On July 5th, 2017 at the EDM Production Discord we held a Q&A with STéLOUSE.

Here is the transcription of the live session.

Q&A

A big thank you to everyone on the Discord for asking questions and participating!

how do you usually approach a track (by this i mean what section of the song, whether you do the chords, bassline, melodies, etc first and how you usually get inspiration 4 a track)? and how do you deal with not being able to progress while making a track?

StéLouse: this can be an instrumental theme or a vocal but something to make it unique and meaningful. I typically move quickly once I have found the theme and if i get stuck i just put the song away for a few weeks so i can get far from it and when I come back its almost like its alien to me and I can work on it again from an "outside the forest" perspective

From what I've read, you have been a trendsetter both musically and as far as community endeavour. How has a donation based funding system affected how you and your friends have managed the Hebinomichi collective when compared to traditional label models?

StéLouse: donation based funding is great as I feel music should be free for listeners and fans and it allows them to chose what level they would like to support the vision at. with a traditional label model (ie major label) I rarely see backend money. as with donation based (like we do for hebi) we get that money right away which allows us to immediately dump the funds back into cool ideas to push the music forward

Despite the noise surrounding your penchant to dodge the genre bullet, your tracks all have a signature sound. What would you attribute this to?

StéLouse: I definitely, as with any artist, try to avoid being pigeonholed into a genre. But its inevitable that people with do this to a project. I would say my signature sound comes from honesty in what I am creating. And of course the fact that I make the majority of my own sounds. When you use sample packs and presets and splice (not that there is anything wrong with that) but when your production is over loaded with third party sounds youre going to run the risk of not having anything that sounds truly unique.

How do you make your saws sound phat?

StéLouse: much much effort lol. I actually get this question a ton. People tend to over look that a lot of a fat saw chord sound has to do with the chord voicing. If anyone is unfamiliar with chord voicing I def recommend watching some theory tutorials on it

What was your first breakthrough tip on producing that made you say "Ahaaaa!"?

StéLouse: I can't really think of a defining moment where I had some crazy realization that took me to the next level. I think that was just techniques and practice applied over time. I would say a huge tip to producing that people tend to not focus on is to wear the hats at the right times. When youre song writing/creating ideas, be a song writer and dont get caught up in the engineering or the editing of your ideas, just let it flow. Once you feel u have your idea out, then become a producer and edit and arrange and start to sound stage everything. Then become an engineer when its time for some boss sound design and mixing

I think that your ability to make so many different types of music, ranging from the more pop style of shivers in gold, to the more future bass style of your collab with Myrne is pretty amazing. How would you say that someone more new to producing would be able to expand their style and stop making stuff that sounds so same-y?

StéLouse: well as much as I love to show diversity and obviously I get very bored with sounds quickly, hence why I take so many creative risks in style, its probably better for your brand and artist project to have more of a lane and a sound and be less scattered as I am. Illenium for instance (who is a great example of what I am saying) has done great at this. Honing a sound and then doing it until hes blue in the face. Because now its attracted a solid fan base thats allowed him to soon create whatever he wants. And now we recognize him for that sound. So embrace the things you do naturally and consistently and realize that this is whats moving you towards a sound thats all you.

I suppose its natural for me to want to be all over the place, maybe thats my thing? lol

which song of yours did you have the most fun making and why? also, what's your favorite AFI song?

StéLouse: Thats a tough question I have loved all songs at various stages and hated all of them too at various stages for different reasons. Let Go for instance was something I had an idea for but couldnt figure out, a month later I came back to it and made it in a few hours. Painstaking writers block to one of the most fun creating experiences. Fav AFI song I would say is "Leaving Song pt II"

Which artists/collaborations/friends did you learn most from and how much have they impacted your growth as an artist.

StéLouse: Working with other artists is a great way to learn, expand and grow. Working with MYRNE taught me a lot of tricks with sub bass I wasnt aware of. Working with Naderi has taught me a ton about mix downs. Working with Said the Sky has helped me expand on my knowledge of harmony (hes an amazing pianist). And working with pop writers/artists like Ryan Tedder has helped me become a much better songwriter. Definitely always be learning collaborating and sharing knowledge. Thats how we all grow.

How do you go about finding motivation to complete a song? What kind of factors do you take into consideration when you are creating a specific sound?

StéLouse: wow finishing a song. the hardest part of any of this. lol. I guess I just really have to love it and be excited about it. The idea has to be strong enough and appealing enough to me to go after seeing it through. As far as creating a specific sound I have only recently gotten really good at creating whats in my head. Mostly its been "hey I have this crazy ideas lets make it work" and it comes out totally different. ps. my best songs were all things I thought sucked initially and never took to serious.

true story. doja cat remix 2014 thought it was my worst creation ever. literally the song that got my project going

Being an accomplished instrumentalist with a deep background in live music, what inspired you to first transition into electronic production and what were your biggest challenges learning it? What is some advice you would give to other instrumentalists looking to learn production of electronic music?

StéLouse: I wanted to be able to create music start to finish on my own terms. I was in bands before and its a lot of give and take with that. The biggest challenge is the first year. That learning curve is rough, cause you desire so much and have so much ambition but you need to get all that practice in and its a very very long rabbit hole. You really cant beat the 10 thousand hours motto. Thats really what it takes to get there. Advice I would give is don't get discouraged and be very patient, everyone learns and works at a different pace. Keep it fun and keep learning daily.

There are two possibilities when it comes to the universe. The first is that it will end one day and everything that is will stop being. If that is true than like a dream that is forgotten as you wake up all of existence will be forgotten as the universe and time stops making everything meaningless. The second possibility is that the universe and time will continue infinitely. This would mean that everything that can possibly happen beyond even our own imagination and mental perception will happen because there will be an infinite amount of time for it to do so. Therefore there will be infinite yous stretching throughout the never ending line that is time and space doing everything physically and (possibly) not physically possible. If this is also true than anything we do also has zero meaning or significance because we will eventually exist again and do everything differently in every possible way, be a success, be a failure, conquer the world, die at birth. Keeping this in mind, what is it that makes you do what you do, day to day, and what makes you find motivation despite the impending nothingness (or lack of) that stands at the end or continues through all of existence?

StéLouse: love this question actually. really my beliefs on all that are pretty crazy. but for me to continue doing what I am doing is out of love and passion. I think how we spend our time here is everything. We dont know whats next it could be a crazy cycle of doing it again and again or it could just be blackness or this could be a big computer simulation (which I believe mostly) but the time spent is everything. Its all we have is now so enjoy what youre doing right now

did someone say memes?

StéLouse: I love memes for real. I think the strongest aspect is the crossover ability of it. I always think I can improve on everything. Im never satisfied. If I was I would stop now and fail to create anything worth a fuck

what are your best tips for achieving brightness without making the rest of the mix messy?

StéLouse: think of your mixes like a chest of drawers, everything has its place in the frequency spectrum. less is always more. sound selection goes a long way. how sounds work and interact together and the juxtapostion (sp?) of those

How do you personally continue to create when the world seems to try everything it can to stop you?

StéLouse: thats exactly why I continue to create. I feel like everything is out to stop me all the time. Like this is some giant computer simulation just around me failing. I dont like failing. I wouldnt do it. I'm out to break the system

When you started producing, what was huge in helping you? Like any side experience, music theory, etc.?

StéLouse: Music theory all day! and multiband compression lol

What would your advice to someone with 0 music knowledge wanting to get into EDM production be?

StéLouse: start educating yourself now. the internet will tech you all you can want or need to know

Do you consider music theory and playing the piano required skills for making EDM?

StéLouse: Piano no but theory yes. it depends to what extent you want to create. like if you wanna do dark slamming rezz tech stuff, then not too much. if you wanna be like Lido, you better get those theory chops rocking hard

How did you first make work before you had a stable fan base and not secure income/studio?

StéLouse: lots of various revenue streams. it was hard

Do you mind elaborating?

there are alot of ways to make money on the internet with music as well. just find what works for you. its trial and error really until something clicks

are there any resources that you recommend for learning music theory and such?

StéLouse: youtube all day

what's one thing everyone on Soundcloud could do (or not do) to make the music world a better place, in your opinion?

StéLouse: stop making the same thing on repeat. lol. and reposting too much. altho i am guilty of reposting alot of my friends tracks too

have you ever really wanted to release something, but never did because you didnt think the response to it would be good?

StéLouse: you bet. ive got literally hundreds of unreleased songs

How did you grow out of SoundCloud / reach a larger audience? Did anyone / friends help bring you up or was it solely yourself?

StéLouse: I am still working on this growing out of soundcloud thing, ask me that in another year lol. Everything has been done in house on my own. People want you to succeed, just not greater than they are.

PR teams all the way

StéLouse: over rated

I'm sure you've been asked this before, but how do you personally get unstuck in a track when you can't seem to write anything new that fits or don't know where to go next?

StéLouse: I put it away for weeks to months. come back later when it sounds like something you didnt even make. new ideas will happen and if they dont, it wasnt that great anyways

What things drive you nuts (Pet Peeves) that Upcoming producers do? (Mixing, Composition, Networking, Etc)

StéLouse: complaining on the internet lol that an too much serum agro trap leads

Since you believe that we are in a ASI simulation than do you think that the fact that it is a simulation demerits the existence of anything? Or that because we still experience life and emotions (well at least I do I don't know about u) that the simulation has created an equivalent universe to the "real" universe.

StéLouse: i would love to get down this rabit hole with you 100% I just dont have the time right now lol

if i told you what I really think this chat would explode

Actually I have to go but I will leave you all with this. What if this is a computer simulation and its solely based around just you and everyone you see day in and out and interact with is nothing more than part of that simulation?

Well thanks for coming so much!!!!!!!! We love you @StéLouse

StéLouse: thanks guys so much . love you all for asking me things and I hope to talk to you again soon. Ill be doing some production courses later this year online and in cities, so keep an eye out.

See you all on road. enjoy your summer! and computer sim