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Hip-hop and electronic music are so similar, in the fact that they're both very visceral, have so much bass; a lot of times, it's the same tempos. The culture and some of the sound design is different but a lot of times, it's the same stuff.
Hamp would ask me about tempos in the band: 'Jacquet,' he'd say, 'knock off that tempo.' A lot of jazz musicians didn't prefer to play for dancers, which was their loss, really. But good jazz has always had that dance feel.
I can tell jokes. I can talk to the audience. I can relax. I can change my songs whenever I want. I can change the tempos. I can change the mood, because I'm in charge.
No, what is important is neither linearity or non-linearity, but the change, the degree of change from something that doesn't move to other events with different tempos in particular.
Since I started composing I have always worked with series of tempos, even superimposed the music of different groups of musicians, of singers, instrumentalists who play and sing in different tempos simultaneously and then meet every now and then in the same tempo.
Every one of the songs was based around picking an acoustic guitar. That was part of the concept from the beginning, that the tempos were going to go from slow to almost mid-tempo.
I put a metronome up to all the songs, and I tried to really keep it true to the original tempos.
Even when disco went out, I could still make hits. Once I had so much success, every idea became concentrated. I had so much confidence. I knew how the bass should sound, what rhythms would work. The tempos I knew: 110 to 120 BPM. I knew they would dance in the clubs in New York or anywhere.
If I'm writing for a particular artist, I definitely think about their past records, pay attention to the type of tempos that they like. If I have the privilege of actually being in the session with the artist, I just like to have a conversation with them.
People like to hear songs that they can dance to. Even if they're sitting, they like being made to want to dance and move. By me being a dancer, I know how I'd dance at certain tempos. I was always good at it.
Whenever you play dance music, it serves a function. It becomes a utility; you have to worry about the tempos and what you're going to play for people. But when you're playing for listening, you're free.
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