Traveling the world with Duet 2
Recent Projects: Azealia Banks, L-vis 1990, Shuttle, Cubic Zirconia
In 2003, Nick Hook made the now inevitable transition from a marketing account executive to full-time DJ/Producer. A genuine curiosity for creating new music, relentless dedication and a twist of fate launched Hook on a completely new career path. Almost 10 years later, he hasn’t looked back as he’s continued to rise with credits including L-vis 1990, Shuttle, and Azealia Banks on top of his own work as a solo artist on Scion’s AV label.
Hook’s journey began in New York where he teamed up with Todd Weinstock, a close friend and then member of the east coast hardcore band Glassjaw. Weinstock saw his band’s hiatus in 2004 as an opportunity to explore new music opportunities, so he and Hook joined forces to make up 2/5 of the group Men Women & Children – Weinstock on guitar and Hook on keyboards. “We signed with Warner Brothers and literally worked on music for 20 hours a day for the next year and a half.” Hook says, looking back on his first big musical venture.
The group released their debut album in 2006 and toured with acts including Gang of Four, Metric, Head Automatica, and 30 Seconds to Mars. While the group split up shortly after their second release, Hook went on to form the electronic dance trio Cubic Zirconia.
“2007 was a lot of DJing, and hanging in New York with a big group of us who are now doing things that we would have never dreamed of. We saw the sun come up a lot.”
Hook’s involvement in the electronic music community grew to a whole new level when London artist L-vis 1990 asked him to help with his debut release on Island Records. “It was the first time I’d ever worked with someone on a project that wasn’t mine,” says Hook. “I guess by accident I became a producer.”
Not long after, Hook was introduced to the artist that would solidify his name as a producer; hip hop up-and-comer Azealia Banks, who was then on the verge of being dropped from XL Records. The two New York natives met up one night at Hook’s studio, opened up a bottle of wine and completed a instrumental track and recorded her vocals in just a few hours. Banks blew up with that single, “212” and quickly signed to Interscope Records. “Every time I hear the song in public I’m immediately taken back to that day.” Hook says. “Never in my life did I think it would take me around the world and have over 36 million plays on YouTube.”
Banks and Hook continued their collaboration, but their busy schedules had them recording all over the world. “We used the Apogee Duet 2 in London, France, Japan, New York and Los Angeles for the Azealia Banks EP,” Hook recalls. “Of the past 52 weeks, I have only been home for about 6 of them. I need to be able to work just as efficiently on the road as I do in my studio. I picked up the Duet 2 and never looked back.” Hook continues to work both in traditional recording facilities as well as on the road and explains, “Although I love working in big studios, sometimes being able to take your time, relax and record helps so much on a mental level.”
“One of my mantra’s is to capture ideas at their inception,” Hook goes on to say. “Recreating an idea is always going to be inferior. You have to think about it again, try and do it, and sometimes forget..” This very concept has also been a driving force for Apogee’s development of premium music technology and has resulted in products such as Duet that bring professional quality outside of the recording studio. “Right now my travel rig is my laptop running Ableton live, a Shure SM-7, a Novation Mininova, and the Apogee Duet 2. I’ve grown to know that with this small batch of things, I am sacrificing 0 quality to be able to create records the whole world can enjoy.”