Exclusive Interview with Lostly and Talking about His Trance Music Journey & Tips to New & Upcoming Tracks.
1. Describe your style in your own words! :
> “It’s emotional, it’s honest, it’s got that thousand yard stare in each song.”
2. What is the origin of your name Lostly? I feel like perhaps there may be a good story behind this! :
> “The name came about as I found myself in a country that wasn’t familiar with the type of music I produced or performed, like being lost in translation, lostly going about just creating what I believe in, and finding myself in it.”
3. How did you first get into producing? Which artists initially inspired you? :
> “I got into producing via a studio I started working at for adverts and film. The engineer that owned the studio is an amazing producer, and blessed to have had the opportunity to learn a lot from him. Since then I just did what I thought sounded right.
Early inspirations were Depeche Mode, Erasure, New Order, Joy Division, Paul Van Dyk etc.”
4. You have had some massive remixes, just in the past few months, including a “Warsaw 2.0” remix for Mental Asylum label boss Indecent Noise, as well a remix of Sam Jones’ track “Buckle Up” (which happens to be one of my current favorite tracks!) Any other remixes in the works that you can discuss? :
>“Well recently I received a message from Signum that my remix for What Ya Got 4 Me? will finally be released this year on Armada. Also another massive vocal remix of a 126bpm song that will come out on Black Hole Recordings which I can’t reveal just yet.”
5. As head of A&R for Discover, I’m sure you are constantly hearing the newest music. What are a few of your personal favorite tracks at the moment? Any up-and-coming talents we should keep an eye out for? :
> “It’s a pretty sad state at the moment regarding that, as there isn’t a lot of quality music going around in the scene, it all sounds a bit ‘plastic’ and ‘soft synth’ like. Cheap VST sounding trance I suppose. I miss hearing music that is different and not just a the usual ‘current’ sounds. For Discover Records together with Chris Hampshire (Owner) we have been trying to stick to that signature ‘Discover’ sound we all grew up with loving.
Upcoming talent, I don’t know, I am still waiting for that certain something I just can’t get enough of, but its not there yet.”
6. Outside of trance, are there any other genres that interest you? :
> “Anything electronic works for me, I enjoy the older 80’s groups like Erasure, New Order, Depeche Mode. Currently, Jon Hopkins, Tycho, Moderat and I also enjoy some heavier metal stuff like Meshuggah and Deftones.”
7. Shifting focus now onto your upcoming album “No Direction Home,” set for release on Discover next month. How long has this album been in the making? How did the name for the album come about? :
> “It took around 4 – 5 months, I work really fast, its one of the things that as soon as the idea is executed the process thereafter is really fast, I don’t like to force my music, it should come easy and be simplistic.
The name ‘No Direction Home’ came about a certain stage of my life where I got out of a relationship and was struggling a lot to adapt being on my own, in the same time frame I started work at a new studio, as well as moved away from home, starting new ventures, people close to me that had left, I just found myself waking up and questioning where I was, what I was doing, and why. Life moves so quickly and it scared me that everything and everyone disappeared in the end.”
8. Personally, I am really looking forward to the release of your monster track “Take This Acid,” which has received huge support from the likes of Indecent Noise, Bryan Kearney, and Mark Sherry, among others! Which track is most personal for you? Which track do you think your listeners will connect with the most? :
> “Thank you very much. I really love all of the songs on the album, they are all equally special to me. I hope that the listeners can take the journey from start to finish, and experience what it was I went through, and hopefully help them in situations that are similar to mine back then, and help them get through it. I receive more messages from followers about how my music helped them through relationship issues and heartbreaks than ‘it rocked the dance floor’ and I kind of like that. I love the fact that the album is more personal to my followers than it just being good as club music. It can be enjoyed anywhere.”
9. Can you name 2 or 3 tracks from the album that you feel will most represent the overall sound? :
> “I think in all of the songs you’ll be able to hear that ‘Lostly’ sound, I worked very hard on establishing that sound, and what I am truly thankful for is that whenever any of my songs get played, everyone knows it’s Lostly. Its distinct. All of the songs on the album combine that.”
10. Any plans for an album tour based around “No Direction Home?” :
> “Absolutely, my bookings agency ‘Militant Artists’ are busy setting all of this up for me, performing is like breathing air, I perform Lostly only tracks with tons of stuff that i’ll never release and that you can only hear when I perform on stage. This year has been solely about the album, and being in the studio doing singles and remixes. 2015 will be an amazing year to start up the touring again.”
11. I’m sure that all of our technology aficionados who will read this interview would love to hear about your studio. To what extent, if any, is your current studio different from the one that you used to produce previous tracks? Can you select your favorite piece of hardware and software that helps you create that unique Lostly sound? :
> “Every song on the album I produced in the new studio, and I have changed it quite dramatically, in terms of equipment. Before the album I produced mainly on ‘soft synths’ those are computer programs for those who are not familiar with that word. In other words all sounds are made by a virtual instrument. For the album I wanted to experiment and do something different, I got bored of sitting in front of my computer with a mouse making music off of something that doesn’t even exist! I got bored with it, it became fake and plastic in a sense.
So I decided to invest in vintage analog/digital hardware synthesizers where I design sounds from scratch. The difference in sound was astonishing, all of a sudden the production process came to life, as it was based on human and machine interaction. Physically touching the machines and hearing synth’s go out of tune due to currents of voltage from the building!
Its been a difficult move to go from software to hardware, the methods of the recording process is different and a lot more challenging, but I have a lot more fun with it, and it inspires me a lot more as you are constantly trying to find a way to use a basic raw sound wave instead of just preset hopping or designing on a computer program.
It’s hardware. The Nord Lead 2 which is a virtual analog synthesizer is probably my favorite piece used on the album, its the signature to that ‘Lostly’ sound, although I recently bought an MS 20 which has now become my favorite!”
12. Can you share with us one fact about yourself that your fans may be surprised to learn? :
> “Sure, I also act in movies here locally in South Africa, just finished my 7th film for cinema. Everything from romance, to drama.”
13. We’re reaching the end of this interview; do you have a message to your fans? :
> “I love you all.”
Interview by – Yvonne Fall
(Digital Media, Trance for Infinity)