Interview With Pursuit Grooves

American born, Toronto-based music producer/DJ Pursuit Grooves (aka Vanese Smith) journeys through electronic spaces via intricate rhythms, soulful synths, moody cinematic atmospheres and heavy basslines. She has released numerous albums on her label What Rules as well as Tectonic, Rush Hour, and Brownswood to name a few. EC checked in with her to talk music before her set at Electric Circuits on Saturday night.

Is this your first Electric Circuits? Have you visited Kingston before?
Megabus terminal/rest stops don’t count so I’d say indeed this is my first time!

With established music scenes in Toronto and Montreal, why do you think smaller festivals like EC are important in places like Kingston? What role do you think they play?
Canada is a very large country and yet there are only 3 main cities I’d say. It’s always good to get outside of those markets and share space and experience those deep musical vibes. Everyone should be able to feel that in person.

How would you describe your sound/art?
Hard bottoms, sensual middles and emotional tops.  It varies in mood and tempo but always tells a story within that realm.

How did you get into the electronic music scene, and being a creator?
That’s a long story! I’ll just say I bought my first piece of music gear over 20 years ago! I got hooked on production very early.

Who would you list amongst the biggest influences on your work, and why?
I think my sound incorporates a lot of different genres and therefore it’s hard to say. There are producers that I really admire and appreciate, but I wouldn’t necessarily say they influence my work if that makes sense. I think I hear things in my head in a very unique way and there are probably some elements that I could reference certain producers in kinship, but if one listens to my body of work… it’s just a Pursuit Grooves thing.

Is playing a festival like EC different to say, playing a small club or a larger festival? Does it effect what and how you play?
The only thing I may think about is if the event is sitting or standing. That usually dictates how far I try to push your imagination versus your feet, let’s say.

Can you tell us a little about your set-up? What hardware and software will you be using for your performance?
I have a few different configurations as of late and honestly as I write I am still deciding.

How much preparation goes into putting together your set or performance before hand?
Well I just released my newest project Felt Armour last month so that means presenting a lot of new material for the first time which definitely takes more time than usual.

Which other artists playing at EC this year are you excited to see?
I’m familiar with a lot of the acts from last year so honestly I’m looking forward to it all. SlowPitchSound kills it every time though I must say. I’m definitely excited and looking forward to performing at the festival. Many thanks for the invite!

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