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'Expect The Unexpected' Jono Fernandez Interview

Author: Sara Brooke
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Classically trained in piano, violin, flute and guitar from a young age, Jono Fernandez discovered club life and dance music in Canberra at the age of 14. His first DJ gigs arose from sneaking into nightclubs and hanging out until the resident DJs had finished. Jono would jump on and play for an hour for free until closing time. Growing up with a music savvy brother, Jono would head home and work and play in his sibling's studio anytime he wasn't. Fernandez's career and passion for music transcended from there.

Today, Fernandez has achieved more than most DJs and producers can in a life time. With a broad range of tastes and styles, Jono has fast become one of the scene's most promising and gifted players. TranZfusion is pleased to announce Canberra born, Melbourne based, all round Aussie DJ and producer Jono Fernandez as its latest featured artist.

In a time when more decks are bought around the world than any other instrument, how does Jono separate himself from the masses of DJs- Why should punters come and see him play-

"I try not to be too far into myself; who I am, what I do and what I play. I have a short attention span and I feel a lot of the punters do as well. My style is very choppy and changey, from down tempo, to breaks, four/four, tribal, whatever; I then mix them all up while still trying to maintain a flow. I try to leave the punters expecting the unexpected and at the end of the day just play good records, not nonsense."

When listening to a Jono set, it's not out of the ordinary to hear a lot of different accapella thrown in from the likes of Beyonce, Frou Frou or an old school 80's vocal. A fan of vocals, Jono's favourites include "Imogene Heap, then George Michael, Prince, Michael Jackson; a lot of the older pop stars who still have it."

Signed to a host of labels that include Zero Tolerance and EQ and with past releases such as 'Intruder', 'Colours of Conscience' and 'Monkey Business', Fernandez is receiving acclaim from DJs worldwide. With upcoming releases 'Deliver me' and 'Bounce/Out of Place" also doing the rounds, alongside the collaborations with Luke Chable and Vance Musgrove, Jono has continually kept the theme of "expect the unexpected" in all of his work. What upcoming projects can we look forward to hearing in the future-

"I am working on a down tempo project with a guy from the UK - we are utilising vocalists and instrumentals. Other projects include a four/four track with Gavin Keitel, a breaks track with KayBee and I'm starting to work on some stuff with Ivan Gough."

For an artist who has continued to be innovative and original with his DJ sets and productions, what is the next step-

"I am looking into buying a laptop so I can start incorporating more live stuff into my sets. There is only so much you can do with two records and playing someone else's music. I would like to use the laptop to incorporate my own productions into a live performance. When you are playing your own stuff, playing live, the possibilities are broadened. There is definitely the idea down the track of having vocalists, bass players and guitar players thrown in the mix there as well."

For such a talented and successful producer how exactly does the creative process work for him-

"It's different every time. I usually start to build a groove and base the track around that. I then start building drums, adding a bassline, either over a 4, 6 or 8 bar loop. I continue building that groove til it's rocking and I find where I want it to be at the peak of my song. I then build up to that high groove and then build down from that groove. Work on it from start to finish, and from there maybe make a b-side around that groove. My process is fairly groove-based - especially the dance floor stuff. It changes every time I work though. Like everyone I go through stages of writer's block and can spend days and days not getting anywhere. Then there are other time