INTERVIEW: Ventura, Summer 2014 by Natalia Toussaint


Two minds, one sound. Brothers Zak and Jesse Shessel, have been on a hot streak after winning multiple Wavo competitions. Having played at The Guvernment main room, Li’Ly Lounge, 751 Lounge, Baltic Ave., and a ton of house parties, these two are making their mark on the Toronto scene. Every set is a combination of Dubstep, Moombahton, Electro-House, Trap and Drum and Bass. After a stellar set at Low Frequency, hosted by Toronto Bass Community, I had to chat with the duo about their journey through the Toronto dance music scene.

1.How did Ventura come together?
Ventura mostly came together through the encouragement of some close friends. We’d both been using Ableton and Traktor for a number of years just to mess around with but really had no direction or plan in mind for releasing or preforming music. It took some convincing but our friends got us to put out a mix and a few tracks which ended up winning us a competition to preform at The Guvernment. After that we started getting hired for more shows so we decided to run with it. Things have kept getting bigger and better since.

2.What lead to you wanting to produce music?
For years now we’ve been going to events, big and small, all over the Canada so it felt like a natural progression going from being a fan of the music, to wanting to make our own. A lot of people stand in the crowd at DJ events and think “i could do that” and we were no different. Once we started using the programs for mixing and producing we realized that we could actually make the kind of music we always wanted to hear.

3. What do each of your bring to the table?
Jesse is the producer of the group. While every track has both of our vibes and styles it’s Jesse technical ability and knowledge of Massive and Ableton that really make the songs come together. Zak is the DJ, he puts the track lists together and makes most of the edits that are played during our live sets. There’s plenty of overlap on both sides, we interact and help each other to form our specific sound and style that we want Ventura to represent in the content we release.

4. Have you had any disagreements when it comes to song selection for a set or when you are producing? If so, how do you settle them?
We’re brothers, we ALWAYS disagree on everything. Usually the disagreements are settled by us taking a step back from the problem and revisiting it later, especially when it comes to the flow of our tracks or certain sounds in our songs. These disagreements always end up with higher quality content in the end, so they’re a necessary evil for us.

5. When you’re not DJing or producing what are you up to?
When we’re not DJing or Producing we’re thinking about DJing or Producing. Our love of bass music is a huge part of our lives so you’d be hard pressed to find a moment where neither of us are thinking about our next song or a transition in our mixes. We live and breath bass music.

6. What equipment do you use to produce?
We both use Ableton and Massive for our projects, whether they be original tracks or edits. For DJing it’s always Tracktor. At the beginning we learned how to mix using Serato but decided Traktor was more suited for our mixing style. All of our shows are done live on our Traktor S4.

10547133_700964933291333_6201054165294183354_oPhoto by Sixth Dimension. Photo used with permission.
7. Which artists are you influenced by?
This is a tough question because we’ve been influenced by so many artists. For Production we love the styles of Skrillex, Excision, Kill The Noise, Zomboy, Doctor P, Knife Party just to name a few. For our DJing we’re mostly influenced by Dirtyphonics and Excision’s high paced and action packed mixing style. In both cases we try and combine the different parts of each of those artists styles to create something new and unique

8. Who would you like to work with in the future?
Well right now we’re working on a remix for our buddy Crazy Or Nothing , as well as a few tracks with our close friend Harristotle. But in the future we’d love to work with any of the OWSLA guys or Never Say Die crew, specifically Kill The Noise, Must Die!, Barely Alive or 12th Planet to name a few. We also love the stuff that the guys over at Dirty Duck Audio are doing, so working with them would be incredible as well. We idolize so many Producers, there’s not enough time in the day for us to list everyone we’d love to work with.

9. What does the Toronto music scene mean to you both?
The Toronto bass scene is an enigma. When we go to shows, it feels like we’re going to hangout with extended family. The crowds are always fired up, the venues are always great and the acts they bring in always make for a great time, whether we’re the ones behind the decks or not. Our hopes is that Ventura can grow to be an integral part of the bass scene, much like Hydee is today.

Whether it be our buddies behind the decks or our bass family in the crowd, there’s nothing but love in our hearts for Toronto bass scene.

10. What are your goals for the remainder of 2014?
Right now we’ve started focusing on our production aspect of Ventura. We’ve got a ton of edits and original tracks that we’re really excited to debut that are all getting finished up right now. Our main goal is to release enough music so people can really see what Ventura’s sound is all about, and hopefully it’ll mean we start hearing our songs being played at shows around Toronto. We’d also love to play more gigs where we’re opening for esteemed DJs, we’ve entered into the Rusko competition to open for him on October 3rd. Winning that would be an absolute dream come true for the both of us, we idolize the man. But, for the most part, releasing music is number one on our list of importance, so stay tuned for new Ventura music over the next few months.



Natalia ToussaintEDM TOR


About Author

Adele Desloges

Adele is the owner of Tranceported. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video teams, and was a promoter of events across the Toronto area for years. She has been a fan of Trance music since the mid-90s and has been shooting Trance events since 2011..

Comments are closed.