Israeli artist Inbar Starr talks about her first original EP, ‘Take It’ in this exclusive interview. From winning the Jamie Cullum song competition to singing with Taboo of the Black Eyes Peas, Inbar’s gorgeous vocals and smooth R&B style feel so comforting. Her debut EP is a captivating collection of 7 tracks that offers a window into the life and mind of this talented, eclectic, and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter.
1 – First of all, what do you enjoy the most about releasing your first EP?
It’s definitely nice to finally release this project that I poured my heart and soul into. I think I enjoy the part of letting go. I have created this piece of art that will now belong to everyone else and will be there for them to interpret it their own way, to express feelings, healing, and whatever they desire. I’m excited about that. It’s no longer mine to possess which frees me to continue to create and birth other songs and stay in a creative flow.
2 – Where did the inspiration for this EP come from?
The inspiration for this EP came from life experiences. All of these songs are based on true stories or things that have happened. Some of them were very therapeutic for me to write and kind of helped me process some of the things I went through and helped me move on when I needed closure. I hope it brings as much comfort to whoever listens to it as it did for me to write it.
3 – Why did you decide to name it ‘Take It’?
Great question! ‘Take It’ is the title track of the EP and I love that song so much. It was a very therapeutic experience for me to write it. I mainly loved the message behind the song which is to remind us that we are all unique in our own ways and no one can take who we are, even though some people will try and push boundaries with you and try to make you feel small and insignificant. ‘Take It’ is a triumph of staying authentic and true to yourself and knowing your worth and that there’s no one else like you in the world!
Assuming you mean production-wise, the approach was to bring the songs to life the best way that I can while honoring the vibe of each song and the meaning behind it. There wasn’t one approach. We just kind of went with what felt good/right for the songs and brought the best studio musicians and friends to play on it. You know what? I have an even better answer – the approach was to have fun! And so we did.
5 – Which song features your favorite lyrics on this EP? Why?
I really loved the lyrics from “Used To Know You Better.” The song talks about two people drifting apart and the analogy from the sea that describes how much vulnerability and acceptance there was in the relationship before it ended:
“Deeper than the waves we used to go
No matter how the tides were really low
I remember how I thought I used to know
Know you better”
6 – During the creative process, do you usually start with a melody and let the lyrics come to you? Or is it the other way around?
It’s both. Sometimes lyrics will come first, sometimes a melody will haunt me and beg to be written and occasionally a whole song just comes together, which is rarer, but very magical!
7 – If you could change something from this EP, what would it be?
I’m happy to say I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s my heart and soul and I feel very whole and at peace with it. The only thing I might have changed is maybe to have released it sooner.
Since self-iso started, I’ve been diving deeper into the production world, learning more about it, and how to become a better producer on my own. I’ve also been writing songs and collaborating with other songwriters and musicians via Zoom. I also wanna be honest and tell you that I have been watching a lot of Netflix, YouTube, and going through that emotional roller coaster we are all experiencing. And that’s ok. Not every day feels creative to me and I think it’s part of life. It’s important to remember that there’s no light without darkness and that it’s ok if after all this is over, I haven’t yet created my best work or become a well-known artist/producer – though I’m getting there 😉
9 – Finally, what’s next for Inbar Starr in the coming months?
Since touring is not happening right now, I plan to produce and release more singles soon and as much as I can.
I would also love to collaborate with some of my favorite musicians in the (hopefully) near future and go on as many tours as I can, which will lead to bigger tours and festivals when the pandemic is over.
I also want to wish good health to everyone out there. Stay safe and I hope to see you at a future show/tour and may we all come out of this stronger.
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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. 🙂