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: 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.