One day a stream of consciousness fell over me and I heard a voice: â€œYou need to become a producerâ€. Of course, I am joking. But in all seriousness, I had two dreams: one was to become an astronaut and go into space. Second, was to become a musician. I am not great at math, I count on my fingers, so musician it was.
Who were some of your music influences in general?
I think Massive Attack are the most important band in my life, but otherwise it is difficult to choose specific bands and people. I am not big on authority figures. Iâ€™ve never had a mentor, other than Buddha, when I was a teenager.
What influenced me were different genres. When I was a child I played this game, I would put two cassettes into my stereo system and play both of them at the same time. Iâ€™ve spent most of my life looking for a way to combine all of my musical fascinations into one, polished product â€“ a production I could call mine. I never followed the beaten path.
I am a fan of black metal, hip hop, trip hop, world, ethno, cinematic, dubstep (before Skrillex), glitch and all unidentified sounds. So I decided to blend them in a way that will create my sound. I am still experimenting and hope to achieve my goal before I die.
I watched your live performances at Opole 2016 and Transgresje Festival in 2015. You use an Ableton midi controller to perform instead of a turntable and mixer. What drew you to a hardware based set up? Do you use any hardware synths or a modular set up to produce, or just software?
I follow one rule â€“ less is more. When I have too much equipment I get stuck on what to choose. It often eats up a lot of time, time that should be spent on the creative process. I just sold one of my bass synthesizers. I am not a hardware nerd. Iâ€™ll borrow, buy, try, play, record and then give it or sell it back.
I like the modernity and freedom that software can give you. Ableton gives you unbelievable sound possibilities. I also love what Native Instruments have to offer for producers. Itâ€™s also very important to me to travel light. Everything goes into a carry-on bag when I travel abroad. I donâ€™t need to tell you how they handle luggage at airports. I also use a lot of field recordings â€“ I have a computer and software for this. Sometimes I use live bass guitar, vocals and hard effects â€“ but only in the studio, during the recordings.
I know some people pay attention to the amount of equipment used by a producer during their concert. For me that is not important. If someone is gifted they can blow your mind by hitting one button.
Your tracks often have a ethnic/tribal/world elements that create really hypnotizing rhythms. Youâ€™ve also stated in previous interviews that Islamic and Hindu cultures are important to you. Where did your relationship with those cultures originate?
Journalists always ask me that and I never know what to answer. When I was a child ethnic sounds calmed me down. Seriously. I even have a photo of me at five or six years old, standing next to a Peruvian performer, who played music in the street. Other cultures have always fascinated me more than my own.When I was fifteen I loved Dead Can Dance and Natacha Atlas. I was interested in different religious from around the World. I read a lot of books on that subject. Ethnic samples are as a natural addition to my music as is bass.
I got this overwhelming feeling while traveling, I woke up to a sound of muezzin coming from a nearby mosque. I travel when I can. Asia and Africa are closest to my heart. I would like to set out for a whole year and just travel the World. Implementing ethnic sounds in my music is a way of rebelling against the white race supremacy over other cultures. When I show different cultures in my music, I do it out of respect. It is my way of saying: â€œgo outside your wall, see how beautiful and important World surrounds youâ€.
In between your last two releases, youâ€™ve been a remixer, composer, producer, radio host, while your music has been featured in video games, television, and fashion shows. Whatâ€™s another art medium that you would like to be apart of in the future?
There are still a lot of things I want to do. Hopefully Iâ€™ll have enough life to do it. I would love to write music for the big screen. For a movie like â€œSicarioâ€ I really respect JÃ³hann JÃ³hannsson. I think [this was the] first time in my life I was so shocked by an artistâ€™s passing. There is no straight answer. I have many dreams, or rather plans for the future. Sky is the limit. I dream of meeting people Iâ€™d love to work with (please tell MIA that I love her).
Speaking of video games; I found out about you and your music through the game Ruiner. I listened to the soundtrack for days. How did that come about? Do you play video games yourself? If so, which one is your favorite?
Ruinerâ€™s team reached out to my management asking if weâ€™d like to work with them. It was an instant â€œyesâ€. I used to play a lot of games, classic stuff like Tony Hawk, Max Payne, GTA or No Ones Live Forever. These day a thought about buying a console crosses my mind. But it quickly goes away. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer when I work. So when I have some free time I prefer to spend my time outside, with friends, in a gym or reading a book. Not playing games. However, once in a while I meet with some friends to play VR â€“ I love wearing it on my head. We always play the Beat Saber â€“ as befits music.
Uncovered has original vocals and lyrics, which is a departure from your previous LPs. What inspired that exploration?
Life. My private dramas. There came a time in my life when I wasnâ€™t able to express everything simply with just instrumental music. I felt the urge to add words and vocals. Until the very end I wasnâ€™t sure if it was the right thing, but I really wanted to do something completely different from the previous albums. I did everything intuitively, no planning. It was all based on keywords that best reflected the state in which I found myself at that moment.
The imagery for Uncovered is awesome. What was the spark of inspiration for it?
I was preparing for a photo shoot â€“ I had to come up with a story, give the photographer some direction. All ideas seemed unfitting, unmatched. I was listening to â€œHollowâ€ searching for the right idea and I found a really creepy photo of a levitating girl. It was about something bad that wants to leave your body, come out of you so you can start again. Exorcisms, voodoo acts â€“ you can hear it in the album. Uncovered is a story about cleaning, dropping weight of your shoulders. A fall with an attempt to rise.
All of your releases begin with Un-, with Untune and Undone coming before. With Un- being the prefix meaning not or opposite, what is something in the world that you would want to reverse or make opposite?
After the third album Iâ€™ve noticed that a trilogy has formed. A certain stage has ended. Whatâ€™s next? I donâ€™t know. I hope the third album will open a different door for me. Where? Who knows. But I know one thing â€œUnâ€ is over. There isnâ€™t a thing I would like to undo in my life. The bad shit is also needed. Provided you learn from your mistakes.
Any chance for a stop in the US supporting Uncovered?
Hopefully! I havenâ€™t been there yet, and I hope that it will change soonâ€¦