Simon Field, the native Norwegian DJ/Producer answered our questions about his beginnings as an artist. He also shares with us details about his latest releases. On the one hand, the ultra-catchy “Feel You” that provokes dancing, while on the other, the remix for “La La La” brings tropical summer vibes. Read the full interview below.
1 – Do you regret having left various bands in the past to dedicate yourself to DJing and music production?
Fair question. I think all bands and projects I’ve been involved in have been natural and important stepping stones. Also, it would be way harder to change a band rather than starting something new. DJ’ing is not unlike any other band or live playing. You need to play with the audience not matter what. So no regret. All a part of who I am today.
2 – How have you been educated in music production? Do you think this profession still requires a formal education?
I would say I’m all autodidact when it comes to music production. The Youtube school is very comprehensive and totally inspiring. Although I’ve had formal training as a musician and also in songwriting. And I think many of the learnings can lean on each other. Like with scoring you need to consider many of the same things as when mixing such as elements not competing for attention, what element is supporting and how you group the various instruments. So I have had great use of the formal music education I’ve had in many ways. Not knowing the basic might be obstacles in the creative process at the same time its often limitations that spark creative ways of thinking. So to your question, I think it depends on the person. If you’re a creative problem solver you might not need any formal education.
3 – We know you like synthesizers very much. Is it true that digital synths sound as good as analog synths nowadays? What model of synths will you never stop using?
I am totally hooked on synthesizers. Absolutely! For me, it’s a matter of finding sweet spots with every instrument that I use to get the unique out of it. There are a number of amazing software synths. My favs are those not trying to be a replica of an analog synth, but I’ve never actually bothered to A/B test. Another very important aspect for me is that I find it hard being creative in front of a screen. 90% of the time I play and compose looking at the synth. 3 synth I always use are the Prophet 6. Juno 106 and the Moog Sub 37. In fact, I think “Feel You” are nothing but those 3 plus samplers.
The flute that starts off the track, is of a flute I sampled from somewhere on Youtube, made a new sound of it, layered it with the Prophet and composed the theme. Moving into the verses, they are driven by a pluck sound from the Prophet combined with another puck from the Juno. The bass is mainly Prophet and Moog layered. When getting into the drop, the bass takes the lead together with the flute. Oh, another cool thing we did was vocoding the backing vocal to make it somewhat mechanical sounding.
5 – Why did you decide to work with a male vocalist on this single?
I love soulful vocal and I heard Peder on a gig or something and love the voice and frazing, so we decided to do a track together. Not to fussed about being female or male vocal. More important to me is the sound of the voice. I basically build the track around the writing we did and his voice.
6 – How much were you involved in the process of writing the lyrics?
This one we wrote together from the start. I love writing lyrics, so I get involved as often as I can. It’s one area where you can be unique using imagery that complements the track and vise versa. In fact, I’ve been in projects where I just did lyrics.☺ And I also love the wit and playfulness that can go into lyrics, like the line from the bridge ”You’re on my playlist, and it’s where I will stay, Just like IYAS puts the night on replay”.
The basic form is the same, verse, chorus, etc. We decided that it need a higher BPM to fit better on clubs as well as the lower end and more bouncy bass. We also wanted to have a go at the “drop” to challenge our-self a little. We ended up recording a Cuban Tres for the chorus and that is carried on into the drop as the main element.
8 – When you curated the ‘Ibiza Deep House’ playlist on Spotify, did you ever expect it would have been a big success as it turned out to be?
I had no idea, to be honest. I made the playlist with music and a mood that I love and also to be a home for my own releases. So when it started picking up followers, I started to realize that I had to be serious about it and that it could serve an important part of my online presence.
9 – In terms of music, would you like to try something different this year?
I always want to challenge myself musically in search of something unique. A thing that I found challenging was finishing my tracks and ideas. So I decided to finish a greater part of the tracks that I’ve started. So the new thing for me this year is to be to release a lot of music.
10 – Finally, what’s your favorite social media platform for interacting with your fans?
I think Twitter actually, although I’m a sucker for Instagram as well. Each platform has its own way and people seem to be telling you different things in the open than 1:1.
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Quickfire Interview With: Joe Hawes
UK DJ and Producer Joe Hawes has been working his way to being a firm figure in the Future House scene. Living and breathing all things music from a young age, Joe’s natural talent for drumming led to him developing a love for creating all sorts of rhythms and beats. He has gone on to release some major hits such as “Shakin” and “Always”. Having played some major clubs and festivals we decided to catch up with Joe for a quick short fire round.
1 — “Nowhere” or “Shakin”?
2 — Big Room or Future House?
Future House all the way!
3 — Drumming or DJ’ing?
Oooh, that’s a tough one but I would say DJ’ing.
4 — Originals or Remixes?
6 — Big nights out or chilled nights in?
Big nights out!
7 — Ibiza or Miami?
Ibiza, never been to Miami… yet.
8 — UK music scene or US music scene?
US music scene.
9 — Melodies or Basslines?
10 — Don Diablo or Martin Garrix?
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The New Division Reveals Details Of ‘Hidden Memories’ Album In Interview
Prior to the album release, John Glenn Kunkel aka The New Division shares with us full details about this fresh project. Lovers of electronic music, New Wave, and Synthpop are the proper target audience that will enjoy ‘Hidden Memories’. Get all the facts down here!
1 – Thanks for your time, why did you pick ‘Hidden Memories’ to be the title of your album?
It’s a bit of a running joke at this point but I normally don’t approach songwriting with any concrete meaning. I like to pick words that go well together and sometimes that ends up making sense but other times it doesn’t. When I look back at any song I’ve written I always feel like that process of word picking ended up being something I meant to say deep within my subconscious. I chose the title ‘Hidden Memories’ because when I write songs, I know I’m trying to make meaning of a certain nostalgic feeling, even though I’m not fully aware of what that emotion is. My ‘hidden memories’ are in the songs I write, and within a year from now, those songs will take me back to what I was feeling when I wrote them and shine a new light on other past memories.
2 – What were the three most important aspects you took in mind during the recording process?
Given that I wrote this album over two years, it’s hard to say. I know that I wanted to go back to my older sound back from the ‘Shadows’ era (my first LP). I also wanted to blend melodic techno, synth-pop and indie rock as much as possible. I knew from the start that this record had to sound slightly different but I also wanted to preserve the “new division” feel without compromising my own sound.
3 – Is your sound influenced by vintage bands or 80s classics?
I’m not sure its really influenced by either. I’m really more influenced by whatever I’m currently listening to which can be a wide range of music. No doubt, I’m a huge fan of Depeche Mode, New Order, and all of those classic new wave era bands, but I also really appreciate a lot of dance music. I think my inspirational ‘anchor’ sits with creating music that’s very melodic but also has a dark tone.
4 – Do you admire the work of any contemporary artist these days?
Most definitely. I mean the list is quite endless as there’s so much good music being put out every day. It’d be hard to pinpoint anyone down specifically but I generally admire what everyone else is doing, within the style/influences I mentioned earlier. It’s a really interesting time to be alive music-wise because everyone’s sort of doing their own thing without much care as to whether or not it will be successful – people are just making music because they understand it’s fun and it’s a great outlet for pleasure.
5 – Analog synths or digital synths, what did you use on this album?
90% digital synths no doubt. I love analog synths but a lot of times I’m starting songs out of a coffee shop or outside the studio. It’d be great to have the time and resources to tweak with analog gear, but I just kinda prefer to sit in front of a computer and load something with two clicks, do a couple of sound choices and call it a day.
6 – What’s your most favorite track on ‘Hidden Memories’? Why?
“Ride” is probably my favorite song because it was one of the last ones I wrote and it really tied the album together. I feel like even though this record doesn’t really have a ‘narrative arc,’ sonically that song just brings everything together.
7 – What’s one thing you want listeners to take from this album?
I’m not sure I’ve really thought about that too much. I just hope they like it and can feel what I felt while I wrote the songs. Euphoric!
8 – Are you planning to release a music video or a tour in 2020?
Yes, there’s a tour likely happening in the fall of 2020 and potentially a few overseas dates although nothing is confirmed at the minute. Music video-wise, there’s one coming out when the album releases but no plans for any others at the minute.
9 – What about remixes?
Yes! Super excited that we’ll be releasing loads of remixes this year from a lot of talented artists.
10 – Finally, do you believe all your new songs carry a tangible message?
Not really. The message is whatever it makes the listener feel. Whatever I do is open to interpretation, as far as I’m concerned!
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Getting To Know Bahamian Rapper VK da General — Interview
Vargo Knowles aka VK da General is a name in the urban music industry set to shine in 2020. Hailing from the Bahamas, he talks with us about his recent single “Top Of The World”, which was recorded by two of the best producers in NYC. Moreover, this interview will give you a better insight into his artistic career. Discover more down here.
1 – First of all, can you describe your music style?
With my style of music, I talk about “real life” situations, the good, the bad and the ugly.
2 – Is it true you started your music career as a Reggae artist?
No, I never was a Reggae Artist, always a Hip-Hop Artist. But I do love Reggae and the whole dancehall vibe.
3 – How did you find your way into Rap and Hip-Hop?
Growing up I always listened to the Notorious BIG, the way his lyrics flow got my attention, and I was on the chubby side, so listening to him and seeing him perform, made me felt like the sky was the limit, and I could be on a stage performing for thousands of people.
The most unique aspect of my lyrics is my wordplay, the way I line up my punch lines to make people say “wow, did you hear what he said”.
5 – Who would you like to dedicate your track “Top Of The World” to and why?
I would dedicate “Top Of The World” to all the underdogs, everyone who started from the bottom, because once you dream it, you could achieve it, there are no limits.
6 – What’s your favorite line/verse?
My favorite verse is when am naming some of the great men who came from humble beginnings and made history, achieving what many deemed impossible.
7 – Can you share with us any funny anecdote while shooting the “Top Of The World” video?
I honestly can not think of any funny moments while shooting the music video. Overall it was a very dope/ great experience.
There are so many great artists I would like to collaborate with, like Jay Z, Rick Ross, Drake, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Meek Mill. I would like to collaborate with Davido, with that Afrobeat, Popcaan with the dancehall twist. That’s just to name a few.
9 – Can you give us more information about your next single or projects?
Well, we have already recorded a number of songs, with 2 of the best producers in New York Budda and Grandz and our aim is to promote one single after the other. We are in the process of planning a US tour.
10 – What are 3 things you couldn’t go a day without?
I can’t go a day without Praying, spending quality time with my 3 sons/kings and writing lyrics.
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The Golden Coast Interview On Debut Electronic Album ‘Elevenses’
California-based music project, The Golden Coast shares with us all the details of their debut album, ‘Elevenses’. Combining organic and electronic sounds, all the eleven tracks feel like a hypnotic delight to the ears. Scroll down in order to discover more about it, but make sure you play the album from start to finish for the best listening experience.
1 – First of all, why is your debut album entitled ‘Elevenses’?
Elevenses is a small morning snack break, typically some sort of sweet bread or pastry served with coffee or tea around 11 am. While the origins of “elevenses” as a type of meal appears to be European, this album is deeply American, so I used Homer Simpsons’ pink donut for my album art to emphasize those cultural roots.
This album for me is all about the psychology of play and reward, the sweets or metaphorical carrots that get us through a long day at work, and the nature of reality. Can we choose or create our experience? Humans often try to get themselves or other people to do stuff with incentives, usually because they are envisioning a future state with a different experience than the one they have right now. If I work harder I’ll get that promotion. If I run faster I’ll wear smaller pants. That desire for a different reality, a different experience, makes humans do a lot of crazy stuff. Or at least it looks crazy from the outside.
There is a dark and a light side to reward. We can be hijacked by our natural human reaction to pleasure and reward of any type. Or we can understand our reaction to these enticements and design our own experience.
2 – What led you to choose an electronic music style?
I’ve always been attracted to electronic music. Some of my earliest memories are of my father getting his first Mac Plus and the whole family gathering around and driving him nuts while he tried to install DAW software, probably Pro Tools, which took hours. I remember the first time he got a Yamaha keyboard. My mind was blown by the sounds that it could make. I would just listen to the sample songs on repeat. His interest was always in simulating the real instruments, so he was measuring everything against its comparison to the “real thing”, but I was attracted to the electronic sounds, the artificial stuff was really attractive to me on its own. I didn’t need it to be anything else. I’ve learned a ton from hip-hop and trap about weaving together both organic and more synthetic sounds to create a coherent space with both. For me, hip-hop was like finding the answer to a question you’ve had for a long time.
3 – What is the inspiration behind this material?
I work as an experience designer in Silicon Valley. I am fascinated by the challenges that we encounter in experience design as we work to understand what people want and how they experience the world. The farther you dig into the nature of “reality” you realize that experience design is all happening within the individual. I fell down a rabbit hole this year studying the nature of experience, how we can control and design experience and what influences the reality that we individually encounter. This album is my attempt to design emotional experiences that let the individual listener attach their narratives, their reality framework, to the work. Ideally, they can use this music to make the world they want to live in.
4 – Do you have any favorite track?
“Eight”. But every time I listen to the album I hear something different in a track that I hadn’t quite heard in that way before and I’m surprised, even though I made them.
5 – How long did it take you to finish your debut album?
Twenty years or a week, depending on how you slice it. I had some time off this year and was able to focus on music, but nothing quite gelled. Towards the end of the year, I had another ten days off and this time around everything just clicked. These songs came together quickly and formed a cohesive unit, the timing was just right. I guess I had learned enough about the nature of reality to be able to design what I wanted.
6 – Is your music designed to stimulate listeners’ imagination?
Definitely. Primarily. I’m very interested in what listeners bring to the music. The songs can be both open and very layered, and I’m interested in seeing what people bring into that open space.
7 – How much importance do you give to UX Design in your music project?
It’s a strong facet of the project. I am very interested in the philosophical aspects of experience design. What is the nature of reality in which we are designing, because that’s pretty relevant if you want to make something that actually works. What drives us? What incentivizes us? Do we live in a purely materialistic world or is there more than meets the eye? Elon Musk’s favorite theory is kind of wacky, but once you start to examine the scientific frameworks and chase down the logic, the idea that we might live in some type of hologram or matrix doesn’t seem that far out. And it opens up a world of possibilities in designing your own experience, charting your own path.
Homer’s pink donut is a nod to the inherently artificial nature of the work experience in America. In Silicon Valley, the drive to succeed and chase sweet rewards, and the dark results that can produce, is particularly pronounced.
8 – Is anonymity an important factor as artists?
I think anonymity is useful because we are associative creatures. The less detail I provide about myself, the more the music becomes what people need it to be for them. We can bias experience when we saddle things with a bunch of associations.
9 – What elements are part of your visual identity?
I bring a lot of pink into my visual identity. I like pink because it can be a little jarring and scary but is also quite rewarding in the right combinations. It’s a surprisingly polarizing color and people attach a lot of unnecessarily gendered associations with it. Out here on the west coast, the light quality will often take on this amazing pink hue at sunset that is just intoxicating. It is a magical experience. And the pink donut is so American, and so associated with the idea of work.
10 – Lastly, are you going to release a music video or a live performance anytime soon?
I’m collaborating on a dance video with the Desi Hoppers, the 2015 winners of World of Dance. I’m hoping to release that in the next two weeks.
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Behind The Scenes Of Ken Bauer’s “Feels Just Right” — Interview
Swedish DJ and Producer Ken Bauer has a string of successful releases under his belt over the span of his career and has recently been making the transition into the Future House scene with each single. His latest collaboration with J-Rob MD with “Feels Just Right” has certainly cemented his place as one to watch in 2020 as the track has garnered incredible support from DJs, labels, and tastemakers from all over the globe.
1 — First off, great track! Where did the inspiration for “Feels Just Right” come from?
Well, you have to ask Justin for that as he came up with the idea. I now feel stupid for never asking that myself!
2 — You worked with J-ROB MD on this track, how did that partnership begin?
Justin reached out to me a year ago asking if I would be interested in collaborating. I checked out his previous stuff and I was blown away with his talent and musical skills. He had just recorded this song and liked my EDM sound and thought it would be a great match and I instantly agreed with him.
3 — Did you find working together on this collaboration easy?
To be honest, no, as he lives in LA and I live in Stockholm it took us a while finding a good way of working together. Both due to technical challenges as well as the time difference. However, we sorted it out and we had a lot of fun on the way. It did, however, take much longer to finish but it was worth the wait.
5 — Do you have a favourite part of the track, if so what?
Yes, I did an epic outro but unfortunately, we had to cut it out because the track became too long.
6 — How has the initial reaction been?
So far so good, with a lot of plays and support on both radio and blogs.
7 — What was it like working with Sirup Music?
Amazing. The team at Sirup is so professional, enthusiastic and encouraging. They had great ideas and has been very supportive during the planning of the release and after the release.
8 — How would you say your musical style has developed over this past year?
When I went into 2019 I came from the Electro House genre but I am leaving 2019 and entering 2020 leaning more towards Future House/Trance. I really love the genre and feels very much at home with it. During 2019 I got to know @MusicByLukas who is very active in this genre and he is supporting and inspiring me a lot.
9 — Can we look forward to any more future collaborations with you two?
You definitely can, we have a new great track coming up and I will play it to the A&Rs at Sirup Music in the New Year. Hopefully, they agree to release it and find a good release window for the song.
10 — Finally, where can people go to download ‘Feels Just Right’?
The easiest way would on Spotify at but for your readers’ convenience I have made it available here as well.
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