The Florida-based producer, Neon NiteClub just released a new EP After Hours on Jamendo. Since he got into music, he has been making waves throughout the online world with his retro 80’s synthpop style, drawing comparisons with the likes of Chromeo or even the French robots from Daft Punk.
Get to know him and his "perfect rollerblading music" through our interview: it will certainly leave a mark!
- Hi there! It is a pleasure to have you on our blog! We had the opportunity to discover your universe back in 2011 with the release of your first EP Eighty4 on Jamendo. Your new EP After Hours really got our attention so we’d be thrilled to hear about your story! When did you start making music and how did you become Neon Niteclub?
I started producing music when I began college. I produced mainly for hip-hop artists. I then started playing piano/keyboards for a few bands. Although I enjoyed producing and playing in other bands, I never really had a musical outlet that I could call my own.
I’ve always had an affinity towards 80’s pop music, and I finally started creating the sound that would become Neon NiteClub on New Years Eve 2010. I didn’t have any plans that night so I just stayed home and worked on some music. From that, I produced my first EP in the span of 5 days, 1 song a day. It actually came about very effortlessly and I hit the ground running!
- Your songs have a really shiny and relaxed vibe. Does the endless sunny weather of Florida influence your production?
I’m sure the great weather we enjoy here does play a part in the vibe of my music! Most of the feel of my music comes once again from the breezy feel of a lot of the 80’s pop hits. I try to capture that feel and imagine what would someone driving with the top down to the beach want to hear.
- What is it you like the most about that big 80's synthesizer pop sound?
A lot of the keyboards and drum machines were just being created during that era. I love how they are used in some of the early days as producers of that time were messing with midi sequencing and other effects. Although 80’s is sometimes looked at as “cheesy”, there is a lot of nuance to some of the great keyboard work of that time. I love the tone that it creates and the tightness of all the elements combined.
However, in my newer songs, I am trying to incorporate more live instrumentation when possible in order to create more depth to the tunes.
- With such groove in your music, we hear influences from of artists like Chromeo, and also Daft Punk (vocals on Dreaming Of You). Can you tell us a bit more about your songwriting process? What are your main inspirations when creating new material?
Those artists are definitely modern influences to the songs I create. In all honesty, as a producer, I am usually thinking of the musicality of the track first and foremost. I usually start with drum loop and I’ll add a bass line or chord progression. Oftentimes, I have a song in my head that I want to emulate at first, then twist it around and give it my own interpretation. I usually create a bulk of the track with full instrumentation and layout before I even begin working on vocals. I might be humming melodies in my head during production, and then I take those melodies and attach words to them.
Another confession is that I am fully aware of my limitations lyrically. Being an independent artist and having to produce and engineer all my own music, I am usually pretty fatigued when I get to the point of having to write lyrics. I try to write some catchy hooks but I am more worried about the rhythms of the vocals and not necessarily the words per se.
- Love hold a special place in your lyrics. Why is it such a recurrent theme for you?
Love seems to be universally the main theme for all songwriters. You can draw from personal experiences or project ideas of fictional love which you create. I often think of situations I have been in before or take ideas I have heard from friends of mine for the basic framework. Sometimes, I even think of different characters from movies and write lyrics from their perspective in the film.
- Do you play a lot of shows? Any fun anecdote about a past performance?
I haven’t played any shows recently and don’t really have plans to at the moment. I will say the first ever show Neon NiteClub has was awesome! I had been in bands where the music was more low key and introspective, so a driving force of Neon NiteClub was to create music that would be interactive and fun to be played live. The reception from the crowd was great and it felt like the music had done its job!
- What are you listening to at the moment? Any favorite tracks you’d like to recommend?
I have actually found that the soundtrack to the 1989 “Batman” movie by Prince is pretty awesome. I had heard some of the songs while watching the movie before, but I checked out the entire album and it’s great. It’s funny to think about Prince doing a soundtrack to a dark superhero movie, but I think it’s a testament to musical risks taken in the 80’s that aren’t really explored today.
- What's next for Neon Niteclub?
I just released a brand new LP "The Dream Machine" that you can find here.
I am currently working on a new record! I have 5 or 6 tracks I am excited about already. I am trying to make this a summer album with upbeat grooves and an overall feel good vibe. When I started writing music that would become “Neon NiteClub”, I wasn’t really concerned with the results or reception. It was a more of a personal outlet for myself.
I have been so thankful and humbled by the reception of the music by people. It really is more than I could ever hope for. I will probably keep writing music and honing my craft regardless of the reception, but I really am grateful for the response and the small following I have created. I hope to catch up and keep giving them better music!