…I remember when I was living in Brooklyn and would take the subway everywhere, I would have my over-ear headphones on constantly. Drowning out the outside noise with nothing but music allowed me to create a living soundtrack to my own life. I found it much more interesting and appealing than the ulterior…
…100%. And that’s what the album is about, it’s a soundtrack. There are ten feelings; ten colors; ten atmospheres. That’s why it’s called “X Colours”. It’s an electronic record more than a dance record. It’s about emotion, which is what music is about to me.
What was a vital piece of gear you used to complete “X Colour”?
I use a lot of percussion, which you can hear heavy on the album. My studio is definitely vital in the music I make because I use a lot of Apple gear, mainly percussion. Not using drum loops but rather making those loops myself.
What if I asked you the same question 10 years ago, when you were more on the drum & bass tip?
Around 10 years ago, I was getting into the same technique. I was just finding out that you could record your own percussion and that opened up a different world to me. Now, recording your own elements, you can get them so wide because you can keep layering and panning, which I love. I just love percussion. Maybe that comes from drum & bass and growing up on that music. It’s in my blood.
Can you speak on the album artwork? Also, why did you decide to incorporate an interactive element?
I went to a Henri Matisse exhibition a couple of years ago. It was the cut outs exhibition. As I do collage art myself, I got really inspired by the Matisse exhibition. It was one of the best I have been to. Afterwards I did some cut out canvases, which I sent to the original art guy. We loved it. I think it’s a strong look. It’s representative of me and looks great on the vinyl. I’m lucky to have a lot of artistic people around me.
The music is colour app came through Cobalt, who we distribute Lobster Boy through. It was their idea. It’s good fun as it allows people to interpret music in colour. Hopefully, if people don’t look at music that way, it will inspire them to do so.
Is that something you may want to pursue further?
For me, what’s really important, are visuals 100%. I mean, colours are all around us anyway, so the visuals are really important. I’m into fucking with people’s emotions with music and I want to do that with visuals as well. It’s another artistic medium.
On “X Colour” we are looking to make a video for each track. We don’t have huge budgets for every one, so some are made on a grand or so, but they all have some kind of aesthetic value, made by different people who I rate highly. It gives it a serious yet fun vibe. Since the album came out in November, it’s all about getting the music out there and then working it. So, by the summer, I want to get a small cinema somewhere and play the entire album worth of video’s..
…Is that something you really have planned?
…100% yeah. I put a lot back into the culture and the music. I’m not relying on any label or anyone else in my own life, but it’s a bit of a struggle when you’re putting your own money in it. When you have visions like that you want to make a Ridley Scott thing but I don’t have money for all that. You realize how much money you need to make “good” music videos. Regardless, there are always moments when it all fits together, but even to get there you need to put some money into it.
So you don’t like to put a rigid timeline on yourself when it comes to creating?
That’s the beauty of where the music industry is now because before everyone went towards an impact day. It was all about the pre release, youtube or soundcloud stats. Now, because everything’s on air and on sale at the same time, what I have noticed is, all that pressure disappears. It is more about allowing someone to discover music, rather than guaranteeing front heavy sales. No one is selling big on week one anymore. Everyone is collecting on Spotify, which makes all the major labels panic. This allows us to work a project for longer since it allows people to discover the record for longer. That’s what “X Colour” is about. It’s about working it until I don’t want to work it anymore.
That’s where the world of cinema distribution has gone too. They call it “day and date,” where the film will have a digital release simultaneously with a limited theatrical, shifting focus on a lengthy discovery process rather than a top heavy box office gross…
…That’s exactly it! We are not a muscular company. We don’t have the money to be muscular. We don’t have the money to put our music on steroids, which is fine. All we are giving is good product and allowing people to discover that product and, what’s the way to get people to discover good product? making more of it! It’s like a pond. If you’re gonna put a fishing rod in a pond, that pond better have bloody fish in it. The internet is the pond and you have to fill it up with fish.
…I think this also weeds out a lot of content, which is especially important in dance music since there are so many figures involved in it. Sometimes it all just becomes exhausting to navigate, so this extra work on the part of the artist does not go unnoticed from the part of the consumer…
…I’ve spent my whole life in music and a big part of that was releasing music very late after it’s been made. Of course a big part of that is the dubplate culture in drum & bass from the 90s, and I would find it infuriating. Now, I am under the control of my own label so I am not going to hold the process up. I need to be working, man!
..I feel you on that. All the odd thoughts enter the mind with too much downtime..
I am peaking at the moment so I’m in a strong position. I have done a lot in my life to get to this point so I am not going to slow down now. NO WAY!
Being at this place in your career, specifically to your label, have your goals evolved at all?
They have definitely matured. The goals have gotten bigger. At the beginning, the label was a platform for music no one else wanted to release. Then other people started coming in and wanted to be featured, mostly friends, so I thought that was cool. By now, I’ve been in music long enough to know that I can help people, and I like to help people to get their abilities out there. In my life, people have helped me do that, so it’s all about creating a home and creating something that can grow organically. “X Colour” is the first album of many on Lobster Boy, from many different people hopefully. This is just the beginning!
With so much to be excited for coming up, is there one particular thing you’re most excited for?
To be honest, every day is a blessing. If I can wake up alive and breathing, I can see my family, and my son is happy, I am blessed. To be able to do what I do, I am so thankful so I look forward to every day. That is the truth!
“X Colour” is now available on Lobster Boy Records