With an utterly innovative approach to production and a talent that seems to keep on developing and crossing into new directions, we were super keen to chat with sumthin sumthin. His freshest piece for Quality Goods Records, Afterglow is a future bass delight, and in our exclusive interview, its creator speaks further on the making of it.
Good to have you speak with us! Your new EP ‘Afterglow’ is a truly stunning listen, from start to finish. What do you feel you learned making this collection?
This was my first attempt at making a somewhat cohesive EP. The best thing I’ve learned through making this collection is never to take any track too seriously. The more you laugh/have fun during the creative hours, the better the song will be. Just flow and see what happens without any expectation.
What has it been like working with UZ and them Quality Goods Records team? Would you say he is a big inspiration to your sounds?
This whole year for me has been dream-like so far. I remember when UZ was almost a mythical being to me when I was in high school. Him, Floss, Loudpvck (their OG stuff), and Carmack were my idols of trap music growing up, so meeting UZ and being able to have this experience with Quality Goods Records is something I still can’t comprehend.
Did you know straight away the sound you wanted to capture on the EP? Where did you find influences?
I never really know what I’m going to make when I sit down to produce. Especially for this EP. I knew there was something on my subconscious that needed to surface itself, so I just started grinding away until I noticed a cohesive sound coming from a few tracks. Most of my influence comes from a general fascination of life, how much we don’t know and how much else is out there. I look at sound and music the same way I look at life, an infinite amount of things can happen and change, everyday we are pushing the bar beyond comprehension.
How have your fans reacted to it so far?
So far the fans have been so supportive! I’ve been getting messages daily from people around the globe. It’s crazy to connect with them.
How did working with MC Snowy come about on ‘Moves’? Would you be keen to work together again?
The QGR team and I decided that the EP definitely needed a vocal to speak to people, so we looked at the four tracks and decided ‘Moves’ would be a perfect instrumental for a grime vocalist. We reached out to a few artists, Snowy being one of them. After hearing his unique tone and character I knew I wanted him on the track. Within a few short days he sent me over his acapella that fit into the track beautifully, but the BPM changes on the second drop and I had never told him. So I threw some flare on the vocal with processing and FX but the talent shines through all of that with him. I am overly keen to work with him again.
What is your studio set up like right now? Do you ever write music on the road?
I love this question. Any track you or anyone has heard from me in the past year or so was produced on iPhone 5 earbuds, usually in my bed or on any table I can find. I just recently bought VModas but honestly still like the iPhone headphones. I don’t usually produce behind monitors, not because I don’t like to, I’m just never in a studio setting of any sort. I’m not on the road too much but whenever I travel I always pull out Ableton and mess around, producing on airplanes is a luxury most don’t get to enjoy.
Say you could pass on a couple of tips to your younger self just starting out as an artist… what would they be?
1. No manager, agent, blog, collective, label etc will ever get you to where you truly need to be in life or music. Be patient and make your art without expecting anything, believe in your purpose and have faith that everything is meant to be.
2. Call your friends and family more, be a human. Music is important but we’re here to live as well as create. Don’t sacrifice every second to your music career.
3. Stop trying so damn hard. Relax, and keep making music with ease.
If you could name three artists/groups who have influenced you the most throughout your career so far, who would they be?
1. Mr. Carmack: the most consistent producer of his time, Carmack clearly put his love into very piece of creation, and that gave him his unique sound that we all still emulate in some way or another. This spoke so loudly to me when it came to looking at my own music.
2. Yann Tierson. This is a french composer that makes unbelievable simple yet emotional music, when growing up I would learn his songs on piano which helped shaped the way I write music today.
3. Sam Gellaitry: This is someone who was born in the same year as me, this put an overwhelming perspective on what I was doing with my own production. His sound is so incredibly unique, down to the mastering. He is a constant reminder of how I can push myself to be more original. His music isn’t too hard to comprehend either, he keeps things simple and the listeners can actually understand what he’s doing.
What could we expect from a sumthin sumthin DJ set?
Tears, goosebumps, laughter, screams, hugs, maybe a bruise or two.
We’re in! What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Honestly every week offers a new surprise, so I’m just trying to remain grateful for everything that has happened so far and will continue to happen this year. My biggest focus is keeping myself mentally strong and happy through this musical journey, as long as that is in check, I know my music will be fine.