I received a lot of e-mails and comments asking why I quit producing electronic music. The answer is not as easy, so I decided on writing a blogpost to explain what is the real idea behind changing my style of music.
Flabbergasted. That’s how people reacted, after I uploaded my hard rock / classic rock song “Fight for you”. Most of my friends, acquaintances, fans and co-musicians know me from composing and producing electronic music. All in all the change of style was well appreciated, but some people were worried. They assumed, I’d write two, three songs and return to my uplifting trance stuff. It is not a phase and I mean it seriously. Things are not easy to explain, because changing my style does not feel like a change at all. It is something that has to be done some years ago. There’s something I have to make clear:
I have never been attached to one single genre of music. And I never will.
Neither as songwriter, producer nor listener, I never felt connected to one certain kind of music excluding everything else. There is so much beautiful music outside, so why should I put myself into boxes? There’s only one good reason for focussing on a certain genre or peer group: Marketing. I did not even notice, that my name was turned automatically into a brand. Since 2007 people seem to connect my music with uplifting trance, around 2014, where my first commercial releases emerged, electro house was another tag attached to my name. It helped me to build an audience, but it never felt natural to me. You can read my two cents about developing a signature sound here.
Those who know my musical work from the very beginning or came across my band The Verge, know, that I’d rather call myself a multi-genre composer and producer. I write and produce pop and rock music for nearly the same amount of years as electronic music. Yes, The Verge exists for already 15 years. The amount of pop productions was too small against my amount of trance productions. Rock music has always been connected to my band, independently who wrote it. Even if people knew, that I was part of The Verge, they didn’t connect my name to pop and rock music, because I am neither the vocalist nor instrumentalist on most of these songs. In pop, rock and metal music, I am composer, songwriter and producer. I wrote about 120 songs in 30 different genres in total. You can listen to most of them in my YouTube discography or at the SoundCloud profile of The Verge.
I decided against choosing a new project name.
Artists, who write and produce different kinds of genre or work with different people, split of their songs into different projects either by (a) genre and peer group or (b) people they work with. It is a good strategy on targeted marketing, but in my case both do not make sense. I’m into too many genres, resulting in too many side projects, I cannot handle. Every side project means another social media profile with a decent amount of activity. Besides of The Verge (which is a real band with fixed members, roles and team spirit), there’s no way to split up by people. I work with plenty of musicians and the roles are different each time. Therefore, I decided against new project names and opened my current project for multi-genre collaborations. It feels more natural to me, because I identify myself as composer / songwriter first, producer second. The other reason is, that I want people to know, that I am a multi-genre composer and producer. I want to avoid being put into boxes.
What writing songs in different genres feels like.
Some years ago, I tried to force myself to write music in a certain genre just to make my audience happy. It already happened, that a pop song was turned into trance, because it was easier for me to realize. I can’t play guitar, so I changed the style by playing the arpeggio with a synthesizer and fasten it. The original song is a pop rock ballad. Now, I feel like it’s one of the worst ideas I ever had.
Write the songs in the genre that feels natural for this song instead of pushing it into a certain direction. You cannot force writing songs with a certain feeling or instrumentation. Bury the thoughts of matching the audience’ expectations. I wrote plenty of songs since September 2020, most of them were pop and rock. There are even some experimental attempts on genres, you may not even think of. I’m feeling good.
Nobody knows whether and when I do electronic music again.
So what exactly led to changing my style? I already lost connection to electronic music around 2014. Some super cool drafts (like “The Awakening”) were realized around 2017, but afterwards I stuck completely. My third studio album “Event Horizon” gave a home to the drafts, that got lost somewhere in between space and time. Even if “All Hallow’s Eve” was arranged and produced in February 2021, the draft on melody and sound design is some years old. It just needed a push to complete. That’s what I meant by closing a chapter and starting something new.
Sometimes you have to switch perspectives, try something new or just do whatever your heart wants. My intuition urged me to expand my songwriting and production skills instead of trying hard to match modern standards of electronica sound design. This is the main reason why I don’t feel connected to electronic music right now. It may happen, that I produce some electronic music in future, but even then, I will not stay there forever. I keep moving. Even if that means, that I keep constantly changing my style.
I hope I made some things clear on the fuzz about leaving electronic music for good, changing styles, rebranding etc. It was never my attention to become a brand and to be attached to a certain kind of music. The only thing that changes right now is that I speak more frankly and embrace being a multi-genre songwriter.