With the release of 'Ravage' by Extant just around the corner, we have asked him some questions about his upcoming single, what to expect from him in 2021 and much more!
Q1. Welcome back to Full Flex Audio, Extant! What’s been happening since the last time we released with yourself?
"Hey! Thanks for having me. I’ve been extremely busy with my life; juggling a part time job, my college coursework, and managing the Extant Project. In terms of the music itself, I have been really trying to hone in on my sound. I have been putting in a lot of time practicing some of the instruments I play (namely Trumpet and Guitar), as well as furthering my knowledge in music production. Because I am a music major in college, music encompasses a good portion of my life, and I’m very grateful to spend many hours of the day doing what I love."
(Below, Extant's first release on Full Flex Audio, November 8th, 2017).
Q2. For those that don’t know about your style, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the dubstep scene?
"I got into dubstep way back when I was about 11 years old when a friend of mine showed me the My Name is Skrillex EP. I hated the music at first, but over time, it grew on me. I remember when I was about 13, I set up this Google Play Music Playlist called the “Dubstep Dictionary”, which had hundreds of my favorite dubstep and glitch hop tunes on it. Fast forward a year, I became interested in creating all these crazy sounds in my favourite songs, so I asked for a copy of FL Studio Producer Edition for my birthday, and sure enough, the boxed version showed up in the mail for my birthday! Ever since then I’ve been creating dubstep, among other styles of music.
I would say my music is arguably one of the most orchestral/cinematic influenced dubstep styles in the scene right now. Due to me playing the trumpet and being involved with my schools music programs all throughout middle school and high school (and now into college), I gained exposure to tons of music; classical, world, jazz, musicals, pop, marching band music, and much more. My involvement as a trumpet player playing all these genres of music helped develop my ear as well as give me exposure to many great pieces. During this time, due to reading so much sheet music and taking so many music classes, I furthermore obtained a good fundamental understanding of Music Theory. This knowledge has been essential for the development of my style. Ultimately, my style is a wedding of these two factors: quite heavy dubstep combined with extremely cinematic intros and breaks (and sometimes drops too!). I feel as though I have barely scratched the surface with music composition as a whole; I still have so much to learn in regard to both of these musical subjects, and I look forward to keep developing myself as an artist."
Q3. Is there a meaning behind your artist name?
"In essence, Extant, to me, just means survival and existence. Objectively, all of us are just organisms flying on a rock in space, and I wish to tell the story of humanity through music. Humans are resilient and are desperately gripping onto life in order to remain. My music attempts to represent my lens of the story I observe humanity navigating through each day, and the peaks and troughs that come along with it. This was the initial vision of the Extant Project."
Q4. For those that are just getting to grips with music production, what single tip would you give to an upcoming artist?
"Internalize the fundamentals. Make it feel like second nature to you. Master the art of EQ and Compression. There is a lot of buzz in music production talk today; I see so many producers taking shortcuts in order to produce what they want to hear as fast as possible. Do not take shortcuts. Be thorough and patient. At the end of the day, you will end up as a more well rounded and robust musician."
Q5. When writing music, what are some techniques that you keep in mind to avoid a writer’s block?
"This may seem strange, but listen to your older music. Especially your songs that you like the most. Realize that you had the skills to make THAT song, so why is now any different? To me, it’s all about the mindset. Realize that you are not a different producer than you were 5 months ago when you made that great song you were really proud of. The toolbox you had back then to make that song is no better than the toolbox you have now. Dust yourself off and grind it out. You can do this."
Q6. If you could change anything in the music industry, what would it be and why?
"I wish people had some balls. I wish people had it in them to really break through their boundaries and create something that nobody has heard before. And I wish more labels supported this, or even better, endorsed it. Things are really bland right now, especially in bass music. If I’m being honest, I am not really impressed with about 90% of what I hear on my Soundcloud feed. The worst part is, I KNOW the artists could do better. Labels seem to not really want to take risks, and subsequently, the same musical ideas are regurgitated over and over. This vicious cycle of the “market music standard ” carries on it’s promenade, and in my eyes, really holds some artists back in reaching their full potential."
Q7. What are your influences/inspirations into making your own music?
"All of the classical/jazz/contemporary band and orchestra pieces I was exposed to and performed during my high school years (as well as college now!). I also listen to a lot of movie/theater soundtracks, some of my favourites being The Dark Knight and Phantom of the Opera. In terms of my favourite individual artists/musicians, Alon Mor is probably my favorite musician of all time, with Madeon, Jacob Collier, and Leonard Bernstein all being runners ups (yes, quite a diverse bunch!).
Q8. What are the plans for Extant, moving into the new year?
I have many IDs which are currently waiting to be released. I cannot speak specifically on what is happening to them, but let’s just say that I am CERTAINLY looking forward to what’s forthcoming in the future!
Q9. Describe your single ‘Ravage’ in only 3 words!
"Guttural. Bulky. Hazy."
'Ravage' by Extant drops on the 4th of December, don't forget to pre-save right here!