‘finding the gel between Architecture & Music’ | Interview with Spli+shifts

Synthesis, is one of the many songs to follow by the creative architecture/musician. With an emphasis on a delicious dark reese bass line and a trap infused groove, it is a song that invades your mind in so many ways.

Read our interview with the electronic producer below.

Describe your sound in 3 words!

The three words would be WAVE, SPACE-DEFINING and NOCTURNAL.

So you work as an architectural designer. What made you take up music creation as a late night profession?

The interest in music was inspired by my transits between work and home. On a typical day to work, I’ll start off with a hip-hop playlist personally curated with works like Clams Casino on ASAP’s LVL and when going back home, I’ll be plugged into other production-inspired genres such as Jungle, House & Wave with works like GEOTHEORY, Klimeks & Azaleh.

Imagine 5 days of a work week, with the insane production of these artists/producers, how can I not get inspired? (laughs). They break monotony in my work life (as architectural project phases are known for its months of designing and years to completion – so that could be monotonous at times) and when I’m home at night, I felt like whatever I have been listening for the day is perfect to have them composed during the wee hours.

Music after work is after all another free-play creative outlet for me to be in other than my day architectural profession which can be stressful at times despite the joy of designing spaces.

Tell us the dopest drop you wish you have composed yourself.

The compilation album from Wavemob, Wave 001 dropped on 9th of February 2016. Though it contained various wave artists such as Kareful, Rare & CVRL, I felt that the drop was the epitome of the current influential wave-genre that inspired me today. I wished I produced every song in there.

You make music for the creative insomniacs. Personally, I love working at night time as I find less distractions but most people tell me that they are tired by then and not at all productive. So tell us, what is it that you appreciate about night work?

Space & time. Both tangible and intangible. I’m very meticulous on creating a space for my own to suit different times of the day. In the day time, I like to work in big open spaces, collaboratively with others as a creative. But for night work, I like my space compact and radiating around me (more personal) with lights shining at the right places such as on my audio equipment (Maschine), my plants being downlit from the top and washed out lights on my room walls – That’s literally my room/studio. This environment helps me sculpt my sounds, giving me more focus to my sample selections and synth creations. Layman would summarise this as VIBEZ (laughs).

As an architect, you should have a building or place you admire. Which one is this? And as a musician, you must have a desired place you’d love to play live. Which would that be?

The MahaNakhon Tower in Bangkok, Thailand by renown German architect Ole Scheeren. There’s so many levels to that particular work done which I can take metaphorical precedence from for my creativity in music – mainly, breaking the norm in its processes (be it in spatial design or in sound design).

I have always wanted to play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, United States. There is no better place for nature to be part of the spatial backdrop (in this case, the eroded rocks with orange hues) to the configurable stage lights, set-up visual aesthetics and nocturnal sounds of my music. I felt like to perform there as a professional artist, I could tap into both natural and man-made sources to portray the story of my sounds – similar to the essences of design in the built environment, which, is pretty cool on a personal level. The ability to justify all creative work.

What song(s) would you choose to represent Singapore’s everyday lifestyle today?

To start off with Singapore’s everyday lifestyle, it’s not a place for creatives to be in really due to low demographic and its geographical attributes and position globally. It’s a trade hub for the corporate world in my opinion. Music is often regarded as non-sustainable and under-valued. I would say every artist in Singapore has got to do something out of their musical creative to earn a living, like myself. It’s a cringey system that kills creativity as we have rules and guidelines to avoid being creative “explicitly”. Here’s “Be Free” by J.Cole.

What should we expect from you in the near future?

I’m currently working on a couple of tracks and still improving/filtering out the best ones to put out this year. But definitely will be releasing 3 more singles progressively by December 2021. 2022, would be the album year. I won’t be rushing my releases though I aim to release music every quarter of the year but I’ll definitely be sharing and giving away my processes consistently on my socials be it my sample packs, graphic design (artworks) and production videos. I aim to showcase my versatility as creative artist and inspire artists in my country with music and processes to constantly find and appreciate the gel between our individual profession and music.

We left the most difficult one for the end. Your moniker is Spli+Shifts (from split shifts, we assume) and both works are demanding, though you seem to be handling them great. However, we’d like to ask if you think you will ever have to choose between the two jobs? Or is architecture the day job and music a serious hobby? What are your thoughts about it?

I think my moniker is heavy to me on a personal level and I wish to uphold it with pride. I would say both works are dependent on each other. My music and its processes would be non-existence if I were to not pursue an architectural profession since the start. I would have done something else, something boring maybe and possibly not being able to discover my ability to produce music.

Even if I were to do music as a career, I would find some time to do maybe graphic design as a serious hobby to help communicate my music. At this juncture, the process of finding the gel between Architecture & Music have always been intriguing for me and it helps me to think of justified ways to put out good content visually and musically online just like design. So I don’t see myself dropping either one of my creative work any time soon – could be stressful interchangeably but I need it to be inspired at times! (laughs)

Thanks Spli+shifts!

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