Victor Alexeeff – Classics Unleashed [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Sonic Ear Candy

Classical meets electronic. Or to use your title, Classics Unleashed. Tell us a few things about this project.

A project I’ve thought about ever since Wendy Carlos released her electronic version of Bach. It was pretty radical to interpret a classic work and take it right out of the purist comfort zone. And I’m pretty sure these rock stars from the past would have been all over these electronic instruments!

What first got you into music?

I wish I knew… I was only four…

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

I feel that I constantly get inspired by so much talent out there! Especially from artists that pour their passion into their art.

What would be your dream performance venue?

It might be a bit of a long shot 😉 but performing at the International Space Center floating around the planet would be the ultimate.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

I’m not sure about stepping on someone else’s work. But way back in Toronto, our band NRG did live film score performances to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. We experimented a lot with sounds, and whatever gear we could get our hands on. Back then, our friend Larry ran the 16 mm projector and the three of us were buried in gear. It was a blast!

If Bach were alive today, what kind of you music would he produce?

His music could possibly be so intense that mere mortal brains would explode.

Thank you!

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Hanna Söderberg – Gravity [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Energetic, Dynamic, Melodic

Gravity is uptempo, uplifting with a lovely anthemic vibe. Tell us a few things about your new work.

Gravity is about never giving up, never giving in and always staying true to yourself

What first got you into music?

I´ve always loved to sing, ever since I was a child. Music has always been my way of handling and expressing emotions.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Jessi J, Kelly Clarkson, Stevie Wonder, Pink, Alanis Morissette, Avicci, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Max Martin, Ed Sheeran.

What would you change in the music industry?

I`d like to see more female songwriters and producers in the music industry and I´d like songwriters in general to get more credit.

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

I work as a music teacher.

When was the last time you danced?

This morning!

Thank you!

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Havoc Osiris – Imbalance [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Futuristic, cinematic, vivid

Imbalance has a very nice experimental vibe in it. Tell us a few things about your new song and the main idea behind it.

Imbalance is the first single off of the album “Payoff,” which is one 25 (yes, 2albums I’m releasing everywhere on Saturday, June 4th, 2022 at 3PM CST, and I chose it as the first single from the album because I needed to define my sound for new listeners. For the record, my style is a very dystopian approach to hip hop, fusing it with electronic and other genres, though I will concede that I actually do not know who, if anyone, originally coined the term “dystopian hip hop”.

At its core, the main idea of “Imbalance” is a power struggle, something that I believe everyone can relate to, because who doesn’t want to hold full power over their own movement and their own life?

What first got you into music?

I grew up in a household where my dad would listen to the oldies and classical music, my mom would typically favor whatever the hit radio station was, my older sister would balance between hit music stations and country, and my older brother would favor the alternative rock and hip hop stations. So needless to say, I was listening to everything growing up, but what really got me hooked was hearing Coolio’s music growing up. I can remember hearing his version of “Fantastic Voyage” and “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” on the radio at home, plus when I think back to the roots of my style, I know I can trace it back to being hooked by the beat of “Gangsta’s Paradise,” as well as Coolio’s storytelling on the song.

Favourite album of the past decade?

VERY tough call, because there were a lot, but what stands out to me from the last decade (and I do not know if this is a cliche answer or not) is Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” album. Not just because Earl is an excellent lyricist with a smooth delivery and an artist that can get his point across without getting too loud, but the production on tracks like “20 Wave Caps” with Domo Genesis and “Molasses” with RZA was some of the best I’ve ever heard in my life.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

The biggest struggle for me has been trying to make sure all of my songs stand out individually, even if they are all in the same key or set at the same tempo.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

I imagine they might listen to my music after a stressful day because they’re looking to unwind and not think about too much when it comes to reality. By coming into my world for as long as they need to, they are allowing themselves the freedom to follow whatever paths their subconscious may conjure, and the most they will have to think of will be everything that runs around willy-nilly in their imagination.

One last thing we should know about you?

Despite the vast catalog of music I have ready for release on June 4th, I wish for it to be known that this is not the best you will hear from me. I am a huge proponent of constant evolution, regardless of whether or not a person makes songs with lyrics, and I can guarantee that if you stay tuned to my work, I will create newer worlds for the masses to explore, and wherever you go from there is entirely up to you because if you do not have the freedom to go wherever the sound is taking you, it’s not really my sound.

Thank you!

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PR6TTY E – Games [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Powerful, Catchy and Innovative

Tell us a few things about your new song Games. What is the main idea behind it?

« Games » is a recollection of cocaine-filled parties, full of hope of a bright future.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

As an artist, I’m deeply influenced by Jim Morrison and the Weeknd. But musically, my influences range from electronic acts such as Crystal Castles and The Prodigy, rap acts like Travis Scott and Lil Peep to rock acts such as Oasis, Metallica, Motorhead, The Stooges, The Rolling Stones and many others…

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

It depends on the song. “Games”, for instance is an uplifting party song.

What would you say is your biggest vice?

Drug abuse

Thank you!

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Photo credit: Maximus White-Villmouth

Sharl – Let Me Know [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Emotive, engaging, electropop!

‘Let me know’ blends future bass elements with some trap infused sounds and a pop sensibility. Tell us a few things about it. What is the main idea behind it?

The song tells the story of my frustration when dating someone who wouldn’t make their feelings clear. The lyrics are a bit tongue-in-cheek but it’s an exact description of the situation from my viewpoint!

Sound wise though, I didn’t write the song with a particular idea in mind. I work with my producer (Daniel Bohen) to decide what suits each song and portrays the emotions and mood best. We work in this way drawing together different unique elements and that’s what I love doing the most in my music rather than being confined to a particular subgenre.

What first got you into music?

I started playing instruments as a young child, which gave me a solid foundation to be able to write music and sing. With my interest in pop music, I can’t really pinpoint that to a certain thing: while growing up, I was just surrounded by it in the world around me, intertwined with pop culture, fashion and media in general. I’ve always loved pop music as a genre that’s so accesible to easily enjoy and have fun with but it also can have really deep layers and be a world of stories and emotion to escape to.

Main influences?

I don’t have conscious influences as I just write what I feel at the time. But the main music I listened to was Top 40 (primarily major female pop solo artists, 00s pop bands) and EDM so I guess those would have some influence on my writing.

What would be your dream performance venue?

Glastonbury Festival

Favorite film ever?

The Matrix

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Thank you so much for supporting me on this journey! I appreciate it every time someone takes the time to listen to my music and I hope you will keep enjoying my songs. If you like Let Me Know, be sure to check out my new single Games which was released last week – it’s a hyperpop inspired track with some cool chiptune sounds! I also just filmed the music video which is a super exciting project so keep an eye out for it!

Thank you!

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Oneo Fakind – Life In The Background [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Matt: Experimental full-bodied journeys
Brett: Strange mutating soundscapes

Life In The Background has very cool soundscapes. Tell us a few things about the EP, the story behind it.

Matt: We’re bursting with ideas so for this EP we tried to tame ourselves down and focus on some of our mellower and more lofi sounds. That was in part to fit the aesthetic of our label OAKHI. The EP is short and sweet and less intense than some of our previous work. I’m really content with how it came out, which I can’t say about everything I work on. To me it hangs together really well.
Brett: Matt typically works out the ‘one of a kind’ names for our songs after we have gone back and forth through the first few versions of a song idea. After that I try to lean into the descriptive parts of those names to find inspiration, refine the details and also try to form a loosely connected narrative journey between various songs we are working on. To me Life in the Background sounds like it feels; from the outside looking in, a window into life from the background.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

Brett: Oneo Fakind is mostly remote collaboration in which we send ideas back and forth. Although it can be lonely working on new parts, receiving a revision is like having a musical conversation by email. It is not the same as jamming but it is definitely a social experience.
Matt: The best part is when I get stuck on something I can send it off and what comes back has moved forward in a new direction I never would have dreamed of.

Favourite album of the past decade?

Brett: All Melody by Nils Frahm
Matt: The Catastrophist by Tortoise

What would you change in the music industry?

Matt: I’d like to write soundtracks to books. That would be cool. I dunno if maybe that’s already a thing or gonna be a thing with ebooks.

If you were asked to rescore a film, which one would you choose?

Brett: Either of the Fantasia films. I think both movies are perfect as they are but also that it could be a fun challenge to create new sounds to match those visuals which were precisely designed to work with something else.
Matt: Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky. Very minimal atmospheric gem of a movie from the late 70s. Would be fun to make soundscapes for I think.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Matt: I can cross four of my five toes on each foot without using my fingers.

Thank you!

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de antiquis et novis – Calm [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Lush soundscapes and great vibes

Tell us a few things about your new song ‘Calm’ . What is the main idea behind it?

‘I don’t want to run for another day’ is a feeling everyone has already experienced at least once in their life. If calm is able to make you relax and chill out when listening to it, then it has achieved its intended goal.

What first got you into music?

I was born in a musical family. My father played the violin, my mother the organ and my brother plays guitar. There was always music in our house. What really got me hooked on synthesizers was the album „Switched on Bach“ by Wendy Carlos.

Favourite ambient album of the past decade?

Still for me a masterpiece is the album ‘Zeitreise’ be the project Schiller

What would you change in the music industry?

Clearly the payout scheme of the streaming services. Tidal made a good start and the others should follow. Spotify is really the worst in my opinion. They make a fortune on us musicians and give back only breadcrumbs.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Learn to read and write sheet music (laughs). All I do is purely based on intuition and my mood when writing a song. There‘s nothing wrong with that of course, but I admire musicians who can readily play of sheet music.

What is the one habit/thing you cannot live without?

GAS or Gear Acquisition Syndrome (laughs)! When there is a new synth coming out I need to check it out.

Thank you!

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Peter Spacey x Skygaze Feat. Xidus Pain – The Blend [Interview]

Tell us a few things about The Blend. What is the main idea behind it?

‘The Blend’ broken-down is a positive song, lyrically it’s stacked with endless wordplay which compliments the futurist, HipHop, electronic and Spacey sounding score. The wordplay in the song is linked to space and the universe. The inner universe within you and the outer universe all around us. A nice fact about the song is it was written whilst myself and Peter Spacey were on an Instagram video call

How would you describe your musical progress over the years?

Xidus: “My musical progress has been great over the last couple of years.
I have written 40 projects in the last 40 months, and I’ve got to work with some legendary people, I have just delivered a Tedx Talk, I have recently been awarded a BBC / AIM Music Local Hero Award, and having the pleasure to collaborate with Peter Spacey is the Skygaze is the icing on the cake.”

Spacey: “I’m coming from a traditional background as a professional keyboard player, alongside early exposure to electronic music, beat-making, Djing (Turntablism), and music production.
I started playing the keyboard at the age of 7 – my first 5 years were focused on traditional music education as a classical piano player, which later transitioned into jazz keyboard playing.
I started Djing at the age of 15, bought turntables, learned the art of scratch, and grew up listening to electronic music and experimenting with synthesizers and drum machines, sampling, and beat-making.
My sound signature is a result of these combination flavors and is characterized by Spacey beats, glitched grooves, and some secret spices 🙂
These three elements are the main elements of my music-making – at the studio when creating and cooking my Spacey music, and on stage while performing.
Using these methods, skillset, and tools that surround me gives a solid framework for my creative process.
Throughout the years of living with the music beside and inside of me, I found a way to express myself and to communicate through music. I was always fascinated by frequencies, harmonies, and sounds, and was obsessed from early age days to playing by ear musical pieces that I love, synthesizing sounds, and exploring all the different dimensions of music.”

What first got you into music?

I’ve always loved music due to my mother playing music around me as a child from Soul Music, Gospel Music, Reggae Music, traditional Zimbabwean and African Music. My older brother got me into rapping.
My mentors The Sugarhill Gang’s song “Rapper’s Delight” is the first rap song I remember hearing and liking as a baby.

Spacey: “I grew up immersed in music, raised by musician parents in an innovative, inspiring musical environment.
Music was always there for me, a way to express myself, to communicate, to groove and move to, and to relax into.
I used to sit with my father during sessions when he was doing compositions and orchestrations for theater, making electronic music on his computer, or playing the guitar. Also, when mom’s lessons when she was teaching flute.
Also listening to music at home – everything from popular oldies throughout Brasilian and jazz up to electronic.
Some artists that influenced me the most in my first years were – Jobim, Chick-Korea, Jean Michel Jaar, Beastie boys, Fatboyslim, Gorillaz, and Queen, to name a few.”

Your dream collaboration?

Xidus: “My dream collaboration would have to be Jay-Z, common or Kanye. I love their beat choices, song arrangement and lyrics. The fact that they still make amazing, interesting and current music after over 20 years in the HipHop game is a testament within itself.”

Spacey “Collaborate with Nasa – play my music on the outer space / make music out of outer space field recordings, experiments with some music physics anomalies and science in the unordinary environment.”

What would you change in the music industry?

Xidus: “I would shift the power over so the artist has more control than their label.
I would also make sure artists get more money for streams and have more of a balance when it comes to messages sent out to listeners within mainstream music.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

Xidus: “My music is mood music I have over 40 projects which explore different subject matter. I call it mood music due to having a project or song for different emotions and occasions so people can take their pick.”

What is the most useless talent you have?

Xidus: “I am good at classic beat ’em up video games, for example games like Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Marvel Vs capcom, Tekken, Soul Calibur and Power Stone.
Spacey: “i know how to make huge soap bubbles”

Thank you!

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ESSA V – ANOTHER LIFE [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Moody, vulnerable, plastic

Tell us a few things about your new EP ANOTHER LIFE. What is the main idea behind it?

The main idea is that I often imagine myself living other lives, having totally different experiences, backgrounds and beliefs than I do currently, and I wanted to explore those lives. Each song is about a relationship – two are exes, one is an ex best friend, and one is about my relationship with myself (When You Dream, Your Soul Grows Back – which contains the lyrics “I feel the pull to another life,” the title of the EP). Writing and producing the songs was therapeutic and allowed me to explore what I did in the past and some possibilities for how things could have gone differently. Coming from a more academic background with my music, where my experience was focused more on technique and execution rather than the feeling that inspired the music itself, it’s always been hard for me to push myself to be vulnerable, and so I hope I achieved that with this EP.

What first got you into music?

When I was 9, four musicians from a local orchestra came to our school to basically persuade kids to join the strings program. There was a violinist, a violist, a cellist, and a bassist. I remember sitting on the floor of the gym, criss-cross applesauce, and each one of them played alone for a few minutes to demonstrate the different features of each instrument, and I was completely blown away by how amazing they each sounded. I chose to play viola (because I’m not like other girls, rawr XD), and then ten years later I was doing that same presentation to a bunch of kids, which was really cool to see some of the kids’ eyes light up and ask a ton of questions. My dad is also a musician and has always played music around me so he probably primed me for that moment too.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

Björk, Kate Bush, Blood Orange, Tom Waits, My Chemical Romance, Tori Amos, Allie X, Idina Menzel, Remi Wolf, Jesca Hoop, The Used, 070 Shake, Young Thug, Phantogram, Rihanna, Cocteau Twins, Peter Gabriel, Debussy, Rush, Chopin, John Mayer, Fair to Midland, Bladee, Brian Eno, Dorian Electra, Circa Survive, Erik Satie, The Dear Hunter, Grimes, Arvo Pärt, Charli XCX, Oneohtrix Point Never, Queen, Demi Lovato, Sigur Rós, Kaija Saariaho, Julia Holter, Ricky Eat Acid, Kitty, MUNA, Dan Deacon and my dad.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

Probably letting other people in on my process. I kind of always thought I needed to do it all myself, from songwriting to recording to producing to mixing and mastering. But I’m learning that collaborating not only takes that weight off of you, it also blends the incredible beauty of someone else’s mind into your work, and that goes beyond workflow and efficiency, it’s priceless. It’s the whole point. Music is meant to be shared not only with other musicians, but the audience should participate. The audience are musicians too, just by listening.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

Smoking a joint driving in your car after an exhausting day. Or on shitty phone speakers getting ready for a girls night out.

When was the last time you danced?

On a daily walk this week. To Vulfpeck on my headphones. You can just dance in the street, nobody cares.

Thank you!

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The Passing Sages – Crisis On The Dancefloor [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

Electrifying, fun, vibrant

Tell us a few things about Crisis On The Dancefloor. What is your creative process like?

Crisis On The Dancefloor is a fun song about people who are afraid to dance! Our creative process can be very collaborative. With this tune, Holly pulled together a demo and brought it to the band who all helped put their own spin on it. The songs naturally evolve once we start working on them together.

What first got you into music?

Carrie – I have loved music for as long as I can remember. I started singing lessons when I was 6 years old. I was obsessed with the musicals ‘Oliver’ and ‘Annie’. From then my love for music, singing and the theatre grew.

Daniel – Until I was about 13-14 I wasn’t into music at all. I was born in 1990 and wasn’t into the pop music I was hearing on the radio. But then got introduced to some older stuff, classic rock, blues, jazz and metal and had a religious moment of realising “oh I actually really like this!”.

Holly – I’ve loved music since I was a kid and I started off playing the cello in my school orchestra. I picked up the guitar at 11 years old and I started songwriting from the age of 1The rest is history!

Mr Clyne – A mixture of my Mother always having varied music on and the enjoyment of playing instruments from primary school onwards. LimeWire also had a huge impact.

Nic – My love of music began from a young age, growing up in a household where the radio was always on and music was always heard. As a result of my Mum being a huge Queen fan and sitting me down in front of their music videos, I fell in love with the guitar and wanted to be just like Brian May. However, 6 year old me was disappointed to discover that I didn’t sound like him straight away when I got my first guitar.

Sean – Both of my parents are big music fans, so there was a lot of music in our household when I was a kid. My mum was always into her club music and musicals, whereas my dad is a big 70s/80s rock and metal fan. The film ‘School Of Rock’ definitely made me more interested in listening to an older generation of music, as did the ‘Guitar Hero’ game franchise.

Your dream collaboration?

Carrie – If Whitney Houston was still alive then it would most definitely be her. She was my idol growing up. Celine Dion would be my 2nd choice.

Daniel – Ooof tough, in terms of modern artists probably Fantastic Negrito, I love the music he’s creating such a cool, modern take on blues. Older artists, definitely Tom Waits, he’s an amazing, unique songwriter who’s gone through so many iterations of his sound throughout the years and I have mad respect for him.

Holly -If Andre 3000 did a verse on one of my songs I would literally die happy.

Mr Clyne – Dangermouse and Jemini the gifted one

Nic – For me I think it has to be the legendary Nile Rodgers. He has been involved with some of the greatest songs of all time and I absolutely love his approach to writing and arranging. As a guitarist, I often think he gets forgotten about on ‘Top Guitarists of All Time’ lists but I think he is a phenomenal player and has such a distinctive sound and style that I just love. I reckon even from just a few moments in his presence I could learn so much.

Sean – Both of my picks are slightly different from The Passing Sages’ sound, but Rob Swire from Pendulum/Knife Party or Mark Tremonti from Creed/Alter Bridge/Tremonti.

What would you change in the music industry?

The worst thing universally about the music industry is definitely the pay. You have to really enjoy performing music and not be in it for the money!

When not writing music, how do you spend your time?

Carrie – I spend my time at work and looking after my 4 year old son.

Daniel – The usual stuff, TV, movies, video games, love a true crime documentary/podcast. And planning my wedding which is less than a year away!

Holly -I like dancing, making stained glass art and travelling when I get the chance!

Mr Clyne – Sleeping or en route to sleep. Child rearing and Xbox.

Nic – I teach guitar so I am literally always playing, learning or writing. A day without a guitar in my hands is a strange day indeed. I also love playing video games.

Sean – Working, unfortunately! Or sleeping… or eating.

When was the last time you danced?

Carrie – okay so proper dancing – not since I was at uni (we had to learn ballet and tap which I was horrendous at) but I do a little side step in time with the beat at practice now and again.

Daniel – This morning in the shower.

Holly – I go to weekly house dancing lessons which are always really fun.

Mr Clyne – I dance with my children all the time.

Nic – Probably at our last band practice, it’s impossible to play this music without having a boogie.

Sean – When I went to see the legendary Drum and Bass dj, Sub focus, last weekend.

Thank you!

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