DROZE‘s new single “Never Thought” stands out with a lyric video that is worth watching. Over the years, he has established himself as a prominent singer who mingles his soulful vocal style alongside House music beats. You can check out this exclusive interview and read all the details on the making of his captivating song, which becomes an anthem for breakups.
1 — The lyric video of “Never Thought” looks awesome. Where was it filmed? Who collaborated in the creative process of it?
Tamara Stampone is the creative force behind the lyric video. She knows me and my love for my city and when she heard the track she married the mood and the visual into this beautiful full day in Miami. Starting from daytime to nighttime, she nailed the slow crescendo of the song. I’m as big a fan of hers and she is of mine.
2 — Is “Never Thought” inspired by any true event?
This instrumental landed on my lap right in the midst of a very emotional break up. And not just a break up with someone I was dating, but it was a full break up from everything that I had known for 4 years. I had to break up with friends that we just couldn’t share. I had to break up with the idea of what I was trying to build in those 4 years. It was so much more than just letting go of a person and I honestly “never thought” that it would end… especially the way it did. It was such a rollercoaster that I ended up writing this song about it, and somehow my life just kinda synchronized itself with this vibe… the melody… the feeling. You can hear how the story played out in the lyrics.
3 — If there is one person you could dedicate this song to, whom would that be and why?
Well I mean the song is about my ex so I guess it gets dedicated to that person in a way, but I would probably dedicate it to that version of myself during the breakup. The song surrounds the ideas of lies, and heartbreak, and sleepless nights but it doesn’t stay there. It was really important to me that I didn’t dwell there in that dark place so the end of the track speaks to how I survived it and I’m okay being alone again and finding what that relationship with myself looks like again. So maybe I’d dedicate half to my ex and half to my younger self? LOL.
“365 to survive” is probably the lyric that sucker punches me every time I hear it, partly because it’s a real-time marker for me. It took a full year to stop replaying things in my head, stop replaying the past, stop with the imaginary scenarios of reconciliation, stop focusing on what was. It was a full year before I even felt like myself, so that’s kinda eye-opening every time I sing it.
5 — The emotional/melancholy feel to it, feels powerful. What does this result depend on?
I’ve always been a fan of Trance and so much of Trance and Vocal House tends to have happy music with sad lyrics and I feel that’s kinda always my root for a song. The idea behind my music is to always tell a story, this just happens to be a doozy. The song isn’t really about all the hardship it flows through, it’s more about singing the praises of surviving things that you didn’t think you could. Depending on your mood you might only focus on one side of the story, but there’s a real duality in it that I love.
6 — Did you sample a classic record from the early 2000s for this song?
That’s a question for the producer, QuestionMarQ. The guy is a flow-magician. We’ve worked together on a couple of projects now and I am always immediately drawn to his remixes, or instrumentals, or really anything he’s putting out. We-vibe I think which is crazy considering we’re half a world away from one another.
I don’t smoke, so that’s a big one for me. And the moment I think I’m getting a cold I run to grab throat coat teas, dayquil, chloraseptics, etc… And it may sound odd, but I sing every day. I SING EVERY SINGLE DAY. So when I’m sick and I can’t sing it’s almost like being punished. I think it’s important to know your voice and a daily song or two helps me know where I’m at vocally that day/week.
8 — How do you balance your music with other obligations?
This is a really tricky one. I’m not at a level where music is paying my bills just yet so my 9-5 has to continue to fund my passion. I’m very organized so I create a to-do at the beginning of my week and I have to literally schedule myself “DROZE” time; whether that’s lyrics, visuals, reaching out to my team, or just listening to new music. Scheduling is helping me manage my time between both of those worlds.
9 — Are you planning to release remixes of “Never Thought” any time soon?
I love remixes! I love the entire idea of a producer getting this piece of my art and being able to make it their own. Sometimes I get back remixes that sound like a totally different piece of work and that’s always amazing to me. I’ve pushed out the track to a couple of DJs I really like and I guess we’ll see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
10 — What more stories do you want to tell through your next singles? What else can we expect from DROZE?
Honestly, I still have so much to say as an artist. I feel like I’ve become more comfortable with the songwriting process with every track and it’s easier for me to get a message out now. I think I’ll always have an affinity to write “the blues”, but I think I need to balance that out now with something people find uplifting. So you may see a different side of DROZE coming soon but don’t worry, it’s still me.
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5 Years Later, Mallive Is Back With Innovative Music — Interview
After an enigmatic five-year disappearance, Mallive has returned and is prepared to take his rightful place among the dance music elite. Find out more in this interview and listen to his newest track “Wish I XX Love U.”
1 – It took you almost 5 years to produce your new music. Is there something that you regret not doing?
I happened to watch a live stream with Jamie XX where he talked about releasing music: the process of releasing work is as much a logistical one as it is an emotional one — feeling ready to put yourself out there. I wish I could have gotten to this moment sooner, and felt ready sooner. But, everyone gets there in their own time. The best time to plant a tree is two hundred years ago, and the second best time is today.
2 – How would you describe the current phase of your work in just three words?
Part 2: Anew
3 – Do you think is it time for producers to rethink the way they approach their music releases?
There’s a lot I could say here, but I’ll simply say: yes. But, you can approach your release however makes you happy. Always be adapting, but be true to what you are.
4 – Do you see yourself as an experimental artist?
To me, “experimental” means trying something new, and by that measure, I do see myself as an experimental artist. I put pieces of what I love together, and see where it takes me. The result isn’t necessarily “experimental music” as the term goes. But it’s something new.
5 – Why do you think your new single “Wish I XX Love U” is synonymous with innovation?
At the moment, I’m focused on combining two elements. As I call them, kineticism & emotionality, or beat & heart: something that makes you move, and something that fills your heart. Your favorite bassy track at the club, and your favorite ballad to listen to on the night bus home. My single “Wish I XX Love U” puts the two together, so you get the driving energy with soaring melody, and quick hits with moving chords. You’ll hear it on the dance floor, and hum the vocals when you’re looking out the window before pulling up the covers and drifting off to sleep.
6 – What do you hope your listeners take away from this track?
A sense of energy & sentimentality. And a hug! Go hug someone.
7 – What is it about? What’s the inspiration behind it?
This song is about intimacy & acceptance.
The lyric is “wish I didn’t love you, but I do”.
To love someone, to become intertwined with another is terrifying. You are responsible to them, and they, to you. But that’s what it’s all about: to be something more than yourself. So be here, be brave, and love them anyway.
8 – How do you go from the Future Bass sound to the fresh vibe that you’re displaying in your present-day music?
Years of writing. I took 2018 off to finish school, and after that, I’ve been churning through hundreds of ideas. I went through many different genres and styles. In 2018, Disco and House like Daphni, then to electronic bands like Roosevelt in 2019, rediscovered piano in 2020. In late 2021 and early 2022, I found a number of producers, mostly from Australia and the UK doing something I’d never heard of before. These artists: Jamesjamesjames, SWIM, Skin On Skin, Duskus, and Salute, helped me solidify a new sound: dance music for your heart.
It’s tough! If you’d talked to me in 2021, I would say social media is bad for your health, bad for humanity, and that no one should have an Instagram. I still sort of believe that, but I also understand that it’s a useful way to share. As an artist, it can help me get the word out. But, as an artist, I am also pressured to make my life and work into content for the algorithm: not good. If there’s something I come back to, it’s this: “a life is not lived online”. Whatever cool thing on your phone is the tiniest slice of what life is: there’s so much more outside the screen.
10 – What else can we expect from Mallive in the next months?
More (-: I’m committing myself make great, moving music. I’ve got more tracks in the release queue (an EP?) club edits that need to find a home off the dance floor, and at least one more show this fall. Stay tuned via Instagram or text HUG to +1 (855) 684-1950.
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Shallou Talks New Song “Us” And The Creative Process Behind It
Shallou took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about the creative process behind “Us,” his latest collaboration with ayokay. Read the interview to learn what he hopes listeners take away from his beautiful EDM song.
1 — What truly inspired you to write a song like “Us”?
I’m lucky enough to be in a happy and healthy relationship that feels like I need to cultivate and protect. Sometimes the outside world gets to be too much and causes a lot of stress in your life, and all you want is to go somewhere you can just enjoy your existence with the person you love.
2 — What qualities do you think makes this tune different from your previous ones?
This one is happier and uplifting – it feels like something you would hear in a Kygo set and also has a sweet message. Something about my vocal tone makes it a little less poppy and genuine, but it’s as lovey-dovey (and possibly cheesy) as I can get!
3 — What goals did you want to achieve by working with ayokay?
ayokay is impressive because of his ability to write vocals, produce and engineer all by himself. As someone who likes wearing many hats as well in the creation of a track, there’s no one better to work with than a fellow writer-producer-vocalist who understands the electronic space, and how to balance that with Pop elements. We’ve run in similar circles for many years and I think both our fanbases have been pushing for this collab for a while.
Sometimes an idea will come out of nowhere, or I’ll hear a track that inspires me and I want to hit the studio and make something immediately. Other times I sit down to write with not a single idea and I just start tinkering on the piano or with the voice notes app. The will to create is not always spontaneous, but the flow of taking a track from start to finish always is. Melodies pop into your head as you’re building out a song – same with possible drum sounds or lyric ideas so the song is always changing moment by moment.
5 — How do you find that balance of planning everything and then maintaining a creative self as well?
I honestly delegate a lot of the planning to my manager and label. I’m always paying attention to the overall plan for my music, but I’m always most zoned in on creating. To me, it’s the only way to stay sane and have longevity in the music industry!
6 — How many days or weeks did you spend in the studio while producing “Us”?
Alex (ayokay) and I met up one time and wrote the melody and lyrics but the track wasn’t produced at all, it only had just a synth and voice. I took what we had and produced it out a bunch, and then we sent it back and forth online until we both felt like it was done.
Definitely. Sometimes I like to think of it as an ode to my cat. 🙂
8 — Is there a particular genre that you’re interested to explore in the future?
I’ve been working on a bunch more dancey stuff that still has that Shallou sound to it. I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing an Indie Folk side project.
9 — Are you thinking about dropping remixes for “Us”?
No official ones, but there’s a little remix contest going on in my Discord – I put the stems there and producers have been creating their own versions and posting them there. It’s really fun!
10 — Besides music, are there any other outlets you express yourself with?
I’m working on a couple of short film ideas (I have a full one written) because I’ve always loved the visual space. I still have a lot to learn, but it’s really fun fantasizing about directing something someday.
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Exclusive Interview: setstill On Creating A Multi-Genre Album
Electro Wow is pleased to present you with an exclusive interview on the creation of a multi-genre album titled ‘thefool’ by Minneapolis-based artist setstill. Discover how this 10-track project came together despite complex circumstances.
1 — What inspired setstill to create a multi-genre album?
Ever since I downloaded Logic and started to learn how to make music back in 2016; the thing that I’ve always loved and has always been the most exciting is discovering how recorded music is made. Personally, I really enjoy and have a lot of respect for all sorts of music, and I’ve found that learning about each one’s unique culture, expression, and creative process pushes me to grow as an artist and as a person.
2 — How would you describe the different sounds on ‘thefool’?
I honestly wouldn’t know where to begin with describing the sounds. I like to design and apply sounds that carry something with them. Sometimes I discover it in process, and sometimes I’m imagining the sound in my head when something is at the forefront of my mind.
3 — Are you trying to reach a larger audience with this eclectic style?
I would say that I had no intention of reaching a larger audience, but also no audience in particular. Just like the theme of the Tarot; the songs are for whatever the audience needs to be.
4 — What was the process of creating your new material like?
The process of writing this project was hectic. I had COVID at one point, felt disconnected from people, just quit an awful job, and was struggling to make sense of a lot of what was going on around me. Partially due to how that affected my mental health, and partially due to the complexity of life.
Since I had COVID at the time, I did the collaborations remotely. COVID sucked a lot, but it’s awesome how musicians all learned to collaborate remotely. I initially asked Garland to help with a couple of tracks that featured keys as I’d never reached out and my keys were synthetic. Garland is big on dry real keys, and the recordings brought a lot of character and depth to the songs.
WOOTZAbility is a good friend and phenomenal artist/producer/rapper. He wrote and recorded his verse in less than a day on a song I sent him, but it was a weird track at first. Reflecting on the song and his verse; I ended up switching it to a more recent beat I did which really made it shine next to the lyrics I had.
6 — How did you choose the artwork for the album?
I wanted to emphasize the homegrown nature and human element of the music. A good friend of mine I met in college, Isaac Hill (@esoteric_bullshit on Instagram) is an awesome human who makes the most incredible and unique paintings. The style was perfect and I really wanted to support them and we both agreed it would be perfect. So I commissioned the painting and Isaac was able to make it and send it over from Washington.
I went back and forth between being somewhat specific and being completely obscured by the theme. I ended up being inspired by Tarot after learning more about it and decided that it would be perfect.
8 — Have you ever had a tarot card reading?
The only one I’ve had definitely led me down the path to creating/releasing this project the way that it is.
9 — Are you dropping music videos anytime soon?
I made the one lyric video for the song “lovers,” and even that was sort of a lot. Music videos are a lot of time, money, and work that no one is paying me for. They’re a feat to put together independently. Definitely in the future though.
10 — What about performing in concerts or live shows?
I’m a huge introvert with a lot of stage fright, so I don’t play a lot of shows. But I’ve been preparing some live shows now with Original Beginnings where we’ll play a bunch of songs from our catalog! Catch us on September 17th at Powderhorn Porchfest and October 15th at Cosmic Coffee. 🙂