Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Bristol. There are a load of amazing artists emerging here at the moment. I think my favourite Bristolians at the moment are Tamu Massif and Harvey Causon.
How did you first start playing music and what influences you to keep playing?
I guess it started when I got a guitar for Christmas when I was 8 or 9. I didn’t play it properly for a few years, but in my teenage years I started to song write and then eventually produce. It was the discovery of production that really triggered something and made me realise that I could create whatever I wanted to and express myself. I think that’s what influences me to keep creating; that feeling when you produce something completely unique and unexplainable. You’re not quite sure where it came from but the release of ideas and emotion feels overwhelmingly special.
Your new Album is out, where and when did you record?
It was recorded over 2017, in many different locations. The majority of the record was produced in my bedroom, but I worked on a few songs with Nico Rebscher at his studio in Funkhaus, Berlin. We spent many late nights soaking up the ambience of the building and layering up textures and synths. I mixed the rest of the album with my best friend Jack Shuter back in Bristol, who I worked with on my previous EP.
What equipment and programs did you use?
I work from Logic Pro X, but I prefer to track sounds outside of the box, rather than use too many VSTs. My Korg Minilogue was central to the album’s sound, but I was also fortunate enough to have access to synths like the Korg Poly 800, Minimoog Voyager and crucially the Yamaha CS-60, which Jack and I sampled and built a polyphonic patch in Maschine. Nico and I were also able to track some Rhodes at a studio in Camden, for the single ‘Another Light’. Despite the extensive synths and production, I still wanted to capture that intimate feeling, so most of the songs feature nylon guitar and my girlfriend’s mum’s piano.
What influenced the sound of the album?
I think the main influence was probably what had come before. I’ve spent a few years trying to understand the sound I want to create and find new ways of expressing that sound, so this album is another step closer to that sound that I’m always chasing. I wanted to create a collection of songs that felt familiar; natural and reflective of my experiences and feelings, but I simultaneously wanted it to feel exciting and unknown to me. I still don’t understand how these songs were formed or why they sound like they do, but they evoke new feelings each listen and intrigue me, and I think that’s what I wanted.
How was your experience in Berlin whilst you were recording?
It was great! Funkhaus houses some really amazing people. I couldn’t help but feel inspired and driven to create within it’s walls. Nico and Jack’s energy and passion to create special sounds really inspired me and the songs would feel really different if they hadn’t been created out there, with those people.
Favourite track on the album and why?
It’s probably ‘Stay Here’. It feels like a big release. I think it’s a song that could’ve easily felt uncomfortable to me with that feeling of the isolation in the lyrics and production, but it somehow makes me feel at ease. I think it’s the clearest example of the music I want to make.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment… Nils Frahm, Four Tet, The/Das, Kelly Lee Owens, Anenon, Ryuichi Sakamoto.
How do usually go about writing lyrics / music and combining the two?
They’re quite separate. My lyrics are always formed like poems, with lines added intermittently over weeks. Whereas with the production, I’m constantly editing and experimenting. I definitely spend most of my time building a mood with the instrumentation and production, which will trigger some imagery or feeling, and eventually influence the lyrics.
Please tell us how you prepare for each live show:
It’s always interesting approaching the live show, as I’m floating somewhere between electronic and acoustic instruments. The songs are produced in an electronic way, but that doesn’t always translate too easily live, so a few songs have to be taken apart and rebuilt for a live setting. Fortunately, I have an amazing group of musicians who help to do that. I want to keep an electronic spine to the set, but ensure that everything around it feels intimate and human. I need to try and connect with people live in a different way to how I’d connect with them on record.
What do you have planned for 2018?
I’m working on new music at the moment, both for my solo stuff and for my side project Corre. I think my focus is definitely still on producing new material, but I’m equally excited to get out and play some shows wth the band in April/May!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
The Gallimaufry on Gloucester Road or Pinkmans on Park Street (both in Bristol).