If you had to explain Bastion in three words what would they be?
Storytelling through music.
Bastion is a conceptual music project inspired by an original world and story I’ve created. I go by Bastion as my producer name, and for casual listeners, maybe that’s all they’ll ever know. But for those who are interested, I’ve created the @bastionmusic Instagram page to visually explore my world and learn about the story.
Your latest track, “Alone but not forgotten” is a great example of storytelling through music, care to share more about your creative processes?
Thank you! Each song is inspired by an event, place, character, or relationship that exists within the world of Bastion. Listeners can try to figure out my exact intentions if they so desire, or interpret it for themselves in relation to their own lives, like any good story.
Technically speaking, my creative process varies. Often I’ll try to produce a preconceived idea, but I also enjoy experimenting with synths and samples, letting inspiration come to me that way. A great music teacher once told me, “If your song turns out exactly the way you first imagined, you’re doing it wrong.” In other words, don’t get hung up on the original idea; it’s better to let the song naturally evolve as you go. “ABNF” is a great example of that.
What first drew you into music production? At what age did you start producing?
I’ve been an avid fan of electronic music since high school, but my artistic passions led me in different directions until a few years ago. Music was still such an important part of my life that, as a creative person, I decided it would be a waste if I didn’t learn to produce. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try.
Also, I was (and still am) tired of hearing the same sounds over and over. My biggest inspirations are pioneers like Flume, What So Not, Hudson Mohawke and Porter Robinson, who invent their own unique styles. In their work- especially Porter’s – I heard a cinematic/narrative quality that I loved and decided to take that a step further with Bastion.
So I was 19 when I first started producing, and at the time I was worried I was already too old thanks to prodigies like Sam Gellaitry and Mura Masa! I still have a lot to learn, but now I believe it’s never too late to pursue something you’re passionate about.
Besides creating music you are also a writer, and caption the artistic photos on your @bastionmusic Instagram page by quoting your characters from Bastion. How did you create the story for Bastion? What inspired you?
The story behind Bastion is inspired by very real people, movements, and events taking place in our world today, but I can distill the idea into a series of questions: What if the unimaginable were to happen, and mankind someday destroys itself through nuclear war, climate change, etc., but from the ashes of our broken world, nature adapts to reclaim it? What if only a handful of humans survive? Would they build a better society, or make the same mistakes we did? The world of Bastion is our world, a few hundred years after The Fall of Civilization.
My friend Peter Pascucci, an incredibly talented photographer, took all the recent photos on the @bastionmusic Instagram page. We did a photo shoot at an old, abandoned warehouse, and tried to capture the themes and environments of Bastion, and placing me in them. It was really fun, and took some of the vanity out of the equation; we were trying to tell a story, not find my best angle.
2018 has just begun: What are your plans for the new year? Any upcoming projects we can get excited about?
I have heaps of demos I’m excited to finish and release as singles this year! They differ in style and mood, but all fit the Bastion vibe one way or another, and I hope listeners will enjoy the unpredictability. I also hope to do some collaborations and my first live DJ sets by the end of the year.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Oof. For someone who’s pulled in multiple creative directions, that’s an especially difficult question! I intend to move from NYC to LA at some point, so in 5 years I guess I see myself living out there, much more tan, and still telling stories through music and other mediums : ]
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