Published May 8, 2020

#3 MY SOUND

I wan’t to talk a little bit about my music, not only to share it with you but to try to figure out how to define it myself.

Ive always had trouble placing myself within a genre or subculture of music. That’s actually something that has been strangely difficult for me since I get asked a lot what kind of music I make and I feel my school in Berlin expects me to be able to define it better and realise who my “musician peers” are. I tell people I make pop music, but I think that paints a picture of stuff like Katy Perry in people’s heads. Sometimes I like to compare it more to Grimes or something like that. It’s definitely pop songwriting but I’m also kind of stubbornly anti-pop sometimes in a way that I will refuse to make the obvious choice in the arrangement or sound design.

The truth is I don’t really think about this at all when I’m making music. The sound I have now has developed since I started making my first electronic demos at 17 so it absolutely takes a lot from the electronic pop music that was going on at that time. I was for example listening to stuff like Crystal Castles, Grimes, Purity Ring, Toro y Moi and a loooot of 2010s hip hop. I was in love with early Childish Gambino stuff, Kanye West, Death Grips and Odd Future. So that’s where I got my aesthetic of kinda of rough in-your-face drums in my tracks, although I absolutely don’t make hip hop.

A lot of people have pointed out I have an 80s sound in my music, and although that isn’t really an intentional choice and I don’t have any special connection to the 80s I can see where that thought comes from since I use my synths in a kind of New Order-y way sometimes. I also used to loooove the movie Drive. There was actually a lot of 80s revivalism going on when I was a teen and I think I picked up my 80s vibes from there more than the actual idea of the 80s. But if my sound design is dictated by 80s new wave stuff, I think the idea of my songwriting is absolutely more linked to 90s alternative rock like Smashing Pumpkins, Pavement or early Radiohead. Smashing Pumpkins is my favourite band ever and I think I steal all my melodic and chord progression ideas from them even though it might not be entirely obvious in my music.

I think it’s a fine line to walk having a “unique” sound and just not knowing what your sound is. I want to be unique, I want to create my own universe of music and visuals that could only come from me, but I also want to find a way to connect with artists that are doing and aiming for similar things. I’m hoping to figure it out better when I start releasing my stuff and I see what kind of people are liking it, and what kind of artists those people are listening to. But for now, I make “kinda weird pop”.