When it comes to artistry, what differentiates one from another is a signature style. Creatives on all platforms are constantly shaping and working towards solidifying their identity. What sometimes gets lost in this journey, is the notion that this chameleon like nature of a creative path is advantageous. For electronic producers in this day and age, perhaps it's not about narrowing one's artistic dreams, but rather letting curiosity lead the music. This is an experience that producer Pierce Fulton is all too familiar with. The artist originating from Vermont is best known for explosive electronic hits including "Kuaga" and "No More". With these hits, Pierce was praised in the scene for his uplifting progressive sound, bringing him forward in the game as an artist to watch.
More recently, Fulton has shed light to a refreshing side of his music, by taking it back to the basics in his latest EP Borrowed Lives. Straying away from his original sound, Borrowed Lives took on a more indie-pop electronic approach. Under the category of what some may dub as "Post-EDM", what's undeniable about Borrowed Lives is that it holds a purely organic sound, whilst still embracing the familiar feel-good vibes that will make listeners want to groove. This stark transition in Fulton's aesthetic was ultimately the end result of a life-changing accident.
As explained in his recent interview video, earlier this year Pierce Fulton was enjoying time with friends on a lake near Whistler, BC. In an unfortunate turn of events, the trip concluded with him breaking four ribs and a punctured lung after a rope swing accident. This event triggered a new found motivation in Pierce Fulton, inspiring him to think outside the box when approaching the EP.
Luckily, EARMILK had the chance to speak to Pierce Fulton regarding this shift in sound, what spikes inspiration, his recent collaboration with Puppet and the future of his music. With honest thoughts and a sincere approach to creating his art, it's evident that Pierce Fulton's sound identity will only move forward and stir curiosity in fans in whichever way he approaches his craft.
EARMILK: Talk to us about your beginnings in electronic music, who were your initial inspirations and what made you decide you wanted to make music as well?
Pierce Fulton: I became friends with a Venezuelan exchange student when I was in high school back in Vermont. He DJed and always listened to mixes from Pete Tong or Carl Cox and showed me Beatport. From there I went and explored all corners of electronic music and eventually found my comfortable zone between the likes of Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond and Michael Cassette. At the time I had been messing around with some production doing experimental hip hop but after learning about progressive house I decided to try it out myself.
E: You mention going back to “form” (using live instruments) in your quirky interview video explaining “Borrowed Lives” EP, being an artist in the electronic community, can you explain this challenge and how to overcome it?
P: It wasn’t so much a challenge, it was more like “why didn’t I do this earlier?”. There was a phase when I was writing electronic music where I didn’t think I’d use the skills I’ve learned my entire life on instruments for my production. Now a few years later, it’s quite the opposite. I’m thankful every day that I grew up playing and learning music the way I did.
E: Your sound has definitely taken on different forms throughout the years, in regards to finding your musical identity as an artist, what advice would you give others and how has your view on identity shifted over the years. How did “Borrowed Lives” effect your perspective on your own sound?
P: Honestly I am still trying to find my “sound”, I don’t know if there’s ever an end to that journey for me. It’s both exciting and daunting…I’m obviously so excited to keep pushing my music but the thought of no end makes it hard to feel accomplished. But “Borrowed Lives” did help me understand something. It showed me that songs that are 100% from the heart can still make you dance.
E: Aside from other music inspiring you, are there other contributing factors of inspiration that triggers a creative process, whether it be a location, a person, a current event, etc.
P: Well I recently moved into my first studio away from home. Ever since leaving college I always just created a a corner in some part of my apartment to make music and it worked for a very long time! It did mess with my head quite a bit after a while because there is something so nice about having places totally devoted to work and other places totally devoted to sleep/relaxation. It’s totally influenced how I’ve worked and lived in the past few months.
E: You've recently released a dreamy track with Puppet via Monstercat (whom you've worked with in the past). Explain the ideas behind the collaboration of “Just You”
P: Every time Brendan (Puppet) and I collaborate it’s always like “okay i guess were doing this?”. We work VERY differently from each other and its always funny to go through the process with him. Our last collaboration was called “Boy and the Beast” and it was a bit more tedious because it changed quite a lot and took a while to finish. Our more recent one “Just You” was really fun and quick. We started it in my new studio and then Brendan wrote vocals to it, I sorta stripped them back and added a few new flavors and we finished it very quickly and naturally.
E: You carefully choose who you collaborate with in your work. What potential artists do you wish to collaborate with and what makes a collaboration successful?
P: I’m not sure who I’d want to collaborate with just yet. Honestly ever since getting into singing on my stuff it’s been so exciting to explore where my voice can go. And as a result it’s made me more excited to approach new collaborations either in full form or in duet form. There’s a lot more to be excited about when you’re not depending on collaboration for music.
E: What would you like to see more of in the electronic realm of music? Are there artists/labels you feel are groundbreaking at the moment and why?
P: There seems to be a shift in electronic music right now which is really exciting. People are getting bored of the same cookie cutter songs and a few exciting artists are taking the lead to push the boundaries. I really love Puppets last EP, as well as NVDES and EDEN’s last EPs. It’s exciting times.
E: What are Pierce Fulton's future plans, what can fans expect in the near future?
P: I’m currently finishing up a ton of music that range between fresh new sounds and older ideas I’ve held onto for a long time. The goal is to get a ton ready to release so I can kinda reset and start fresh on a more cohesive body of work. I’m also working on some new video content and a new form of playing live which will all be rolling out next year!