AWAL Shares About Adaptation, Music Production, Current Inspirations & More
Posted by VMan on April 28, 2016
If someone knows what new things are simmering in the bass-music game, it’s AWAL. The solo DJ brings a global perspective to his music, traveling back and forth from Korea and Canada, which can be heard through his adaptive approach to the area of dance music he dabbles in. His upcoming releases is what really gets me excited. Keep an eye out for those in the next coming weeks.
AWAL focuses on the heavier side of dance music, but your next releases will feature a bit of a genre change, what made you make this decision?
Alex: It wasn’t until recently that I’ve started to find my own sound in the bass scene. A blend of trap, some elements of hardstyle and always lots of energy. My upcoming releases really focus on the energy without always sticking to the same genres. There’s a huge driving electro/bass house track forthcoming on Chuckie’s Dirty Dutch Digital. A Hip-hop/Trap/Hardstyle heater featuring M.I.M.E. A Trap/DnB remix I’ve done for a friend. As well as a huge and wild 155bpm original track. I’m really trying my hand at taking my high energy style to different genres. I play so many different styles in my sets, that I’m trying to explore that in my music too.
What are the key cultural and education elements that go into making a production great?
Alex: There are a few things that I’ve felt have really helped my productions go from okay to where they are now (and there is always so much more room for improvement). First, realizing that less is often more. When mixing, having 5 plugins crushing every sound, everything compressed, ozone presets on your master channel, is never a good idea. Though you might feel that you need to best plugins on every sound to get it great, for me, a good sound from the start is key. Making sure you have the right samples. Making sure you’ve tuned your samples. Instead of trying to get that muddy snare to fit, trying out hundreds of other snares to see if there is a better one.
As far as cultural elements, listening to so many other genres that aren’t your own really helps me think of new ideas. My track Ragnarok was heavily influenced by Psytrance. Break on Through was obviously influenced by Classic Rock. Getting out there and trying new things is so important.
What do you think differs for a bedroom producer now than say 5 years ago?
Alex: 100%, as much as we all like to bash soundcloud, we all owe soundcloud so much. It has given us a platform to share, distribute and build a following. In the past it was impossible for someone on the other side of the world to listen to your productions only minutes after bouncing them out of your DAW. It’s really incredible. However because of this we are left with an extremely over saturated pool of producers. That has become the new struggle for producers today. Trying to stand out. Trying to create something new that not only people will like, but people will say “Wow, that’s new, that’s fresh, that’s amazing” That is the biggest struggle today’s producers are facing.
How is dance music changing in your opinion and how will you fit into it?
Alex: Many people are saying the EDM bubble is going to pop, everyone is going to go home, festivals are going to shut and the true fans are going to be left in small underground clubs. I just can’t see this happening. Dance music is changing everyday and faster than ever, however it’s all about smaller genres gaining more traction. People are starting to realize there is so much more out there than Big Room. You’re seeing genres which some thought had died, like dubstep and DnB, coming back even stronger. Trap in the states is now one of the most popular genres. It’s really a great time to be a producer of any genre. I’m really just trying to do my part in creating exciting new music. I have no set genre for that reason. I just hope to continue to push genre boundaries further.
Who are your main inspirations right now?
Alex: Right now I’ve been getting so much inspiration from my friends and other smaller producers. These are the guys who I talk to the most, who we can bounces ideas off of and try new techniques. Artists such as James Meyers, CRaymak, Crystalize, Convex, Fransis Derelle, TA$C!ONE, Blvk Sheep, sfam, Ruvlo, Vargo and HYRO. I encourage you guys to check out all of these guys, they are all amazing and really pushing new music.
Three tracks you cant stop playing?
Felmax – Vulture
Alex: This is an unreal track, sampling Kendrick’s Backstreet Freestyle. Dropping it mid set out of nowhere always gets the crowd popping.
JOYRYDE ft. Rick Ross – Windows
Alex: I love how this track has such a true Rick Ross hip-hop vibe yet amazing trap bits from JOYRYDE. He’s got to be one of the best producers in the game right now.
The Weeknd – The Hills (RL Grime Remix)
Alex: This is another one that it’s amazing to drop out of nowhere. Everyone in the room will know the song and just lose it every time. So good.
Whats the plan for the rest of 2016?
Alex: I know everyone says this but really I’m hoping 2016 will be game changing for me. I’m going to be treating music like a full time job and dumping everything I can into new productions and wicked shows. With a bunch of big releases in upcoming months I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Check my facebook for show dates and new tunes. As well, always feel free to drop me a message on soundcloud and let me know what you think! I always try to respond to everyone!