"Look after your health, go to party’s, speak to people, be nice"
Sahar creates music that works in all settings and transcends genres. His openness to a wide range of sound is what has both made him a widely loved favourite, but also someone who operates in his own parallel musical world. We had a chance to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and check out his latest releases.
Hey Sahar, thank you for answering our questions. I'd like to start by asking you about your technical approach to creating music. What gear do you normally wear? Thanks for having me! My computer and DAW is the centre of everything in terms of recording, mixing and effects; I’ve been using Mac and Logic Pro since I started producing around 8 years ago. My audio interface is a Cranbourne Audio 500R8 which is filled with a few nice preamps plus an EQ and compressor which I use primarily for tracking vocals. In terms of my instruments I am constantly buying and selling things. At the moment I use my Elektron Octatrack as my main sequencer; I have a Korg Minilogue, Arturia Microfreak, Yamaha YC45-d, Psyco-X Syncussion, a few modular bits and these days I also have a lot of the Behringer gear. The MS-1 is my favourite! What aspects does the equipment you use that you like bring to your production? I used to think they were integral to my sound but as time goes on I realise they’re just tools. In all honesty I really just don’t like spending lots of time doing boring things like: assigning parameters to midi controllers, diving though menus or programming soft-synths with a mouse. If you look at every piece of hardware I have they’re all basically knob-per-function so I can get the results I want quickly. The last thing I want is my creativity to lapse for the day because of tedious programming. Your EP "Naica" is having a very good impact. What were you inspired by to create it? How do you turn your inspiration into a mechanically produced track? Inspiration is an interesting one with instrumental club music. On the larger scale I’m obviously inspired by the music and artists I listen too, but really on a track by track basis I find myself being inspired by the the tools themselves rather than anything external. Whether that’s: A sequencer, synth, drum machine, plugin or even my DAW itself. The constant thirst to learn more about the devices at my disposal is what breeds fresh ideas for me. Often, just learning one new thing will lead to whole tracks being formed around that idea.
How has your sound evolved since you started? I don’t think I’ve changed that much in musical taste, just improved at putting my ideas into practice. My productions definitely got significantly better since the lockdown started in March 2020, due the amount of consistent time I’ve had to work on music and better myself. What’s been crazy is that lot of the tracks that have been getting signed lately are things I made 5-6 years ago which I felt were great ideas but not done justice by my technical ability or experience. It’s good to know that these ideas still feel like ‘me’ and that they haven’t aged badly. I try to be really conscious of not following trends in music and I’m really glad of of this now as it’s left me with a huge backlog of tracks I’m still proud of that are just waiting to be released!
I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist. Do you think we can go back to "normal" events and festivals? I think it has too. People can’t be locked in there houses forever and livestreams aren’t really cutting it for me anymore, no matter how beautiful the location. As soon as the vaccine has been made available to everyone, the shackles need to come off. The things we do and places we go should return entirely to being a case of individual choice. Risk vs reward. Like every other decision in life. How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now? It’s difficult to say since I haven’t been in a club for over a year and I’ve been focusing solely on producing. At the minute I’m just enjoying seeing all the local artists from my home town of Middlesbrough pushing their music and the labels I’m a part of like Paradiso and Midnight People making a name for themselves. I feel slightly disassociated from the wider scene at the moment but I’m excited to be thrust back into it and learn all the new faces when the time is right. How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners? That’s not really a question for me to answer! Music is subjective, I know what feelings I want to evoke in people with each thing I do, but whether that stuff hits like intended really comes down to the listener. That’s why it’s always good to get feedback from friends before sending tracks out to labels etc I suppose. What other projects are you working on right now? Me an REES have got some collaborative efforts lined up for later this year which should be fun and I’ve done a couple of remixes that are due for release soon. Other than that, not much. I really feel like I’m only just starting to build my own profile at the moment so I’m focusing almost 100% on my solo stuff until the clubs re-open at least. I’ve had some interesting conversations about collaborating with other producer friends further down the line, but not yet. What makes you happy? Family + friends, Music, Good Food.
Do you have any final words of wisdom? Look after your health, go to party’s, speak to people, be nice.