JDNB Interview - Russia's Tong8

JDNB Interview - Russia's Tong8

Hailing from Russia, with everything that is going on right now, it's nice that we all have something in common, the love of jungle and drum and bass. Tong8 has been working hard on his music career, and has been making his way up the ranks. Not only has he given us an amazing mix for our JDNB Shadow Boxer series, he gives us an insight to his feelings on Russia, which is interesting for us to hear about our fellow junglists across the world. 


Talking about his music, what influences him and his music career, this is a brilliant insight to a very talented musician and we hope you enjoy this interview.

Thank you for talking to us. I'm so pleased!

Do you like the weather in Russia right now?
I don't like what's going on in my country right now. What is happening in Ukraine. I am against military operations on the territory of another state. Because of this, the atmosphere is tense. Hope this ends as soon as possible.

It's interesting you talk about the war. I don't think the media helps at all.... So... let's talk about humble beginnings, how did you get into dnb and what is your musical history?
I've been in the game since 2010 but started making music in the DNB genre in 2020. I was just experimenting with this style then. I have previously worked on genres in Ambient, Melodic Dubstep, Trance, Future Bass and of course EDM Trap. I sent my tracks to the DJ "DJ Gvozd" for the radio program "Pirate Station" - a major radio program and festival in Russia. He took my tracks to his radio and said that my work is amazing. After that, I began to work fully in dnb to this day.
What do you work on, DAW and VST?
I work in Massive, Serum, Sylenth1, Nexus. For me, these are the best plugins. I love them.
What inspires you to make music and why?
I am inspired by the music of other artists. Courageous who experiment with sound.
So, tell us about the first music you wrote, why they were called that and what influenced you?
I'll start from afar. At the age of 15, my Father took me to a Prodigy concert, they then toured Russia. I knew what kind of band they were, I liked their album “The Fat of the Land”. But I heard them live, I fired up to become an electronic musician. There was no normal Internet then, and I did not know where to get information. Went to the CD store. I asked the seller if there was any program for writing music. He told me that they sell "Techno, Ejay".

I bought and started to drip with this program. The quality was so-so, but I worked. Classmates and Friends didn't like what I did. But I did not give up and trained on it, so to speak. After a couple of years, I registered on the music forum. And there the guys advised me to buy Ableton or Fruity Loops - they say the quality is cool there. And the software is easy to understand (and most importantly it is professional). I purchased Fruity Loops. Fell in love. And he began to work on it.
Do you find writing music easy or laborious, and how disciplined do you get in the studio to write?
I think that when you are in the game for a long time, you already automatically know and understand what you need. At the beginning of a career, discipline is the most important thing. You have to take the time to learn instruments, sequencers, plugins. It is very important. Make mistakes and then work on them. And of course you have to have a team. Without a team and support, it will be difficult to accept criticism.
How much music was played on the radio in Russia?
Yes. Let me remind you that I worked on different genres. And my tracks, remixes were in different radio programs. Starting from light chill music to hard Dubstep music.
So, if it's important, tell us what was your best moment in music for you?
Once worked on Future Bass music. And I was followed on twitter and Facebook by “Marshmallow” manager Moe Shalizi. I was then shocked, unexpectedly. I wrote to him right away.  «  Bro, thanks for subscribing. Did you like my sound? »   Of course I thought he didn't answer because he was busy with the artists. And yes, who am I? But he answered, and then I almost fell into the darkness. Said he likes what I do. I think this is the best moment of my career.
So you write music for video games?
Yes, I am working on projects that should be released on the Steam platform in the future. These are different games from children's and funny to dark horror projects.
So you have some radio shows of your own, I checked out some of them, you are really talented! Tell me about those.
Every year I make from 5 to 15 radio broadcasts in different genres: Melodic Dubstep, Liquid Drum'n'Bass, Future Bass. Playlists for my listeners and for my soul.
Apart from work, music and everything else, what do you like to do in your free time?
Work on modeling - development of video games. I'm learning the Unity engine.
Let's get back to the music, to something lighter. Tell us what you like best:
pubs or clubs?

Beer or hard liquor?
Strong alcohol.
Liquid or tech dnb?
Mix is evil! Big up! So, 5 of the best tunes in your dancefloor arsenal right now.
1. TONG8 - Chance
2. Illenium, Tom DeLonge, Angels & Airwaves - Paper Thin (TONG8 Remix)
3. TONG8 - Universe
4. TONG8 - More Lights
5. TONG8 - Pulse New
Tell us about your 12 favorite tunes of all time?
I am a music lover. So don't be afraid. Top 12 tunes for me:
1.Blink 182 – Everytime I Look at U
2.Misfits - Hybrid Moments
3. Prodigy - Breathe
4.Sum 41 - Fat Lip
5. Motorhead - Ace of Spades
6.Nas - Nas Is Like
7.Above & Beyond - Far From In Love
8.Mac Miller - Nike On Me Feet
9.Seven Lions, Last Heroes - Don't Wanna Fall
10.Tony Anderson - After the Storm
11.Enigma - Return To Innocence
12.Makoto - I'll Be There (feat. Singing Fats)
DJ and Tong8! You played some cool events, tell us about them?
All performances were in Russia. I performed with major local artists. From the hip-hop scene to the electronic veterans of the EDM scene. Each event is like being on stage for the first time. There is a fear of not screwing up in front of the public and the organizers. But everything went smoothly, there were no problems.
Tell us about your label.
The label works with young (beginning) artists. The main electronic music. We cooperate with many online stores and platforms. We are engaged in the search for music performers, concluding a contract with them, creating, releasing and promoting musical products created by performers working on this label. The label is called: Guena Records.
You love a lot of drum and bass styles, tell me something you like the most of all?
I fell in love with Makoto's work. I am his big fan. Album “Motion of Change” is space!
What do you like to do in your free time to relax?
Spend time with family, friends. Play computer games.
You seem to be very busy! Where do you take the time and do you have kids?
Really very busy. I work at a regular job. Music for me is a hobby. There is a wife and two beautiful, smart boys. Time appears only when inspiration appears. My wife and kids are my biggest fans. They support me and are always happy when Dad sits down to work on music.
I love that. "There is a wife" haha. Favorite quotes or sayings about life?
Shit happens.
And for those growing up in today's world, what are your words of wisdom to help you survive and win?
Feel free to submit your creations to big artists and big labels. But before submitting, ask yourself how your idol would rate your work.
Who would you take on holiday with you if I gave you £10,000?
Wife and children.
So dnb plays a big role in your life.
Who did you enjoy working with the most and dare I ask the least!?
I liked working with the label “Korsakov Music”. The guys are responsible, correctly and clearly communicate their ideas, thoughts on their upcoming releases. Individual approach to the artist. Feel respect and loyalty to you. Thanks to the Korsakov Music team.
I would really like to work with the guys from Hospital Recordings and of course Makoto. 
Although I always ask about the good things, what would you change in the music industry if you could?
Wouldn't change anything. Everything must go its own way. More and more talented artists are emerging every day who are changing the game. They bring in something new.
Any advice for those who want to write an album and release it?
Experiment. Create something new. Send demos to obscure artists. Get feedback. It is important!
Well, thanks for taking the time, it was nice to learn a little more about you, your professionalism and life.
Are there shouts and thanks?

Thanks for the questions to the team "JDNB". You are doing a cool job. Reveal musicians, introduce new audiences. It is very important.
Very happy to be part of the DnB community.

Thank you very much. Please keep in touch and we wish you the best for your music career for 2022 and beyond. x

Interview by Missrepresent. October 2022.