We had the opportunity to interview indie electronica artist TUSKS for an Artist Spotlight feature! She develops intense melodies that engulf the listener with sound. Her vocals are dynamic and captivating. She's an artist on the rise who averages over 135,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Her single "Toronto" has been streamed over 2,700,000 times. Check out her stuff and check out what she had to say in our interview!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"I grew up with a piano in my parents house and used to mess around on that a lot but it wasn't until I studied music technology at college that I decided I wanted to do it as a career. I went on to do a degree in Music Tech at Surrey University and I think it was the idea of experimentation based around more electronic music and electronic effects that made me fall in love with it."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"It changes for each song and it feels like its evolving with every album I write. For Avalanche I decided I wanted to write most of it on guitar and so I think I took a more typical approach of writing the bare bones of the song and then thinking about how the production should sound, whereas Dissolve was more about how the song should sound as a whole at the start rather than the core chords and lyrics. For the next album I think I want to move on to start to write the drum parts first and see where that takes it."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"I take inspiration from a massive range of artists- obvious ones like Daughter and Sigur Ros have inspired me a lot but I mainly listen to a lot of more alternative and electronic music such as Lapalux, Olafur Arnalds, Rival Consoles, Burial etc. I think they all have little parts to play in inspiring my music."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"At the moment I'm in love with using my Korg Prologue- it just sounds so rich and interesting and I feel like i've only scratched the surface of learning how to use it and what I can create with it. For the last album I also bought a Thermae pedal from Chase Bliss which is an analogue pitch delay. We used it to create so much weirdness on the album by doing things like putting the drums and vocals through it- you can hear it especially in my latest single Foreign."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"It changes a bit if its a solo show or a band show. The solo shows are way more chilled and focussed around the vocals and stripped back ambient guitar but the band shows have evolved into this pretty heavy energetic wall of sound style of music which I love. I think I most enjoy a venue when the audience is really engaged with what you're doing and I find that normally happens in the older prestigious but also kinda more rough and ready venues than huge new ones. I love a pretty venue too though – I played Manchester Albert Hall a couple of weeks ago and that was beautiful."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"Oh man I have no idea. Brett (my producer) and I spend hours thinking about little production ideas for the albums we make. There's always something weird going on like a recording of a plane flying above being turned into a bass drone or me singing into my guitar pick ups through pedals to create ambient vocals. We like using samples and weird techniques to experiment and keep it interesting."
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"The album is released on the 14th June and I'll be dotting around playing bits and pieces across Europe so keep your eyes peeled for announcements about that. I'll also be playing my biggest headline show in London on the 26th November which is on sale now!"