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Getting To Know: Forty Avenues

1. "Your musical journey started at a young age when you began producing music in your bedroom. How has your sound evolved since those early days, and what elements of indie, hip hop, and electronic music do you find most compelling to incorporate into your work?"

Yes! It all started when I was looking for ways to make money as a 12 year old. So I don’t know how I managed to stumble across FL Studio. God only knows. My parents never forced music on me at all, so I feel it’s quite special that I found it on my own terms and that production was my first experience with making music. I started off with dance music, which somehow moulded into a horrendous form of lo-fi, and then circled back to future bass, house etc. I don’t know how my parents were so encouraging at the beginning to be honest, they've put up with a lot of bad music over the years.

Electronic music is where it all started and it will always have an influence on me  -  even now making indie music. I love the boldness of EDM - especially over the last 5/6 years. The boundaries continue to get pushed into places I didn’t even know existed. This philosophy of “Yeah, this is what I like to make and I don’t give a f–k what anyone thinks” is something I greatly admire and is a mindset I always try to incorporate into my own work.

2. "Remixing indie songs played a significant role in your musical development. How did this experience shape your approach to production, and in what ways did it contribute to the unique sound we hear in Forty Avenues today?"

I mean, it’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done, not to be dramatic. Remixing really helped me refine my skill set. With the weight of writing the bones of a song taken away, I could just focus entirely on getting intricate with the production.

With Forty Avenues, remixing has influenced the way I think about writing songs, and how many different routes it can take. You know, like “should we continue to go down the indie-rock route for this song? Or should we resample the entire track and pitch it down then put a dance beat over it” - weird stuff like. That’s what keeps it from getting static for me, and it’s also where most of my best ideas come from. I think what I really took away from remixing is that music is so malleable and it can be whatever you want it to be. Genres are just constructs at the end of the day. They can be merged, messed with, or just disregarded altogether.

3. "With almost 1 million streams on your remixes and notable praise from artists like Absofacto, how has this early success influenced your confidence as an artist, especially considering the shift in direction you made in 2021 towards your own original music?"

A million streams nowadays to most people isn’t really something to write home about. But it did mean the world to me. Having something I could stand behind was new to me. It gave me a massive boost and definitely aided me with the confidence to trust myself more musically. Absofacto reaching out about the “Dissolve” remix was also pretty cool, considering I was a big fan at the time. I remember texting my friends asking them all to tag him on my post and luckily it worked! He ended up listening to the remix and really liking it. Hearing any sort of praise from an artist you look up to is awesome, no doubt.

4. "Forty Avenues represents musical freedom and the refusal to be confined by genres. Can you tell us more about the creative liberation you find in this project and your philosophy of never tying yourself down to a specific musical pathway?"

Genres are becoming less and less relevant everyday, which I find exciting. If you scroll through a genre based playlist on spotify now, you’ll play a song and be like “Really? That’s pop now?”. So, I try not to ever start a song with “I want to make a song like X today”, but rather, “what do I think is sick at the moment?” and take it from there instead. I sometimes get into patterns of making music that I think other people will like - my friends, the internet etc. You know that famous clip of David Bowie where he preaches to aspiring musicians to “never play to the gallery” because they’ll end up producing their worst work? Well, that’s something I’m trying to get better at - staying true to myself in terms of what I like to make and not thinking about how others are going to receive it, even if that means switching up genres completely or, I don’t know, making a flute album like André 3000 (how cool is that, by the way?).

5. "Your debut release as Forty Avenues was in June 2023. How does this new chapter in your music career reflect your personal and artistic growth, and what can we expect from Forty Avenues in the coming year?"

Well, considering I had been hiding behind a laptop for 5 years, to actually put myself out there to be judged was a pretty big step for me. If you had told me even 3 years ago that I would be singing on records and making indie music, I would have laughed. So, it’s funny how fast things change. 

We have so many exciting plans for this year. From music videos to live experiences, and of course way more music. But I have no idea what to expect from it all. All I know is that I am obsessed with building this community and doing my best to serve as a creative person in my own stupid little way.

6. "You emphasise the importance of the visual aspect in Forty Avenues, collaborating with talented friends for music videos. How does the visual component complement the music, and what role does it play in conveying the overall experience you want to offer to your audience?"

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by an incredibly talented friend group including directors, actors, and photographers. In particular, my best mate Cal - one of the most talented, innovative creatives I know -  is the brains behind all the music videos we have coming up, as well as those we have already released.

The visual component is what contextualises a song. It completes the full picture and no piece is left out. This can be a good thing or a bad thing for sure. I guess it’s having that trust in your team to just kill it every time. As you’ll see over the coming year, we are always innovating, trying to push our own creative boundaries to create something really cool for our audience.

7. "The Forty Avenues community is already gaining momentum. How do you see this community evolving, and how does the interaction with your audience influence your creative process?"

I’m very proud of the community we’re building. I know it’s probably cliché to say, but it is so true - it literally takes one person to reach out and say your song is their favourite song at the moment to make absolutely everything worth it. Everything. So those messages from listeners really inspire me to stay creating.


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