Calling Elderbrook just an electronic artist would undermine his many talents as a producer, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist. Born Alexander Kotz, Elderbrook’s musical influences range from country to soul. Yet, the tender, crooning vocals over dark, ambient instrumentals emote a feeling unique to Elderbrook’s music.
The London-based musician’s ups his textured vocals on danceable house beats with new tracks like “First Time” and “Difficult to Love.” AOL.com had the chance to sit down with the Elderbrook. The conversation dives into his musical influences, growth and his songwriting process. Check out the full interview below!
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How did you first get involved with music?
I was about 14 when I first got a guitar. I probably didn’t want to play guitar for any reason other than it seemed cool. I was never really interested in playing songs that already existed. So as soon as I learned some chords, I started putting them together with words and was writing acoustic, folky stuff.
What drew you specifically to electronic music?
I actually stumbled onto the world of electronic music by mistake. When I was at university, I started to familiarize myself more and more with production with the intention of recording my acoustic music a little better. Then the more I learned about different things you can do with production software, the more electronic my music became until there was no acoustic aspect to it at all.
How did your single “First Time” come to be?
I was writing with a talented producer called Kideko down near Brighton for a little while, and this was one of the jams we came up with. It was fun to make because it’s so simple. I just shouted some soulful melodies of “yeah” and “woo” down into the microphone, and then sampled them to make that big sample-based drop on the track.
What’s your song-making process like?
I don’t really have a process or formula. It can start with anything from a snare that sounds nice or a melody and lyrics that comes into my head. I always think it’s better to just go with whatever is sounding good and see where you end up rather than setting out to try and make a particular kind of song.
How do you feel your sound has evolved since you started in the industry?
One thing that has forced my sound to develop is playing my live shows. Obviously, I still love writing the slow, chilled songs that I started with, but now I find myself writing songs that are amazing to play out in the live shows and with so much more energy. The sound is still evolving though, and I’m excited to share my most recent work with the world.
Who would you say is your biggest music inspiration and why?
It’s so difficult to pinpoint one biggest musical inspiration because I love so much music. Phases of reggae, blues or whatever come and go. But Sam Cooke is the one artist that I listen to constantly, at least once a day. His voice is the most inspiring thing about his music in that it is so soft and clean, yet ornamented perfectly.
What’s it like being on tour?
Being on tour is fun. I love playing the shows and meeting people. I get to travel around and see places I would have never seen otherwise, which is amazing. Cons are that I, more often than not, have to leave my lovely girlfriend back in the U.K. Another con is I end up drinking and eating badly and staying up deep into the nighttime, but that could also be a pro depending on how you look at it.
What’s your relationship like with your fans?
I think it’s a lovely relationship. I always hang out with people after my shows and there’s often some witty back and forth on social media. I love those guys.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians and artists?
I think the best advice I can give is do music you love and don’t let business shape your sound! You have to love your music or no one else will. Don’t try and sound like someone else. Your music is a little bit of yourself.
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