As always, we’re interested in discovering up-and-coming electronic music producers. This time it’s the turn of Rootkey, an acclaimed Italian-based artist whose insights and reflections are outlined in the interview below.
His vibrant cover of “Trap Queen” is something to lend your ears to. Just scroll down!
1 — How would you sum up your career at the present time?
I have much to give, I have a lot of news and over time I will be able exactly to understand the path closest to me. Stay connected with my dreams so that after the summer there will be news of what is next for my career.
2 — What attracted you to the world of dance music?
Dance music has always been a part of me, I’ve always liked the club scene, making people dance. Dance music has a beat, a flow that captures life for me. For this, I love the scene very much.
3 — Do you remember your first DJ gig in front of an audience?
I remember it exactly, it was a private New Year’s Eve party, I was 13 years old. There were 100 people, it was great. After months of training at home, it was nice to come out and show my own ability as a DJ.
My career journey has been very hard at times, I had good and bad moments. Moments in which everything seems to fall apart. But that’s part of the game. You must hold on and fully believe in your dreams. Put your head down and work hard. Sacrifices bring good things.
5 — What challenges did you face?
I had to work a lot on the productions, and on the general choices of an artist, trying to win and lose, but nevertheless, you learn.
6 —Did producing music come easy to you?
It was not easy to refine the technique, but over time you learn new things and always improve.
7 — Do you believe your cover of “Trap Queen” sounds better than the original version?
I think my cover sounds good. I can’t compare the original to my version because it’s a completely different genre. But the original is very strong, and I was captivated immediately, I hope that mine too can give this feeling to the listeners.
8 —What elements of House music are part of this track?
In this piece, the Bass Slap House stands out in the drop, and the Deep Bass in the intro, which characterizes this musical genre.
9 — Is this the first time you do a cover?
Yes, this is my first time working on a cover. I really enjoyed working on this project. When I listened to the original I always wondered how it could be a dance version. This motivated me to create it.
10 — Finally, what else do you want to accomplish as an artist in the next ten years?
In the next 10 years, I would like to produce a lot more music, I’m also experimenting with Pop production and I’m enjoying it.
I would like to do a lot of collaborations, with singers and other producers. And to top it all, doing concerts all over the world, taking my music to new countries and showing my music to everyone.
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Former Miss Tennessee USA Tucker Nichol Talks Debut Album In Interview
Meet Tucker Nichol, a former Miss Tennessee USA who is ready to take RnB music by storm. Her debut album ‘too close to home’ has already received great reviews, find out more in this exclusive interview.
1 — When did your artistic journey begin as a singer?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing. That’s been such a huge part of me for my entire life. I was always singing around the house, at show recitals, talent shows, etc. At 17, I made the decision to go to Belmont University to major in Commercial Music. Honestly, at this point, I actually prefer singing to talking. I feel that I can communicate much better musically.
2 — How did you decide that ‘too close to home’ would be the title of your debut album?
It was initially going to be just an EP of 5 songs. But the chemistry of the whole team I did the whole project was so awesome, that we were like… hey why don’t we turn this into a whole album? The subject line of the album quite literally was always “too close to home” for me to speak about for years, so I felt that it was an appropriate title, to sum up with this project means to me.
3 – Which song of this album can’t you wait to play live? Why?
“Not My Business”… it’s just such a major vibe. Plus, it was the first single that I released on the album rollout cycle… And the first song we wrote on the album… so it’s very special to me.
4 – Was there a song that almost didn’t make the album?
Nope! Every song made it. We wrote and recorded all 10 of the songs you hear on the album in 10 days.
5 – What is it like working with the RnB genre?
A dream, honestly. I grew up listening to so much RnB and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do… getting to take my inspirations and put my own little twist on it is an indescribable feeling.
6 – What’s the inspiration behind your lyrics?
The lyrics are, essentially, messages that I will never send. I got to the point where speaking directly to certain people was too painful and too pointless to continue to do… so I started keeping notes on my phone of everything I wanted to get off my chest. I knew it wasn’t healthy to engage with these people, so I wrote hundreds of notes and then took some of them into my writing sessions.
The lyrics are all meant to be very conversational. The whole sentiment is “if you want to know how I feel… here you go… listen to this… it’s all here.” I’m speaking directly to someone who will only hear my voice again if they’re listening to these songs.
I co-wrote the entire project with Mary Weitz, Adam Korbesmeyer, and Jerry Lang II. They are all so incredibly talented and we work really well & fast together! Adam and JL also produced the entire album.
8 – How have people received the ‘too close to home’ album? How has been the feedback so far?
Pretty well so far! I love hearing from people who have listened to the album… it’s cool to know which songs are their favorites and why… hearing which songs they can relate to most means a lot to me. This album has been such a massive healing process for me and I hope that it’ll be able to help others in a similar way that it has helped me!
9 – What would be your advice to someone who’s starting a career in music?
Believe in yourself… no one else can do that for you. Second, guessing yourself is counterproductive to the end goal. Be open to constructive criticism… but also learn to spot the difference between constructive criticism and rude distractions. Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are… find your voice, trust your voice… and use it!
10 – I can’t finish this interview without asking you, what did you learn the most from competing in pageants? Is the competition different in the music industry?
My year as Miss Tennessee USA mostly taught me to be more fearless. It also taught me how to be more disciplined and efficient in all of my tasks. The competition is different but also similar to the music industry in some ways. I used to think about “winning” in a much different way. I used to look at others’ paths and journeys and would constantly compare mine to theirs. I would measure my success against someone else’s yardstick…” who’s wearing the crown and why isn’t it me?” But life doesn’t work that way. It’s a combination of preparation and opportunity/timing. Sometimes you win a pageant and sometimes someone else does. Sometimes you get a record deal and sometimes someone else gets it. Win with class, lose with grace. I have learned to stay in my own lane and only focus on myself and the things I actually have control over. I’m not worried about “the other contestants”/“the other singer-songwriters.” Celebrating others’ successes will never diminish any of mine. Everyone is just out here trying their best… and we’re all on a different wave of time. I want to win, of course… but I also want to see everyone else winning too. When it’s my time, it’ll be my time.
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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.