To start things off, can you give us a brief history of the Krimsonn project? How did you first get into production and who or what has inspired you to continue this journey?
I guess I've always been kind of a creative person. I remember that back in 2012 or so, I started getting into dance music thanks to David Guetta, but the person who really inspired me to start making music and remains to this day my biggest inspiration is Avicii. RIP. I really like his melodies and songwriting focus and I try to translate that into my tracks - I don't want to make "bangers", I want to write songs.
I first became a fan of yours after falling in love with the melodies in "Collide," "Circus," and "Life Goes On" to name just a few. You've consistently been continuing that incredible work in your latest tracks such as "Wings" and "Auburn Lullaby." What is your process for coming up with your melodies and perfecting them for release?
Thank you! Most of the time I start making melodies with my keyboard on top of a loop, usually with four chords that I like. I very rarely use midi to make melodies. I usually write in D# minor because it's a key I know really well and I know which notes sound good in that key - if I want to make something sad or happy I know exactly where to go. It's much easier that way!
Then with regards to framing them and packaging them into a consumable format, how do you go about working your DAW to best convey the messages you try to tell with your music?
Honestly I'm not a huge fan of the technical side of things! I love the creative aspect but the mixing is always a bit of a headache. I honestly have a very long way to go in this particular aspect of music production, so for now, I simply focus on what sounds good to me. One thing I always do is I always use a reference when I'm making music. And for some reason, I have to be staring at an image or something like that when I'm listening because I think I have synesthesia to some degree, and visuals and music are really connected in my head. Everything I hear, I visualize with colors and textures and all.
For a more specific example, could you walk us through the making of "I Won't Lie" which is out now on Dharma Worldwide?
This one all started with an idea of making a track that you could listen to in your Spotify playlist while you relax, but that could also be played in a club and people would enjoy it. This is how I came up with the concept of merging pop and big room at a tempo around 100 bpm. The first thing I made was the kick, and after that the chords. I wrote the topline melody and the lyrics and I sent it to the singer, and while waiting for the vocals, I tried to figure out a melody for the drop. One thing I do a lot and worked well in this particular case, is that I grab a sample from Splice and crop and transpose individual notes. So basically I'm using the sample as a preset, and that's exactly what I did for the flute in "I Won't Lie," and I gave it that signature groovy rhythm that I'm using a lot lately.
In terms of social media, you're certainly on more private side of things. What's your personal philosophy on moving through the industry in this hyper-connected age?
Yes I'm definitely on the quieter side. My personal philosophy is that being super active in social media has its benefits, but those benefits increase when your fan base increases. Most likely a DJ is not going to grow their fanbase by posting pretentious quotes on FB, but by making music that people like. I've seen tons of producers with very few followers posting every day and I think it all really goes to waste. In my opinion, they would be twice as good producers as they are now if they would allocate all the time they spend in social media to producing. I think music should go first and after you gather some attention, then you should definitely start using social media a lot more - it's going to be a thousand times more effective then.
What can we expect from the Krimsonn project moving forward?
Well I'm not sure, hopefully I can start touring this year or next year. For now, I'm focusing only on music and I try to give my best in every track. I do have some very interesting ideas but I don't think they are going to be released any time soon. A couple tracks similar to "I Won't Lie" and a couple other tracks at 135 BPM, which I haven't explored that much. Maybe you'll like them!
Chris W. Lao
Writer, DJ, and Student.
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