I had the honor of interviewing Aastik Koshy, who is the main figure behind Blue Magic Records. It’s practically a new label that will soon release interesting material this year. If you’re a producer or a music enthusiast of Electronica, Ambient and other unconventional genres, then I suggest you read the full interview in order to gain a thorough understanding of Aastik’s innovative project.
1 – Is there something fascinating about Blue Magic Records that people may not know yet?
Blue Magic Records© is a part of‘ Turquoise Sound Pvt Ltd (TSC)’ founded by Aastik Koshy, producer, composer, and sound design artist. TSC was set up in 2015 to produce his numerous music creations and collaborations to be curated and released in a structured way. The company is based in North Goa, India with office and studio on a water-front organic farm.
2 – How and when did this label start?
This label started out of a necessity to create a new stream of musical consciousness and an outlet for music of a certain aesthetic quality. We believe in linking musical ideologies with ease of curation and access, as well as a definitive and sturdy platform to facilitate musical innovation. This happened in early 2017.
3 – What is the mission of the label?
BMR is here to put out interesting and new sounds, offbeat collaborations, as well as a platform for musicians with an individualistic vibe. We at BMR want the magic of sound to serve as a vehicle of collective peace, upliftment, and healing.
4 – What is the most challenging thing about running your own label?
One of the challenges faced would be marketing to the right niche. When the moment is right, things click into place and that’s the way it’s worked out for BMR so far. It’s been a great run since the inception of the label, and moving ahead is our focus. Finding the perfect group of people to work with who share the same passion and intensity is a big challenge too. Automation of this process with minimum manpower in administration is our solution.
5 – How can artists submit their music? What are you looking for in an artist that wants to join Blue Magic Records?
At present, we accept demos by email (through the website). Some artists also come recommended through label members and mutual acquaintances. A few to look out for in the first few label releases are – Internal Eye (A Garden Of Stars), smooth lush downtempo and emotive-chill music. Inhabited Stars – (Journey I-VII), a collective formed by BMR with AshkaFlutes, V3k and Freakuency featured in the first release. BMR does not intend to be a closed group in any way and a submission hub will soon be available.
BMR is featuring the first set of releases between Jul 15 and Aug 15. Some of the releases to look out for are:
INTERNALEYE (Rohit Bushan), his music is a melting pot of deep and emotionally charged soundscapes, lush, ambient textures and new-age grooves. His new album on BMR titled ‘Garden Of Stars’ is an eclectic journey through emotionally charged chilled beats and lush dreamscapes.’Garden Of Stars’ is the perfect album for those lazy hazy evenings just as much as early mornings. This album is recorded at InternalEye SoundLab, Mumbai and Mastered by Turquoise Sound Pvt. Ltd.
INHABITED STARS – a BMR © music collective formed in 2017 by Aastik Koshy, features different artists with each release, showcasing different forms of music.The first release is a mix of ambient bliss with heavy shifting dnb inspired electronica and touches of psychedelic influences. The first installment in the series named ‘Journey I-VII’ features collaborations with artists such as V3K, a genre bending artist responsible for some of the best combinations of ethnic music and electronica. Freakuency, an experimental sound designer who works on psychedelic projects apart from his avant-garde creations is another artist to look out for. Frequent collaborator and music advisor AshkaFlutes is a part of the project and brings touches of ethereal flute to the mix in the first track.
Recorded at Turquoise Studio A (Ch Island) North, Goa/Glitch Studio (Blr)/Freakuency Lab (Kodai) and Mastered by Turquoise Sound Pvt.Ltd
ANTIGRAVITY – A journey through experimental designs in the ambient realm with touches of psychedelic chill and space music. The album was conceptualized and produced over a period of late night sessions in Turquoise Studio A (Ch Island) North, Goa by Aastik Koshy to bring an eccentric taste in structure and synthesis, with use of mainly a few analog synths and thick textures. This album is a journey into space and matter.
Also coming soon are SEASON I – Aastik Koshy- & AFTER HOURS (Various Artists)
These albums will be available across all major online stores soon.
7 – What are the services the label offer?
BMR offers a platform to express highly individualistic musical ideologies and expressional music for release of the artist and his work. Everything else is second nature and a part of the process of the label, such as artwork, cataloging, and curation. BMR is totally self-sufficient and a smooth experience for any artist who we merge with.
8 – Are you in direct competition with other underground music labels in your homeland?
BMR has carved a niche for itself. We are exclusive and immensely creative. Our collaborations are global and we don’t see a competitor in our styles. BMR is one of a kind project and first of its kind, based in Goa.
9 – Is the label active on social media? If yes please share the links with us!
10 – What are your future plans for the rest of the year?
Steady progress is vital. We will continue to bring our audience new music, fresh energy, and positivity. A special thank you to the musical advisors, producers, staff, friends and everyone else that supports our work and vision!
Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.