My guest today is none other ever Pinguen! He’s hits include Transitional State, Long time no see and Prying Eyes (video above)! Pinguen was kind enough to give up some free time to do this interview!
3.47: How did the name come about?
Pinguen: I just kinda liked penguins at that point in life XD I wanted to base it off of some animal, I remember that. I don’t remember why, I just thought that’d be kinda cool. Although I must admit I am sort of regretting that now. There are an infinite number of better names out there. Ah well.
3.47: If you ask me it’s cool to give them the exposure they deserve! What would you want to be called instead now thinking about it?
Pinguen: Oh, I don’t know. Flex? Morphis? Something not to do with penguins?! XD
3.47: How long have you been making music for?
Pinguen: Nearly a year now. Hopefully I will continue producing for many more!
3.47: Yeah I hope so because you are pretty talented!
Pinguen: Thank you 🙂
3.47: Was this something you always wanted to do?
Pinguen: No actually. I fell in love with EDM and that scene of music about two or three years ago, and I don’t know why but I suddenly thought it’d be pretty cool to try making it myself. I think I remember a friend telling me he had tried it once, but he never got very far with it, and I think that was what put the idea in my head, and it developed from there.
3.47: That’s interesting to hear so it motivated you in a way! Has your friend had another go at going at it again or has he stayed clear of it? Do you also use FL studio or you using other software?
Pinguen: I don’t think he tried again. I never asked to be honest! I’ve actually kept the whole thing a secret from my friends so far. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with friends knowing, it’s that if it got too widely known among people I know I fear a poor response would demotivate me and I’d quit. I will tell friends when I get better and/or bigger though. When the time is right at least. And yes, I do use FL studio and some external plug-ins.
3.47: What was your reaction like when you saw the feedback coming in about your music?
Pinguen: I was ecstatic at first. It’s always huge getting your first few subscribers, because every subscriber makes such a difference at that stage. Since I was so young and naive I thought that these few good comments on my first song meant I would be famous in a year…evidently not XD
3.47: Well … When you think about it, you kinda are famous! Sure not movie star level but the fact that you people listening like myself and eager to hear what’s coming next, that’s a nice feeling in my eyes!
Pinguen: It is a great feeling, definitely. I suppose levels of fame are all subjective but I wouldn’t call myself famous at the moment.
3.47: Would you like to play live at some point?
Pinguen: No. That sort of thing doesn’t actually appeal to me. All my producer friends say they would and I can see why, but I’m not great under pressure and can’t for the life of me stand up on a stage and perform. Maybe I will sometime in the future, but the idea doesn’t appeal to me at the moment.
3.47: Have you ever try doing a bit of DJing with one of your friends at a house party? Doing something small helps and we can understand if we are ready to take it to the next level.
Pinguen: I haven’t as of yet but I have thought about it. I fear I’m far too malcoordinated to DJ properly though! I’ve never actually tried it, and plus all the equipment costs a small fortune, which I’d rather spend on software as opposed to hardware. Except an HD sound recorder. Need me one of those!
3.47: From experience is making your own tracks easier than a remix or just as hard?
Pinguen: It’s hard to say that one is easier than the other. Both remixing and producing from scratch have easy parts and hard parts about them. And it differs from producer to producer as well. For me, I prefer producing from scratch because there is no limit to your creativity except your own ideas (which can sometimes be a nightmare when you’ve got producer’s block!) and you can make something which absorbs you, whereas with remixes I find it very hard to be creative when I’m just not “feeling” the chord progression or the song itself. Having said that it’s often useful to have a guideline to work on. It can be incredibly daunting sometimes when producing since you have an almost infinite number of possibilities and no idea what direction to go down.
3.47: That’s what I like about this question because like you said every producer has a different answer to it! Its true what you said that some have producers block as well as us writers having the same problem at times! When you start a remix yourself does it sometimes become its own track by accident?
Pinguen: It can do I imagine. I haven’t done too many remixes before, and I’ve only uploaded one. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay confined to the chord change or melody, although there are cases I’ve found where the remix sounds nothing like the original but is much better! Like the Dabin remix of Burn Up by Rollz (a personal favourite actually). Fantastic song!
3.47: What do you do in your spare time?
Pinguen: Production is usually what I do in my spare time (at home at least). Otherwise I’m listening to new music or screaming at some noob in a video game or watching Netflix. I also climb regularly when I get the opportunity.
3.47: What’s your favourite video game at the moment? A few people have been saying they are feeling Dark Souls 2 at the moment!
Pinguen: I haven’t played Dark Souls 2 yet! I might get a lot of shit for this but I’m actually all for Nintendo. I still play a lot of other stuff on the side, like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield (and COD – although that series is taking a turn for the worse), but Nintendo is where it’s at! Nothing beats Zelda. Just putting it out there. Crucify me if you like. But nothing beats Zelda. And the new Super Smash Bros. when that comes out 😀
3.47: Given the chance who would you love to work with?
Pinguen: Oh my lord this is a hard one. There are so many! I think I’d pick someone I’d learn the most from, in which case that’d be Au5 or Fractal probably, simply because their sound design is some of the best I have ever heard and my sound design is an unmitigated disaster. Otherwise I’m finding myself heading down a much more chill (and hopefully atmospheric soon) route these days so I’d love to work with the likes of Mr Fijiwiji or Direct just to learn a lot more about the genre.
3.47: We got a Monstercat fan here! You looking to partner up with any of them later in the future?
Pinguen: It’s true. I’m a Monstercat fangirl XD Partnering up with them would be a dream come true, but I’ve got a looooong way to go before that! What’s fantastic about Monstercat is they never accept any of the boring standard repetitive EDM you get a lot of these days. It’s all very unique and such an emotional journey. There’s a lot of competition out there, but who knows. Maybe I’ll get lucky!
3.47: What would you say are the advantage/disadvantage of been independent?
Pinguen: By independent I assume you mean going solo as opposed to a duo? I suppose some advantages would be there are never any arguments over what sounds better, and I’m free to do what I want and not be manipulated by someone else. The flip side to this would be that it would be very useful to have constant input from someone who knows what they’re talking about. You can never have enough advice on a song your working on, but you can always go to friends or other producers for that. Also money is always an issue. Having someone to split the costs would be ideal.
3.47: I was going to ask do you ask your other friends that are producers for advice as well. Its like you said, you can never have enough advice on a song you’re working on! I think its great when you can turn to a friend like that to give you some inspiration!
Pinguen: It is. SO useful.
3.47: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Pinguen: So many to choose from! At this very moment it would have to be Atlas by Faux Tales, or Do It by Rootkit. Both incredibly beautiful and chilled melodically but both have heavy influences which I love.
3.47: Oh man Atlas with that kicker! Just completely chilled and then BASS! That tune ripped my eardrums!
Pinguen: I cannot explain with words how fantastic that song is. Especially just how perfect the transition between calm and mellow to loud and ermahgerd the sound design XD
3.47: What can we expect from you in the future?
Pinguen: I’ve decided I’m definitely heading down a more chilled route now. I’m also thinking I will try some atmospheric stuff as well, such as Lost and Found by Amon Tobin, or Wander by Brombaer and Fjoltar. Just don’t expect any club bangers any time soon XD
3.47: That’s fair enough man! I’m glad to hear someone else likes Amon Tobin! I think his underrated and same with Emancipator! Have you heard tracks from Nujabes as well?
Pinguen: I haven’t heard of him no. Another thing to do later 😀
3.47: Do you have any other hidden talents?
Pinguen: If so, they’re hidden to me as well! XD
3.47: Let’s go on ghost hunt and find it XD
Pinguen: Sounds like a plan!
3.47: If you had the power to run your own label, what would you call it?
Pinguen: I could never come up with a name in so little time. It’d take me weeks to find a good one! I’m picky like that.
3.47: Let me know when you do!
Pinguen: Will do!
3.47: What’s the best advice you been given?
Pinguen: Do what you want, not what your fans or friends want. That way you build a fan-base who actually enjoy what you enjoy making and not a fan base who are there for something you no longer (or never did) enjoy producing. Sure, take suggestions from them, but don’t feel forced into doing something you don’t want to. Seven months ago a subscriber asked if I could make glitch hop. I started on something but couldn’t for the life of me get it to work, and now it’s sitting somewhere in my folder of WIPs and I have no intention any more of completing it. I’ve realised now that while I love Glitch Hop, I can’t produce it for the life of me XD
3.47: You see that’s the thing that is awesome to hear! As much as we love something sometimes we just can’t make it work! Like you said there, you love glitch hop but making it didn’t work! Even still I say don’t give up on it. Its all trial and error so we have to try new things at times! True the first attempted didn’t work at all but you know maybe later down the line you may say, I wanna give it another shot!
Pinguen: Maybe I will! I’ve got so many ideas in my head at the moment all chill and atmospheric related though so that’s where I’m heading now. Who knows? Maybe I’ll somehow find a way to make chill glitch hop (is that even possible?! They’re like polar opposites!)!
3.47: What advice can you give to people who want to be like yourself?
Pinguen: Stick at it. Everyone starts small. Don’t expect to get huge overnight. It takes a long time and some lucky people will get there faster than others. Also make great use of social media (I don’t do it enough!). That is pretty key.
3.47: Well I’m hoping this interview does give you the well deserved boost you need! Very good advice as well and I think it is important people realise that. At the end of the day as I said in so many interviews, each track I listen to has a “feeling” and that’s what keeps me hungry for more tracks!
Pinguen: Exactly! I feel that so much of EDM these days is missing that feeling. I fear artists aren’t pushing the boundaries any more. They’re sticking with a known winning formula that gets so repetitive and boring. It’s so tedious.
3.47: Given the chance to run YouTube what would you change about it?
Pinguen: Get rid of G+. It’s been months and I still have no idea what circles are XD I’d also add a section at the top of the search results page which gives related results from very small up and coming channels. Up to say 500 subscribers or there about. That way unheard of channels get a chance to become more recognised. And it would only show about 5 videos from these small channels, so people only have to scroll down a tiny way in order to see the major channels’ content.
3.47: You’re not alone in that one! I think it was Purple Turtle (YouTube channel) who said exactly the same thing! I think we should have a campaign to change up YouTube and get rid of these silly things they are doing!
Pinguen: (Laughs), we can get thousands of people to all give feedback simultaneously and explain how crap some of the features are and what to improve! XD
3.47: Final question! Anything you want to say to your fans out there?
Pinguen: First of all, sorry. Sorry I am so inconsistent with uploads, especially as of recently. I’ve been very busy as of recently with work so it’s been hard to fit in time to produce. Secondly thank you so much for staying subscribed despite the inconsistency! I love doing what I do and it’s great to know others enjoy it too!
3.47: From my point of view quality over quantity! Real life will always come before anything else! Good luck with it man and thanks for doing this!
Pinguen: Thanks for having me!
3.47 would like to say a massive thank you to Pinguen for spending the time doing the interview! Until next time guys!