WORDS

Astronaut – Hard work promotes itself

Astronaut in the studio

There are many ways to develop as an artist…

– Hire a ghost producer (cheat!)
– Enrol on a production course (pricey!)
– Spend every hour possible in the studio (standard!)
– Watch your peers closely…

One of the biggest questions asked of producers these days is ‘How did you gain exposure and get your music out there?’ and the focus for many young producers seems to be very much on promoting yourself rather than letting your music do the talking. No amount of promotion can equal hours spent in the studio experimenting and practicing by making usually awful tunes! Eventually the songs get better and a good song always promotes itself..there are no tricks. It’s about staying inspired through the hard graft and gaining as many tips and tricks from other producers as you can…

We spent a lot of time making music we’ll never ever release

“One thing that did prove invaluable to our studio sessions was following some of our favourite producers on twitter,” says Ross. “For example, Nik Noisia would do hour long production Q&A’s and gave us some great ideas to try!”

“What we learned the most was that there are many different ways to make the same sound,” says Dan. “It made us realise it’s all about finding your own methods. We spent a lot of time making music we’ll never ever release but you’re constantly learning new things and training your ears.”

NEVER STOP: Even at 2am after days of studio slogging. Such is the story of this absolute gem of a debut, Apollo…

“We’d spent a few days in the studio trying to make something different and it really wasn’t happening,” says Dan. “We were so frustrated. I got home at about 2am and got out my laptop and tried one last time to make something. I ended up writing up this little melody in my frustrations. I thought ‘oh this is crap!’ and snapped my laptop shut. I actually forgot about it when I woke up.”

“We got into the studio at 11am the following day and Dan said ‘I’ve got this really rubbish thing I made last night’. It blew me away,” says Ross. “It wasn’t rubbish at all. It was the synth melody from Apollo. I was like ‘wow this is amazing, we HAVE to finish this!’ The rest of the track took mere hours to come together and the rest is history!”

Moving forward in time, the pair recently released follow up single, Quantum, which is now up on UKF…

Part two in their unique audio/visual animated narrative, the track sizzles and rips with vibrancy as the protagonist Apollo finds himself trapped on an alien world and stumbles on a time capsule, depicting an ancient battle. Unlike the hair-tugging, self-checking frustrations of its predecessor, Ross explains how Quantum came together…

“I first made the bare bones of the track and chord structure on a train journey back from a show,” he explains. “Then we worked on a few different versions of the drop before finally adding in the vocal”

Stay tuned to UKF for the following chapters of Astronaut’s bespoke movie-like musical tale. In the meantime, get to know them a little better in our debut Radar episode: