interview music

Interview with Sequencer

Sequencer is officially releasing today “Voyager”, a full 9 track album.

Perfect time to chat with him. Check out the interview.

Headphones For Robots: Who is Sequencer?

Sequencer: In one way or another, all types of sequencers are used in music production as a means to construct various layers of the story being told by the producer. That’s all I am — a mediator. All I want to do is tell meaningful stories, and hopefully, that’s what I’ve done with this album and the tracks within it. I’ll just have to see how people like it!

HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your influences?

S: I’ve listened to music every single day, one way or another since I was very little (as both of my parents are huge music lovers as well). I’ve played piano since I was four years old, and after playing countless classical pieces for so long, I eventually realized that I wanted to make something of my own. Music is a beautiful and diverse art form that can express such a wide range of emotion, and it’s very much a part of me. If you were to ask any of my friends how I am with music, they would tell you I never leave my house without a pair of headphones either in my ears or in my pocket. I’ve been surrounded by music for as long as I can remember, and I have my parents to thank for that.

I started making music around 2014, with a DAW called Music Maker. I got it as a gift from my parents after I told them countless times that I wanted to make songs of my own. I soon learned that the software was meant more for building songs with samples, than actually making it from scratch. Eventually, I got really irritated with how limiting the software was, so I tried using the very few native VSTs the software had. From what I remember, they were samplers, and the quality of the samples wasn’t too great. By around mid-2015, I took a break from music to focus on my studies, as well as to set my sights on a better software for production. After doing a fair amount of research, I settled with FL Studio at the start of 2017. Now, just over a year later, I feel confident enough to show off what I’ve done since then.

My style has been shaped by many artists, like Hans Zimmer, Danger, Vangelis, and Lorn. I’ve always been fascinated with epic, booming movie scores, and these artists all expertly build these beautiful, powerful atmospheres with their music. Someday I hope to do the same.

HFR: What can you tell us about Voyager, your new album?

S: The story of Voyager follows a lost astronaut trying to find his way back home. Along the way, he visits various planets and sees things we wouldn’t believe. Unfortunately, outer space is not exactly forgiving, so he’s going to go through some tough situations on his journey through the cosmos. To find out what happens to the voyager, you’ll have to check out the album for yourself!

HFR: Some of your tracks were born from great collabs with artists like Thunder Porpoise, Straplocked, Icarus, Turrn, FEAR, and NightKhat. How did that happen? How did you work together?

S: Interestingly enough, I met every single one of those great guys on various servers on Discord. I have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to my musical career, and Discord is definitely up there for me. For most of those collaborations, it went like this: I share a short demo with one of those guys to get some feedback from them on where to go with the track, and they say “hold on one second”, and a few minutes later they send something like a quick guitar track (Straplocked), a couple dirty synth tracks (Icarus), or some phenomenal bass tracks (Thunder Porpoise); and when I combine them with my own demo, it always sounds amazing. All of these collaborations were born out of a desire to contribute to a track’s potential, and the end result is always nothing short of exceptional.

The collaboration that’s most special to me is Voyager (the song). It started out as a two-minute jam session on my keyboard, inspired by the rain outside. When I sent it to Thunder Porpoise, I asked him whether I should keep it or not. He instead told me to wait a few minutes while he did the same — he played these bass synths in one take as my track was playing on top of it. When he sent them back to me, I was blown away. The song was entirely produced in that hour, and mixed later that night. Just like that, the track was done. Voyager, which serves as the outro track for the album, is just two minutes of pure inspiration from Thunder Porpoise and I, and so for that reason, the track holds a special place in my heart.

HFR: What is your approach to writing music? What are some steps you make when songwriting?

S: I usually start most of my songs off with one of three things. First, I might come up with a catchy tune in my head (being in the shower helps). Two, I play around on my keyboard until I manage to string together some nice chords. And finally, I just scroll through random presets until inspiration strikes. These are the pieces that basically lay the foundation for my tracks.

When building a track, I always think of what kind of story I want to tell. What’s the mood I’m going for? Is this an event or a memory? Who is the protagonist, and what is he going through in this track? These questions always help me build the atmosphere and stay consistent within the actual track. Something else I try my best to do is have diversity as much as I can, whether it’s a diversity of moods from track to track, or diversity of instrumentation within a single song. If you feel the need to copy and paste a whole chorus without any difference solely to extend the length of a track, then why bother? If you’re not adding anything new to the track, then there’s no reason to have what is already there just repeat over and over again. Be creative.

HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go-to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song, and what are your favorite instruments?

S: All I have so far is my laptop, my keyboard, and a pair of studio headphones. Someday I plan to buy a synthesizer or two, but they’re super expensive. I just don’t have that kind of money!

This is going to be very biased, but my favorite instrument is going to have to be the piano. It’s extremely versatile, and if used properly, can really show off the emotion of the person playing, and I think that’s very powerful.

HFR: Where do you see Sequencer in the near future? Are there any shows coming up in 2018?

S: I see Sequencer going a little quiet after this release. I have some pretty big plans coming up, and I really hope people will like where I take the project!

As for shows, I don’t really think what I’ve made so far can really be played at any shows yet. Maybe once I build up my discography, I can consider playing live. All in due time!

HFR: Last words?

S: I’d like to thank all the people who have helped me grow as a person as well as a musician, and who have given me so many words of encouragement. You know who you all are. I’d also like to thank Ben at Headphones for Robots for being so patient with me with this release! It took about six months for me to get back to you about this!

Anyway, this is very exciting for me, not only because it’s my first album, but also because I can’t wait until people find all of the hidden secrets I’ve left scattered throughout the Voyager project. I look forward to the future of Sequencer.

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