As a trumpet player, keyboardist, and composer, Justin Stanton has developed a reputation as a multi-faceted musician who can serve an essential role to whichever artist he is contributing, both onstage and in the studio.
Best known for his role in Snarky Puppy, twice Grammy-awarded Justin Stanton has been building a reputation as a trumpeter, composer, and producer for the past 10 years. He maintains an active schedule performing, recording, and writing with a variety of original artists and groups such as David Crosby, Robert Glasper, Trombone Shorty, Musiq Soulchild, Salif Keita, Terence Blanchard, and Chris Potter to name a few.
Justin´s long-awaited solo debut album Secret Place is now available on all streaming platforms. In the words of Michael League (Snarky Puppy), “Wide, warm, weird, analog, funky, soulful, and deep, Secret Place gives us an idea of what has been going on in Justin Stanton’s head all these years. This is an incredibly varied but cohesive debut from a rich and normally understated musical personality. As a composer, producer, arranger, keyboardist, and trumpeter, his abilities are finally on full display.”
We chatted with Justin on how he’s using Sequential instruments in his music:
What made you choose the Prophet-6?
“I bought the Prophet-6 when it first came out, and it’s been a part of my studio and touring arsenal ever since. As an improviser, I love how easy it is to manipulate a sound to a particular situation, especially in live shows. And because it’s inspired by the timeless Prophet-5 that’s on countless recordings that I adore, the Prophet-6 is a timeless instrument whose sounds will always have a place in a variety of styles of music.”
How are you using it?
“I use it in my regular touring rig with most bands that I’m playing with, including Snarky Puppy. In addition, I use it constantly at home to record overdubs on people’s sessions. A lot of studios in which I work have the board as well, so I’ll just dump my presets from my computer onto our studio Prophet-6. That way I have a carbon copy of my sounds wherever I go.”
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
“I love being able to access any aspect of the sound via a dedicated physical knob or switch. It makes a huge difference in live situations — especially with the low- and high-pass filters. Varying sound situations require different frequencies to be highlighted or tucked within a sound, so being able to manipulate that quickly is a very practical feature.”
What does it give you that other synths might not?
“All synths have their own character. The Prophet-6’s oscillators and filters give the instrument its own identity — unique from even the Prophet-5 by which it was inspired. This and its functionality combine to make it a fun and powerful board.”
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
“I like experimenting with the LFO section to emulate effects such as distortion and ring modulation. Also, some folks might find having a six-voice synth limiting. But I think it can allow for some real interesting possibilities if you use that limitation as a parameter for sound design.”
What are you currently working on?
“There’s a bunch going on at the moment. First, I’m releasing my debut solo record entitled Secret Place on May 3. It’s primarily a keyboard record that also features some of my homies from Snarky Puppy as well as some of my other favorite musicians. Most of it was written on my Prophet-6. In addition, Snarky Puppy put out its twelfth record, entitled Immigrance, in March, and we’re touring that for about seven months this year. The P6 will be in heavy rotation on that tour as well!”
Tell us a bit more about your upcoming solo debut album!
“Secret Place, like many debut albums, is a culmination of wide-ranging experiences and influences throughout a long period of development. Assisted and augmented by some of my closest musical associates, this is my attempt to document a group of songs that most genuinely reflects all sides of my musical personality. I’m proud of this first foot forward, and I hope that every listener can find a moment on the album to which they are drawn in.”
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