We’ve all had that moment: from nowhere, a piece of music grabs you and there’s something so profoundly new or different in it that it leaves a lasting change in you and the way you see music. Maybe your taste shifts by a degree, or new possible futures in your own productions become clear – or even that tipping-point inspiration that started your own artist / producer journey in the first place.
Inspiration can come from anywhere – eyes, ears and senses open to the world, and musical artists do take inspiration from any field. But the one source we can always tap is the work and music of other artists and producers.
So with this in mind, here’s some insight to how this process works – with artists from the Liveschool community sharing pivotal moments where the work of other artists has changed they think about music…
I remember SOPHIE saying that she treats music like a sculpture. So first she will think about the material that the track will be made of and then sculpt accordingly. I think of this often when I’m creating sound design in a track.
For me, Larry Heard changed everything about how i thought of dance music. Up until i heard his work as Mr Fingers i didn’t really understand dance music. I liked listening to mixes and was trying to make tracks similar to what i heard, but nothing really connected. When i heard Mr Fingers it opened my eyes to the fact that dance music could be simple, raw, emotionally moving and visceral. It was laid out in the simplest terms and it seemed like it might actually be possible for me to gain an understanding of how to make similar music. That was a real turning point for me.
So many! But the first thing that comes to mind is the George Duke LP “From me to You”. I distinctly remember when I bought the record home and put it on in my parents lounge room (this was before I kidnapped the record player and put it in my bedroom). The second song “Carry On” in particular, at the time I was into all the George Clinton and Hendrix stuff and George Duke was like Hendrix on a Minimoog as far as solos go. The musicianship is next level.
I would say Mallrat, because I love the way that she writes and sings. It’s very gentle and rhythmic. When I was very young my favourite artists were people like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry who have very big and powerful voices. I started writing pop songs when I was in primary school, but I never felt like I should sing them because I don’t have a voice like that. I’ve followed Mallrat since she first started releasing music and everything about her is amazing and very inspiring to me, but most of all she’s changed the way I think about my own voice. Her music has helped me realise that I don’t need to belt to be able to sing the songs I write.
MADE IN PARIS
A few artists have inspired me over the years but most recent I would have to say was watching Floating Points live. The layers of amazing music, visuals and lighting were so inspiring and made a big impression on me.