An Interview with Retro/Synth Artist iamManolis

Updated on February 25, 2019
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

iamManolis
iamManolis

iamManolis is a musician and music producer based in Greece. He's got a passion for creating synth-based music that's strongly influenced by '70s/'80s funk and electronic music. I asked him about how he got started making music, his creative process and how he views the re-emergence of synth-based music.

Interview with iamManolis

Karl Magi: How did you first become interested in making music?


iamManolis: I’d studied piano since I was seven years old. Even though my teacher insisted that I should practice the classics, I always preferred to play around with my own improvisations and making my own tunes. After some time, I started to record them using two tape recorders and a Yamaha PSR-37 electronic keyboard, trying to multi-track by recording a tape and then playing the tape through speakers while playing along.

KM: What is it about retro-style synth music that draws you to making it?


iM: I love it ‘cause it is the soundtrack of my childhood. I love the sounds, the synth electro funk production style and the warm sounding synthesizers and drum machines that were used during ‘70s and ‘80s.

KM: Who are the major musical artists who influenced you and why were they so influential for you?


iM: There are so many artists I admire, but my major influences are ‘70s and ‘80s R&B and funk artists, producers and songwriters. Prince, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Hall & Oates, Rod Temperton and Chick Corea. They are so influential for me ‘cause I learned a lot by studying their work, their compositions and their arrangements. I was also amazed by the fact that Prince played all of the instruments on his tracks and that’s why I started playing bass, guitar and drums.

KM: Tell me about how the creative process works for you as you make new tracks.


iM: Most of my synth-heavy tracks are actually composed on an acoustic instrument. I play/practice on acoustic instruments a lot and I believe that if a track sounds good with an acoustic instrument then it has a solid harmony and melody. I switch to synthesizers and try to make the chords shine as much as I can by shaping the synth sounds, deciding on a sonic vision of the track and creating some more melodies and musical phrases. I also spend quite some time on bass and drums especially on syncopated bass lines for more groove and a funk feeling.

KM: What’s the story behind your latest track Jul 83?


iM: The story is the photo for the track. That is me during July 1983 in my dad’s car, listening to some music. I recall being extremely happy during that era and the photo inspired me to record something uplifting and joyful.

KM: What are your future career plans?


iM: I’m working on a full album right now that I believe it will be ready in a couple of months. I’m also working on a video game theme track and a documentary soundtrack. I’m also interested in producing music for other artists as well as doing remixes.

KM: What are your views on the seeming resurgence of synth-based music?


iM:I was pretty sure that it would come back one day. People always look at the past as a source of past greatness or escapism. Nostalgia, a bittersweet yearning for the things of the past, is a very strong feeling. I love the fact that more and more people are discovering new synth-based music and I also love the fact that artists are creating beautiful music by keeping the ‘70s-‘80s synth music forms but also adding some interesting new musical elements that move the whole genre forward.

KM: How do you reinvigorate yourself creatively?


iM: By listening to a lot of music of all genres and experimenting with different recording and arranging techniques. I also try to create barriers for myself and use minimal music gear for my tracks ‘cause I believe that restrictions breed creativity.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)