I had the wonderful chance to interview Discrete, a multi-faceted artist from Canada and considered by the blogosphere a producer and DJ on the rise. What caught my attention is not only the fact that his full-length album ‘The Midas Touch’ was nominated for the Juno Award but also his creativity on sampling the right tunes. I’m definitely a new fan of his art in every sense of the word. Discover more below and get into his music.
1 – What were you doing before becoming DJ Discrete?
2 – How did you develop your music style as a producer? How would you describe your current sound?
I would say my sound is much deeper now. They say the things you avoid in life the most are the things you need to embrace the most. I used to criticize Deep House music for being too easy to produce so I tried making it myself, that’s how ‘Mind and Body’ came about. I think when you’re young it’s more about trying to see and hear and experience as much as you can then experimenting with different aesthetics, sounds, etcetera. I would describe my music as sound collage. Old school, nearly vintage, with Dada influences.
3 – Juno Award nominated ‘The Midas Touch’ this year. Why do you think this production has surprised many people?
I was surprised to hear ‘The Midas Touch’ was nominated because I thought the Junos only supported big names. People may also be surprised to hear my sound do so well because it’s old school and right now a lot of people are trying to do something so radically different. Sometimes keeping it simple and rediscovering your roots can be a really invigorating way of creating new work.
4 – What was the idea or inspiration behind the name of your latest LP ‘In My Room’?
Being nominated for a Juno Award inspired me to make a second album. I don’t have a studio so the entire album was produced at home in my bachelor apartment. The album was meant to be an homage to the archetypal bedroom producer so I wanted to create something with as few tools as possible. I also don’t know how to read or write music which is partially why I use samples. I can’t afford microphones, synthesizers or expensive instruments anyways.
5 – What’s the most uplifting song from your new LP ‘In My Room’? Why?
Maybe the intro? Getting a call from DJ Sneak still blows my mind. I played a lot of his records when I was just learning how to DJ so I can’t believe he’s playing my tracks out now.
6 – How many interesting samples did you use?
I chose all of the samples because I found them interesting. Some samples are whole songs, they’re just so minimal they seem like samples. Some are just okay, in which case they are used to support the more interesting ones.
7 – Do you have any criticisms about electronic music production today?
There’s actually a lot of really interesting stuff going on in underground electronic music today, especially with art installations and Ambient music, Techno too. If I had any criticisms I guess it would be when Pop artists co-opt their concepts and appropriate their music into an electronic medium which usually ends up sounding phony and hokey. I love the pristine sound of Pop music but unfortunately some of these larger labels put tremendous pressure on their artists to pander towards focus groups and statistics. If you’re going to try to make music that sounds like House or Electronica, you should do your research first. My favourite Pop artists always know their underground Techno.
8 – I really like the aesthetics of your photos and album artworks. Are you a fan of fashion? Do you work with a brand image consultant?
I do not work with a brand image consultant. I like expressing myself through fashion but I’m not a fan of the industry, it’s just too elitist. I often use images of my artwork for my album covers. The painting I used for ‘In My Room’ is sixteen square feet, it took longer to make than the album itself.
9 – What are the best Deep House and Techno clubs in your homeland?
I don’t actually really like clubs. I find them too exclusive and seedy because of all the drugs. I’m curious about this conscious clubbing movement that’s going on but it’s too soon for me to say much about that. Toi Bar was my favorite place to go to on College Street, they had a great vibe and some great resident Tech House DJs. Circa had some interesting parties while it lasted but I don’t think Toronto was ready to host all these International DJs not everyone knew about. I wouldn’t suggest going to any arbitrary club just for the sake of dancing. If I do that, it’s at Bambi’s or The Beaver, but I typically only go out if there’s an artist playing I really admire. Otherwise there are some after-hours parties on Geary Avenue once in awhile but is not a club per se. Milk Glass Co. has some interesting art parties too. There was also an interesting lineup of noise artists performing at The Hearn Generating Station this summer at Unsound Festival which was really fun. It’s three times larger than the Tate Modern apparently.
10 – Do you plan to make new music or gigs?
I want to spend more time of fewer tracks which means I will be doing EP’s for a while. My friend Colin Greenfield is a brilliant director and is collaborating with me on a music video for the title track “In My Room’. He’s going to be famous one day.
I have a few prospective gigs coming up this year, Fun In The Murky on Bleep Radio in Hamilton, The Underground on CFRU 93.3 FM at University of Guelph, and VInyl Vaults in Toronto.
I also got the keys to a new studio today and have a few surprises up my sleeves with my art practice.
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Exclusive Interview: Dhyan Talks Debut Album ‘The Sun Never Says’ & More
In our latest interview, the Maryland-based artist, Dhyan talks about his debut 10-track album, ‘The Sun Never Says’. So many emotions, it’s been quite a sonic journey so far. Press play on the album below and dive into our interview to learn more about it. He has revealed a music video is on the way, and more…
1 — Thanks for your time, how long did it take you to produce your new album ‘The Sun Never Says’?
‘The Sun Never Says’ took me about 4 months to fully create it. I put out “Lady In the Shadows” and “Speak of the Devil” as singles a while before tho haha.
2 — So, what was the initial concept for this record?
Initially, I wanted to make the entire album have a darker more mature vibe to follow my two singles. I eventually wanted the project to be more diverse to show I can capture different types of emotions.
3 — In your opinion, which track has the most memorable melody?
I would say “Back in Business” has the most memorable melody while “Lady in the Shadows” has the catchiest beat.
4 — Is the acoustic sound part of your signature style as an artist?
I LOVE THE acoustic sound and incorporating into Pop and Hip-Hop. I usually am not the biggest fan of putting myself in a box for genre but I would say I definitely say the acoustic melodies are part of my sound.
My favorite lyric would probably be “Lookin in the mirror and I see / the person staring in front of me / does he know who he is?” in “Speak of the Devil”.
6 — How many people participated in this project?
Me, the producer, and the two people I collaborated with! And, of course, the people in my life that sometimes spark inspiration. 🙂
7 — What’s one thing you could change about this finished album?
If I could change anything I wish I could have included the Lady in the Shadows Remix I’m currently working on. 😉
9 — What about upcoming music videos?
I definitely have a music video coming soon. I have an insane animated music video coming up for my song “Hypocrites”.
10 — Finally, why people should listen to ‘The Sun Never Says’?
People should listen to this album because it’s a lot about raw emotion and honesty. The project name is inspired by a poem by a Persian poet named Hafiz which discusses loving without expecting anything back. ‘The Sun Never Says’ you owe me. The project was meant to capture feelings like lust, infatuation, curiosity, confusion, harmless fun, impulsiveness, and ends with a message selfless love. I think a lot of people my age would relate to a lot of the songs because of the sheer frustration we all share in this aspect haha. Lastly, I have a diverse variety that could be Pop, RnB, Hip Hop, Latin Trap and more. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With PhiloSofie
PhiloSofie like many new rising artists is making her way into the music industry with a high level of originality. Here she talks to Electro Wow about the early stages of her career, plus, the new single “Go-To”, which is a favorite among her fans. Singing, and songwriting ain’t only a hobby but also her true passion. Learn more below.
1 — First of all, how did you come out with your artist name PhiloSofie? What does it mean to you?
My brother was the one who initially came up with the name and suggested it to me when I was about 15 years old. I was attracted to it because the word ‘philosophy’ itself asks people to look inward towards values and thought. The name ‘PhiloSofie’ captures an ongoing search for wisdom and purpose. My music serves as a vehicle to get me closer to whatever that may be. Songwriting and producing allow me to explore and cross boundaries within myself.
2 — When did you start your music career? Was your family supportive?
I’ve always been writing and making up little songs since I was little, six years old. As I grew older, I would borrow my dad’s work laptop and use Garage Band to make music and then post what I made to SoundCloud. Writing, singing, and producing have always been my passion. Putting the three together into music-making served and continues to serve as an outlet for my emotions as well as a way to tell stories. My family always supported it because they saw how passionate and happy creating made me feel. When “Do My Thing” with Lucian came out, I realized I could do this as a career.
3 — How has your music style changed over time?
My music is constantly evolving and expanding over time. The collaborations allow me to stretch in ways I wouldn’t normally do and put me in genres I wouldn’t normally listen to. This helps inform my own sound as I can take what I like about a particular collaboration and apply it to my own music. No matter how simplistic or sophisticated each song may sound, there is still a dreamy element to my music that is distinctly ‘PhiloSofie.’ No matter how my sound may change, I would like to keep that.
Prince, Prefab Sprout, Stevie Wonder, The Gorillaz (still have the T-shirt from their second album “Demon Days” which is my personal favorite album of theirs), David Bowie, Gene Kelly, Lily Allen, Empire of the Sun, Norah Jones, Queen, Fergie, The Internet.
6 — Let’s start talking about your newest single “Go-To”. What was the inspiration behind its lyrics?
0:12 – 0:35 seconds and the vocal chop that comes after was recorded a year ago. I decided to revisit the project and write additional vocals centered around the ‘you’re my go-to’ line because there is someone in my life who is indeed my ‘go-to’ and who the song is directly inspired by. I wanted to capture the feeling of being in love and being with someone who is your everything. Not everyone is in love, and not everyone wants to be, but I want to be able to create what one may not have in his/her daily life, even if it only lasts for 3 minutes and 31 seconds. If I can do that, then that is a day made in my book.
7 — Are you planning to release a music video in the near future?
Yes. To begin with, a video of me singing with the song playing in the background, I’d like to have some visual so people can see how I move and create. There will definitely be a music video to one of the tunes I’m currently working on. There is a note in my phone that contains a huge list of scene ideas. It is high on the list of priorities to turn these ideas into videos.
A professional music studio offers a creative space that is optimal for collaboration because you can hire an engineer to do the technical work. You can also work just as well on your own or with other musicians in a bedroom. I still use the same midi microphone I used when I was in high school. Owning a preamp and monitoring speakers do really help the production and recording process but these are still tools you can easily put in your bedroom and that you don’t need a studio for. It really depends on how you work. I would love to get inside a studio that has all sorts of gadgets and analog instruments to play with as well as work with an engineer and musical team to produce some insane music.
9 — What equipment or basic tips do you recommend for beginner artists?
Find a DAW that works for you. It is relatively easy to learn the layouts of other DAWs when you have a good understanding of your own. I use Logic pro but would love to learn how to use Ableton as Ableton is a great DAW for live performances. Get yourself a pair of over-ear headphones. These block out most outside noise and keep you in the zone. One of the biggest tips I can give for beginner songwriters that I wish I had listened to time and time again is to be truthful in what you write about. You don’t need to tell the truth, but whatever you’re writing about, let it come from the heart.
I see myself being able to live within my means from the music I create.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With FUREA
The Internet is a magical place where you can discover so many great artists. Such is the case of FUREA, a genuine Electronic Music Producer/Singer from Germany. Electro Wow caught up with him to know all the facts about his latest gem, “This Can’t Be Happening”. A fresh track I’m listening on repeat mode!
1 — Thanks for your time. You have put out a new song called “This Can’t Be Happening”, can you tell us more about the lyrics?
Thank you too! Yes, sure. The lyrics are about the younger generation, my generation and how suppressed we are when it comes to doing things that we love. We fear a lot of things and it is even cool to be negative these days.
2 — What do you expect listeners to take from it?
I want people to understand, that they should believe in themselves because everyone is unique and you can do a lot of beautiful things in this world. It is just a matter of time!
3 — What were the steps you took to produce it?
I was in The Hague in a hotel lobby when I was producing this song. I started with a House song and ended up with an experimental witchy Trance sound like this. I like Trance but I wanted to use my own sounds.
4 — What challenges did you overcome during the production process?
Vocals were pretty much all over the place because I layered them a lot. It worked well though.
Absolutely, I think that it is something different. So yes!
6 — What kind of music did you grow up on?
I always tried to do my own thing with my music so I don’t know if a genre exists for me. My label also focuses on this element, Graycrest wants artists to name their own genres.
7 — Do you draw inspiration from contemporary artists?
Yes, for example, while I was growing up a really big Bring me the Horizon fan. I still am. They still inspire me.
I’m going to dissatisfy people with my answer but I guess I just like nice computers. Otherwise, if I had a retro synth I would use it but I don’t really own one.
9 — What do you like to do when you’re not working in the studio?
I like to be in nature and meditate. Sometimes I go out with certain people I love and care about.
10 — Finally, what made you want to start a career in music?
Everything and especially my perception of happiness. I thought I could be happy if I persuade the right thing in my life. The people who have supported me really increased my courage to do so. Thank you all!
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Quickfire Interview With: Mr Hudson
I had the absolute honour to interview Mr Hudson. The artist who is ahead of his time is back with a futuristic album entitled ‘When The Machine Stops’. This 11-track project is probably his best work to date and it revolves around modern isolation. As a music fan, I wanted to find out the intimate details about his career. Scroll down for more info.
1 – You’ve been Songwriting and Producing since…
I was nine and wrote a song called “Will You Be Mine” always the sensitive soul.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
It’s the closest thing to a religion that I have.
3 – Your sound is…
Sad robot music.
5 – Fans should listen to your new album ‘When The Machine Stops’ because…
It’s the best thing I’ve ever made.
6 – If you want to know who Mr Hudson is, listen to the track…
“There Will Be Tears”.
7 – Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Meeting Elton John on the beach and taking him to the studio to work on MBDTF with Kanye.
8 – Your dream is…
9 – Your next release is called…
“When The Machine Stops”.
Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.
11 – Your favourite venue/club is…
The Greek Theater in L.A.
12 – If you weren’t a Songwriter and Producer you’d probably be…
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I lose my hearing.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Sitting on a plane to London.
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Quickfire Interview With: RETNA
RETNA is a DJ and Producer from London whose whole life has revolved around music from learning the mix on the decks at the age of 10 to graduating Point Blank Music School to having his debut EP supported but some of the industry’s leading artists such as PAX, Eskuche, and Detlef. With the release of his “Teach Me” coming in a few weeks, we caught up with RETNA for a quickfire interview.
1 — Favourite song?
I have so many to choose from, but one of them is DMX’S “Where The Hood At” that one always seems to get me going whenever I hear it.
2 — Biggest Inspiration?
All the young artists that are smashing the scene at the moment and obviously the legends that have paved the way for us all and finally my family, as their encouragement, love and work ethic, drives me forward every day.
3 — Worst Habit?
Being on my phone and getting easily distracted, I probably could have had an album ready now if it wasn’t for my iPhone – definitely need to limit my time on that!
4 — Biggest Career Achievement?
Getting signed to a reputable record label
5 — DJ’ing or Producing?
Producing, that’s another addiction!
7 — Best DJ Set You’ve Ever Seen?
Adam Beyer at Ants in Ushuaia, Ibiza went off!
8 — Funny Career Memory?
Trying to get my Dad in the studio to record some lyrics for one of my tunes, which he eventually did after more than a few glasses of Courvoisier! Playing back the tapes is something that will stick with me for a long time!
10 — What’s up Next for RETNA?
I’m thinking of starting up my own record label and events company, sometimes you just got to make your own luck, because time waits for no one!
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