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Interview: Apstract

Now see this is a song you could wake up to and feel … Like everything will be okay! My guest today is Apstract who create the song above, Kalimba! He’s also created other songs such as Back To You feat. Nathan Brumley and Hope! Apstract was kind enough to give up some free time, to do this interview!

3.47: How did the name come about?
Apstract: Actually, as strange as it may sound, I don’t really even know. I was looking for a good alias to go by, Apstract sounded nice and it’s easy to find, so I just went with it. I am happy that I did.

3.47: That’s fair enough! How long have you been making music for?
Apstract: My very first contact with “making” music were my piano lessons. I started just before school started, which is about eleven and a half years ago (long time!) and I have been playing the piano since then.

3.47: Wow that is a really long time ago! Do you still play it now? Also do you also try to make cover versions of various songs on the piano?
Apstract: I do still play the piano, although I don’t practice a lot any more. Mostly I play on my keyboard that’s connected to my computer to find melodies and chords that sound nice, but I don’t really think you can consider that playing the piano. When I do practice cover versions of songs, it’s mostly just stuff that I have heard somewhere and liked, and when there’s sheet music available, I usually start learning the piece. At the moment I’m trying to finish the song “Recreation” from the soundtrack of the game “The Swapper”. My very first steps in production were about four and a half years ago. I wanted to make some electronic music, so I looked for a free program to do it with and found a funny little thing called Linux Multimedia Studio, or simply LMMS. It’s a thing very similar to FL Studio, just with much less functions. I played around with it a bit, but soon lost interest because I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. The same thing happened a year later with another DAW. I got into more serious production about a year ago and started out by making a Dubstep song that very few people know about. I worked really hard on that one, but listening back now, there are tons of things about it that I would change. I got into Liquid Drum and Bass not a long time later, and my first “real” release dates back to about five and a half months from now.

3.47: Just curious but what was the title of the song? Have you thought about doing a remix or VIP?
Apstract: The song has recently been used in a video about the school I go to. If you want to hear the song (or see video that’s a lot better than the song), just go here. It’s an extended mix of the original

3.47: Have you thought about doing a remix or VIP?
Apstract: I have in fact thought about VIP-ing it, but those aren’t any real plans yet.

3.47: Was this something you always wanted to do?
Apstract: Like I mentioned earlier, it was something I was always swaying in and out of doing. I always wanted to create music, but I only realized how much fun it really is in the last couple of months.

3.47: What was your reaction like when you saw the feedback coming in about your music?
Apstract: It was absolutely crazy how much feedback I got even on the first release, and how positive most of it was. It really felt a little unreal, I never thought that people would honestly like to listen what I made. It is one of the reasons for me to keep going – knowing that people actually enjoy what I make is, aside from my love for the music, my biggest motivation.

3.47: Are you playing live events or is that something you want to do?
Apstract: I have not played on any live events yet, though that is something I am definitely planning to do once school is over for me. I’ll have to learn to DJ first, but I’ll definitely do it later.

3.47: Good choice! Be great to hear you creating a mix! So far we heard tracks done by yourself, but are there anyone out there that you would love to work with?
Apstract: I haven’t only worked alone up to this point. My last two releases have been collaborations with the great singer and songwriter Nathan Brumley. Working with him has been an absolute blast this far, and I think we will keep working together from this point. We have just finished collaboration together with my classmate Charlotte Amadea, which also turned out pretty damn good.

3.47: How did you find out about Nathan? Was it a case of you hearing his one of his songs and sending a request to be featured on your track?
Apstract: Yeah, that’s pretty much it! I just happened to stumble over his Soundcloud profile and sent him a message. In terms of working with producers, I find that this is a very hard thing to actually do well, at least for me. The main problem with this is that I can’t really see how a collaboration between producers can be done without real life communication, and although I have seen it working out very well on multiple instances, I don’t really believe that this is the optimal way of creating music.

3.47: That’s fair enough! It varies for everyone and so it’s cool to hear your opinion on it! What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Apstract: Wow, this is a really tough one… I’d say at the moment I’d probably go with Maduk’s Avalon VIP, or maybe “Awake” by Tycho. Or “Thinking About” by DPB. There’s just so many great songs out there, I can’t decide.

3.47: Good choices! What would you say are the advantages/disadvantages of being independent?
Apstract: The advantages are pretty clear: You can do what you like, when you like it. Nobody’s putting pressure on you, no deadlines, so it’s a very uncomplicated way of going after what you love. And, eventually, when you start selling your music, you don’t have to share the revenue, although that is one thing that I see in the far future for myself. The only real disadvantage I can think of is that a label can seriously help you with getting your music out there, which can be quite tough when you’re working alone.

3.47: Very true! I think this is why it’s important that by doing these interviews, it gives every independent artist the push they deserve! What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Apstract: Assuming that this question is music related, I can’t really think of a certain piece of advice that helped me out particularly. Sure, I’ve had a lot of tips and tricks from friends to help me out, but I wouldn’t consider that as actual advice. Maybe there’s one thing a guy once said to me, I don’t even remember who he was – he said “When you make music, you should do what you love. Don’t feel like you need to be guided by the opinions of others. If you love what you’re doing, somebody else is going to do the same.”

3.47: That’s a really good point actually! Do you feel pressured from your listeners at times to make music they want you to make?
Apstract: Not really. Mostly, when somebody criticizes my music, it’s in a very constructive way, so I don’t look at it as pressure, I look at it as people wanting to help me.

3.47: Do you have any other hidden talents?
Apstract: None that I know of and could actually call a talent. I am pretty good at Origami, or at least I used to be. In general, I’m pretty solid when it comes to things that have logic or a structure behind them.

3.47: That shows you have a lot of patience as well! Great to hear you can do it! What advice can you give to others out there?
Apstract: Well, I would only want to pass on what that guy whose name I can’t remember told me. When you make music, be yourself, don’t get pressurized by other’s opinions and views. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you do.

3.47: Couldn’t say it any better! Apart from making music, what else do you do in your spare time?
Apstract: I play a lot of video games, and I love to go paragliding. Apart from that, like you’d probably expect, a huge amount of my spare time goes right into my production.

3.47: What video game you playing at the moment? Don’t tell me you play Minecraft as well!
Apstract: In fact, I am a very passionate Minecraft player. Nah, just kidding. I don’t really like Minecraft, it’s fun for an hour or so, but then it gets stale for me, although I can see where all the fans of this game are coming from. I am currently playing Battlefield 4 mostly when it comes to online gaming. In the offline category, I am having a tough but really fun time with Dark Souls, that game is a complete masterpiece from start to finish. In general, I like RPGs like Dark Souls, The Witcher or the Gothic series (more part 1 and 2, the rest was just plain bad).

3.47: What did you think of E3? And what games are you most excited to that will be coming out soon?
Apstract: I didn’t follow E3 all that much, but some of the trailers that were shown really blew me away. For instance the cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity, that one was intense. The one I liked most was for The Division, although I have a feeling that that game is not going to be able to live up to the hype that’s being created around it. I was also very pleased to hear that Destiny is most probably coming to PC. Aside from that, I loved the first impressions of Far Cry 4. Star Citizen seems to have a ton of potential, and if the developers can keep up the quality right now, we’re in for a seriously great game. Oh, and did I mention – GTA V was finally confirmed for PC. Thanks for beta testing the game, console peasants 😛

3.47: Given the chance to run YouTube what would you change about the site?
Apstract: I probably would not change many things, I am very happy with the way YouTube is going right now. However, I think I would bring back the two top comments below each video. Also, I’d try to disconnect it from Google Plus, obviously.

3.47: Agreed I would love Google+ to be removed! What can we expect from you in the future?
Apstract: I will have an album coming out in the near future, which will contain all of my tracks up to that point as well as some remixes and the instrumental mixes for all tracks with vocals, since some people like the tracks better without vocals.

3.47: That’s awesome you’re giving people the options to have both!
Apstract: Apart from that, not a lot is going to change. I’ll keep making the music I love, and I hope you guys keep enjoying it.

3.47: Can’t wait to hear it man! Final question! Anything you want to say to your fans out there?
Apstract: I would like to thank every single person who enjoys my music even a tiny bit. It brightens up my day every time I see a nice comment on my tracks, and it is, apart from my love for the tunes, the one factor that keeps me going in what I do. I’m not good when it comes to expressing feelings, so I’m just going to put it this way: You guys are amazing. The support you are giving me is insane. Thank you all very, very much =)

3.47 would like to say a massive thank you to Apstract for spending the time doing the interview! Until next time guys!

Apstract Links
SoundCloud
Facebook
YouTube
Google+

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