Q&A with ambient/focus beats producer “audioalias”

DJ Lethal Skillz
Mar 6 · 7 min read

Audioalias is an experimental music artist and producer based in Melbourne Australia. DJ Lethal Skillz interviewed him on behalf of Emanate Community!

Tell us about yourself?

I’m audioalias, I grew up in Wellington New Zealand and then moved to Melbourne Australia in my early twenties, I had been making music in bands and performing as a singer in New Zealand since the early 1990s. I also dabbled in electronic music production starting around 1995.

How long have you been taking your craft seriously?

I have only got serious about producing music again after a really long break. Last year was the first time I began releasing my work to streaming services. With my youngest child having started school in 2019 I once again had time to devote to music projects.

Back in my late teens and early twenties I was involved in the music scene in Wellington as a punk rock vocalist. A few years later as Trip Hop was gaining popularity, I became enthralled with sample based electronic music and started creating tracks using an Ensoniq Mirage sampler/synth and a Tascam 4 track cassette recorder, I played these recordings to my friends but never released them. Around that time, I was inspired by artists like Aphex Twin, Tricky, Massive Attack, Björk, Portishead and Boards of Canada to mention a few.

What is the inspiration and processes like for your music production?

Inspiration for the overall vibe and flow of my tracks is usually informed by things going on in my life, and then, at other times it’s just, this sounds cool, this goes with that and this blends nice with this… as examples, the track Waiting for You (Birds of Prey EP), was about loneliness and denial after going through a difficult relationship separation. The single Parched Sky was informed by climate issues in Australia, the bushfires, toxic air pollution and the haze that clouded our sky’s for days. Then at the other end of the musical spectrum singles like Pale Thirst and Pelican showcase my love of photography, animals and traveling in their cover art, but their sound and flow was defined mainly by experimentation and iteration, this beat, this bass line, let’s try this melody, oh that’s nice, or no that’s awful!

https://emanate.live/audioalias/birds-of-prey

The collaborative single Ocean Bay with Xtina Jewell is inspired from her gorgeously euphoric vocals and a desire to match and support her vibe instrumentally.

Working with Xtina Jewell on Ocean Bay

I met my most recent collaborator Xtina Jewell on Instagram she had this wonderful Instagram gallery with clips of her songs, music jams and modelling work. She wowed me with her incredible voice. I left a nice comment on one of her posts and she replied with a thank you, next I was asking her if she would be interested in collaborating, she was, so we started direct messaging each other to discuss the process. We finally chose to use a piece of a vocal recording she had done recently and really liked but had not known how or if she would develop it further.

I set about developing a soundscape around the sound and lyrical content of her piece, lyrics like “finding things no one else has ever found”, “seashells” … The ideas of beach combing and the sound of the ocean…I cut her vocal recording into nice little moments and created several different loops and one shots, spliced into 16 beat clips with silence filling the tail, to help with live triggering . I told her all about Emanate and how collaboration splits and payments work, she keenly signed up as an artist on the platform.

When it came time to upload our single Ocean Bay the process was made easy through the support of Emanate reps and Emanate’s unique smart contract system, Xtina had signed up as an artist so it was just a matter of filling in the audio submission form adding links to the cover art and mastered mp3 audio file. We could then stipulate on the submission form how the payments would be split, we agreed on a 50–50 split and so filled in the information to reflect that. The track now exists on Emanate under her own artist profile and also mine.

Technically, being able to get ideas down quickly is the most important factor in my production process, I make the process super simple and my gear ultra-portable, this eases the flow when creating new ideas and compositions. I’m a busy parent, photographer and designer, creating electronic music is my passion but I don’t have endless time to dedicate to it.

Being able to set up quickly and work anywhere, anytime is important to me, I’m even known to create tracks while walking on treadmills at the gym, my whole ‘studio’ fits inside a backpack.

Are you currently working on new music or projects? What’s cooking?

Over the last 6 months have been creating a collection of fairly ambient yet beat focused tracks, a favourite vibe/genre of mine at the moment, but I’m looking forward to developing some more up-tempo tracks with a nice swing and punchy groove, danceable maybe.

I would also like to collaborate more this year; I’ve just signed up to Vampr. More of everything as often as possible, I feel like I’ve just begun.

What are your musical goals?

My goals are to keep creating while I’m enjoying the process.

Music has always meant a lot to me and I enjoy many different genres, I’ve always relished local live music and the electronic music scenes. I would like to start playing small venues locally and then maybe travel to a few select countries to play live.

What have you found to be the most frustrating part with your artist journey?

I think the time available for me to create can be a frustrating juggle, if my love of creating music could be more easily turned from a passion to a living, then focusing on that passion exclusively could make it a smoother more exciting experience, especially with more time to create.

How do you think Emanate will evolve or change what you do?

I believe Emanate will change the way I and other artists distribute music and the way we consume music. I currently use Landr to distribute my recordings and I will change to Emanate distro once it’s available.

I subscribe to a number of different streaming platforms as a listening consumer at the moment, I hope this will also change as Emanate grows, it would be great to subscribe directly to artists in the way the Emanate founders and the community envision. The applications will be just that, software to access and organise the music you listen to, but the majority of revenue and value stays in its own decentralised ecosystem being organised by a community of artists and listeners, not a traditional corporation focused on profit alone.

Do you have any advice for producers working on their craft?

My general advice is to ‘keep it super simple’ if that works for you, start creating from an idea, vibe or feeling using tools designed for speed, a quick loading DAW like Ableton live on a laptop or a mobile app, this helps reduce procrastination, embrace the technology to create anywhere anytime, it’s here, its relatively affordable and you could end up writing that great new track on the train to work or in your lunch break. If you want to take that idea to a fantastic studio and collaborate with audio engineers and other artists that’s awesome, but use your time wisely and come prepared. I also like to keep plenty of loops and sample elements that I’ve created or licensed handy at all times you never know when they may become useful (I store them in the Cloud). Connecting with other artists on social media like Instagram or Vampr for instance can be really great, go support each other, listen to each other’s music and follow their updates, profiles and talk to them about Emanate.

https://emanate.live/audioalias/

Check out audioalias on Emanate

emanate community

“Emanate Community” is curated by our passionate members and users. Read up on news, events, grass root artists and more.

DJ Lethal Skillz

Written by

DJ/Producer/Cryptopreneur

emanate community

“Emanate Community” is curated by our passionate members and users. Read up on news, events, grass root artists and more.

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