“Chasing Serotonin” is the new song by Turhan James, Pakistani producer of electronic music, and by Sigrid Zeiner, the singer. Turhan began his DJ career in Karachi, Pakistan, at the age of 16 and has since played in a multitude of events. The two then met by chance and decided to cooperate! The song was produced during the lockdown and talks about the weakening of serotonin while you are through an unhappy time in life Turhan when he had lost hope for everything. But at the same time, the words try to instil a sense of motivation to try to best overcome this moment that has been, and unfortunately continues to be, very difficult for everyone… Words in which many may find themselves, but with its rhythm will make you want to smile again!
YMX: Hey TURHAN JAMES, thanks for sitting down with us. What would you say to all our readers new to your project?
TURHAN JAMES: My project, “Turhan James,” is focused on creating electronic music based around uplifting/feel-good melodies and chord progressions that are easily expressable to the listener. That expression is where I look to create a connection between the listener and myself, by making something that makes both feel happy.
YMX: When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue at an artistic level?
TURHAN JAMES: I had to start deejaying at my school dances and small parties from the age of 14, but it was only when I had finished up with my first year of university when I realized that I wanted to take my passion for music to the next level. It was the summer of 2016 when I attended the Pioneer DJ School in Amsterdam where I was mentored by an amazing producer by the name of AWIIN. He helped guide me through the entire production process, helping me kick off my production career.
YMX: You recently released “Chasing Serotonin“. Can you tell us how that project came about?
TURHAN JAMES: Chasing Serotonin is a song I produced during the first few months of lockdown. The song encompasses my feelings of trying to chase serotonin when I was going through a bad time in my life of feeling hopeless and contemplating the pursuit of my music career. I just wanted to make something that would make me feel happy just by listening to it and this hit the spot. It starts off mellow, signifying the feeling of loneliness following by an uplifting chord progression and vocal melody which is meant to reflect the discovery of positivity and motivation.
YMX: What is the one thing you would like people to feel while listening to the single?
TURHAN JAMES: When you’re listening to it, really focus on the change in energy of the instrumental. The rain panning in from the left side with the synths panning in from the right all coming together in the middle. It’s supposed to bring about happiness
YMX: How did the recent pandemic influence your creative process? is remote collaboration easy for you?
TURHAN JAMES: The recent pandemic gave me a lot of time to think about my brand and the way I want to take things. It allowed me to work on tracks that had been sitting around for a while as well as start on some new projects (Chasing Serotonin being one of them). Remote collaboration has its pros and cons as does everything. I was able to discover and work with MANY musicians during this time which was great, but sometimes the communicative process can be a little confusing and frustrating. It’s always easier to sit in a studio with your vocalist or your mixing engineer and make the necessary adjustments that need to be made at the moment whereas, when communicating through email, you have to just trust that the collaborator will do exactly what you were hoping for when they are in their session.
YMX: Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?
TURHAN JAMES: I feel confident within both circumstances. When alone, I know that I’m able to write down my idea exactly the way I wanted, but then the benefit of working with a collaborator allows for the project to continuously flow when either one of the producers gets writers’ block. It’s easier to feed off of each other’s creativity and develop new ideas.
YMX: Can you name the last gig you played? Would you consider doing a livestream concert?
TURHAN JAMES: The last gig I played was Solis Festival in Islamabad, Pakistan in February of 2020. I was scheduled to play at Ultra Music Festival in Abu Dhabi which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid.
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
TURHAN JAMES: As of now, I have a music video coming out on the 22nd of January as well as two remix packs for this song that are scheduled to be released in February. I’m finishing up some more projects which are scheduled to be released in the second half of the year. I will be focusing on working with a lot of Pakistani artists this year. The talent in my home country is incredible, no one knows it yet, but that will change soon 🙂