Recently, I had the absolute pleasure to get to interview an electronic music producer with a pretty short name, 1i2c. He’s an artist with an extensive career in music you need to know! In this occasion, he shared his most intimate thoughts, incredible details about his life and also what’s next on his project. This interview is worth reading.
1 – What does your artistic name mean?
I wanted a small, easily recognizable name that had more than one meaning. It needed to be recognized by the young and I can only actually see out of one eye!
2 – How and why did you get into electronic music? Who influenced you as an artist?
I was drawn into electronic music around 11/12 years old. My parents and elder cousin I remember the most playing odd sounding albums. My Dad liked the Tornado’s and Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds’, my cousin would be listening to Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk. When I identified with Depeche Mode and Tangerine Dream between 15/16 I had established my own groups of major preference.
3 – Was the first track you ever made a jingle? Do you still make songs for advertising campaigns?
The first track I produced was for an advert for myself, promoting myself in an advert create to become the new man for Milk Tray adverts. I got beyond the first section of the audition and the next part required a 30-second video of an action type character. I dressed in black, ran around my hometown with my daughter filming me and created a small track entitled “Speedy Origami”. I wanted the whole video to be self-created. The video was available on YouTube for a short period of time when I first started getting into creating my own music.
4 – What software and tools do you use to create music nowadays?
I have possessed Yamaha keyboards since around 17/18. My first keyboard still in possession is my PSS-170, then a few years later I purchased a PSR-70. I still own these and use the PSR as a midi device. I also have 2 Oxygen 25′ (2 generations), 1 x iRig and my recent musical tool is a Jamstik. I use Logic Pro as my software of choice but have also dabbled with Ableton.
The next album to be released will be ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’. It will be released on May 29th, 2017 by Pink Dolphin Records and will be the first album released on Vinyl too.
6 – What can we expect from this new material? How would you describe its sound?
Some people assume electronic music is always the same. I obviously disagree. Due to the fact I don’t use many vocals and certainly don’t sing ‘often’ I have to make the music itself do the hard work. I make sure the music doesn’t become too repetitive. I set out to make each album have its own distinct sound. ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ was a work of devotion to producing a professional sound. It grew into a collage of some of my best work to date and flows like a rollercoaster, the majority of tracks reflect huge emotion from feeling sexual, to anxious, to lonely, to elation. For those who might not have noticed and the reason for the album title is that each track is a single word starting with the letter ‘I’.
7 – Have you ever had a near death experience? Does it still affect you in some way?
I came close to assuming my time had come back in July 2015 whilst taking a shower after pushing myself hard in a cycle that same afternoon. I often challenged myself using cycle apps and for 3 years running had secured the number 1 spot using these apps on 8 of my closest hill climbs. I was the fastest and endured these climbs the most. The afternoon I took a shower and suffered what I presumed was a heart attack, it was after climbing one of these hills 3 times in succession to push my points higher, but that particular hill was the worst of the 8. Wanting to keep my dignity and wondering if I would make it, my first thought was to get out of the shower immediately, get dried and get dressed. I managed to succeed whilst all the time experiencing pains in my chest that I’d never experienced before. Once dressed I considered all aspects of my life, wondering if I had fulfilled everything. I seemed content with my life, but of course, albeit the continued pain, I was still alive. There was no-one at home. My family had gone on holiday. Within the next few hours, I was in the hospital with suspected heart attack symptoms due to high troponin levels in my blood. It transpired I had Myocarditis. I spent 3 days in hospital having numerous tests and as a result missed participating in the Prudential 100 bike ride I had been training for. The main thing was, I was nervous about getting back on my bike. As the weeks moved on and finding myself with time on my hands, I turned my attention to using the time I spent cycling into being finally creative with my musical equipment. It unleashed a new passion and I would sit for hours making noises that eventually became tracks. The only thing was, three times more that year when I did attempt to get back on the bike or jump into a go-kart for fun, I experienced 3 more heart-related incidents and on the last occasion just after Christmas 2015 was back in the hospital. Subsequently, I’m not as fit as I once was and my bike sits stubbornly in my room behind my keyboard! It’s a Specialized Venge (the same make and model bike that Mark Cavendish raced in 2014!). I think I keep it to remind me to be careful, but with it also reminds me of the reason I started making music.
My children swim in and out with my music. My son gave me a strange compliment once when he said “Dad, is this your music? It’s getting hard for me now to distinguish if it’s your music or somebody else’s.” I felt this was a pivotal point actually because up until that moment, all the music I was producing was for me. The fact that I released it was only a platform to share. My daughter 4 years younger than my son, star of “Hammer Blows” video always tells me she likes my music, but I think that is usually just to make me happy or because she wants something. My son, mainly listens to Spotify and doesn’t listen and collect music like I used to, he is hard studying for University and wants to get a degree in Mathematics, so he will be pursuing a music venture and will keep his feet on the ground. It is my daughter that will veer more towards the artistic world, but she mainly dances (Ballet and Modern). She and her friend recently came close winning a prize in a talent competition out of hundreds of applicants through her dance. She will be starring in a dance show at the Gordon Craig over the weekend of 1st & 2nd April and she is due to have a lead part in a small independent film in summer 2017. Her singing voice is really good, though. She has perfect pitch & tone, but I will not push my kids into things they do not want to do.
9 – Where can we stream to your music online?
My music is available to listen to on Spotify and other listening platforms like Apple Music, Deezer, Soundcloud, Indie Sound, Bandcamp, etc. It is also available to purchase from iTunes, Amazon and other similar sites. Even the purchase sites have the ability to hear extracts. I am recently putting a few YouTube videos online to give more visual presence too. There are already a handful of videos, but this should increase to around 9 or so within days. So keep a lookout!
10 – What are your future plans for the rest of the year?
I have produced a follow-up track called ‘Axe Happy’ to ‘Hammer Blows’. I will be shooting a video within the next couple of months to go with this track. This track will then appear on another album to be released much later in the year called ‘Destiny’. This album is much heavier than most of my work, but the Jamstik is having that effect on me. There are possible collaborations also, maybe some vocal tracks. I also aim to stage at least one gig towards Christmas, when I hit my 50th birthday! It would be great to see many of my friends and family and other supporters getting together and having a good time.