With two stunning EPs under his belt, the London producer & vocalist has already won the hearts of many with an emotional crossover sound and we wanted to find out a bit about how his creative process. With a musical background and instrumental talents already developed in his youth, the 21 year old is still just scratching the surface of what looks to be a promising career. His latest release on Black Butter Records includes 3 vocal laden tracks, perfect for those final summer nights. Enjoy the EP in full below and read on for the interview with Alex Kotz, known better as Elderbrook.
EARMILK: What’s your musical background?
Alex: I’ve sung since I could talk but didn’t pick up a guitar until I was about 16. When I learnt a few chords I put together a band with some close friends. We all went our separate ways and that's when I decided to make stuff by myself. I ditched the crunchy guitar noises and started making sounds on a computer which lead to Elderbrook.
EARMILK: What is your production setup like, are you mainly in the box or do you use analog gear?
Alex: The production setup is pretty basic to be honest. Just a microphone and speakers. I’m quite happy just recording strange sounds and making them work in the tunes. I’ve started to involve a lot of bass and guitar again. I’m lucky that the room I work in has amazingly tall ceilings which makes for a lovely natural reverb.
EARMILK: What’s the process for completing one of your songs? There doesn’t seem to be any formula like in traditional dance music so how do you approach each track? Drums first? Bass? Vocals?
Alex: There’s no saying where a tune comes from really, could be anything. A lyrical idea, a funky bass phrase or a secret chord. once there’s just a little something done the tune just kind of takes care of itself.
EARMILK: Where did the inspiration for the lyrics come from for the Be There Soon EP and also the Simmer Down EP?
Alex: The inspiration comes from all around. Simmer Down EP had “Rewinding” which was kind of an ode to some of my favourite hiphop records. “Could” and “How Many Times” are about making changes. The Be There Soon EP tells more of a story. A story of love, travel and loss
EARMILK: How long did each album take you to make?
Alex: I made Simmer Down while I was still at university so was still just trying to work out what I wanted to do with music. Its difficult to say how long the albums take to make because you’ll be working on a song for a bit and might just get rid of it or switch it up and then sometimes you just listen back and you realize it’s finished and a completed song.
EARMILK: What were some of your interests growing up or has music always been your main focus?
Alex: Music’s always been there and that's pretty much all I know and like doing. Whether its the teenaged garage band or the emotional folk music I was making for a year or two.. music is definitely the main focus.
EARMILK: How would you describe your sound?
Alex: A little bouncy, a little soulful.
EARMILK: What’s your favourite remix done so far of your own music? How about a remix that you've done of someone else?
Alex: I love the Andhim remix of How Many Times, they did a great job and its been so well received all over the place. Favourite remix I’ve done was for Amber Run - I Found. The original is a phenomenal song - real slow and emotive so it was nice to bring a little bounce to it.
EARMILK: Are you DJing or playing live these days? Any plans for a live set? Or what does it consist of right now if you have one?
Alex: Rehearsals are underway. Got live drums and a keys player involved. I think the live drums especially will bring an exciting new dynamic to the songs. I’m just looking forward to getting out on the road!