These past few years, an artist from Australia has been making waves with his staggering Novation Launchpad videos demonstrating his impressive mixing skills and standout sound. That man, who recently signed to Ultra Music Records, is none other than Nick Boundy, a 22 year old more famously known under his moniker M4SONIC. With the help of the internet, Nick was propelled to stardom in a matter of days. Rather, his hands were, when his videos Launchpad User Solo 1, Weapon, Virus and others garnered millions of views. The interesting thing about M4SONIC is that not many people knew the man behind the hands. Other than his masterfully created mashups, few knew his story or what he even looked like. That changed when M4SONIC was “revealed” on Fuse News back in September of last year, afterwards Nick gave a live presentation of his skills and technique. Since then, fans have been clamoring to learn more about the rising star. So without further ado, we’d like to present to you our very special interview with M4SONIC!
Where and how did you get your start?
M4SONIC: It all started from my bedroom, with one Novation Launchpad and the Internet. I’d made a Launchpad mash-up video, which had less than 50 views from family and friends. Being such a fan of the Launchpad I sent an email to Novation with my video just saying that I loved their product and that this was how I was using it (non conventionally). When they saw it, they not only responded to my email but posted it to their social networks which then snowballed as internet bloggers reposted it over and over.
How much work does it take to make and create a video such as Weapon or Virus?
M4SONIC: A stupid amount. Weapon was originally a mash-up of samples from all of my favorite songs. I wasn’t sampling loops though, I wanted one-shot sounds. It started when I built a simple drum rack with kicks, snares and hats. I then resampled lasers, growls, synths and leads until I had over 200 samples. I then spent hours placing those sounds into a grid on a Launchpad and played them in sequences (all trial and error) memorizing patterns that sounded melodic or rhythmic. It just grew from there, but took weeks not just to create the sound banks but also to rehearse and memorize sequences until I had an entire song. Then came the filming. Being a perfectionist, I wanted to play the song start to finish without any mistakes. After 17 attempts and about 9 hours of frustration I managed to get a version of Weapon that I was pretty happy with – but it wasn’t perfect. Much the same with Virus, only Virus took twice as long to create as I produced more of the samples from scratch.
How did it feel when your first youtube video went viral?
M4SONIC: It was such an exciting time for me (my friends and family also). I’d constantly check the video to read its latest comments and see how many more views it had gained throughout the day.
Did you expect to receive the feedback you’ve been getting?
M4SONIC: I was so grateful to receive positive feedback from people that enjoyed the music and appreciated the performance aspect, but never expected it. The ‘keyboard warriors’ (haters) were a new thing to me, so at first I took negativity personally. Now I use it as motivation to continue posting videos of my Launchpad performances.
Do you plan on continuing to release Live Launchpad videos? Or are you going to be moving away from that?
M4SONIC: Of course! However, I don’t want to create Launchpad videos for the sake of ‘supply and demand’. I’m establishing myself as a producer and I create music on all types of equipment, whether it be in a fully equipped studio with keyboards synths, or on my laptop in a cramped seat on a plane. The videos will continue to come, it just takes a lot of time. The launchpad was really crucial in differentiating me from other artists so it’s definitely staying in the mix.
Do you feel any pressure to change your sound as a result of signing with Ultra Music?
M4SONIC: Not at all, the very reason I signed to Ultra is because they support my sound and my direction in music. I make music, of all types and in many ways. The Launchpad music is a super time consuming process and it requires me to have flexibility and options (it’s almost impossible to meet deadlines), my label has helped strategize the best way to supply my fans with music whilst I create my productions that in todays internet world (take longer than the punters are prepared to wait).
Where do you see M4SONIC going in the next few years?
M4SONIC: I hope to collaborate with artists and tour extensively to show the world what I can do live. I’m on this huge learning curve right now, being so new to the industry and having these new expectations I didn’t have when I started in the bedroom, it’s a bit daunting at times. In the next few years I hope to become more established and learn from experience and my peers to create some really solid records and perform some full on shows.
What do you think of the general state of EDM right now?
M4SONIC: As an artist I’m really new to the scene so it is hard to judge, just the term “EDM” gets such a reaction. Overall though, as an EDM fan I’m really excited about where the genre is at the moment. I think there are some obvious drawbacks to it becoming such a huge “machine” but realistically it feels like an exciting time to be involved in the scene. You only need to go to multi-genre events like Coachella to see how many people are loving electronic music, I think that is great! Whether you’re Deadmau5, Seth Troxler or DJ Sneak having a rant about EDM, it at all comes from the fact that they genuinely care about the scene and how their music fits within that world (or doesn’t fit in that “EDM world”). I think as an artist, or a fan, less energy should be spent trying to “bend the machine” to your will by hating on the aspects that you don’t like and more focus should be on what you do as a performer or who you support as a fan. For me, I felt like too many DJ’s were doing a “press play” style of performance so creating and performing music on the launchpads was really just my reaction to something that I thought was stale in the EDM world.
Be sure to listen and enjoy his latest release on Ultra Music, titled Arcade!
Get it here: Beatport