For me, it’s always a pleasure to interview artists that have reached their full potential. Brad Tuller is one of them and he will wow you with his newest EP called ‘Forever Prom’. The 21-year old electronic musician put into practice all his knowledge about music and revealed to us a big passion for synths. Get to know him better by reading this interview.
1 – Did you grow up listening to 80s synthpop music? What artists or bands sparked your interest?
Growing up I actually didn’t listen to a lot of music from the ’80s. It was mostly The Beatles’ Greatest Hits and Dark Side of The Moon on repeat up until middle school. Around two and half years ago is when I really started to delve into ’80s music. The artists that grabbed my attention around that time were Hiroshi Sato, Billy Idol, Tears For Fears, Toshiki Kadomatsu, Le Matos, and Vangelis.
2 – Why do you think we are still obsessed with the 80s? Are you part of the new revival movement?
I think the big appeal comes from the fact that it reminds people of their childhood. More specifically, generations who were born in or around the time of the 1980’s who now have access to social media, blogs, videos, music streaming, etc. With all of this access we are constantly fueling that feeling of childhood nostalgia. I like to think that the sound of my EP has the potential to evoke some sort of nostalgic feeling from people, so in that sense I guess you could consider my music a part of the ‘80s revival movement. But I didn’t create the album to join the revival movement. The way I go about creating music is by writing music that I want to listen to, and I wanted to listen to a bunch of ‘80s jams. I wrote this album to enjoy it with others and to see how people react to it. So far, it has been so rewarding hearing what others think about my music.
3 – What made you choose the title of your new EP ‘Forever Prom’?
The title ‘Forever Prom’ came from an idea I had about everyone living their life as if they were in a perpetual state of attending a high school prom. Every day you wake up feeling the anticipation of seeing your date all dressed up for the first time, gathering with your closest friends around the food table, seeing all the popular kids in their clique, nervously asking someone for that final dance, and then laying in bed looking up at your ceiling reflecting on the night you had. Then the next morning you wake up and do it all over again.
4 – What’s the best track off this EP? Why?
It’s really hard to choose a song and call it the best, but if I had to choose one it would be the song “Forever Prom”. This is actually the second song that I wrote for the EP and I wrote it for someone very dear to me. When I got about two hours into writing the song, I realized I was writing a last-dance prom song instead of what I had originally intended. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how every day I felt the same excitement and anticipation with this person as I did attending my high school prom. This is also the thought that spawned the EP’s title ‘Forever Prom’. There was a lot of thought and emotion put into the song “Forever Prom” and I think it translates when you listen to it.
5 – Who provided the vocals in some of the tracks from the ‘Forever Prom’ EP?
I was the one who performed all of the vocals you hear on the album. I’m not a vocalist by trade at all, but I had a very specific type of a vocal performance that I wanted for the tracks. I thought, “Well, I really don’t know how to translate this to a vocalist so I guess I’ll give it a shot and sing it myself!”
6 – In what way do movies and video games soundtracks influence your work?
Soundtracks for games and movies are probably my number one source of inspiration. If hear something that truly catches my attention, I won’t stop listening for months. Many of the synthesis techniques I’ve learned were just observations that I made while listening to game soundtracks. Games like FEZ, Hyperlight Drifter, and Mighty Switch Force to name a few. When talking about movie soundtracks, the one major film that comes to mind as an inspiration is Bladerunner. What Vangelis composed for that movie changed the way I perceive sound and the possibilities of synthesized music.
7 – We know you started in music as a trombone player. Do you mix electronic music with live instruments in your current productions?
I actually enjoy writing music more when it’s totally synthesized. To me, it is more challenging to get the sound you want with a synthesizer than it is with acoustic instruments. I have written songs before that incorporate live and synthesized instruments, but I’m just so much more passionate about my universally synthesized compositions. However, when I write my melodies I’ll actually play my trombone or melodica along with the backing tracks I wrote because it comes so naturally for me. The melody for my song “With Another” came from me playing around on my melodica for a while until I found something that really locked in with what I had already written.
8 – Do you think a music degree is important in order to become a good producer? What do you think about “natural talents”?
To me, having a degree in music only means that somebody wanted to take a more academic route in their musical career. This does not mean that they are any better than someone who is self-taught or never went to school for music. I do think that a big a benefit of going to school for music is that you’re in the middle of an immensely dense and diverse pool of creativity and a lot of opportunities can show up during your time while attending school. I think natural talent is definitely a thing. There are some people who just have something in them that makes creativity flow endlessly, but natural talent has to be nurtured into something bigger. I know many people that have an incredible natural talent for music, but they have worked hard to be where they are now.
9 – What’s the best advice you have ever received from someone in the music industry?
While I was in Nashville recently, I was studying under the guidance of two-time Grammy winning Recording and Mixing Engineer David Leonard. While I was watching him mix a song, I noticed that he boosted the bass of an instrument twice as much as I was always taught to do. When I asked him why he did this his response was, “Just because it’s more.” That moment is when I realized that there aren’t any rules in music and if it sounds good, then use it. Music has become a very visual thing in the past few decades and it’s important as an artist to remember to use your ears more than anything else.
10 – What’s your ultimate goal as an artist?
To make memories for other people. As artists, we are indirectly responsible for memories that people associate with our music. I want someone to be driving down the coast during one of their vacations while listening to one of my songs only to be reminded of that drive every time they hear that same song. Thoughts like that remind me how much of a privilege it is to write music.
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Exclusive Interview: Jenna x On Debut Single “When The Party’s Over..”
Jenna x emerges in 2021 with “When The Party’s Over..” which is an incredible debut single that plays equally as well at the party, at the afterparty, or the next morning. Definitely, the best asset is her melodious singing voice. Scroll down and learn more in this exclusive interview.
1 — First of all, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is constantly evolving within Pop, but it’s more cinematic. I envision each of my songs as a scene from a film and try to capture everything that would be there—the temperature of the sunlight, the scent in the air, the city sounds, and the words that are being spoken.
2 — Why did you pick “When The Party’s Over..” as your debut single?
It was the exact type of sound and message that I wanted to release as my debut single. I also think that it’s a good representation of me as an artist because it’s a song that I really tried to be honest with myself about, as well as the other parts of myself that I am revealing, like my inner thoughts, emotions, and philosophies.
3 — Is this song based on a personal experience?
Yes! The party in my song is both literal and figurative—I, like anyone else, have gone to a party or a large gathering just to fill the emptiness I was feeling inside, only to leave with a greater sense of loneliness. I’ve also felt like I have nowhere to go emotionally, which is the figurative part of the song.
4 — What’s your favorite line from it? Why?
The entire chorus is my favorite part, especially the “will there be anyone to watch me die / someone just shows me how to cry” part. I think they really capture the essence of the song and are the parts where I am the most direct with what I want to say. The second half of the chorus is almost like a cry for help you can’t ever let out.
For me, they usually come together but for this song, the lyrics came first. I had a clear idea of what I wanted the song to be about lyrically and then used the melody to fill in the blanks.
6 — Given the situation the world is in at the moment, do you miss partying?
I’m not the type to usually enjoy large parties, but I do really miss gatherings with my closest friends. But who knows—by the time this is all over I might be dying to go to a huge party.
7 — What makes you different from other singers?
I like to think of my music as very visual—I always try to paint a picture with my music and focus on what the music is painting. Each sound is like a color I use to paint the song, and the way they are delivered are the brushstrokes.
I think I had a lot of phases where I was into different types of music and different artists. I grew up listening to singer-songwriters like Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. I was always fascinated with how brilliant and revolutionary their melodies and lyrics were. Later in my teens, I had A Great Big World’s albums on repeat. A part of me is also in love with classical composers, like Elgar and Rachmaninoff. The second movement of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.
9 — When you’re not at the studio, how do you usually spend your time?
Usually prepping for studio time! But if I’m not working on music, I’ll watch movies or binge a show. Right now I’m on season 4 of Criminal Minds, and it’s been sucking me in. I’ve also been really busy these days with my new release and everything that goes along with it, but I’ll still find time to video chat with my friends and listen to my favorite albums on repeat.
10 — What are your plans for the upcoming months?
Working! I have an EP coming out in February, so I’m prepping for the release and other music that I’ll release during this year. The upcoming EP is part two of the story of loneliness I started telling with “When The Party’s Over..” and the more colorful, visual part of the story, so I’ll be working a lot on perfecting that. I also hope to be wherever I can be with my music, doing whatever I can to express myself through it.
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Dar.Ra Talks Latest Single And Confirms New Album In 2021 — Interview
Following the release of his latest single “Rise Like The Sun” along with its proper EP, Dar.Ra also plans to drop a new album in 2021. ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has been confirmed to be out by the end of January. In this exclusive interview, the British artist talks about the recent single, the most important details on the upcoming album, but also his various side projects, which include his own radio show.
1 – Can you reveal to us the name of your upcoming album?
I have two new projects out, a single called “Rise Like The Sun” with 6 killer remixes. One from Columbia and one from Sri Lanka from a killer Producer called Vidula who did the “Lights” remix from the new kinda normal album.
I did the other mixes which have a tribal House feel and an Ambient 6 am Chill Out mix. All mixes have a Sunshine title, from UK Sunshine mix, Indian Sun mix to Australian, Indonesian, USA, and Columbian mix. It’s all about not being dictated too in your time here and “Rising Like The Sun” every day of your life.
The other project is more of an alias back vibe and is a compilation of slower more Ballad type songs that I have had released over the years. I am doing a radio show called The Kusha Deep Radio show which is going out around the world through various Radio outlets and I did this show which featured some of the laid-back tracks I’ve done and I thought it would make a great album of torchlight songs. The album is 12 tracks long and is titled ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ and is out later this month.
I am also working on a new album of songs for the spring with a new single planned for the first quarter of the year release.
2 – Were there specific things that helped you get creative?
I’m always inspired by life, it’s hard not to be unless you shut off from what’s going on around you. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, I had two singles out “Stand Up For The Heroes”, “Rise Like The Sun” and the ‘Whisky n Honey’ EP plus two remixes out. I also started doing a new project which is now syndicated around the world called The Kusha Deep Radio Show, which started off playing tracks that I had out over the past 25 years.
I also started doing a TV show with a Washington DC-based journalist MJ Godfrey which is a cultural review show looking at things happening in the UK and the USA. I’ve also written the next album to follow up on 2019’s ‘New Kinda Normal’. If you stay open to ideas and let them flow it’s a natural vibe for staying creative.
3 – Are you discovering new sounds on this new record?
I explore different sounds all the time, I’m getting known for merging styles and creating new hybrids like Rock Step a vibe that featured on the ‘New Kinda Normal’ album which mixed the elements of Rock and EDM together which you can feel on tracks like “Nightstepper,” “The Beat” and “Heart Shape Pill.” There’s also a genre called Gothic Soul which you can hear on tracks like “The Lights” and “Whisky n Honey.” I was feeling the Latin vibe on “Rise Like The Sun.”
I wanted something uplifting that holds no allegiance to what’s happening in the charts but has a classic Santana vibe mixed with that Gothic style vocal.
The actual record itself is truly global, the mixes and mastering were done all over the world, the drums recorded in Italy, the Horns in Portugal, the rest in the UK. I love that about the technology vibe that you can work with people everywhere now.
4 – How many tracks will there be on the album?
The album ‘Ballads For The Down-Trodden’ has 12 tracks and “Rise Like The Sun” single has 6 mixes on it. The new album will have around 12 tracks on it as well, value for money I say!
5 – What themes will the new album explore?
The new album has some wide themes such as loyalty on a track called “No Time For Tears” which has a cool Rock vibe about it. There’s a track about power struggles with relationships on “Don’t Make Me Beg.” There’s a track about migrants looking for a safe place to call home on “Renegade Serenade.” At the moment, it’s looking very love-oriented in one way or another.
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists?
I do work with other artists when the vibe is right. I’m doing a track with a producer called KDX in the UK, a Deep House kinda groove.
7 – What makes your latest single “Rise Like The Sun” special to listeners?
It’s honest, it’s real and it’s played with passion.
8 – What exciting projects can we expect from your label Kusha Deep Records?
All the above and more.
9 – Can you tell us more about your 2021 tour?
We were supposed to be doing a US tour last year, not sure how things will pan out this year but would be good to get out on the road again for a bit.
10 – The global pandemic forced the music industry to try innovative things. What do you think about private live zoom concerts?
I played Rock the Lockdown back in May and we had a few thousand people all rocking out to the set. I also did a US online tour in the summer which broadcast shows into the venues from my studio. I’ve been doing lots of interviews from Brazil to America, Australia, and the UK online which is ace as you don’t have to drive anywhere. Less hit on the climate and you can hit so many more people with a live stream if it’s set up properly.
Nothing will take the place of a jam in front of people, but I think the live stream is here to say alongside the live gig. I love technology though so it’s all good in my book. Be safe out there and looking forward to partying with you all soon!
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Quickfire Interview With: SOUNDQ
Hailing from Krakow, the cultural capital of Poland, Kuba Kubica aka SOUNDQ carries the flag of innovation when it comes to producing electronic music. The interview below is very clear and gives you a deep insight into his art. Scroll down to read his answers.
1 – You’ve been composing songs since…
Year 2000. The year when computer records got screwed by the two 0s was the year when I started programming a dodgy Korg workstation.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
I found it liberating not to have to depict anything. To be able to express what I feel without saying or drawing what it was.
3 – Your sound is…
As incomplete as I am. There’s always at least one element causing some imbalance. You’re never quite sure if it all won’t fall apart.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
I am most creative when I’m deadbeat and stressed out. So, in a way, pressure inspires me – or rather makes my creative juices flow faster.
5 – People should listen to your new track “Bad Lot” because…
It offers a glimpse into a complete world – fatalistic, sexy, and dangerous.
6 – If you want to know who SOUNDQ is, listen to the track…
“Bad Lot.” And if you’ve heard it already, give “This Heart” a spin.
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Crossing the Ural Mountains in -30 degrees Celsius to play a death metal gig in Jekaterynburg.
8 – Your dream is…
Long forgotten the moment I wake up.
9 – Your next release is called…
“Disco Turista Antifascista.”
That’s a tough one. I’ll go with “My Kingdom” by Future Sound of London.
11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…
I love coming up with ideas when I’m traveling. Not a lot of occasions for that in 2020 though.
12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…
An Instagram influencer pretending he’s a XIXth Century French flaneur. All dressed in epoch clothes doing product placement for travel gear and shit.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I don’t think I have it in me to stop.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Able to go out without a mask, play gigs, laugh together with large groups of people. Travel to big cities and get lost wandering through them.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
It’s evening already, so I’m going to be busy writing music till late.
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