FVRY – Exclusive Interview

fvry-promo-shot

Please welcome FVRY, an aspiring electronic producer out of N. Ireland, to The Economix for an exclusive interview focusing on his musical influences, the challenges and rewards of being an indie producer, and what’s in store for the future. He has a unique and moving sound – something that’s difficult to find in this oversaturated electronic world. Keep scrolling down to read our conversation and listen to FVRY’s budding discography. If you like his stuff, please throw him a follow on Soundcloud, Twitter, and Facebook.

Without further ado: FVRY

Let’s start it off simple: who is FVRY?

I’m an 18 year old artist/producer based on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. I’m currently signed to Hope & Fury, and I work out of ZeroHour Studios as well as in various coffee shops that let me hibernate in the corner with headphones and my Macbook…

How did you get into electronic music production?

I had always been pretty interested in electronic music, I really fell in love with Owl City’s Ocean Eyes as a kid (by the way that album still bangs), but probably the turning point for me was in 2011 when I heard the soundtrack to Tron Legacy and thus discovered Daft Punk. I really dove hard into their whole discography and just became obsessed. After that I started making music on an iPad I borrowed from my Dad. I wasn’t very good but I was just experimenting and learning.  I feel like I started getting much better however when my friend and I started to sneak down to the school multi-tracking computers to make music in our free periods against the rules… that’s how I learned to use Logic. Then Zero Hour picked me up, took me under their wing, and with them I learned even more and I’m still learning now.

Your remixes have a very distinct sound that often combines heavily distorted synth chords with driving, bass-heavy beats. This is most pronounced in your “Winterskin” remix but also in your takes on “Parachute” and “Swimming Pools.” Did you begin the FVRY project with this sound in mind?

Well, kinda… I mean, I’ve always loved 1970s/80s cyberpunk and that whole neon future aesthetic. I was majorly influenced by films like ‘The Warriors’, ‘Drive’, ‘Akira’, ‘Bladerunner’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ etc. For me music is very visual so I feel like I’m often trying to translate how those films look into music. For me that looks like big sequenced distorted synths and glittery arps fused with more human elements like guitar, choirs and even flute sometimes. That’s ‘cyberpunk’, the fusion of the human and the wholly unhuman… yea I know, it’s pretty nerdy, but I love it.

Your visual, cyberpunk sound is uncommon in the electronic scene right now, and in your Soundcloud bio you mention that you’re “trying to make something a little bit different” – what do you mean by that?

I’m trying to define myself as an artist that doesn’t believe in genre. I’m just trying to be as creative and original as I can. I think this is best expressed in my remix of Callum Stewart’s “Parachute”

It’s also worth nothing that here in Northern Ireland, electronic music is maybe a little bit stuck in the house sound, and not even good house at that, so I suppose I’m slowly trying to break that trend.

In your Fall 2016 FVRY Mix you skillfully transition from future bass anthems to pop-house and trap beats. Forgive my genre-labeling, but are these tracks examples of the type of sounds you aspire to create? You’ve already successfully utilized future bass-style fills in your “Swimming Pools” remix.

I do like future bass quite a bit, I like it cause it’s really ‘pretty’ sounding, so I guess yeah, I want to make ‘pretty’ music…

The main reason that particular mix alternates between so many genres is because I don’t really care about genres too much in a mix… if it sounds beautiful I like it. So I guess the tracks in that mix are an example of the sound I want to create in my own work as well.
What do you find the most challenging parts of being an indie electronic artist?
Waiting for the break really… You try your hardest to make something good, you send off tracks to music promotion sites etc and if they come back saying it’s not what they’re looking for, it can be discouraging.

There’s always that self doubt in your music… you know, ‘Is this sustainable? Will people like this? Do I like this just because I made it? etc’ but I think that’s the case in pretty much every creative endeavour. But I believe you just have to power through and keep making the music and keep honing your own unique sound and expression. Art has value just in and of itself and if other people like it too, it’s even more wonderful… but deep down you have to be driven by some sort of creative passion and not just commercial or critical response alone.

The most rewarding parts?

Honestly, just making the music is the biggest reward for me. Music became the one way I could combat insomnia and spells of depression in some of my darker moments. It’s very therapeutic for me. Plus recently, some guys in the local NI music scene have started to want me to produce, remix and feature on their tracks, which feels good cause they seem to like what I do. And of course, when Hope & Fury signed me and took a chance on me as an artist/producer, that was a big boost for me personally.

While you continue to create rewarding music with Hope & Fury, you’re also an active music commentator via twitter. You recently tweeted out your top ten tracks of 2016 and it included a choice blend of electronica, American hip-hop, and alt-rock. How do you think your taste in music shapes what you create?

Well, I was listening to Electronic Music and alt-rock when I was younger and then discovered hip-hop in high school, plus I grew up in a really musical family so I discovered a wide range of genres through the records my parents played at home all the time. I like to think I picked up my format from electronic music, my melodies from pop-punk and my rhythms and sensibilities from hip-hop. The more music I listen to the better as it all influences my approach as a producer and as an artist.

Besides your family, what artist(s) would you say are your biggest musical influences?

In rank of importance: Daft Punk, Porter Robinson, Green Day, Muse, Deadmau5, Madeon, Kanye West, Skrillex, Childish Gambino, Blank Banshee, EDEN, Kavinsky, Run the Jewels, Nero, Justice.

If you could do an official remix of one song right now, what song would it be?

Probably “Africa” by Toto – for some reason that’s been in my head for a few weeks now. But if we’re going modern, I’d possibly remix “Closer” by the Chainsmokers (although to be honest it seems there isn’t a producer on Soundcloud that hasn’t already done a remix of the Closer official or not) however I’d remove Drew’s vocals and have Halsey sing the first verse as well, cause Halsey deserves better…

Halsey definitely deserves much, much better. Is FVRY a full-time venture?

Right now I’m on a year out and I’m making as much music as I can, so it’s pretty full time. Obviously with Hope & Fury in the mix, they’re really supporting me for as many releases as we can make happen across a wide variety of platforms. When I head off to university next year I’ll keep making music,  but at a slightly slower rate I imagine. As long as music makes me happy I’ll make it and I don’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

Do you play live shows, or have plans to?

I mostly just play DJ sets right now but I plan to start incorporating more live elements into my shows. ‘EDM’ (in its commercial form) is kind of dying, however electronic music and what that can mean for music is more alive than ever. People like Porter Robinson, Madeon and Puppet are pioneering a new way for producers to perform and bring meaning back to the medium and the live experience is a big part of that.

Incorporating “live” elements into an electronic show does add a lot to the experience, and artists tend to live mix their sets once they’ve built up a trove of original tracks. So far you’ve only released remixes – any plans for originals in the near future?

Yes…but that’s all I can say about that right now… I will say that 2017 will be ram packed with releases from not only me but also through Hope and Fury officially as well so I’m excited.

That’s awesome, I’m really looking forward to the releases. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today and I’m sure we’ll see you back on The Economix in no time.

Hey thanks for having me.

Besade – “Far Alone” Remix (Economix Premier)

Welcome to a very special post on The Economix. Today I am joined by Besade to premier his new track “Far Alone” (Besade Remix) by G-Eazy. Besade caught my ear a couple of months ago with his original track “Sleep Factory” and our conversation began when I reached out to him to let him know how much I liked his song. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to ask him a few questions and learn more about him as an artist and musician. You can check out our conversation below. I’ve embedded all of his tracks within the interview for easy listening, as well as links to his social media pages. I encourage you to share his music, he’s a truly talented young producer who deserves more publicity. As for his new track, the remix of “Far Alone” takes a downtempo rap song and adds a bit of energy and electronic flair, turning it into a energetically chill song to play while warming up a party with your friends. It’s an impressive piece, and I am honored that Besade chose The Economix to premier it. Check out the track right here:

And keep reading for the interview below:

Hey Besade! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. I figure’d we’d start with a simple introduction: Who are you and where are you from?

Hi! My name is Besade and I’m from Toronto, Canada.

How did you first get into music production?
 

When I was around 12 or 13 I went to a science summer camp where we were given a demo copy of FL Studio (I think it was called Fruity Loops at that time) and we were given a quick lesson on how to make basic sounds. Coincidentally, my older brother had been introduced to FL at that time as well. We messed around with it for several years on and off before I got serious about production. I still use FL to this day and swear by it.

That’s really cool that you got introduced to production software at such an early age.  Since you’ve gotten serious, you’ve launched your career by releasing two originals and then a remix, an increasingly rare pattern in an age where many of our modern electronic idols started off with a string of remixes to accelerate their fledgling careers (The Chainsmokers and Kygo are good examples). Do you see your future content being based more on original tracks or remixes?

It’ll definitely be a mix of both. I think the idea of having the choice to pick which songs to remix gives me a sense of freedom that I really enjoy, which is a little counterintuitive. But of course, the feeling of writing your own song, and having something that is 100% yours is a really cool feeling as well. I actually approach remixes and originals in a similar way in that they both contain as much of my own written melodic material.

You can especially see that melodic independence in your newest track, you pretty much just keep the vocals and re-write the rest yourself. Is making music a full-time endeavor for you or do you have another career?
 

I’m actually just entering my last year of University. I would absolutely love to be Besade full-time, and actually have plans to do so when I finish school!

Awesome, I can’t wait for full-time Besade. Any passions besides music?
 

I’m trying to think of something that isn’t music-related and I’m struggling. It’s pretty cliche but music is such a big part of my life. I spend almost every waking hour looking for new music or thinking of ways to improve my own. Music has been my passion since long before I got into production.

Fair enough. If you could collaborate on a song with any artist, who would it be?
 
So many artists come to mind so I’m going to pick two. I would love to work with Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow. I absolutely love his voice and Miike Snow is one of my favorite bands ever! Another that comes to mind is Avicii. He’s been a huge inspiration for me from the beginning and is part of the reason I decided to get serious about production.

Those are two great artists, but who would you consider your biggest role model in music?
 
I really look up to Porter Robinson. He has an incredible songwriting ability and his music is full of emotion. Worlds is one of my favorite albums and I always look forward to his new music.

I had the opportunity to see Porter Robinson live in concert a couple of years ago, and it was a mind-blowing experience. He knows how to give a crowd a show.
Earlier we mentioned your introduction to the music production process, and on twitter you stated that “around 50% of the shit in [your] songs happen by accident,” and that you feel like an imposter at times because of that. What’s an example of something in a song that came together “by accident” and ended up making a track better? 
 
Haha yeah that’s true. It’s not necessarily entire songs that come together by accident, more like little pieces and riffs here and there. I think it’s the fact that some of the most prominent sounds in my songs are usually accidental to some degree. For example, I knew I wanted vocal chops in Sleep Factory, but nothing I tried seemed to work with the song. I ended up accidentally arranging the vocal chops in scrambled order. And that’s how it stayed in the final version. Now those vocals are my favorite element of the song.
 
I’m a sucker for vocal chops so I’m glad it worked out. How do you deal with unexpected setbacks in the creative process?
 

That’s really tough, my mood really depends on how smoothly the songwriting process is going for me, and it can get really frustrating when something that you’ve worked on for so long just isn’t coming together. I try to clear my mind, go for a walk, listen to some really inspiring music. The right mentality is key, be confident in what you’re doing and be prepared to make mistakes.

Good advice for any path in life. Your two original songs are percussion-heavy instrumental tracks that incorporate melodic electronic vibes. Have you ever attempted to classify yourself by genre, and if so, what genre of music would you say you make?
 

I really don’t worry about genre at all. I think it’s important to some degree to classify your music so that people are able to find it, but is not something that I’ve put much thought into. “I make electronic music” is good enough for me.

While you might not have a genre, you have a defined style that is consistent and easy to identify throughout your four tracks. Did you have a specific “sound” in mind when you began making music or did your style just emerge organically?
 

Now that’s something that I have put some thought into, at least in the beginning. It’s really important to have an identifiable style for any artist, and luckily mine came mostly organically. Of course I’m still evolving as a producer and songwriter so I expect my music to sound different down the road. When I look at some of the stuff I was making even last year, you can clearly hear differences. I also think that the “sound” you’re referring to is usually a combination of an artists musical inspirations. It’s basically impossible to make something that is 100% original because everything is derivative, and I don’t think music is any different.

I agree, it’s not about where you got the idea, it’s what you added to it. In between the releases of your debut track “Sleep Factory” and its follow-up “The Lights” you tweeted that you were completely out of your comfort zone. What made you uncomfortable in the process and how did it affect the final product – “The Lights”?
 
The Lights was an incredibly challenging song for me. It went through so many iterations and I had so many nights of work that I ultimately decided not to keep in the final song. I think the fact that the song is essentially split up into two very different pieces is something that was intentional but very challenging to get right. That being said, I’m very happy with how it turned out.
 
I am too. What steps do you take to ensure that you push yourself musically, and how have you seen your work develop because of that?
 
Constantly pushing myself is so important to me as an artist. In fact, I hate doing the same thing twice. I’m always looking for new sounds or arrangements or harmonies that I can explore. That’s the kind of stuff that keeps me going. In terms of my songs, I’d like to think that so far my songs have all been unique in there own way in terms of production and musicality and that’s definitely the direction I want to continue in.

Constant innovation is a great goal. If you could say one thing to all your fans out there, what would it be?
 
Thanks for listening! Seriously, getting positive responses on my music is the absolute best feeling so I really appreciate all the love.

What’s next for Besade?

There will be plenty of new music coming in the next few months and into next year! I would especially love to work with vocalists for some original songs.

Thanks again for speaking with me, I’m looking forward to the next release. Keep up the good work! 
 

My pleasure, I appreciate the support.

Besade’s social media:

PINES – Exclusive Interview

PINES Album Cover

This is a big day for The Economix. This interview marks the first bit of “exclusive content” I’ve ever put out there and my first foray into examining the artists behind the music I love. My guest today is PINES, an electronic music duo out of Adelaide, Australia. I initially featured PINES on my playlist Dusk and was surprised to get a notification a couple of days later that they had commented on the set. The words “Hey Seamus, loving the playlist – cheers!” were the first recognition that this website had gotten from an artist, and with some encouragement from friends I decided to contact PINES and ask for an interview. They were very friendly and open to the idea, even admitting that this would be their first interview as well. We kept in contact and below you can see the result of our conversations. I’ve embedded their two songs into the text of the interview so that you can hear for yourself why I decided to contact them. This is a great band and I’m really looking forward to hearing their future projects. Enjoy the interview and check out PINES on their Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter. If you like them, make sure to share this interview using the buttons below the text.

Let’s start off with the basics – what are your names and where are you from?

PINES is Adam Dormand and James Kenneally – we’re both from Adelaide, Australia

How did you guys meet and what prompted you to start making music together?

We’ve known each other for a number of years having met through some mutual friends. We both love music and have very similar tastes when it comes to our favourite artists.

What is your approach to making music together? What are some things that guide the inspirational and creative processes?

The inspiration for our tracks comes from a number of places. Listening to other artists across a whole range of genres and generations is definitely one of the main sources. New samples and sounds that we come across is definitely another big one. We’re actually both relatively new to the music making process in general so we also find a huge amount of inspiration just through learning new techniques and trying new plugins, synths, effects etc. The creative process can be both exciting and frustrating though – there’s moments when you’re creating something and you’re really feeling it until you wake up the next day to discover it wasn’t as good as you thought. On the flipside though for every new track we work on there’s the chance to write something better than the last.

Following up on that thought: With electronic bands, some of the traditional band “roles” are blurred or simply don’t exist. For example, you guys don’t have a lead guitar, drummer, or lead vocalist. Do you each play a distinct role in the band, or is it a free-for-all?

Since we started working together we’ve found that we have a very similar vision with the overall PINES sound and are very much on the same page with a lot of what we’re working on. Despite being very aligned in our thinking, we both bring different musical experience and knowledge to the table. We’ll both often start writing the tracks independently but by the time we’re arranging and mixing all decisions are made together. We’re currently working on putting together our live show as well.

On your Soundcloud you simply tag your first original track “All You Need” as “#Electronic.” Many new electronic artists on Soundcloud are adopting the terms “future-pop” or “melodic house” to describe their music. Have you ever tried to define your “genre?” If so, what do you call it? I must admit I labeled you as “future-pop” in one of my blog posts about you.

To be honest no we haven’t really defined ourselves within any of today’s genres and sub-genres. Our sound definitely spans a few of the more recent sub-genres but our goal is to write songs that people want to move to and also connect with emotionally.

For such a new band your production quality is very high. What steps do you take to ensure that your songs sound as good as they do?

In short – ridiculous amounts of time! It’s a funny one as often it will only take a couple of hours to come up with the majority of a track only to spend the next few months tweaking the sounds, the arrangement, the mix etc. We’re obsessive over the quality of both the production and the song as a whole. As we work on new material we’ll generally do some early mix-downs to listen to and think of ways to improve the track. With All You Need, we went up to Sydney to mix with Simon Todkill at Studios 301 to help us put the final polish on the track.

If you could choose any artist to work with on a project, who would it be?

Adam: My list is endless as there are so many people I’d love to learn from and work with. My dream shortlist would be The Avalanches, Damon Albarn  (Blur / Gorillaz), Bonobo, Pretty Lights and Fishing.

James: Similarly to Adam I have a pretty long and diverse list but I suppose in my dream scenario I would love to work with any of Mike Skinner (The Streets), Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miike Snow, Flume or ODESZA.

What do you guys like to do besides produce music?

We’re both mad Adelaide Crows fans (Australian Rules Football) and also do a bit of travel where possible.

What’s next for PINES?

We’ve got some new tracks almost ready to go which we’re currently working out the release plans for along with the developing of our live show. In March next year we’ll be playing on Sea’N’Beats – a cruise festival in Brisbane which we can’t wait for – the calibre of talent on board is pretty awesome (Alison Wonderland, Hayden James, Slumberjack, Paces) so that should be a lot of fun.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this, guys. It was awesome to have you as my first interview. 

No worries at all, our pleasure and thanks for the support.