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GET FAMILIAR: SIROJ

Posted by Anne van Lingen on

For his latest album "Among My Souvenirs", we've interviewed producer, musician and sound composer, Joris Titawano. Touching on Joris' most recent projects, interests and personal life. Don't miss out on his latest tracks, listen below.

Hi Joris, how did your relationship with music begin?
Growing up in a household filled with music, I was literally born with it.
My dad was a guitar player, my sisters played the piano and violin, so I was always surrounded by it. At age 7 I started playing the piano, just based on my hearing. To this day I never really learned to read notes.


How has growing up in a musical family influenced your music?
As a kid, I got introduced to all kinds of different genres.
My parents listen to a wide range of music: From classical composers to Jimi Hendrix. My sisters were into pop, R&B and Hip hop so I picked things from all of these genres.

As a teenager I really got more into Hip-hop like Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul etc. Producers like J Dilla, Pete Rock & Hi Tek were major inspirations when I started making beats.


Among My Souvenirs is the name of your album, how did you come up with that name?
In the last few years, I've made a bunch of demos while working on other projects that ended up on the shelf. I wasn’t sure what to do with them but I always kept some in the back of my mind. By the time I felt ready to do this album I dug up these demos. They felt like little souvenirs from the past.


What makes this album different from your previous work?
I think it’s more honest. It’s really what I wanted to make for a long time.
I want to establish myself more as an artist and go in this new direction.
In the future, I would love to only put out projects that are pure and considered.

You also have an affinity with songwriting and singing, will you pick these matters up in the future?

I sang a lot on this album. Mostly in the background.
When I'm in the studio I like to lay down a lead vocal while doing the music, it’s part of the process of creation for me. I would definitely like to write more in the future.

The features on the album are all Dutch or Belgian: Was that something you did on purpose?
Yes. There’s loads of talent among us. It’s crazy.
I’ve made a mixtape for CRACK Magazine to showcase a lot of them.
So instead of doing sessions in for example London or connecting through the internet, I loved doing sessions in my studio with artists from here.

You have a daughter and a son, in what way has fatherhood changed you personally as well as career-wise?
Ever since I’ve become a parent my focus has changed.
When you have limited time in a day it changes your work ethic and priorities.
Also, nightlife became less attractive. Nights are for sleeping now.

Instead of a couple of music videos, you chose to make a short movie (or 12 short music videos) for the album. How did that come together?
When I had the idea to do this album, two of my friends that work in advertising: Robbert Marunaija and Daniel Sumarna, told me they wanted to do creative direction for a music project. I sent them the first songs and they gave me their thoughts on every single one of them. It evolved organically: The further I got with finishing the album the further Daniel got with the creative direction. In the end, we created this short film based on different scenes, where every scene is based on a memory inspired by a song of the album.  All the scenes were directed by Daan van Citters and Daniel Sumarna and produced by Since ‘88'.


What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?
Life always brings challenges and problems you have to overcome.
The hardest one for me was losing one of my best friends who was like a brother to me. His sudden passing had, and still has, a major impact on the way we live our life.

You played live at De School for the presentation of the album, do you have plans on touring live with this album?
Yes. I’d love to play more gigs with this project.
I feel that playing this stuff live brings every song to a whole new level.
I can experiment a lot.


What was the most important thing that happened to you this year?
I would say the album release. It’s been my passion project for the last two years.
So being able to put it out finally was a big thing for me.


What’s exciting you the most, for 2020?
I think bringing the album to the people by playing live shows.
And I’m already working on my next projects.


What's next? New album in the making?
Who knows.

Listen to SIROJ's album "Among My Souvenirs" below.