Our interview guest who recently provided an eclectic variation of sounds across Kana Broadcast 015, has taken some time to reflect on his own ascension over recent years. His home town of Glasgow no doubt served as a source of inspiration, primarily via industrial submergence but he’s found further cause for cementing his position as a caretaker of electronica’s interest – the move to London has opened fresh doors on both his music and personal anterior.
With a foray into film scores, nurturing upcoming artists and branching into foreign creative avenues, Andy Graham, Aka: Sei A, has no doubt induced a demanding schedule upon himself, but one he’s more than satisfied to undertake.
Kn: Growing up in Glasgow certainly would have given you an opportunity to being exposed to the electronic movement. What role did it play in defining not just your sound, but yourself as a person?
T: Glasgow growing up is a privilege for someone into electronic music. For a city so small, the amount of great club nights that have kept on top of it is amazing. As a producer and with the surroundings of the Sub Club and The Arches in particular, these have been regular places to listen to the very best DJ’s and producers. I’ve always said – Sub Club is somewhere special for House & Techno. Every week there would be a new guest and while being a lot younger you could take so many ideas and inspiration without really noticing. With Glasgow the City itself, portrays a very industrial feel, which I think this helps a Techno/Electronic producer as well.
Kn: It’s been a few years now since your debut album ‘Editing Shadows’, a great record that proceeded a few earlier EP’s. A turning point without a doubt – what approach did you take to the album and what had you learnt about yourself after its release?
T: Editing Shadows is a funny one. It just happened. It was easy, no real thought went into it. It was like everything I was doing at one point just seemed to click. The Missive crew were great to work with because they loved everything I sent so it was really easy to just do an album without much thought to it. When it comes to the whole ‘Album’ idea, at the time it was a little daunting, but after you realise you have 12 or more tracks ready after only a few months, then there’s nothing to hold anything back.
Now, I would love to go back to that way of thinking but as I’ve grown older I’ve started to scrutinise certain sounds I’ve been working on. I guess as well with so much amazing music out there you have to grab a space and try to be recognised but it’s getting harder without a doubt. The hard thing about releasing music now is that everything is there one week and gone the next, so you really have to think about the structure – what product you want at the end, whether it’s vinyl or digital only and how it will be marketed and PR’d. Taking yourself out of the producing world and stepping into the business – you can get completely lost with it all.
Kn: Whilst we’re on the topic of your time in the studio and production, it’s been some time since you’ve collaborated with another artist straight up, Milton Jackson would of been the last? Being in your own space without compromising is a prevalent tactic you’ve employed, have you entertained other ideas of late that could lead to projects with others and how do you personally function in such an environment?
T: With Barry (Milton Jackson) it was quite easy. We both lived in Glasgow so would hook up for a pint and listen to new ideas and speak about what we had planned. After that we would both start a track and then just share ideas through iChat. It was really simple and really effective as we were in our own environment. We’ve got so many tracks lying about when I think about it!
With other projects and if I’m honest I have a few alias’ but with that I cannot say who… I’m doing another collaboration or ‘collective’ with 2 well known DJ’s/Producers but that is something that’s ‘unknown’ (for the time being). There’s other collabs in the pipeline with Jacques Greene which we’ve been trying to finish for a while now but I guess pinning him down at the moment has been slightly hard.
Kn: The move to London from Glasgow took place a year ago. Many artists have done similar things so was it a strategic move to further your own goals? If so what was your reasoning and how have things developed since the relocation?
T: It wasn’t completely a strategic move but it definitely has helped. My girlfriend was staying in London but there was also a small incline to make my way down to see what sound I could grow attached to as well.
Without a doubt it has progressed my sound in so many ways. With everything that comes out of London, it makes you really try and create something that is different. It’s hard to find the right balance as I want to try and cross certain genres, hoping it will all tie in at some point. For this to happen, London is definitely the best place for me at the moment.
Kn: So much has happened this year alone. Looking onwards, whether it be in the imminent future on the news front or in the many years to come as aspirations develop, is there anything else you’d like to add about your thoughts on where you’d like to be?
T: My aspirations have definitely fallen more and more towards music for film. This along-side Electronic music is where I want to be. I’ve written music to a couple of scripts and waiting for a full feature length to begin. This keeps everything fresh for me as a producer. Developing younger artists is also an aspiration and something that feels rewarding. On top of the techno I want to have my own take on ‘Pop’ and see where that goes. There’s so much to do with music on a whole which is why it makes it so exciting and the best thing is, I’m always learning.