Chromatic welcome T. Nguyen today after his Name & Form EP was on repeat in our office for much of december, lets find out more.
Can you tell us a little about your experience and your background in the music business?
My first taste with the Music Business would be working with promotional companies and helping them market their artist or movies bb in Dallas. That led me to start promoting my own events at local venues and eventually “managing” local DJs. I wanted to make a real career of it and left college for the New York Dream. I got an internship at Vice Records and then a job marketing and booking for The Knitting Factory in Tribeca. After Knitting Factory closed, I landed a job with Tiesto’s management company. I worked for various others, mainly doing design work and advertising.
I “left” the Music Industry and started working the service industry because I wanted to pursue my own music. Eventually I started my own label and got a digital distro with InGrooves to release my own music with full creative control. I’ve also helped launch a digital arts radio platform called Montez Press Radio located on Canal St.
Where are you from? do you feel that has a big impact on your sound?
This is a difficult question for me, but my refugee parents settled in Pennsylvania after being sponsored by an organization around the time the Vietnam War was ending, so that’s where I was born. I spent most of my schooling in Dallas and I moved to New York to pursue a career in the music industry in 2007. I’ve lived here since.
My past molds and impacts me with my likes and dislikes to allow me to create my ideal works for the future.
The short version is, I’m from Dallas, but was born in Pennsylvania, now living and practicing in Brooklyn.
What artists and genres do you enjoy most right now?
We’ll since I’ve just had a daughter it’s a lot of baby piano music, but if I’m not being responsible, I’m enjoying a lot of Detroit and New York House and Techno. Artist like Guster Lustwerk from Brooklyn, a lot of Omar S, Tammy Lakkis, Wahjeed, DJ Stingray 313 from Detroit, and Heartwerk from Tulsa, OK in my headphones.
What is the story behind your new release? how did it come together?
I decided to revisit songs I had written in 2019 and wanted to get them out. Name & Form is about getting back to my center before my first daughter was born this past October. At the same time, reading yoga philosophy and eastern spirituality led me to research a lot about non-duality.
I process theses ideas in my studio with various gear like a Tascam Model 24 mixer, Roland RD2000 Keyboard, a old Teac tape machine trying to capture grooves from Garage music from Leeds and New York City.
This EP conveys a conceptual idea that everything we perceive from our thoughts take a finite form, in which we label with a name while creating our own subjective meaning of them, but ultimately we as consciousness and creators are infinite.
Has your sound changed a lot in recent years?
I would say yes the sound changes, but I try to keep a specific process because I truly believe the process makes the sound. The sound changes because I change as a human, and if the sound doesn’t change, I’m not changing and there is no growth there. My sound has gone many directions, but I still try to retain some of
the past influences as my process gradually changes. My influences change regularly because of what I remove or add to the workflow.
Do you feel you can have a more experimental sound in the modern scene?
I believe every time I sit to get an idea down, it is an experiment. It’s an experiment between my thoughts and the sounds available at my finger tips. My manager says, “the weirder the better,” and I really believe that. Experimental sound is the most modern, because it’s unknown.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
Digital revolution has effected creativity on both sides. People are producing “content” by the masses with quicker turn around. For some it hinders and for others it benefits, and I think it depends on what kind of creative work you are doing. Living is creative, along with cooking and experiencing. We create our world everyday and I think the digital revolution can enable us or disable us, but it’s up to the creator to be the gate keeper of the digital revolution.
Can you tell us what's next for you?
I have another EP coming out in February of some songs I’ve finished during the first 40 days of my daughters birth. I’ve just finished demos of them and hope to finish in January. I am also talking with a small design studio in Hamburg to help me index all my past audio and visual works for a new website.