Deniz Kurtel on the making of club hit ‘The L Word’
What inspired the track?
I had almost finished my album and was road-testing the tracks live when [Crosstown boss] Damian Lazarus suggested I make one more track. He just felt like I was going to write a hit. I definitely didn’t think I was going to make a hit, but I did feel that I gained some important knowledge in making a dance track from playing live because I was able test all my sounds and see how they worked in a club environment. The name of it was inspired by a friend of mine who used to refer to the word ‘love’ as “the L word” in conversation. I later found out that it’s also the name of a very famous TV series about lesbians!
Describe the studio set-up you used to make the track and how you finished it?
I was using my studio at the Marcy in Brooklyn at the time. I only used Ableton and some plug-ins. I was still pretty new to producing and hadn’t started using any gear, so I had a super simple setup. The track started life without vocals, but after sifting through hundreds I found a sample from a Defected acapella package. It was such a good fit that I couldn’t imagine the track without it. My label was worried about clearing it, so suggested I should sing or get a singer to sing on the track instead. I tried for months to find someone to replace it but nothing was fitting, so in the end I tried my luck and contacted Defected directly, and ended up licensing it.
What’s your advice for beginner producers?
In any form of art you must follow your heart and make what’s exciting to you. I just started off having fun with production. I didn’t have any DJing background, so format-wise I didn’t really have any insight into how a track should be composed. My DJ friends used to criticise me for not having easy-to-mix intros and outros, but I never really paid much attention. I just pay attention to trying to get better at sound quality and keeping true to my art.
Deniz’s album ‘The Way We Live’ is out now on W+L