Cory Enemy: “Getting back to being an electronic artist again, I intend to use all my pop knowledge to my advantage”
Meet Cory Enemy, a crazy-haired Californian that makes awesome tunes, and sometimes gets confused for Flux Pavilion. He also mentored Dillon Francis, teaching him the ins and outs of producing (but that’s for another blog post).
Cory is no newcomer to the scene, though. He was involved in it before electronic music really blew up in the US.
Our story with Cory begins back in 2006, when he met Hard head honcho Destructo (Gary Richards), played the first ever Hard event, and then had opportunities fall on his lap that would lead him away from the electronic music scene for several years.
GPS: How did you come to meet Destructo all those years ago? What is your relationship with him?
Cory Enemy: I met Gary in 2006 through my manager at the time, and later I started working with him through my new management, Pulse, who is actually partnered with him. He helps manage both myself and Oliver. Gary, Oliver and myself all make music together, we are a certified “crew.” I love those dudes like family and we all help each other out. We encourage each other everyday.
You went from playing the first ever Hard, to going on a hiatus as an electronic music producer. What caused this change?
Even back then, I still wasn’t fully in it [the electronic music scene]. I was around it and I kind of wanted to do it, but I was really weird about putting out my music. So I would make tons of music and then give it to my friends and they would DJ it out, but I would never go as far as release it because I was a little hung up on being over perfectionist.
But there were also some things that kind of turned me off about the music industry, the DJ kind of world. For me its all about wanting to find a sense of community where people are trying to help each other out, like creative circles of people that are actually friends and they are not just like “you’re a DJ and so am I. Let’s pretend to be friends but also talk shit about each other behind each other’s back.”
And when I saw that part of it I was just so turned off by it. I got a bad taste in my mouth over it. But simultaneously I was getting random opportunities to work with bigger commercial artists like Chris Brown and others. A lot of producers dream to have these kind of opportunities because they are not easy to come by, and I was lucky enough to just having them randomly fall in my lap, so I felt like I needed to at least try it and see where it was going to go.
How did being a pop producer end up working for you?
It ended up working out. I just got roped into it by a few people in the music industry. They have been trying to get me into it for a little bit and I was all like “fuck pop, I don’t want to make pop,” and then I was eventually like “alright, let’s try it out.” And then I realized that to write and produce a song that can become number one in the Billboard and all around the world is generally much more difficult than it is to write some fucking EDM banger.
The second that I realized there was that challenge I was “ok, I’m into this,” because as a producer anything that’s a challenge I want to figure out. As long as I have been making music its always been about figuring out how to make things sound-wise. If I hear a sound I need to know how to make it, and as soon as I learn how to make it I’m like “alright, onto the next thing.”
And it ended working out for me a lot more than I ever thought it would. It just set me up and helped me financially so I didn’t have to worry about money too much so I could focus on what I really wanted to do (produce music).
What was the main factor that pushed you back into producing electronic music and eventually putting music out under your own name?
The moment that I really decided that I was going to try and get back into it was a combination of meeting Brillz and him giving me a pep talk. I mean, there was a bunch of other people that were like “dude, put your fucking music out!” Because even during the time that I was making pop I was still making EDM shit, but I was just not putting out. I would send it to my friends and stuff; like Dillon Francis would play some of that stuff during my hiatus, but I would never put it out. And Dillon was another one of those people that was like “dude, you have to put your music out. What are you doing?!” I’m like “i’m in the studio with Carly Rae Jepsen right now, sorry,” (laughs).
But it was this moment with Brillz. He was also back in the day trying to make pop music. He was doing pop for years and trying it out, and I think there was a moment in his career when Kill The Noise, a good friend and mentor of his, was like “yo, you gotta fucking make your own music man. Put your own music out.”
That was a pinnacle moment for Brillz, but then he turned around and did the same thing for me and gave me that kind of pep talk. But it wasn’t just the pep talk. Obviously a lot of people have been telling me to put my music out and pursue it again, but there was something about the respect that came along with working with him. And then I realized he was part of this community which he actually introduced me to.
Which is exactly what you were looking for years ago.
That is exactly what I was looking for originally. They are all trying to support each other and spread the love, and I was welcomed into it so warmly. They showed me a lot of love and respect. It was nice to feel that support, and that’s was made me decide to give it a shot again.
Since that moment, it’s been even crazier to meet these types of people. Because during my hiatus I wasn’t even going to EDM shows, I wasn’t even around it. But when I started coming back around I started meeting these DJs that are younger but have blown up recently, and found that they have so much respect for me, and I was very surprised.
Would you say the challenge you saw in making pop songs helped you a lot as a producer coming back into the scene?
I definitely feel like everything happens at the time its supposed to happen, and the fact that I went through all that stuff with the pop and have that now is a solid prerequisite that I can use to my advantage coming back into this scene. I definitely look at it as a huge advantage the fact that I now know how to write a proper pop song and truly understand what makes a song work in the radio.
Understanding pop music and how it functions is an entirely separate thing that I realized pretty much none that I work with get it. But Oligee form Oliver is in pop music as well. He and I have done a few tunes together. We produced a song for Ellie Goulding on her last album. And that guy is so immensely talented and he understands it. He’s actually one of the guys that helped me get better. I realized that there are very few guys out there that can understand both worlds. Its interesting, there can be like some 17-year old kid that can make this effective drop and make everyone freak out, but then you’re like “write us a hook that can do well on the radio,” and they have no idea where to start. It’s two separate art forms.
So for me, I very much intend to use all my pop knowledge to my advantage. I made a clear decision a few months ago that everything else that I’m going to be doing from here on out I’m going to try really hard to get a good vocalist for it. Because that’s who I am as an artist, I write vocals. I made a track with Adam F called “When It Comes To You,” and I wrote the vocals for it.
I also acknowledge the fact that instantly with a vocal on your song you’re going to reach a much larger audience.
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