19 situation and its impacts, how did the Covid-19 situation affect you as an artist? Did quarantine encourage or damage your creativity?
Flynn: It was really rough in terms of creativity and finances at first. I DJ full-time in Chicago’s nightlife circuit, so overnight that entire income along with the performance income evaporated. Also tied into that, most of my creativity prior came from the energy I would get from those nights performing- the crowd, the clubs, and the little moments all disappeared. It has been harder to produce tracks from that aspect, but summertime Chicago brought that back and now finding energy from unearthing old tracks I listened to growing up and remembering how I felt in those moments has primarily served as the catalyst. Another benefit is the amount of time we have been able to dedicate to making music has increased. So it has shown me another way of thinking and allowed me to get deeper in my creative processes.
Max: Exactly. With so much DJing during the weekends and even the week, it was hard to find actual days to go to the studio together. Now with all this downtime, we have been able to get back into rhythm of being in the studio at least 4 times a week. We have SO much music ready for release. It is very exciting.
Jake: For me, it has kind of been a blessing in disguise. I am a full time elementary teacher, so I still got a bi-weekly paycheck from that to hold me over. Instead, since schools have been remote, it’s freed up a TON of time for me to lock in and learn production. All the time I could never stay at the studio or work on things late because of teaching, was now at my fingertips. I look at the covid situation as a leveling of the playing field, and I’m on the field now, suited up, and ready to play.
What are you looking forward to most when this situation is over?
Flynn: PERFORMING WITH MY BEST FRIEND!
Max: PLAYING BIG SHOWS WITH MY BROTHER IN FRONT OF A HUGE CROWD!
Jake: Coming out with a full head of steam! I want to be ready to release a catalog of my best work, start playing live shows, and continue with making my dreams a reality. I’m excited to get involved with the music community more and climb the ladder.
What does the rest of 2020 hold in store? Any hints or clues that we could get about future productions and collaborations? Interesting gigs in the pipeline?
Flynn: STOPCALLINGME has some big things up ahead! We have a collaboration with Dayna Roman in November, a slew of releases that will generally be once a month, and we just locked in a pretty big gig next summer but our lips are sealed.
Max: With 2020 about to finish, Flynn and I decided that we would take 2021 with full force. It was supposed to be this year but covid obviously has forced us to readjust. But there is so much we have so much in store for 2021 so just be ready.
Jake: Let’s just say, I’m going to use all the Selected Tools in my Room, to get all the Dirty Birds to know who JAKESHOREDRIVE is. Aka, focusing on my craft, perfecting my sound, and making it so the world’s best in music can’t help want to hang.
Make sure to check their latest collaboration ‘SEE IT’ Below:
Image Credits: STOPCALLINGME (Press), JAKESHOREDRIVE (Press)