#RealTalk | Q&A: Slothful
The term Megalonyx is used to describe "an extinct genus of giant ground sloths... that lived 10.3 MYA - 11,000 years ago," says Slothful on his Soundcloud page. Megalonyx is also the title of this talented producer's newest track, a high energy and seriously moving tune that brings a whole new sound to the future bass genre.
Slothful is a current graduate student in Boulder, Colorado and previously achieved his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami. Though he only considers himself a producer "hobbyist," the humble Slothful is certainly much more. In an electronic music scene dominated by the same 'big-room' drops and complextro textures, Slothful has developed a sound that is both simple, imaginative, and elegant. Exemplified by his newest track, Megalonyx will absolutely move listeners to a state of pure bliss!
Not only does Slothful have a great sound, he also has a noteworthy musical philosophy (or should we say, phil'sloth'ophy?). We were lucky enough to sit down with Slothful and learn a bit more about his background and goals as a producer.
The Beatforest Music Blog (TBF): You have a very interesting producer name. How did you come up with it?
Slothful (SF): The name Slothful is more or less a description of my music producing habits. Basically, I'm a pretty lazy human being and when it comes to producing music, I take my time getting things done. I used to stress out a ton over not having released new music and felt like I had to continuously be putting stuff out there if I was to ever be "noticed." I also took the "enter every remix contest you can find" route and was putting much more emphasis on quantity rather than quality. I think it really affected the quality of what I would produce because I found myself rushing everything. I eventually took a step back and toned everything down, set my own pace (like a sloth), and made music on my own time.
TBF: When did you start producing?
SF: I've been producing since 2010, but I really didn't start to develop a "unique" and refined sound until around 2012. It took me a few years to get an understanding of the software and concepts that come with producing. I used to produce a lot of electro house under the moniker Parachute Day [check out Parachute Day here]. That sort of phased out after I got a bit tired of listening to 120-128 bpm all the time.
TBF: I love that Megalonyx has such high energy, but is rather minimalistic. What are some of the influences that have helped you to achieve this sound? Did you have a specific inspiration for this track or was it a tune that's been developing over time?
SF: My music is definitely inspired by the future bass/ dofflin genre, but oddly enough I don't really listen to any big name artists that fall under that genre (I honestly could not name who the top 3 future bass producers are, or if there are any). That doesn't mean I'm not influenced by these genres, but I guess I'm more influenced by specific sounds in songs than any artist in particular. I love the 80's / 90's style synths that dominate future bass music and the almost breakbeat-like rythm that accompanies it. But at the same time I can't stand the random "chippy" 8 bit glitch noises that accompany the genre as well. I feel that a lot of future bass/dofflin music has just way too much going on at any given time and it ends up not being very pleasant. I guess Megalonyx is future bass without all the extra noise and video game arps. That's sort of the sound that I've been developing and want to pursue in the future.
TBF: Your sound is definitely solid in all of your previous tracks [listen to Slothful's full discography here], but Megalonyx has an especially mature and unique sound that really differentiates you from the many producers out there. How do you feel your sound has developed since you began producing in 2010?
SF: I'll be the first to admit that what I produce is nowhere near what professional music should sound like with regards to a fully mastered song, but I feel like I'm inching closer and closer to getting that personal sound. Like you mentioned, getting that personal sound that can distinguish you from everyone else is so clutch, and it's definitely a matter of trial and error before you find one that clicks. I noticed that you can best hear my sound develop if you take a listen to Didactylus, Hebetude, Otiose, and then finally Megalonyx (in that specific order). As you listen, you can kind of key in on certain sounds that were toned down, others that were emphasized, and stuff that was removed entirely.
TBF: What are your future plans as a producer?
SF: In a best case scenario, I would love to work on music full time (I mean, who wouldn't?). But given that there is a real world to live in, being employed and recently going back to school have taken priority, meaning my music production has unfortunately taken a back seat and become more of a hobby if anything. On top of this, because I take so much time working on tracks, new songs are pretty infrequent. I guess my goal as of now is to just keep refining my sound and producing stuff that can separate me from the pack. I worry a lot about producing music that feels too similar to what you would hear in the future bass/dofflin genre... like you mentioned, if what you produce ends up sounding the same as everything else that's out there, there really isn't anything that makes you stand out as an artist.
A big shoutout goes to Slothful for taking the time to chat with us here at The Beatforest! Be sure to check out Slothful's latest release Megalonyx on Soundcloud, as well his 2013 remix of Kendrick Lamar's Poetic Justice in the Youtube video below!