Matt Crowley/The AS Review
With a handful of unofficial singles and a small but quickly growing set of tracks under the moniker Cedaa, junior Simon Ho looks set to burst onto the music scene. Now, having already been featured in The Stranger and on XLR8R.com, he may already done so. However, that won’t stop the 20-year-old from cranking out breakneck bangers on a regular basis. We sat down with him to discuss his past, present and future.
The AS Review: When did you begin producing music?
Simon Ho: I got this program called Reason when I was maybe 14. I just wanted it for Christmas, but I just started messing around … I was recording my own bands, recording myself playing drums and stuff like that, and I just wanted to take it digital. I got some pretty basic recording equipment, looping equipment, samplers and just went from there. Eventually, everything transferred over to the computer. Now, I don’t even really play the drums.
Review: Tell us a bit about your current project, Cedaa.
Ho: Yeah, Cedaa … I used to produce as Yukon Ho, but I started doing Cedaa last winter. It’s kind of spaced-out but dance-y at the same time. It’s not super four-to-the-floor pounding, but there’s implied rhythm … almost like off-beat percussion where you can really feel it. I did a couple unofficial remixes and stuff like that for people I met over the Internet, and sites like Soundcloud and MySpace and Facebook and Twitter obviously helped in those beginning stages. I got connected with some people in France and the UK and then a local label called Car Crash Set … I printed out a digital single on my birthday, Aug. 28, and that was my first official release, which was kind of cool.
Review: When writing a song, how do you start?
Ho: It depends on the song, but if I’m starting an original song, I’ll usually get a feeling in my head, but not an actual melody … a vague outline of the emotion I want the song to give. Then I’ll usually start on the drums and I’ll do a pretty basic pattern and then just jam over it a bunch of times, whether on a keyboard or a sampler or something else, until I get a really rough sketch of the song’s vibe.
Review: And are you still using Reason?
Ho: Yeah, I still use Reason. I use it more as an instrument, where I make a loop and bring it into ProTools, and then I’ll arrange it there. I’ve taken the ProTools classes at Fairhaven. I did that series and it’s a great program. I had used ProTools before but it’s really cool that you can have that resource right there for you to use.
Review: Do you still do live performances?
Ho: Last year I did it more than this year … I only do DJ-ing live, I don’t do like a live set [for Cedaa] where I’m actually playing instruments. I aim to do that one day but now I really don’t have the time. I played at house parties last year and one this year, which is pretty fun. The people I released music with in Seattle are trying to get a monthly night started here, for the kind of music that I play, but it’s still in the works.
Review: What are your thoughts on the DJ scene here in Bellingham?
Ho: There’s definitely nothing for people underage. I’m still underage, so … other than house parties I can’t really go to anything. I’d say it’s limited as of right now, really limited … If you want to go out and see some live music, whether a DJ or a band, you have to be 21. It’s sad.
To listen to some of Cedaa’s tracks, visit soundcloud.com/cedaa or check him out on MySpace at myspace.com/cedaatree.