***The May 2023 interview is in German. Full English version below.***
01. Paul, happy to have a feature with you. Let’s start from scratch - you’re quite new in the game. Tell us about your motivation to start as a producing artist.
When I was young, I played piano and drums and loved it. I performed in some bands and tried my hand at producing some of my own music.
However, as I pursued and worked to pay for university studies and later started and developed a career, I found there was just no time to perform music or much else for that matter. I parked those ideas, thinking about them from time, as I built and then sold an environmental consulting company. Thirty years later with the shackles of the aggressive 6-7 day work week required to run a company removed, I turned my attention to something very different from what I had been doing and started producing music.
My motivations to produce music are to fulfil a lifelong dream and to achieve some high level of success, however that might be defined. I really want to ‘punch above my weight’ and achieve something with my music. I’m giving it my best shot.
02. Who and what would you say, has you influenced the most on your musical path, since your family was and still is quite musical.
What has influenced me the most is the music that I have listened to over the years. I listen to a broad swath of music including rock, industrial, hip hop and electronic music. Electronic dance music is what I have always wanted to produce. It is the driving beat and the apparently limitless sonic potential and sound palette that fits best with my creativity. My key influences include Skinny Puppy, the Orb, the KLF, Depeche Mode and Boards of Canada.
03. Last year you released your first output, how was that feeling for you?
Honestly, releasing the 4Sol EP was pretty awesome. It was a validation of the progress I had made. It was also a stark reminder and significant call to action to solve the Rubik’s cube of how to find and build an audience that wants to listen to my music.
04. Your professional career so far is quite interesting. How could your personal background as environmental scientist, business owner and academic influence you as an artist?
I dove into music production to get away from all of that or at least have a significant, interesting and meaningful counterpoint. I get bored thinking of the same things all the time. Music allows me to fully tap into my creativity, express ideas, be subversive and push boundaries. The one thing that I do use from my professional career are my business skills. Music is business.
05. This year there are three releases on the agenda so far, let’s talk about the „White LeBaron“. Tell us more about that EP.
The title track got its start from a mid 90s White LeBaron convertible that I passed by on my daily bike rides. The track draws on themes of fleeting and mirage-like luxury and how people sometimes use this to mask the pains that lie just below their surface. The song is gloomy and sludgey and is also the first track for which I wrote lyrics and sang. My singing style on this track was heavily influenced by Skinny Puppy’s Nivek Ogre.
I worked with veteran LA techno producer Developer who created Alpha and Omega remixes of White LeBaron, replacing much of the melancholy of the original mix with shards of lightness and hope, infusing my ethos that even in the direst of times we can (should) still dance.
06. In May you’ll have the next one out with „Depths“ including some amazing remixes. How do you choose your remixer and how would you describe the differences to your originals?
I am excited about the upcoming Depths EP. It includes the title track, five remixes and an original track called Facing Fiction.
I was really fortunate when the uber talented New York producer and DJ John Selway agreed to create a remix for me and was beyond grateful with the four remixes, two techno and two electro, he ultimately produced.
My goals are to produce high quality music that is critically acclaimed and to use this to attract and build a fan base. I select remixers, first and foremost because I like their music and I respect them as artists. My hope is that their remixes will be well-received by their fan base and that some of those listeners will explore my music and become part of my fan base.
I am still a relatively new artist, so my music production is in a profound state of evolution. While I notionally try to write techno and house tracks, I give myself the freedom to produce what comes out and don’t worry too much about rules. While I am happy with the output, this approach may result in tracks that aren’t perceived as accessible. The remixers I work with have all moved my original tracks closer to their preferred genre-specific centres which I think makes my tracks a bit more accessible to DJs and listeners.
07. You have a great team around you in terms of producing, distribution, pr and so on. Can you tell us more about that and your daily workflow with all parties?
My Executive Producer is veteran New York producer and DJ Abe Duque. I meet with him weekly to work on and finish tracks and to get help on navigating the music business. His guidance is invaluable and helps steer my nascent efforts into what I think are high quality outputs.
Hamburg’s Superstition Entertainment Network is my distributor and I work with them 2 months before a release. They set up all distribution channels and also pitch some of my tracks to get them on playlists. Promotion is handled by Berlin’s Pull Proxy. My work with them is fairly continuous but most intense in the 6-8 weeks leading up to a release. They send out my music to DJs, the press and so on and try to conjure up some interest in my music. While I still have a long way to achieve the kind of success I am looking for, my team has been invaluable in expediting this process.
08. What’s your plan for the second half of 2023 – both music but also privat-wise?
It is full steam ahead on my music. I am putting the finishing touches on an album that will be released in late September, just before the Amsterdam Dance Event. In the planning stages is an album of remixes. Beyond that I work every day to build my audience, one fan at a time.
I also continue my work as an environmental scientist and professor. I am working on projects on how to reduce household food waste, how to manage food that has become waste, mathematically model the impact of waste diversion programs and acting as the environmental advisor for an airshow.