This is the 2point5, a podcast that connects innovators through conversations.

My name is Klaus, I am located in the South West of Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In the podcast I will talk to innovators from around the world about their motivation, ideas and creative passions as well as their favorite methods, tools and conferences. We will discuss the ups and downs, successes and failures on the way to put their ideas into reality. But foremost we will talk about their vision and what drives them to follow their hunches into unknown territory and to essentially shape the future.

This is also an adventure for me. So come along and join the 2pt5. Subscribe to the podcast to listen to new episodes „fresh” from the studio.

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M.

Music Producer Immex – about finding new beats, honoring tradition, Unbox Therapy and Mark Knopfler

The very first episode, enjoy!

Music Producer Immex - about finding new beats, honoring tradition, Unbox Therapy and Mark Knopfler

This time I am going to talk to musician and music producer Hristijan Ivanovski from Macedonia also known as Immex about his music and the process to create his work.
We are talking about his love for Mark Knopflers music, the influcence of Jedi Mind Tricks and music producer Gramatik on his development as a musician. Immex is a self taught guitar player, that started with passion for music and with the help of his community as he has a lot of friends in bands, a network he draws upon often.
He likes hip-hop and rock’n’roll and is situated in between genres. He actually prefers this sometimes uncomfortable place between two chairs and accepts it as a source of inspiration.

As an Innovator Immex is switching between classical Guitar and a Laptop as his favorite instruments to create music. Today he is multi instrumental, playing also drums, base guitar, keyboards and even sings. His beats are used on major Youtube channels such as Unbox Therapy with more than 15 mill. fans. He is a master of the computer as a complex instrument but he loves playing the guitar and keeps one around all the time.  

He again supports his friends bands regularly in their shows. He has build his own style as a musician and a producer and believes he is still on a journey with more to come. Immex is using the digital platforms to his advantage to address a global audience from his hometown in Macedonia.

In our conversation Immex also talks about the right place and time to be creative and about the Vision that starts his projects.

His dream is to play with Mark Knopfler from the Dire Straights.
Immex is also the creator of this show’s theme song.

the start

Starting the podcast with a conversation with a musician seemed appropriate. The bandwidth of the creative as well as the commercial process a musician has to cover is enormous and serves as a good example for innovators I think.

find Immex on

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/immexbeats

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/dj_immex

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/immexbeatz

Twitter https://twitter.com/immexbeatz

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/immexbeatz/

Unbox Therapy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsTcErHg8oDvUnTzoqsYeNw

influences

Mark Knopfler https://www.markknopfler.com

Jedi Mind Tricks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_Mind_Tricks

Gramatik https://www.gramatik.net

Mark Knopfler Song mentioned in the conversation: “Boom, Like that”

Listen on Apple Music & Spotify

Transcript

This is an automatic transcription which was slightly edited. The text is raw and might contain errors.

Klaus
This is the 2 point 5 conversations connecting innovators. Welcome to the podcast. To the very first episode actually my name is Klaus. This time I’m going to talk to musician and music producer Hristijan Ivanovski from Macedonia also known as Immex about his music and the process to create his work. We are talking about his love for Mark Knopfler for his music. The influence of Jedi mind tricks and music producer Gramatik on his development as a musician a is a self-taught guitar player that started with passion from music and with the help of his community as he has a lot of friends in bands and network. He draws upon often. He likes hip hop and rock and roll and is situated in between genres. He actually prefers this sometimes uncomfortable place between two chairs and accepts it as a source of inspiration. As an innovator Emacs is switching between classical guitar and a laptop as his favorite instruments to create his music. Today he is multInstrumental playing also drums bass guitar keyboards and he even sings his beats are used on major YouTube channels such as unboxing therapy with more than 15 millions fans. He’s a master of the computer s a complex instrument that he loves playing the guitar and keeps one around all the time. He again supports his friends bands regularly in their shows. He has built his own style as a musician and a producer and believes he is still on a journey with more to come. He makes is using the digital platforms to his advantage to address a global audience from his hometown in Macedon younger Europe. In our conversation he makes also talks about the right place and time to be creative and about the vision that starts his projects. His dream is to play with Mark Knopfler from dire straits it makes is also the creator of this shows a theme song. This is the first episode starting the podcast with a conversation with the musician seemed appropriate. The band with the creative as well as the commercial process and musician has to cover is enormous and serves as a good example for innovators. You can find all the links in the show notes below for more information visit the 2 point 5 dot net.

Klaus
Here’s my conversation with Immex

Immex
Well I was quite unprepared for a pro that I think will be okay for the next time. This is my first podcast and recording actually. So okay.

Klaus
You said that you’re not good with words so you normally don’t sing but you make music.

Immex
Yeah I know I actually sing but the album is called I’m not really good with words because of I’m better with music than with words.

Klaus
So actually music is some sort of like your words.

Immex
Yeah yeah yeah I’m actually trying to say things through my beats and through my music.

Klaus
I think that’s an interesting start since I myself I don’t play any instrument at all. I’m not I’m listening to music I’m a consumer of music so it’s you’re quite on the opposite end. You’re producing music. What is your background. What made you start producing and making music.

Immex
Well I started playing guitar like almost 10 years ago. My my cousin was a drummer. He’s older than me. So he bought me a guitar an acoustic guitar and I really loved the guitar and I wanted to learn to play. And I’m a self-taught yet there is so that’s actually the first instrument I’ve learned. Then I started producing beats. I really liked hip hop and rock and roll. So I’m still in between. I can pick one. So I started producing beats. I was but inspired by Jedi mind tricks. If you have heard of the it’s a hip hop group from United States that’s that was the inspiration mainly and a few years ago I started playing drums and bass guitar and a little bit of keyboards.

Klaus
So as you play the guitar bass guitar drums keyboards. Yeah yeah. And you’re playing. Let’s put it that way. The computer you’re able to mix all that on which is sort of a different instrument by itself. Yes. And I think as well. OK. So. So basically your own band yeah.

Immex
Yeah I was. I’m being told that very often.

Klaus
So do you actually do all the different instruments on your own on your music yourself or do you work together with others.

Immex
Well most of my hip hop beats are sampled but when I do other kind of music like classic music or I don’t know rock I play the instruments mostly on the keyboard or if I have a guitar. So I play the guitars and that’s my workflow basically.

Klaus
OK. Because you could you could basically go into any direction you wanted to. You could do the like the electronic stuff. You could go into like instrumental stuff. You could do some classical music also. I mean that’s quite a range of music that you’re able to produce to do.

Immex
Yeah. I also fit in many bands so they they’ve been calling me to play in electronic bands in rock and roll bands and I don’t know punk bands because of the variety of instruments I can play and also because of the electronic mullets.

Klaus
So. So you’re actually well connected with your colleagues. People come to you and ask you to participate in their bands produce their music. Yeah. Wow. How come. Well how did that start for you. I mean 10 years ago that’s about 2000 and 9. It started somehow. What made you.

Immex
I was I was in eighth grade. Actually I was very young. So I don’t know I kind of liked producing and I was back back in the day I was producing like 10 beats per day. Yeah. Well they were not as good as today’s music but. OK. It was something and then I started looking into recording and microphones and software engineering like mixing and mastering. So I was recording some demos for me and my friends I have a lot of friends who are in bands. So that’s how I started and I don’t know I guess that’s it. Yeah.

Klaus
It’s normally if you start something that you’re not and you’re not at your very very best. But actually somehow inside yourself you normally know how it could sound or how it should sound or how the results should be at some point of time. Did you did you have like an idea of of what you sound like when you started.

Immex
Even you have didn’t have the abilities to bring it out into the world yet well in the beginning I was actually trying to copy the producer of Jedi mind tricks. He’s called stupid or stupid. I don’t know how they’re saying his name and I was actually trying to sound like him but I guess after three or four years my style has changed and actually many people have told me that they recognize my beats even if they don’t read the name or the tag you know. Okay yeah. So I’ve built kind of my own style with the textured bass that I use with the drum kits that I use with the style of sampling that I do I guess.

Klaus
But so basically you had something in mind that was sort of always playing with you in the background and and that sort of gave you a kick to start your own stuff.

Immex
Also yeah I guess you could say that because even now when I’m listening to music if I hear something that could beat up a sample I’m already hearing the drums and the bass that would fit with that sample. So I’m basically I’m listening to hip hop beats in everything I hear.

Klaus
That’s incredible because listening to say your hip hop beats and I’m I’m not really familiar with all that music and all that of the variety that is out there. I’m a consultant right. So I mean in a different scene normally but when I listen to your stuff I can hear so much complexity there’s so much stuff going on at the same time. Sometimes it’s very quiet also but most of the time there’s just stuff going on all the time.

Immex
I’ll mostly do beats as I feel in the moment. So if I’m sad the beat is kinda down tempo. It’s sad. If I’m happy the wind will be uptempo it will be like groovy I don’t know if I’m hyped up the bit will be hyped up. So that’s kind of what I do. I can’t just if I’m not feeling like making a beat then I can cannot make a beat. I have to be in the mood to make music.

Klaus
Okay well that’s kind of a good thing isn’t it. Since you’re here you have to have some sort of starting or initial point to start something new and and if you’re feeling nothing at all what. There’s nothing that you can transport in whatever you’re doing.

Immex
Yes yes I need to have a drive to make a beat if I don’t have any kind of drive I cannot I cannot force it it will not sound good. It will not sound like me.

Klaus
So that’s something that you have discovered about yourself that you have to have something that starts you’re sort of the creative process. Yes. Is there anything you. I mean you can’t force a creative process but is there anything that helps you to start this process.

Immex
Well listening to music helps me a lot. I listen to jazz and blues music so it can get me in the mood ok.

Klaus
So so so you might listen to some upbeat jazz and still do something say something sad or something completely different since hip hop beats are far away from blues music.

Immex
Well yes but I’ve been jazz I don’t mean that it can always set you in a good mood maybe there’s some melody that can actually sound sad even though the whole song is like groovy and happy. So basically I don’t know. It’s just how I feel it you know.

Klaus
And sometimes the beats that that you’re working on. I don’t I don’t understand words. If there was any word since it’s a it’s a different language right. I speak German I speak English I speak some other languages so. But sometimes there is something also is maybe very very strong in this music. Is this what kind of initial reactions or starters do you need to do something like that.

Immex
I’m sorry I didn’t. Yes it was. It was a difficult question I think because I just remembered.

Klaus
Now maybe. Let’s let’s put it another way for for this podcast. I have to you as a mix you are the creator of of the music that I am using in the podcast. And it took me a long time a really really long time to find music that I really liked that I really cared for that sort of had the right impression for an innovators podcast something that was relaxed at the same time as it was. It had a certain energy and and there was also a sense of suspense. Also in the music so we’ll play a bit of this music later on. And then I think it’s quite obvious what I liked it was like there was a pause in the music and read that really made me think of this piece as very very special. But at the same time I thought it was very complex and and I was. My question is how do you make out you. What is what. How can you create such a suspense type of thing. I’m copying the link to the music. I’ve selected them in our chat window so you can you can play it and you can hear it because I don’t think there’s any other way to do that. And I read I’m really impressed by such a suspense thing. It’s sort of you’re leaving in the.

Immex
Leaving the music in the air. I know this bit. I saw the name and I remember what this is so. Well to be honest it’s mostly to be honest it mostly depends on the sample but I’m always trying to make it not to you know I don’t want to just throw things on my beats just to sound rich. I wanted to kind of keep it simple but the melody I want the melody to to tell something. You know it will be a sharp melody but it will be something like you know intense. It will be maybe dramatic may be happy may be playful.

Immex
I wanted the melody to how to say this to lead the beat the instrumental if you would it would be a head of of the middle of the beat Yes I always do melody first.

Immex
Then I do the drums and less. I do bass and percussion and effects but first I do the melody.

Klaus
That sounds like a lot like a really special thing to do because it’s so easy to start with the beats. It’s basically a machine that you sort of fine tune but if you start with a melody you have to do something extra. You have to do the like keyboards or or two. I don’t know how you create the sounds but that’s more difficult right to start with.

Immex
Yeah so. Well yeah you know what’s even harder that I don’t know if you know what sampling is is like using an old piece of jazz music and like basically it’s just slicing the piece into your own melody. No. Like it has no horns pianos guitar. I don’t know what. But you kind of chop the the the melody and the sounds and you know like scramble all those notes and instruments and create your own melody out of that piece okay.

Klaus
Sounds difficult.

Immex
Well I mean after 10 years of working it really isn’t. So I guess for a beginner it it really is. You have to hit the right notes you have to maintain the right pitch. You have to make all the instruments clear and curable so if it really is so.

Klaus
So what are you actually doing is you have some sort of melody in mind and you’re creating that melody also by picking up bits and pieces and changing and working with these pieces from other pieces of music.

Immex
Yes. And also adding my own instruments on top of.

Klaus
We are talking it right now we are talking about music but this is also the way that we produce for example a new product or a new service as a as an innovator so I like the parallel here.

Immex
OK. Well I don’t know maybe that’s just how things work maybe right but still so.

Immex
But for you it’s it’s something that you get used to of over time you’re working on on these on your beats for four 10 years you’re doing live music I suppose also. So so you work with lots of different musicians. You pick up melodies and beats. That’s something that if you listen to them it says something to you I suppose.

Immex
Well yes you could say that. Let’s say I’m at a restaurant or at a nightclub and I hear songs and I hear the songs different than the other people I guess because I hear melodies that sound like something else. I hear drums that could some something else and some else music you know like I could use or I could change to be better or you know. I constantly hear music in my mind like I’m remixing it.

Klaus
Do you also do some when you hear something interesting do you like pick up your phone and do some recording of it right away or how do you keep note of that.

Immex
Well I tried to find it through Shazam or the Google app. Who is you know like detecting the song and then I listen it at home.

Immex
But I’m trying to remember the moment and the feeling I felt at the moment when I was when I thought of the melody and the you know what it could be what you’re actually doing is also you transport the feeling of that same evening of that dinner with friends in a special atmosphere listening picking up some of these elements that you’re listening to and transform that into a new song and a new piece of music. Well you could say so yeah but you wouldn’t tell anybody or maybe you would pick for example the title of the song but else nobody would know what’s behind where these things came from.

Immex
Well my closest friends you know they they know I produce music a lot so I actually I’m sometimes annoying annoying by telling people hey look this is a sample. Hey here this is a sample. This could go like this. You know they’re just having their beers and I’m like listening to them you dig very carefully. So yeah they they might know what’s what’s coming up with that piece of music that we’re listening to right there. And then OK.

Klaus
So it’s like positively annoying since they’re always expecting something new right now from you.

Immex
Yes yes yes.

Klaus
Well that’s I think that’s really really nice is the wrong word but for other words for the lack of words I kind of like that right now because it shows that you have that that passion for what you’re doing for what you’re creating and you do it in a way that your friends are sort of participating in that passion also right away so they would understand right away in what position or in what place you are when you listen to a good beat and then tell them.

Immex
Well yes. My friends are actually very supportive and they sometimes even they send me songs that I could sample you know or I could find inspiration from. Sometimes they are with me while I make beats. I guess they’re being pretty supportive. Yeah okay.

Klaus
Do you also participate sometimes with play some instruments or add a loop of say something that you sort of change and put it in.

Immex
Well. Well yes I guess so because some of them are music and musicians also. So they maybe find the drum set not be fitting with something I do so they would recommend me something else. And yes I actually I’ve been doing music with a bunch of people lots of times when you do this music.

Klaus
Is it’s that you could would you do that with your save with your guitar or would you be able to do something like that with using your computer since it’s it might be not as spontaneous to use the computer.

Immex
Well well I guess it depends on the situation. I have guitar laying all over where. All right go great. I have dozens of guitars. So that’s it. I guess I could pull off a guitar right or anywhere anytime Yeah.

Klaus
Yeah but but OK I understand the guitar like an acoustic guitar. You can pick up right away. It’s kind of like a pencil that you use and a piece of paper too to dry a beat or some sort of tune. And the more advanced instruments that would be like your or your laptop you couldn’t pick up right away and do something.

Immex
Yes. Well I mostly keep my laptop at home or at my studio. I don’t have a real studio but I have something going on. So basically. But anytime any way. Me and my friends very often gather at my house or they’re in the studio so however I’m I’m always available for music.

Klaus
So you’re doing like these spontaneous jam sessions basically.

Immex
Yes yes yes yes. Would you always record these or is it just sometimes just for fun.

Immex
No I actually very rarely record my jam sessions and sometimes I’m sad that I didn’t because sometimes a jam session turns out to be epic and you cannot recreate that kind of stuff. You know it just goes. It flows for some time for a period of like maybe half an hour. We are jamming superhot and then when we find to record we lose the sense and the feeling of the grooves that we have so so you basically should have like a set of microphones and and assume recorder with you all the time. Basically yes because I pick up my guitar literally everywhere I go and every year I see a guitar. I also play guitar on other people’s live shows like I go to the stage and I’m like OK can I play one song you know. Well most most most musicians from my town know me. And sometimes even they invite me to play some songs on their show.

Immex
So basically it is I think it hasn’t been a day that I haven’t played at least one note on the guitar and the acoustic guitar is for me who who is not into music that much is so far away from the electronic hip hop beats. How do you how do you make sure. I mean it works well for you obviously but it’s incredible to see that large distance between these two instruments.

Immex
Well I like to consider myself as a musician not just as a beat maker or as a get there is but a musician in you know that can do a wide way. The styles of music you know like I do classical music I can make punk music metal music rock music hip hop I don’t know if electronic music. I’ve literally tried every genre that I could.

Klaus
So OK. And which one do you prefer the most always said like depends on on your mood on a certain day.

Immex
Well I could say that hip hop is like my main genre then Rock is the second genre and everything else comes third. I can do dubstep. I can do. I don’t know house music side trance music all kinds of stuff depending on the mood.

Klaus
Yeah that sounds really great so. So you’re actually you’re into music. You started that a long time ago. Basically it’s cool. You have a lot of friends that support you and you also support them when doing music and with them together you also get into that flow type of thing when you’re when you’re jamming and trying something new also.

Immex
One of my friends is managing my Instagram and my Facebook page and they like to be involved in the you know in in the mix. Think so.

Klaus
So how did you come up with Immex. You have your normal name your Christian name or your birth name and and then you came up with Emacs. How did that start for. It’s like a personal branding thing.

Immex
Well this is funny because I don’t remember how I got my my artistic name. I’m always thinking that it came from some sort of cartoon that I cannot remember it. And from what I remember it was a core of some crystal that was named Emacs. So maybe if someone can tell me if they’ve what’s the cartoon they can message me. I don’t know. I actually don’t know what it means.

Klaus
OK. But it has a certain vibe to you. It’s if you like the sound of it it looks good. It was available I suppose. Yes yes yes.

Klaus
So how much how much extra time and effort did you put into into establishing a sort of a brand around your music.

Immex
Well to be honest I started to put extra time into branding into making myself a brand not longer than one year ago. I was just you know I was one year ago I was just doing music and that’s all it was a mix but I was like There’s there must be something more. People started reaching out to me. Book Therapy has used many of my instrumentals in their videos so shut out Tom book therapy for you know being here for me anyway people started reaching out and I was like maybe I’m not just a small hometown producer maybe I could be something more you know so I am actually still trying to make a brand out of the emacs name and music as every innovator knows.

Klaus
This is kind of hard to to start a new brand. It takes a lot of time and effort and it takes good friends and but at the basis of say talent or a very well something that people like and that people care for. You just mentioned on box therapy which is huge. Let’s put it that way. Video channel with originating from Canada but watched all over the world with several millions of subscribers. You are not in Canada. You are in Europe. So how did that come along. I mean that’s sort of a global corporation that you’re having going on.

Immex
Yes. Well. About two and a half years ago I think Lewis Hilsenteger dagger the CEO of Umm book therapy contacted me on my soundcloud. He wanted to buy Beats from me to use as a background music and I back in the days. I didn’t even know who he was and what book therapy was but he was buying a batch of beats from me and I was like one day I was like hey man like you really bought at least 20 or 30 beats from me like What do you do with them. I want to hear the product you know. And I guess he sent me a link or something to the channel I don’t remember. So that’s when I found out where my music was going and why the people were commenting on therapy and maybe.

Klaus
So you weren’t aware of the success of Unbox Therapy at the time.

Immex
No no I didn’t even know them.

Klaus
Basically everybody knows you did did that sort of change how you produce your music or how you produce the stuff and how you put it out.

Immex
Well I wouldn’t say so. I think I can. I listened to my beats from let’s say four to five years ago when I was when I wasn’t producing for I’m book therapy and I still do the same workflow. I was doing them the beat sounds similar. I don’t know maybe just quality wise I’m I’m getting better like better at mixing and mastering both producing my music but the workflow and the feeling are the same.

Klaus
OK. So even starting a song or a new beat. Forgive me if I used the wrong words like maybe it’s not a song that you’re doing. So you basically still relying on your mood on these impressions that you get from from the outside to start something new. And if you think that’s good enough you start producing something something.

Immex
Yes yes.

Immex
So in it it doesn’t matter if I’m doing a beat for a rapper if I do a b for youtube video or for a podcast I just make this.

Immex
And people who like to buy them buy them. So that’s how it goes for me. I don’t make specific beats for you know people because I guess It’s what it wouldn’t sound like me. People will ask something that would fit them and not that would fit my style of working. So I rarely do those kinds of stuff I mostly just make a beat put it out on Soundcloud or YouTube and if there is someone that likes it they contact me and I can sell it.

Klaus
Yeah OK. Actually I think it’s kind of a scary thing to put out your work into the world and because you’re then you start to be confronted with feedback with sort of criticism with positive and negative things. How you know how to address it. I mean the world is full of haters. Also there’s people that appreciate good work and others they just don’t see good work. How do you how do you get these feedback good and bad real original feedback is good and it can be critical also but it also always helps to to improve getting to know from your customer. Let’s put it that way are you from your fans is important but how do you treat the stuff that is sort of less supportive.

Immex
Well I am mostly trying to you know make fun out of it of the people who were being hateful.

Immex
I mean not making fun of the people but of the comments they they make on my pages. So I don’t hold a grudge for anyone that doesn’t like my music it’s OK I don’t like somebody else’s music and that’s okay. But I guess most people are being supportive because let’s say that most of my recent fans are from um books therapy and basically they love the music that is being featured on book therapy so much that a you know tried to find me. They look in the comments section et cetera so I guess most people that come to my page really liked my music because if they wouldn’t they wouldn’t be bothering to you know find out who I am and find the music that I that I make since people are coming via unboxing therapy.

Klaus
There’s sort of have a have an expectation of what you get from your from your music what your music is all about.

Immex
Yeah yeah. But it’s mainly people that like my music in the first place because if as I said if they didn’t they wouldn’t even come to my mates base. I will say I don’t have many haters that come to my profile. I may have haters that don’t bother to come or comment on my music. So basically I don’t know if I have haters but yeah they don’t.

Klaus
They don’t reach out to me so. So you actually you’re picking up good vibes from your fans. Yes. Yes. Basically people are listening to your music they’re connecting with you via Soundcloud for example. But is there any other ways people connect to you or what is your preferred way to connect to your fans to your audience.

Immex
Well SoundCloud is my main platform. I have most so most of my fans on soundcloud. And there is a god put most of my music out on soundcloud. I don’t have all my beats on YouTube or other platforms as I do on soundcloud.

Immex
So I’m actually I’m dependent on Soundcloud.

Klaus
I’m told it’s a German I think a Berlin based platform that allows musicians artists podcasters also like me to bring their music that sounds to the world. It’s easily embedded bull the beats or the songs are easily embedded in other Web sites. You can comment ask questions while listening to to the music and also you can comment at it. A very special section of a music you prefer something a lot. I think that’s a very nice feature also.

Immex
Yes well as I’m using Soundcloud for nearly 10 years now I didn’t have any kind of major problem. I see people hating on soundcloud for I don’t know copyrights or whatnot. I’ve never had a problem with some call about copyright infringement or anything. Oh wait. But I don’t know. Sometimes just fits for me. OK. Some people doesn’t like it and they post music on click track or bandcamp soundcloud works really fine for me.

Klaus
Do you look at the analytics of SoundCloud. Is that something that you do that is important for you to make decisions which track your sort of pushing or further developing.

Immex
Well not really because I bought the premier account not too long ago.

Immex
It’s like being a month or so. So I’m just what I’m doing now with some cloud analytics.

Immex
I can see which countries listen to me the most and which be they listen to the most but I put the beats in my spotlight that I feel that they should be brought to attention.

Klaus
So you’re using these these things to connect with your audience and you’re sort of looking at analytics also. But basically what you do as an innovator and I’m calling an innovator here is you rely on on on moods on your ideas of a special day or based on a special moment to produce your product let’s put it that way.

Immex
Yeah I’m not sure why I’m there still. Good question.

Klaus
Yes. It wasn’t I was just trying to to sort of create put to your situation and transform your situation to the situation say of a product manager of a person that starts a new product that way it’s always important too to look at your audience look at your fans and your customers and get their reactions. But actually it’s so much more important in many cases to not simply look at what your customers ask you to do but what you think the customers would like if they knew what that what they would like to have yeah.

Immex
So yeah ok. I think I can. I understood. Now basically I don’t I don’t do music specifically for what customers want.

Immex
I still do music that I feel like doing. No. And since people loved my work so far I guess I’m basing my music on that because I was always doing what I do and I continue to do what I do because people love what I do. I guess even the next songs that I’m realizing they are going to lay them since they’re based on what I was doing before.

Immex
To put it that way.

Klaus
Yeah but I understand that since Sperry is this Since there’s similarities or it’s it’s sort of grounded into what you’ve done before but it looks to me that you are always evolving that you do new things that you don’t do the same thing twice.

Immex
Well yes I am I guess so many of my beats are different but there they have does this immense vibe that you can feel like I don’t know. People have been telling me that if they played a bit that they couldn’t see my name on it they could guess that it was my beat based on the you know the production and the feeling I am kind of evolving. I didn’t like trap at the beginning right away. I started doing trap like not more than half a year ago I like the innovative process process of doing trap music because I always play the the tramp beats on keyboards and that’s what that’s when I actually if I’m feeling like playing keyboards then I will do a trumpet.

Immex
If I’m feeling like sampling that I’m doing old school hip hop beat and I guess trap beats are kind of evolving for me and also the electronic music is evolving. If you could put it that way. I don’t know. But yeah.

Klaus
OK so. So what you’re also saying is it’s not that you’re just evolving but there’s some you’re in very close contact and you’re paying attention to what other people are producing and making.


Immex
Yeah I’m trying to keep pace with the time the more their music I guess but I’m also doing the old school the 90s vibe. Beats on the side.

Immex
Actually I do the 90s vibe as a main genre but I do the modern music on the site which adds lots of more complexity and I’m quite fascinated by a by that. If I look at that. I mean you’re an artist you’re a producer you create music in different ways. You play the computer you play the guitar you play keyboards and so on. In the beginning you said that you do all these different instruments in a way I thought I considered the computer also as an instrument since it creates a different style of music or different type of music or brings at least everything together in one piece. Do you consider it like the producing time also as playing an instrument or is that something completely different for you.

Immex
Well it is different unless I’m using a keyboard because when I sample beats I don’t use a keyboard. I use just the mouse and the computer. And if I’m using a keyboard then then you could say that I’m playing music because I’m thinking of my card’s progressions of melodies of scales etc. And when I’m sampling I’m just listening to the music that’s already there and trying to rearrange it to make to make it sound like more like me. And it’s a different process.

Klaus
It’s interesting that for you there is so much difference between one instrument and the computer because from my point of view I saw I thought it was just another let’s put it that way another instrument with different sounds different possibilities.

Immex
It’s good to hear your point is it’s just the it’s two different things. I think it’s two different things. Actually when I make beats I’m composing and when I play music I mostly play music that’s already there old rock songs or something I don’t know whatever I feel like playing. So it’s it’s the differences.

Immex
One is composing and the other is just you know playing and practicing witch and composing would be the instrumental part or the computer part the computer part actually.

Immex
OK then the instrumental part is practicing for the composing.

Klaus
So so what you what you’re also seeing is it is really important to know your tools really well like you inside your computer you need to know how it works how the software works so you can sort of stretch the things out go to the limits also.

Immex
Well yes because basically I sometimes make a beat in 15 minutes all from scratch to you know to the finish what where it’s done it can be posted on the Internet like 15 minutes and that’s all based on the door I’m using I’m using a full studio and I’ve literally learned the door as the palm of my hand you know OK if I have a vision of a bit of a melody that you know I’ve heard then all I need to do is just open up the door and I already know what’s where and what should I do. And I just assemble the things in the door and that’s it. The the beat is made in in my head before I open the door.

Klaus
OK. How do you perceive see that vision of a piece of music. How is it do you see like colors or do you see do you hear tones. Is it likes. How do you what is the first thing that you perceive of your vision.

Immex
Well I hear a loop and I kind of big box to it in my mind. OK well like I’m I’m I remember lots of sounds of the drums you know like they’re in my mind and I just I’m changing the drums and the melodies right then and there. And when I when I hear the final product I just open up the the door and put it as I as I hear it.

Klaus
OK. And since you know you’re like I think I need to explain that the door is like the DAW Which is your software that you’re using to jam. Yes. OK. And since you know you’re your tool so well you simply know what to pick in terms of beats and other things and where you loop stuff or where you sort of change things around easily.

Immex
Yes exactly. When I opened the door I already know what kick to use. Where do my bass come from where do my melody come from. No I don’t search through things to find what kind of bass to use. I already have in mind what kind of base to use and what kind of dances you know so. So that’s I’m saving a lot of time on that.

Klaus
So. So you have a really straightforward process here. Straightforward creative process. You have something in your mind. You hear all these different bits and pieces it becomes life inside your head. Let’s put it that way. And once things are very clear to you start working on it and then it’s basically a very straightforward thing without lots of experimenting.

Immex
Well yes I. I already do the beat in my head as I said this and then I just need the door to you know make an audio file out of it. I already have the audio file. He might you know in my head. Yes. And I just the door is kind of an instrument to let you know how the audio file sounds in my head.

Klaus
Yes. So wouldn’t it be great to have some sort of special helmet with electrodes and stuff that would simply pick up the sound from your head.

Immex
Yeah I guess then I would be able to make beats in like two minutes.

Klaus
Well but you still have to do the experimenting in your head before. So once you have recorded everything. Is that something that you sort of put out in the world right away or do you wait like for another day or two until you publish it.

Immex
No I’m publishing it right. Right away. I export I have a I have an artwork that I use on my sample on all the songs and that’s it.

Klaus
So no looking back. Yeah. You have everything made up right. Ready made in your hand you have recorded it you bring it out into the world and that’s it. There’s no experimenting and working on that recorded file. He has basically I’m pretty sure that.

Immex
It is what it is. It is the best it can get.

Klaus
Where do you get that feeling that tells you that it is the best you can get here.

Immex
If I’m working on a B for too long I’m starting to lose you know my my my feel for the beat.

Immex
You know if I’m listening to because when I’m making a bit I have to listen to it every time I put something new in it. Like if I change the snare I have to listen to many part of the bit. And if I do that like two hundred times in a day then the beat will become boring to me and I won’t like it even if it’s if it’s good you know. So basically I like to do things faster and I don’t. Really. Rarely listening to my beats I hear it as as the final product when I export it. If there is any mistake or I don’t know some problems during the export and once I publish it I listen to it very rarely.

Klaus
OK. It’s like many actors say that about themselves that they say they never really watch the movies they’re in because they can sort of can’t stand listening to looking at themselves on the screen. Do you like to listen to yourself or you just don’t you just want to go on and proceed to the next piece.

Immex
There are beats that I like to listen to. And there have been beats that I had in my phone like when we beat 24/7 the that happens very rarely.

Immex
No OK so.

Klaus
So what you basically do is you produce something. It’s in your head. You bring it into the world via software and and then you go onto the next beat you go onto the next idea you guess his death which is based on the last product on the last song and the last piece but it’s still something different something new since it’s created for example in a different mood that you’re in on it.

Immex
Well it’s it’s it’s not really. I’m sorry for interrupting you about it. It’s not really based on my left b it’s more like based on my last two or three years the years of working so if you take a listen on my Soundcloud you will you will see the beats that are put in in a narrow time.

Immex
They say this it might be you might have recorded something two weeks ago and it might be completely different yeah.

Immex
But also these that are published a fast one after the other let’s say in a period period of like six months they will sound very similar. All all of them not just the last two but I would say so all of that because my new music is based on the last let’s say 20 beats. Not just the last one.

Klaus
Sometimes you probably have the ideas or have for more than one piece and so you sort of stretch it this idea or that theme or that vision across several pieces. Yeah maybe to even tell a story.

Immex
Yes. Well mostly of my. I do my albums like that. My instrumental albums I’m releasing an instrumental album very soon. I have nine out of 10 tracks finished. So I’m working on the 10th song and the album will be on all platforms like SoundCloud YouTube. I think Spotify Bandcamp these are etc.. So when you can hear my first album you will see that the the theme is very similar. Well for most of the tracks and in the new album it will be like the same feeling in all 10 tracks is just a different melody and vibe. But it will be like a chill hop beat album OK.

Klaus
I’ve seen that you’re working on the new album and if you have nine songs out of 10 already in the can that that should shouldn’t take too long and until you publish it is it something that will be more acoustically or or will you rather use the computer.

Immex
I would say it’s more organically not acoustically OK. Because it’s all done on the computer. I haven’t played much on the last album but I was trying to find organic sample from the sounds to use and most of the Beats feel like nature if I can put it that way. No OK I’m using the nature sounds and no chill sounds like I guess you could say if you listen to it you would feel like you’re in a forest or by a river you know that kind of stuff.

Klaus
OK. So it will be your next album. It’s like your next big project will be a new album that will be available on all the major outlets have you ever thought of bringing all your music your stuff to places like I Tunes. People can actually buy the music and listen to it say on their smartphones.

Immex
Well yes then the next album is is going to be on all of them. OK. Even you I even on iTunes I forgot to mention it. I tunes. How was it Amazon music. Like literally almost every major platform. It’s incredible how these platforms allow us to as say as creators to be globally available without.

Immex
Investing in the business. Well yes but it’s really hard to get through on all of them. Like if I’m famous on some thought it doesn’t mean that I will be famous on Spotify or other platforms maybe my soundcloud fans don’t use spotify or don’t use Amazon music or ITunes so they will just continue to listen to me on soundcloud. Basically I don’t know if the market will accept my new album. I. I could say my fans will because I’ve released few singles and they accepted them. Really nice they like the songs and I don’t know. We’ll see.

Klaus
Yeah. So. So yeah actually I mean the album is a it’s a way to package also your product the product of your creativity your music and and tell a story or or allow you to communicate something that is important to you at this certain time. You can sell it via the major outlets which is quite simple to do right now but you still have to do it of marketing around the project about your new product about your new album. You have still that tension will it fly Oh. What will people say and I think I think sometimes that’s that’s most one of the most important things that key holds you back to do something new. Do you feel. Do you think that. Does it hold you back. Also to to do something new right now or are you well there’s insecurity about is it sick. Will it be some sort of success.

Immex
Does that hold you well I wouldn’t say so because I still can post my music on my main platforms which are Soundcloud and Youtube. So I hope I’m not like too too worried about will the Spotify audience accept my music or not. I’m just. Let’s say I’m interested in seeing how the the people that listen to music only on Spotify will react to my music. Many of my fans have commented that my music will blow up on Spotify. I don’t know I. The thing is it puts me back actually is my country. Because I’m still Spotify isn’t available in my country. OK so the album will be released by an record label from Serbia and I guess I’ll see from there for you know for the future. If if they accept my music like if Spotify accepts my music. Nice I guess I will continue to to put my other stuff on Spotify.

Klaus
So does that mean that Spotify is not available in your country. So it’s like geo blocked or something.

Immex
Yes I am. If I want to listen music to Spotify I have to use a VPN. Because I can. When I log in it says that I’m not you know I can’t even listen to previews of songs. So that’s like. The down bar. But actually if I don’t use VPN I wouldn’t be able to listen to my own beat. That will be both posted on Spotify. That’s the. Irony.

Klaus
Yeah and even your friends wouldn’t be able to listen to your music. Yeah. If your feedback and and yeah that’s that’s kind of odd but still the rest of the world is able to listen to it. Most of the rest of the world. So I think this is also this is an incredible thing an incredible possibility for a creator to do to reach fans so there’s something great happening to you right now with a new album that you’re working on. You’re also working on different beats and you’re bringing out once in a while. Also you can’t live without music.

Immex
Basically yeah. Yes. Yes that’s very true. Well I’m already thinking about my next album which I would like to involve the guitar a lot. OK. Like it it would still be kind of like jazzy type of instrumentals but with lots of guitar maybe I’m quite inspired by the old dramatic songs. If you listen to romantic note anyway here’s a producer from Slovenia I think and he is doing. Many genres as well. And I’m producing my next album will be kind of inspired by him.

Klaus
I’ve seen that you’re that you’re also like Mark Knopfler.

Immex
Oh I absolutely love Mark Knopfler is my favorite guitarist and Dire Straits is one of my favorite bands so maybe Mark Knopfler is more like favorite get there is done in dire straits is my favorite band.

Klaus
But anyway I really like Mark Knopfler also and you’re probably aware of the movie the local hero. Yeah and and he made the soundtrack for this movie and in the summer I traveled to Scotland and to visit the place where local hero was shot and OK. I always had the soundtrack in the back of my mind when when I visited the place and the best thing was in Arbroath there is a a fish and chip shop. And when we entered the shop people were so nice and and they were humming things music and so on and one of these people working in the shop preparing fish hummed music from the local hero soundtrack from Mark Knopfler. So that was really cool and I could tell right away and we got into a discussion and it was an very simple way to get into contact by other music with this person. And he loved the plays. He had never been to to the place where local hero was shot but he loved the music and he he’s a big fan of Mark Knopfler.

Immex
Also the power of music is absolutely beautiful. It’s you know if it’s a language that everyone can understand.

Klaus
You know I think you’re onto something but when you when you try to speak to somebody else from another country you need to speak basically English because that’s like a common language. But it’s still limited in a way but music isn’t music works basically globally as a leg.

Immex
Yes well I guess some of my songs can inspire the feeling that I had when I made them in other people like I could tell other people what I feel without saying anything you know just you just listen to the music and you I guess feel pretty much the same as me so music is like really really beautiful thing. And I can understand music. I can understand people then that don’t listen to music. I’ve seen people that say that they don’t listen to music. That’s I don’t know. That’s impossible for me.

Klaus
So if you if you’re looking into into what would you dream about professionally what would how would you what would be a professional dream that you wanted to achieve.

Immex
Well I guess playing in a large venue is what every musician is working for. What would you know is just what where and what would you play. Oh what would I play. I guess I would probably play a solo guitar. I just love the sound of the acoustic guitar you know. And I don’t know. I would probably compose something myself for for some acoustic pieces and with whom would you play together with.

Klaus
Do you have like an ideal person.

Immex
See if I could choose that would be Mark Knopfler.

Immex
He has. Well they’re not really acoustic tunes but it’s rather acoustic sounding like clean guitars.

Immex
Maybe if you know the song my brain froze moving. You.

Immex
Sing it like that boom boom like that. It’s called boom like that. I want to do that kind of stuff. That kind of music and I don’t know Mark is just the best out there doing it. I can tell you the story behind this behind the song. The song is actually about the fast food man. Crock If you rate dropped you heard. Yes. Yeah. The song is about crock. So this man made such a song about a person who makes fast food you know just the music in the song is telling you much more than fast food. You know if you don’t search for the lyrics or for the meaning of the song you wouldn’t have the idea that it’s written about a fast food restaurant. No it’s just too beautiful to be a fast food piece of commercial. To say which is not. But you get what I’m trying to say.

Klaus
Mm hmm. So so you use one of your videos or one of your pieces is called I’m not good with words but actually what you do is you communicate via melody melodies important for your melodies speaks melody transports emotions and what you actually want to say.

Immex
Yes yes. Yes. Yeah you could probably hear that the most in my composition which is called Homeland. Mm hmm. It’s a classic. I mean it’s or gestural computer composition and I don’t know that that song is something that I was feeling very strongly you know when I was making it. I was feeling like sad and enthusiastic in the same time because my country was going through some problems back then I’m not too much of a patriot. To be honest. But I was I was feeling that way back then. And I don’t know. Maybe that’s the song that you can feel the most I guess.

Klaus
OK so it’s something that deeply moved you that deeply sort of changed. There was something outside of your soul outside forces that sort of changed the way your country was existing or your country was.

Immex
I mean it. And I see you very much May I’m.

Klaus
I don’t understand what you’re talking about right now but I understand that a lot of things have happened in your country in the past. And I guess it’s very very difficult not to realize what has happened to people that lived there before you. So you’re a young person maybe you haven’t realized all what happened but through your father’s or your other people you understand what what went What’s going on.

Immex
Yeah well I was driven by the patriotism that that’s in me for that piece. That’s why it was called common. Actually the music I didn’t feel too much sad or you know like too much how to say down. But I was just thinking about my country when I was making the music like I was thinking about my country in a artistic way as to how to put melodies in this song that would represent how my country it is at the moment how I feel about my country at the moment.

Immex
Like that’s what it was for me I guess few people that a few of my friends that have heard the piece said that it really is sort of like that maybe stuff they’ve felt it quite differently. All of them but it it brings out the the field that I that I felt when I was making the song.

Klaus
Well I’m as I told you before I’m not that much into music but I’m fascinated of how you are able to transport your mood ideas via music instead of words. And I’m quite quite interested how this works. And. I’m really happy that that we have this conversation right now.

Immex
Well I like to think in melodies you know and liking instruments like a violin can be a very sad instrument and it can be a very happy instrument. So basically for me it’s more sad than happy.

Immex
I don’t use violence and happy music but so if I’m feeling sad I’m trying to make a melody that represents what what I would say with words you know as much as a painter would do something like that and present what whatever he or she wanted to say in a painting in an image in I suspect that even in the very beginning where you didn’t know how to use your door that easily you still had all the things in your hand and wanted to get it out the same way as it is today.

Immex
Yes yes yes yes yes. OK. So that’s it. And you sort of you will evolve also

Immex
And the big dream would be played more acoustically you know in a big venue with something that you would compose of. Especially for such a venue ideally as well.

Immex
I would like to hear my pieces played by or just dress or by events you know like even my hip hop thinks because I tried to make them as much organic as I can. I’m not using too much electronic sounds. Mostly it’s pianos it’s guitars it’s violins you know. So I would love to hear some of my pieces played by an artist.

Klaus
You dream big you probably envision also how these pieces sound like in your head played by an orchestra.

Immex
Well yes I try to imagine the way that that would sound but I still want to hear and feel you know the the the sound you know big venue or a whole especially on my on my homeland beef I would like to hear it played by an actual or just because yes I composed it and played it on a keyboard on my door but I think it will be a totally different feeling when you know the piano player puts his emotion into the composition the violin player puts his emotion into the you know violence and the whole orchestra putting their emotions into playing you know I guess it would sound a bit more authentic.

Klaus
It’s like a multiplication of emotions and energy. Since you have not just one person during the music that you have say 20 or even more people doing music.

Immex
Yes yes yes yes exactly like I would love to hear a violinist to try to play the piece that I composed exactly as I’ve imagined it because maybe my door doesn’t allow me to put that much feeling into an instrument you know like If I get my guitar to play I probably can play dynamics and you know the feeling of my left and right hand like the peaking strength you know like if I’m thinking soft or if I’m picking strumming hard. So I would like to see how an orchestra would perform that that piece to you write the notes. No I actually I don’t know theory musical theory. OK. I’m as I literal know zero musical theory I have most of the theory I know is based on the guitar because I know the strings as they are the root notes and the positions of the notes are basically like a piano. Let’s take for an example the sixth string on the guitar it’s an E. So all the frets down to the 21st fret are semi tones. If the open string easy the first fret is f the second fret is F sharp the third fret is g et cetera. So that helps me into producing but I don’t read notes as in a sheet.

Klaus
It’s impressive that you still are able to do such great stuff without knowing all these things of without having formally studied all these things. Do you think that’s that’s an advantage would or would you want to study that form part. Would you want to pick up studying the form.

Immex
You know why I don’t like studying musical theory is because I think that it might it might redefine me as a musician OK. But in a bad way like I would compose as a robot. Because this way I don’t know what is right or what is wrong you know with my scales and with my nose and I’m doing it by ear. So it’s just it’s like an open thing I can think of on all sides. And if I knew music theory then I would be like oh maybe this doesn’t fit here. You know it’s not like in that scale or in this scale.

Klaus
And I would maybe worsen the composition does it allow you to break rules even better if you don’t know about the rule.

Immex
Yes I guess so because I if I knew I guess if I knew music theory I would stick to one scale and this way I could change scales and you know melodies so I actually didn’t want to learn musical theory because of this and some of my fellow friends guitarists have told me that maybe it’s better to stay that way because when you learn music theory you’re composing like this you know you’re just thinking once what’s wrong and what’s right in theory.

Klaus
It’s a bit like jazz music I think. I’m not really into jazz music theory but from what I remember is that it was people that started playing music for let’s say the joy of music and some doubting to to mix new things new instruments new together in a completely new way without paying attention to the rules.

Immex
Well yes. Jazz music is really hard to learn and to play because every every participant in the music like in a band they’re playing they’re their own thing you don’t have rules. The Beat the drums doesn’t have to go like you know that. There isn’t that just. I mean it’s probably there is a jazz groove that you could say it’s. I don’t know. It’s universal. But you don’t hear a same groove into just songs. It’s always different even if it’s a ghost note on the snare note on the cymbals or you know.

Klaus
It’s a bit like what you said in the beginning when you ever you start jamming with your friend. It’s hard to reproduce whatever place you where just now again. And it also shows that when never never disconnected from our surrounding what happens around us moves us deeply or is actually affecting what whatever we doing whatever we are producing whatever we are creating a lot even even on a on a scale that that do you do you’re sort of you’re rooted in your country but you’re reaching out into the world to. Fans to supporters to people that to an audience that that appreciates what you’re doing.

Immex
Yes. Well I guess this piece is something you didn’t expect from a producer like me who’s making hip hop.

Klaus
No because I guess that’s what you’ve heard of me so far but yeah I did hear homeland before when I was researching you and I was impressed by by that range off of your off off your of your language is let’s put it that way. Right. It’s a musical. Yeah. Three musical languages of your musical KIPP complete cap capabilities and of your musical interests also. And I kind of like that because in terms of somebody who is actually seriously creating something these people you people you usually have a very broad base very broad interest in and are good in different type of things and not just in one thing in one area.

Immex
Yes I guess that’s true.

Klaus
I mean I think musicians feel things differently than you know people who don’t make music or don’t listen to music.

Immex
I think we can feel things a bit more deeply as to say because most of what we do is based on a feeling if you’re a construction worker you don’t you know you don’t have to feel things to make a wall or foresight or I don’t know a bench. I don’t know if that makes sense but you. I’m trying to tell you what I mean by feeling things deeper you know it’s the product that you’re creating as such.

Klaus
Such a personal thing. The process to get to this product and let’s put it that bluntly as a product is also a very personal thing. So every musician probably has their own way to get to to their music or do you see that there are similarities between you and other musicians that you work.

Immex
I guess I guess so I’ve never thought of it that way but it makes sense. Now that you’ve mentioned it. No. I mean everyone has their own approach to making music but to be honest most of the musicians base their music on except for the commercial music is based on money.

Klaus
But ideally everybody has live right. So everyone you find somebody that resonates with the feelings that you create in music and gives you money.

Immex
Yeah. I mean money is good and all but I think it has to have a point. It has to have a feeling. No. OK.

Klaus
That’s what music is all about for me at least since you have driven so much by music. I suppose there’s nothing other that sort of moves you in such a deep way. But is there anything else that you’re also passionate about.

Immex
I guess not. Not as much as music.

Klaus
Well I guess that’s OK. Some people don’t have a single one thing that they’re passionate about. And if you’re on a such a level of passion for your music as you are. That’s a good thing. Thank you.

Immex
Well if it’s in your mix I’m very thankful for you to have taken your time to talk with me about what ever drives you whatever moves you with what brings you to create your music. And. I think for me that was very that was an insight into a different world.

Klaus
Thank you very much.

Immex
Thank you for inviting me.

Klaus
After our conversation we listened to beats of a mix and he gave me more insight into his thinking. What I think is fascinating that in his mind is creating beats in everything he hears. He’s a musician that tries to do his thing in a very challenging environment. He mix is using the digital possibilities the Internet offers to create distribute and market his work. I’m thankful it took the time for the conversation as a side note. This is the first episode of my podcast after years of learning and preparing the show got off the ground at last. My name is Clowes. I said I’m an innovation coach and located in the south west of Germany in the state of Barton Guttenberg the 2.5 innovator podcast.

Klaus
It’s an idea more than three years in the making. This first conversation is the beginning and I have a long list of innovators I’d like to have a conversation with.

Klaus
This is the 2 point 5 a podcast that connects innovators through conversations the development of the 2.5 was supported by many people to thank you.

Klaus
Here’s to it makes for the great music and the time it took further conversation. Alex De Palma from the podcasting fellowship the other aspiring podcasters of the fellowship. David Nebinski. Colin Grey from thepodcasthost.com and Andreas Urra from the University of Constance and my wife Barbara. And thank you for listening. My name is Klaus. This is the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators.

thank you to

Immex for his music and time

David Nebinski https://twitter.com/nebinskids

Alex DiPalma and Seth Godin from The Podcasting Fellowship https://podcastclub.link

Andreas Urra from the University of Konstanz https://streaming.uni-konstanz.de

Colin Gray from the Podcast Host com https://www.thepodcasthost.com

Niklas Leck von Start Summit St. Gallen

Peter Frischknecht und Timur Sagirosman von Startfeld St. Gallen

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P.

Productivity Coach Carl Pullein about the motivation to innovate and about getting things done as an innovator

Carl Pullein is a renowned productivity and time management coach. With his hundreds of Youtube videos, podcasts episodes, blog, weekly newsletter, courses and books he helps people around the world to get their things done.

Carl Pullein in conversation with the 2pt5 innovator podcast

Carl Pullein loves to create himself and sees time management as a tool to achieve the things that are important in life. With his work, including his COD system, he is reducing the complexity of systems such as GTD Getting Things Done because he has “an allergy to complexity”.

This episode is for innovators that want to get things done.

Find Carl Pullein on his websiteApple Podcast and Youtube.

The COD system

Find Carl’s free COD course here. It is a great help.

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If you have liked the show, give it a review on Podchaser, Apple Podcast or Spotify.

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Videos mentioned

David Allen TEDx Talk

“The art of stress free productivity is a martial art.”

Richard St. John TED-Talk: 8 Secrets of Success

  • Passion – have passion about what you do
  • Work – do the hard work and have fun doing it – Workofrolics, be good at it and practice a lot
  • Focus – focus on one thing
  • Push – push yourself through shyness and self-doubt – have somebody to help you push
  • Serve – serve others something of value
  • Ideas – follow ideas – listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve, make connections
  • Persist – through failure, crap (criticism, rejection, a**holes, pressure)

Joseph McClendon III

Website

Transcript

This is an automatic transcription which was slightly edited. The text is raw and might contain errors.

Klaus Reichert
This is the 2.5 conversations connecting innovators. My name is Klaus. This podcast is hosted in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Today I’m talking to a Productivity coach Carl Pullein about the motivation to innovate and about getting things done this an innovator and about the love for creating things with his hundreds of videos on YouTube. His podcast, is blog articles, his newsletter. Carl is helping lots of people around the world getting their things done doing the things that are important for them. Helping innovators to create things. Let’s start the show.

Klaus
I’m here with Carl Pullein and it’s a great pleasure to have you on the podcast Carl. Thank you very much for joining me.

Carl
Well thank you very much for inviting me.

Klaus
This is a great pleasure to talk to you.

Klaus
You’re a world renowned productivity expert. You do a lot of videos online. You do you have your own podcast. I’m really impressed by all the work that you’re doing that you’re putting out there. A lot of it is free. A lot of this is that you do it just to support people to move on. And I think that is very very impressive to see that.

Carl Pullein
Well it is actually my goal is to try and help a million people to become better organized and more productive because I know that that really helps reduce stress levels and you know stress is never a good thing. So my way of helping is by helping people to become better organized and more productive.

Klaus
But but you’re not a doctor.

Carl
No not at all.

Klaus
So it’s like the productivity clinic that you’re doing.

Carl
Yes. That’s probably about it.

Klaus
Do you accept people that have some sort of health insurance to pay for courses and coaching? 🙂

Carl
No I’ve not been FDA approved yet so sadly it’s not the way to go.

Klaus
Carl, please complete this sentence: Getting Things Done GTD is….

Carl
… one of the best productivity methodologies you could invest your time in. It is I think now the foundation of probably almost every productivity system out there because the fundamentals are just well made, they just make perfect sense it’s like collect everything and decide what it means to you put it in a place where you can find it and then do it when it needs doing. That’s a really really really basic outline of what GTD getting things done is but essentially it is now the framework if you like for pretty much every system out there these days you just described GTD in a very short manner a few sentences only.

Klaus
And some people are out there that try to make to try to change that into some sort of science special signs and make it very special and hard to understand. When I look at your stuff and your courses your videos I get the impression that you like simple things are the way you explain GTD is something simple so everybody can relate to it and pick up the methodology quite easily.

Carl
Well I have an allergy to complexity. I just I just complete as soon as something becomes complex I turn off and but if it’s something that I really want to understand I will do it I’ll do go through it and read the books and read the data but then I have to break it down into really simple terms and kind of thing. What was what was the goal here. What’s the outcome that we’re trying to achieve with this methodology or this system or or this approach. And again I will always come back to basic principles because then I can understand it and I can teach it once I understand it properly so.

Klaus
So you’re doing some sort of translation from say complex too easy to understand or make it digestible in the way you present it in different elections for example.

Carl
Well I think for me it’s about how to make it practical for people to use on a daily basis. I think a lot of particularly academics and I don’t have anything against academics but but academics tend to as are on such a high theoretical level it’s very hard to connect that to not necessary the real world but to a practical application and I suppose the way I look at it is I want to be the bridge between that you know between the theoretical idea behind something and the real practical everyday use of that idea because there’s some really good ideas out there but they’re often way too complex for people to want to implement in a daily basis.

Klaus
That’s interesting because I think that of my my consulting and coaching work also. But what I find is that some people don’t take that seriously. They don’t understand the simplest or the beauty of simplicity and confuse that with maybe not knowing enough.

Carl
Well it does that. And I think there’s a lot of things that when you when you dive into that complexity there’s too much to take in. And quite often I mean if I think back to the Getting Things Done book for example you’ve probably got a hundred pages on collecting but really when we’re collecting what are we doing. Something’s on your mind. Get it off your mind. But actually if you read those 100 pages it just it does make complete sense and it gives you so many different scenarios where you would probably not think about collecting an idea. But when she read the book you realize, Ah that makes sense. But you know the idea of collecting for me is important.

Carl
I mean people come up with these wonderful thing it’s the UCT which is ubiquitous collection tool.

Carl
Really it just means a phone these days because it collects everything on a phone or before the smartphone certainly was like a little notebook. Yeah that was the UCT but it has this really smart complex expression for it but I use that jokingly now. But people did actually use what’s your use. I’m going: What? You know ubiquitous collection tool huh? You mean a piece of paper. Yes.

Klaus
It’s like the rocket science term.

Carl
Yeah. Exactly. They’re using way complex terms for somebody that you know something on your mind get into something you know a notebook a phone. Anything just get it written down.

Klaus
Into your inbox.

Carl
Yeah. I mean then you go down the steps you know you go down the road of getting things done or or whatever because then you’ve got to process it you decide what is it what does it mean to use it does get a little bit more complex but you know we tend to we as human beings we have a bad habit of over complicating things.

Klaus
I’ve seen several of your videos or your courses and it was very obvious to me that you’re trying to sort of use the same speed that people have so that they don’t get lost in your course. You are trying to make things very simple and cut it down into small pieces so people can digest it and I found that very very good too to see even. I am also some sort of productivity expert myself but it helped me a lot to understand some things better so I’m. Thank you very much for that.

Carl
It is always a pleasure to help people.

Klaus
Yeah so but we all have to thank David Allen and some say it’s better not to meet your heroes but all you have had recently interviewed him for your own podcast. How was that to meet the creator of getting things done for you as an experience.

Carl
I think he’s a fantastic guy. I mean I actually met him in Seoul three years ago. We had lunch together here in Seoul when he was visiting. He did a book publishing tour in Korea. And I met him here in Seoul and so I’ve actually met him before. So he’s a really really nice guy and one of the things that always struck me when I met him in person was that he is probably one of the most relaxed people I’ve ever met. I mean he genuinely does live the GTD life. Everything is in control and when we had lunch you know he was all there 100 percent. Even though he was waiting for a call from his assistant to give him the flight time to Tokyo. So he didn’t know whether it was going to be later that evening or it was gonna be first thing in the morning. Now if that was me and I was waiting to find out you know sometime in the next few hours I might be flying I would be quite stressed. But he was just well I nothing I can do now I just have to wait for the call and plus I have a system I can rely on.

Klaus
That’s very very cool. I remember a TED talk he has given where he also seemed very relaxed about his system and that was very very good to see him in person at least in video.

Carl
Yeah. No he really does genuinely live the system and he is a very very nice guy and I love the chat that I had with him on my podcast about you know GTD and everything was just fantastic. Even every time I hear him speak I learn something new it is just you know he’s one of those things that is one of those guys who’s had 40 50 years of you know of living this GTD lifestyle if you like. Mm hmm. And it really shows and you can pick pick up things every time you hear him speak or whatever you do learn something.

Klaus
I guess once you have written the book one could assume that this person doesn’t really develop the whole thing further. But actually it’s once you have started ideas and they have their own life in your head and they further develop and probably you would have to write another book to include all the things he has learned over the past 30 years.

Carl
Well he did update. He updated the GTD in 2015. So that was what 14 years after it first came out he did update it but actually interestingly on the last month I went to Tony Robbins event in Singapore which is an amazing event. But before I went I started reading his books and he’d written two books on self development books and he wrote them in the early 1990s. And what I found fascinating was many of the principles he wrote about in the early 1990s he’s still teaching today but he’s teaching it in a more modern version. So the analogies the stories that he uses to illustrate the principle have been updated. So in the early 1990s he was talking about President Reagan for example because I think President Reagan was not it wasn’t long after he stopped being president.

Carl
I think I see he did mention George Bush as well with the original George Bush not George Bush junior. And so it was kind of interesting that these stories that he wrote then but these days the principles the foundations of what he’s teaching is still the same today but with newer stories.

Carl
So it’s like time proven principles, they still very much apply today.

Klaus
Interestingly enough you are basing your work on the GTD method but you also made it even more accessible with your COD or the two plus eight systems that you have developed.

Carl
Yeah because when I looked at my own way of using GTD I realized I was using it really COD which was just collect organize and do. And I think when I first read the GTD book I was spending 40 50 percent of my time just organizing my system and I realized hang on a bit. That’s not what this is meant to be you know. And so but that’s normal. I think a lot of people do that. But you refine it over time. And what I discovered after a few years is that I wasn’t really following exactly the GTD system anymore. It evolved into its own thing which I when I analyzed it when I kind of stepped back and said Well what am I actually doing here and collecting. Because you cannot avoid that but I am organizing which means that what I’ve collected has to go to its rightful place. And then the rest of time I’m doing so I’m not following necessarily the five GTD steps. I’m just following three steps.

Klaus
But that way it’s much more accessible for most of the people.

Carl
I think it is. I think for most people find it much easier to because the COD system it is just a framework you know you choose whatever tools you want to use you use those tools.

Carl
It’s how you work it because everyone thinks differently.

Carl
How about if you have lots of stuff that sort of enters your system then it’s sort of collecting part will be will take a lot of time. Is that still covered with COD.

Carl
Well it is because the whole point with COD for me when I when I know I said it’s 100 pages on collecting in the GTD book I could probably write a hundred pages and collecting too because what it really comes down to is how fast can you make it. Because the faster you can make collecting the less likely you will resist.

Klaus
OK. Does this come from your experience as a runner, as a sportsperson?

Carl
Well yeah in a sense yes it’s just it comes back was when when I thought about why is it that I don’t do something it’s because it’s too difficult or it’s going to take too much time. So if I can reduce that barrier to doing something so a really really classic example and everyone can try this one of the best things you can do when you wake up in the morning is to drink a glass of water.

Carl
It’s just scientifically proven to instantly give you an amazing amount of energy and it’s just it just makes you feel brilliantly. But the problem the reason why most people won’t do it is because they don’t prepare the water the night before. But if you get a glass of water. Ideally if you get a flask so then it stays cold and you put it at the side of your bed you’ve reduced the resistance so when you wake up it’s there you drink. But if you don’t you probably go put the kettle on and make coffee first OK. And you might even forget to try. Yeah. Often you will forget to do it. So the idea is is that you reduce the resistance so you put the glass of water next to your bed. So when you wake up. Bang.

Carl
So that’s a very simple example for reducing the resistance and you can use that.

Klaus
You should use that for any bigger task that you have if you actually want to get it done.

Carl
Yeah. So when it comes to the COD system it’s about really making sure that collecting is easy even if it just means have a pad and a pen on. If you’re right handed on the right hand side of your desk if you’re left handed on the left hand side of your desk because even that if you think I’ll remember it you won’t do well you will forget it. So if you if you can just pick up with your writing hand and just quickly write it down. You know that’s one way. Another one is learn the keyboard shortcuts on your computer if you’re based you know sat at a desk most of the day. I know for me to collect something into Todoist which is the to do list I use I just use shift command A and I just do that without thinking.

Klaus
I started using my iPhone and Siri to dictate these things. And it works quite well also.

Carl
Yeah Siri is a great one for it as well and I use an app on there as well for the same thing just so fast. But once you reduce the resistance you will collect great learning.

Klaus
It surely helped you to be more productive. Your own system and GTD the last time I checked you created 645 videos on YouTube 100 podcast episodes. Also a bunch of courses and books. Where do you get your energy and your motivation from to do all that giant work.

Carl
Well for me the biggest one is I love creating that that’s just my brain never switches off it’s always thinking of new ideas. So I love the creation part. But a lot of it is I don’t know this is something about helping people. And I remember years ago people say you know I think it was a TED talk I watch was I think it’s the secrets of success by Richard St. John or something I can’t remember his name but it’s a TED talk that was done years ago and he said that don’t do for money do it to serve or something like that. And I was you know 10 15 years ago I get poo Ha ha ha ha. You know that is just rubbish. But actually you do when you start doing it to help other people you genuinely feel like so much better if you’re just doing it for the money. It’s it’s empty. It’s not a good feeling but when you’re doing it because you genuinely want to help people it’s that feeling of fulfillment that you get. That really drives you to keep going and I think for me that’s one of the things I mean I can’t imagine not doing my YouTube videos. I mean that’s free content that I’m doing. I just love doing them every week and a couple of weeks ago I was in hospital having just minor surgery a hernia operation just a minor surgery and I’m laying in the hospital bed having just come out to the operating room thinking when am I going to be able to do my videos.

Carl
I was thinking you know really I should be taking a break here. I don’t think people will be upset if I miss this week but I was really uncomfortable missing the idea of missing doing a video.

Klaus
So did you help yourself with say your iPhone and do a quick recording anyway.

Carl
No I did manage to wait. I came out to the hospital on the Thursday and on the Friday I recorded this video. So I felt very comfortable once it was done.

Klaus
OK. So it’s not wrong to say you are very very driven.

Klaus
When I work with companies I always say I’ll ask for the vision that they are following and because actually it’s the same wording

Carl
If you do it for the money it doesn’t work but if you do it for some let’s say greater thing or greater goal. Lots of things happen. Extra people are more motivated for example or more willing to listen or whatever. So that has to be something very very genuine and the vision that you have for that you combined with your motivation is you want to help one million people.

Carl
I don’t know how I’m going to measure that by the way it’s because technically on my YouTube channel when I was looking it’s that I think there’s been over 2 million views but the problem there is how many people how many individual people is that that’s just views. You know the podcast is at well over 100000 downloads. But again that’s could be one person multiple downloads. So I don’t know how I’m going to measure it. But you know the vision is to be able to help a million if not 10 million 100 million people over the next 5 10 20 years. Because I’ve seen the benefits of being better organized and more productive and good with time management. I’ve seen the benefits. I never I never feel stressed. I certainly never feel like I’ve got too much work on and it is actually a really nice feeling because it helps you to make better decisions. And I find a lot of people I work with here in Korea. They said I haven’t got time to get organized. I was thinking aha. You know well here’s where the bigger problem is.

Klaus
You know I don’t have time for time management. Exactly.

Carl
But is there something that you’d tell them like a like a simple sentence that that makes them understand that they should do something about that well use a simple question to ask themselves where do you think this is going to end up know because you are only human you’re not a machine. Something will break you know either you will make a huge mistake one day and get fired and lose the job that you’re spending all this time working on. Or just mentally and physically you will break. And you know you’ve got to get people to really understand like right now they may feel they can manage it but in the long term if you don’t get a handle on that time and the amount of work and how you’re managing that stress level it really can be a huge problem in the long term. And so and another one that you can do is always point out the really successful people in their company I don’t know those people but I say you know how do they manage their time. And you know when they start because modelling you know modelling successful people modelling the people you admire is a great way to learn. And you know we all have different heroes.

Carl
So it’s about finding the right people and thinking how do they do that and you know I’m always looking at how successful people manage their time. And some really fascinating insights.

Klaus
I have read somewhere that for you, productivity and time management is something that is actually comes down to life management not just to get things done but to get things accomplished in life over a longer period of time to get the stuff done that are important for you for your life for the life of the people around you.

Carl
It is I mean that’s to me that’s what it really boils down to is I was about to say spend less time at work and more time at home. But that doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. It’s about really being managing your time so that you can spend more time doing the things that you want to do with the people that you want to do it with.

Carl
That’s to me what time management and productivity is all about and what I really like is that you combine that with let’s say the call to action to do like a year planning at the end of a year like right now it’s October and you are asking people to pick up or to start to collect ideas for the next year or two to get into the thinking process and into our planning process for the next year. And I think that’s a very clever and good combination because it’s not about doing things it’s about getting the framework or the priorities for the things to do in the next year.

Carl
It’s about bubbles you know bubbling up the ideas doing it. Now in October because the one of the main reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t work there’s multiple reasons why they don’t work. But one of the biggest reasons is people get to like the Christmas period and the 26th or 27th or the 28th of December until new year. What am I going to do. And then they rush and they just think oh I’ll quit smoking I’ll cut down drinking I’ll lose weight and you’re all the same ones and they fail.

Carl
And then what happens is they get into these cycles. “I’m no good at resolutions or goals.” “I keep failing” but actually it’s not that. It’s not that they’re no good at doing goals it’s just they’re approaching it in the wrong way. If you start in October just brainstorming ideas just thinking about what would you like to change about yourself what would you like to change away about the way you work your lifestyle just thinking about how the things that you would like to change by the time we get to December you’ve probably got five to 10 things that you think you know what I could do something and change that and make things better. And so it’s always good to start. And October is a great time going into the last quarter. We’re all winding down the year and it’s time to get excited about the next year.

Klaus
What about if you if you are in it not just about yourself but about say your team you’re part of the company or your company if you’re like a startup or working for a small company. Is there some process yet that you can recommend in one of your courses for example that helps the team to come to to prepare the next year.

Carl
Well for team based productivity is really comes down to the communication from the top.

Carl
You know whenever I’ve helped companies in general with their productivity I can guarantee that one of the biggest problems is going to be how the objective or outcome of that they’re trying to achieve is communicated in hearing career. There’s whenever they do that in English they have this bad habit of using very big words and long sentences and there’s just no emotion or meaning and it looks good it looks great. I mean there’s a lot of complex words in there but when I’m thinking about death that’s not going to motivate anybody. So the way that the way that project goals or outcomes are communicated or goals for the next year or the things that you want to achieve next year within a team how you communicate those is really really important is to being clear simple actionable terms. And so that people can measure.

Carl
So I’ve had one company where just the sales team had 32 KPI is key performance in the analysis going. How can that be key performance indicators when there’s 32 of them I mean. Which one do I focus on. You know it’s impossible. You know pick one and measure it and stick with it and they will have a lot more success.

Klaus
I sometimes hear innovators talking about something like Oh there’s so many possibilities so many opportunities are so many ideas and there’s just so little time to have an idea of how to select from a large number of ideas and opportunities. If you’re just full of ideas as I say a startup person as a creator as an innovator.

Carl
That’s an interesting when I heard I heard an analogy on this one recently. I wish it was mine but it isn’t. But there’s a guy who I was a teacher at the event I was in Singapore called Joseph McClendon III. And he was talking about the same thing and he said look if you think about it as a horse race and you know you’ve got like these 10 horses when the gates opened 10 horses run out and you have no idea which horse is going to win.

Carl
So what do you do. You just pick one just pick one and run with it. Because how do you know which is going to be the successful one at some point in the race and at some point in the process of developing that one idea you will realize it’s not going to work and you can jump off onto a different horse or you can jump off onto a different idea.

Carl
You know I’ve had loads of ideas for courses and often a lot of them I will just start I think this is a really good idea and I start planning it out and I could spend a week planning it out in my spreadsheets and you know organizing how I’m going to do the lessons and at the end of the week and going you know what.

Carl
This isn’t going to work you know. I don’t feel it and I’ll just scrap it and some may say well you’ve just wasted a week I thought. Now what I’ve done is I’ve learned that that’s not going to work. Here’s the way the way that I’m looking at it it’s taken me a week to figure out but he’s not going to work. But I don’t throw away the actual planning sheets. I just you know I archive them. I might come back to that in a year or two’s time. But it does. You’ve just got to pick something and run with it. I think a lot of people don’t achieve their potential because they get paralyzed by all these ideas and this comes back to GTD or card collect the ideas store them in a place but pick one and run with it. And you know you’ll soon figure out whether it’s gonna be a success or not a success. You know if you think about when Microsoft started and Bill Gates and his team I think is Paul Allen you know was sitting in the dormitory coding all night trying to get dos created you know at that time they did not know it was going to be successful. True. Nobody knew it. It did become successful and we look at it from the perspective of 2019. But if you were back in 1985 or whenever they were writing that code they had no idea if this was gonna be a success or not. But they just went with the idea and it turned out to be a huge success. And I’m pretty sure it is the same with Steve Jobs and Steve was the arc and all the other people like the Google boys when they started Google they did not know at that time whether it’s gonna be successful or not. But they just run with the idea and it developed and it became what is today Google. I bet you the vision about you where Google is today the Google boys as I call them I bet they had no idea it was going to turn out that way when they were sat in their dormitory creating that first google search box. I bet they never expected it to turn out the way that it did. So you’ve got to start somewhere. You just got to run with it.

Carl
Okay. And it was probably just one of these things of their ideas that they worked on that they developed and that they felt good about Yeah it could have been they they may have worked on 20 30 40 50 ideas before they eventually got to the Google we have today so gut feeling is important too.

Carl
Yeah just pick something and go with it. Eventually you’ll figure out this isn’t going to work. And then you can go back onto something else but you’ve just got to go with it because the worst thing you can do is not do anything.

Klaus
Thank you Carl. I think that is a great way to finish our podcast. Thank you very much for having this conversation with me today.

Carl
It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me on the show.

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