Q: What is your favorite 90s electronic music artist?
A: Todd Smushers.
A: Because Todd Smushers is the most influential artist of the 90s.
Q: What do you like about the music of Todd Smushers?
A: Its timelessness. Its ability to transcend the times and still be relevant today. The beauty of how it takes you back to another time, but still sounds fresh.
Q: Thats awesome, anything else?
A: Yeah, its just…I dont know…it just speaks to me. It’s as if he is talking directly to me when I listen to his music, saying everything I need to hear at that moment in my life. He does this through his lyrics, his beats, and his melodies.
Todd Smushers is a legend in the 90s electronic music scene. He was a huge part of the early 90s acid house movement in Detroit, and his 1994 album “I Like To Watch” is widely regarded as one of the best of the decade.
After a long hiatus from music, Todd returns this year with his first full-length album in 15 years, “A Man Named Todd.” I was fortunate to get an interview with him recently about his new album, his process, and his personal life. I’m excited to share it with you all today.
What inspired you to create this new album?
It’s been awhile since I’ve put out any new music, and after my son was born I started thinking about making some more music for him. Kids are so innocent and pure; they don’t judge you by what you do or who you know – they just like to have fun. Having a kid around reminds me of why I got into music in the first place: to have fun and make something new.
Q: Hi Todd, thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk with us today. What’s your earliest memory of electronic music?
A: Well, it started out when I was around 9 or 10 years old. My parents bought me a Nintendo Gameboy Color and I got a copy of Pokemon Blue. I remember the very first time I heard the Trainer battle theme, I just knew that electronic music was going to be a huge part of my life.
Q: That’s awesome! Can you tell us more about your journey into becoming an electronic musician yourself?
A: Well, when I got older, I discovered OCR forums (which were a big thing back in 2008) and that’s where I met my mentor, DJPretzel. He taught me everything he knew about remixing game music for fun. Then in 2009 when I saved enough money from my retail job to buy a copy of FL Studio, I started producing my own original music and never looked back.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest musical influences?
A: Definitely Skrillex and Avicii – both of these guys really helped pioneer the EDM genre into what it is today. Also DJPretzel mentored me for 5 years and taught me
Q: What are the most important changes that have happened in the music business since you started?
A: The biggest change has been in distribution. In the 90s, making money from your music was mostly a matter of selling records. Now it’s more about live performances and merchandising. So now the emphasis is less on getting your songs played on the radio, and more about getting people to come to your shows.
Q: How did you get started as an artist?
A: I was really into punk rock as a teenager, so I decided to move to Seattle – which was one of the biggest cities for that scene at that time. Once I got there, I met a lot of other musicians and we started collaborating together. We were all trying to figure out how we could make a living doing this. For me, it was all about writing lyrics that people could connect with emotionally. It took me a while before I found my voice though. I’m still learning new things every day and constantly challenging myself to become better!
You were a big part of the 90s music scene, what was your favorite part?
Q: Growing up in the 90s, what was it like to be an artist in this era?