Hey Alex, It’s great to meet you! How’s your summer been so far?
This summer has been amazing. It’s really great to have most places here in the US back in full swing. Miami remains going at full speed – nonstop. It’s a vortex in the best sense of the word. And NYC is the best when the open air events are all going on. New Yorkers really tend to come out of their shell and enjoy the summer with smiles on their faces.
Congrats on your new release Microdreaming on Lost On You. What was your inspiration behind this record?
Thanks! During lockdown I was fortunate to spend a lot of my time in the studio. But outside the studio I was trying different things – one of which was listening to meditation podcasts. However every time I finished I always felt bursting with energy. So one of the days after listening to a meditation podcast, I decided to take that energy and head right to the studio. I knew I wanted it to be high energy with some twisted meditational vocals. It was one of those rare times that the tracks actually turned out to be in line with my original idea.
Lost On You is a new label in your discography, what pushed you to release on this particular label and what are your thoughts on the cause behind Lost On You?
It’s been in the works for quite some time and I couldn’t be happier to release it on Lost On You. I’ve always enjoyed the music they put out. Some of the artists I’ve followed for a long time. Rafael Cerato is an artist I really look up to. He has put out a bunch of originals and remixes on the label going back to 2018. Another great release from Lost On You is Kiko and Aves Volare’s “Cycle” with remixes from Waltervelt and APNOEA. Deniz Kabu released “Darkest Love” with Lost On You back in 2019 and then again this year an electronica track, “Endless Walls” which I really enjoyed. The list goes on…Freakme, Brigado Crew, Miss Monique.
But personally, what I find to be one of the greatest qualities of Lost On You is that they give relatively unknown underground artists an opportunity to not only exhibit their work, but promote and mentor them as well. This is very much in line with Lost On You’s mission: to help others to rise above. For those that aren’t aware – it’s the first electronic music label to donate all money raised from album sales to communities around the world that need it the most. This comes in various forms such as fighting against malnutrition and poor health to the Build a School Programme which builds schools in rural Africa. To see and be a part of music being used in such a positive and literally constructive way is pretty amazing.
You have a background in playing the cello from an early age, how did it influence your approach to music production?
I started playing the cello in 2nd grade. A few years after that I was playing in an orchestra as well as performing solo. I think both gave me a unique take on performance, composition and transition. The orchestra I played in had many instruments – strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion – and as a result, moving parts. Being part of such a large ensemble at a young age influenced my approach to collaboration not only with other musicians but the collaboration of multiple instruments. Playing the cello solo and in an ensemble gave me the opportunity to play music from a wide variety of eras and the different classical genres. Now, I am using those skills and lessons learned to push the boundaries of genres in my productions – electronica, techno, indie dance, classical and more.
How does your setup look like?
A Roland TR-8 drum machine, a Novation Peak Polyphonic Synthesizer, Ableton Push 2, and an Arturia 49 key midi controller. In the center I have my iMac computer, with a Yamaha HS8 studio monitor on either side and an HS8S studio subwoofer below. And in the corner I have an electric cello and an acoustic cello I’ve had since I was in 2nd grade. Aside from that, I converted an empty room in my place to a studio. I made 20 acoustic panels from scratch using 2×4’s from the lumber yard in Chinatown, 2 inch thick fiberglass from the manufacturer, and brought it all together using speaker grill cloth, glue and a stapler. Then hung them from the walls and ceiling using metal chains.
What studio gear do you believe defines your sound?
I am starting to incorporate the cello more and more which is very exciting. It’s been tough coming from classical because it’s so ingrained in my head but it’s coming along. You will hear more of that in my productions as that journey continues. I think my sound is more defined by an idea than a specific studio gear. It’s an intersection of dark and uplifting – I call it playful warehouse.
Digital or Analog?
Whatever comes naturally in the moment. I try not to think too much while creating as it can stop my flow. What matters to me is the end result – how it sounds to the listener. Often times for me, that’s a combination of both digital and analog.
What has been your highlight gig this year?
Floyd at Space in Miami for sure. I played the closing set from 4am-6am on a Saturday night. And some of my closest homies, Dude Skywalker, played the set before me which was super nice. Floyd is definitely my favorite room in Miami. The sound, the red colored room – and the vibe is always 100. I can’t wait to play there again.
DJ’ing or Music Production?
Depends on the day, and my mood for sure.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our question, is there anything else you would like to mention before we go?
Burning Man is coming up at the end of August. If you’re going come find me at my camp Miki Beach on 10 & D. We throw amazing parties. If you haven’t been, definitely try to at some point. This will be my 9th year. There are so many amazing take-aways but you will have to learn that yourself.
Lots of new music coming out in the next few months so stay tuned and enjoy the rest of the summer.
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Purchase Microdreaming on Beatport