Yesterday, Subsidia started 2021 off strong with their Dawn: Vol. 2 compilation, featuring 18 beautifully melodic and devilishly heavy bass songs. At the top of the compilation was Whales & Excision featuring RIELL with their new track, “The Last Time.”
We caught up with Whales to ask him some questions about the track and what he has in store for the year ahead.
Collaborating with Excision is on a lot of artists’ bucket lists — was it the same for you? How did you feel when you first got the opportunity?
Honestly, it felt surreal. I’m also the first middle eastern (Israeli) artist he has collaborated with. So I felt very lucky and happy that I could have a chance to create a piece of art with him, and now to see his amazing community react. It makes me happy to make so many people happy.
When I first realized I had the opportunity, I started something like 12 demos in the first 48 hours. I was so excited.
RIELL isn’t a name I’m familiar with, but she’s released with a huge number of artists, 24 tracks just in 2020 alone. How did you connect with her?
I’ve actually been writing a lot more vocal-focused music lately, and have been lucky to work with a lot of really amazing singers. I first heard Riell’s voice when we started The Last Time. I immediately fell in love with her vocals. They really made this song what it is. She’s a very talented and hardworking singer songwriter!
More vocal-focused music?
When producing something melodic like this versus something heavier, is there anything you do differently? Even like drinking tea versus coffee, changing the lights in your room, or what have you.
Melodic music is what I usually listen to, It’s what started my career back in the day as Sex Whales, and my fingerprint is really all about that. 2020 was a lot about heavy music, and touring (that got cut in the middle due to COVID-19) but as soon as I was taken out of the environment of live shows, I started to focus more on what felt most natural. Which is all sorts of melodic and pop music.
When I’m writing heavier stuff, I try to place myself in the perspective of someone on the dance floor, but with melodic songs, it’s pure emotion.
What can we expect from Whales the rest of 2021?
I learned so much about what I really want to do last year, and I’ve made hundreds of songs, in a ton of different styles.
2021 is looking super exciting already! I’ll be on Annie’s Show later this month on BBC Radio One (Jan 20th), I’m putting finishing touches on my first album which I can’t wait to share with everyone. Not sure if I was supposed to mention that, so I won’t say anything else.