Insight Interview: shxde

We caught up recently with Wisconsin-based producer shxde to talk through his music and his upcoming projects. Check out his interview here…

​Hey shxde, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Where are you based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted at home?

Of course, thank you for having me. I’m currently based in Milwaukee, WI. I don’t travel as much as I’d like, hopefully some bookings will change that.

Can you recall your first real exposure to music?

I was born in 90 so I grew up listening to a lot of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pear Jam, stuff like that.

How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?

I started experimenting with guitar/singing around 14 or so, tried to start a few bands, nothing ever came of it though.

Can you describe your music for us?

A lot of my current sound is inspired by 90s trance, with some elements of early dub, and a little trap. I’d say my sound is atmospheric, deep, and cinematic. I like to create soundscapes that evoke a visual response.

Have you played live recently? Would you like to do more shows or tours in future? Anything coming up soon you’d like to tell us about?

It’s been a while since my last show. I started shxde in the beginning of this year and have been focusing on developing my sound and image and now that I feel I’ve honed in on what I’m tying to convey sonically and visually I’m looking to start playing shows and bringing the brand into the real world.

What have been your biggest influences?

I’d say I am influenced as much by non-electronic artists as I am by producers and electronic music. My biggest electronic influences would be Underworld, Distance, Burial, Skream, The Crystal Method, Holy Other and Clams Casino, to name a few.

Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?

Definitely both, there’s of course a level of technical skill required for using different software, VSTs, gear and gadgets, but you don’t have to be a tech know it all to get creative with your resources and make something cool.

Do you tend to find the creative process a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life?

Producing is absolutely a therapeutic process, it’s essentially a form of meditation for me, a way for me to channel how I’m feeling into something productive and rewarding. The better I get at producing the more in tune I am with my mental/emotional state. It’s very cool to be able to see how making music has aided me in being a more self aware person.

Do you have any thoughts on the future of underground musical styles? Do you think the scene will evolve further?

I think underground music styles/scenes are interesting, because of the internet they grow and gain momentum extremely fast and they become less and less “underground” very quickly. Its cool to be able to watch a sound or style get cultivated somewhere and then grow and evolve as it reaches and impacts different people around the world.

Any new releases coming our way?

I have a track called ‘hurt’ coming out today, as a matter of fact! It’s a collaboration with a good friend who goes by ‘S X X X S’.

I have more songs ready to release that I’ll be rolling out shortly after.

Any artists or other individuals / collectives you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to work with in future?

Right now I’d really like to work with: LUDICY, M!NGO, mrkryl, Celestial, a n t h e m, Sematary Kid, SPIRIT BØMB and Skeler.

Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?

I don’t think I could name one all time favorite artist, but a few of my top favorites would be Nirvana, Death From Above 1979, Circa Survive, MUTEMATH, Daft Punk, Burial, Imogen Heap, Massive Attack, and Underworld.

It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that?

That is a grave understatement.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring young producers?

I’d say the most important thing to remember is not to compare yourself to others, but find a healthy balance of looking to improve and learning from your influences while also remembering to have fun above all. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?

Keep an eye out for my boy S X X X S, also want to shout out Pinknokia, I Dreamt, Sematary Kid, Decypher, and SPIRIT BØMB.

Thanks so much shxde!

Thank you!

shxde’s music is available here and here.

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