Audien is taking 2019 by storm! Fresh off his huge remix for Calvin Harris, the Grammy-nominated producer is back with another huge collaboration. This time Audien teams up with alt-pop trio Echosmith to bring us “Favorite Sound” a bouncy, vibrant empowerment anthem. Audien co-wrote the song with Echosmith lead singer Sydney Sierota and he said their goal was “to create something super pretty and meaningful.” Mission accomplished. With masterful production by Audien, soaring vocals from Sydney, and some live instrumentation from Echosmith that brings a new dimension to Audien’s style.
We got the chance to chat with Audien (real name Nate Rathbun) and Sydney to talk about “Favorite Sound,” how they came together for the song, what they learned from each other, touring and their big plans for 2019. Exciting things are on the horizon for both Audien and Echosmith, and each of these artists fans.
Hi Nate, hi Sydney, I guess first tell me about “Favorite Sound.” How did you guys come together to make this song?
Nate: “Yeah, Favorite Sound came in a very digital age way. I got the demo and the vocals, and I sort of took it and ran with it. I produced it mostly on planes and stuff, very DJ style, very millennial DJ of me, producing it on laptop only, no studios.”
Sydney: “We went back and forth, actually, not even that much, but we had talked on the phone or gone back and forth on email. And we finally got to meet in person today, which is pretty awesome, that you can have a fully finished, awesome song together and meet each other after the fact. But, yeah, this one is really cool, because I think it has just such a good message to it, that I need to be reminded of, for sure. And, I just think that a lot of our fans are really going to relate to this, because it’s literally just about all the crazy sound inside your head, and how it can sometimes get the best of you, and feel really negative when your by yourself, if you’re listening to a lot of voices. It’s really just about being selective with what you’re believing, and starting to enjoy being by yourself or how you feel about yourself. That’s really what the song is about, I think it’s a really good reminder for all of us, for sure.”
For you Nate, this song really has that classic Audien sound, what was your process like creating this song.
N: “Honestly, I start everything with the melody, I did with this song too. It all starts with complex chords and then I sort of sprinkle in some of the fun riff-y elements later on, and then I add the vocal. This song particularly came out exactly like that, but in the past I’ve done the exact some process, not with vocals, and done instrumentals. That’s what I’m mostly known for, I’d say, is my instrumental stuff.”
Nate, what direction do you see your music headed? Would you like to do more crossover songs like this one and “Something Better”?
N: “Man, I play a lot of shows, so having a lot of cool club instrumental stuff, is really valuable to me, I love having new material to play out. But, these more pop songs, I tend to play seldomly and mostly in remixes and club-ier versions. The answer is I’ll do like a mix, and I think the album I’m going to put out this year is going to have a mix of instrumental stuff and sort of like pop/crossover, not even pop, just vocal stuff.”
Are you guys planning any performances together to support the track?
N: “We’re planning some really big ones actually for later this year, hopefully they’ll happen. We’ve got this huge one, we’re working it in. I can’t reveal anything yet, because I can’t even reveal that I’m playing that show yet, but I’ll let you use your imagination.”
Nate, I know you’ll be here at Beyond Wonderland Southern California in a couple of weeks. What festivals will we see you at this year?
N: “That one’s going to be a big one, I’m doing Spring Awakening in Chicago, Sunset Music Festival in Tampa, another big one that I can’t reveal yet. Yeah, we’re just playing a bunch of really cool ones. I’m not doing Ultra this year, I did Ultra last year, but just some really really big shows. I’m doing a lot of Anjunabeats shows, a lot of that Anjuna family stuff, which is always massive. Some sick, sick shows coming up, for sure.”
And Sydney, where will we see Echosmith touring this year?
S: “Yeah, we’re actually working on planning that now. We’re just wrapping up an album, it’s so, so close to be doing. It’s so almost done, that we’re already sort of touching on a third album on top of that at some point. So, we’re just really focusing on finishing this music and making sure we feel really sure and excited about every single part on it, and I think we’re really close. So, once we finalize that, then we’ll plan a tour and hoping for a little later this year to get back on the road and play this album live for everybody. So, yeah, we should have some more solid answers soon, but it will be soon.”
Who would you each like to work with in the future?
S: “I would love to work with the Killers or Coldplay, there our two biggest influences, and I love them. Or Empire of the Sun, that would be sick.”
N: “I think I’ll probably try and do a collab with Above & Beyond this year, I’ve always wanted to do that, and it’s so overdue. Just, everyone wants it, we haven’t done it, we’re going to do it.”
Sydney, do you see yourself working more with electronic artists in the future?
S: “Yeah, I think working with electronic artists is obviously fun, that’s why we keep doing it. We’re actually working on some more things right now, that we can’t talk about quite yet. But, yeah, we’re big fans of just doing collaborations in general. But, this is a really organic way of doing it, I think. Because you really get to blend your own voice and also our instruments with electronic music. So I think it’s a really nice blend and it works for us, so that’s why we keep going back to it. That’s why I love ‘Favorite Sound’, because it has so many elements of Echosmith in there, but it’s an Audien song. It’s really a great blend of everything. So yeah, we will have some more coming up soon, but we’re just focusing on this one.”
As artists in different genres, what was something that you each learned from each other while making this song?
N: “I guess for me, learning to use more real elements. For the first time I used a lot of real guitars and real drums, that were included in some of the parts from the demo they (Echosmith) had wrote. So, that I learned immediately, I want to use more live elements. It just came out way better that way. I just think that adding real elements like that gives it a human feel. I guess I’m just learning that the hard way. Someone could have told me that, but learning it through process.”
S: “And for us, we’ve always loved using electronic elements in our music, especially with fun keyboards, and keyboards live, specifically. And, in this song, there’s so many cool melodic parts that also feels very true to who we are as a band, because we love having melodic parts, no matter what instrument it’s coming from. So, I think doing this song and exploring other genres is really helpful for us as we’re finishing this album and working on the next album on top of that. It’s just really inspiring actually.”
You guys have been so busy, have you found any free time to decompress at all? What do you do to make sure you don’t go crazy working?
N: “I mean, Sydney’s getting married, so she’s been dealing with a lot of stuff in regards to that. But, as for me, I have a lot of free time honestly. I really budget my time well, and when I’m not on the road, I’ll take like three days of not working at all and just hanging out. So, I think it’s key to do that, I don’t overwork myself, I’ve found that that doesn’t yield good results. I’ve learned to budget my time, but I don’t do too much else other than music, I kind of just chill and play video games. Keepin’ it simple.”
S: “I do something similar, when we are touring it is very non-stop, but when I’m home, I’m home. That’s the cool thing about music, when you’re chilling, you’re truly doing nothing, that’s your time to finally binge watch the show that everyone’s talking about. Honestly, that’s what I do in my free time, I’ll just relax and watch TV. I have gotten into video games recently, which is very surprising for myself. I’m actually pretty good at Overwatch now! It’s so fun, honestly, and you play with strangers, which seems weird. It’s not like you have to be talking to them, I don’t. But, it’s actually kind of a fun way to decompress and get rid of some anxiety, I guess. Just blowing up people.”
Nate, what’s your favorite video game.
N: “I play Overwatch too. Yeah, I got into it a little bit, I don’t play it that much, I just kind of play when I’m super, super bored. But I don’t do much, I just chill, I’m a chiller, I chill harder than most. We’re just stoked for the new song, pumped for everyone to hear it.”
Make sure to check out Audien and Echosmith’s “Favorite Sound” out now on RED MUSIC.