Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!
Six Leaves Left (Mauro Corbia) combines his love of the "feeling of infinite space" that synths give with his personal emotions and experiences to create unique synthwave music. In an email, he told me more about his path to making synthwave, his creative approach and his latest album We Were Brave.
Karl Magi: What was the first spark that lit a musical fire for you?
Mauro Corbia: I think it was while watching '80s TV series with my mom and my sister. I truly loved the Street Hawk and Airwolf themes.
KM: From there, what were the elements that drew you to producing synth-based music?
MC: I love the feeling of infinite space that synths can give you, even if before I mainly used electric guitar to compose (I am actually a guitar player more than a synth player). Then I got a Mac and Logic. I loved playing with soft synths. At the beginning, they just integrated the guitar parts in my songs, then they became the starting point for each of my tracks.
KM: Who are your artistic influences?
MC: This is a very difficult question. I listened to a lot of heavy metal in the past like Savatage, Iron Maiden and Queensrÿche, but in the last 10 years Smashing Pumpkins, Pink Floyd, Archive, White Lies and The National changed my way of doing music. I rarely listen to synthwave.
KM: Tell me about how you approach the creation of new music.
MC: In the last 13 years I lived and worked in four different countries and traveled to different places. I think We Were Brave is a collection of emotions coming from all of these experiences. Also, it’s the first time I've collaborated with different artists such as Dimi Kaye, Fran Santocono and Jennifer Pague. It was a challenge for me, but in the end I've gained a lot of experience.
Regarding production, I usually start selecting different presets for bass, drum, lead synth and guitar and then I tweak them 'til I am satisfied. I use Logic X as a DAW and different soft synths. My guitar is a Fender Jazzmaster.
KM: Where do you want to take your music in the future?
MC: I want to reach as many people as possible, but just doing what I feel is right, without putting unnecessary pressure on myself.
KM: What are your thoughts on the #synthfam?
MC: They are amazing. I remember Dimi (Kaye) and Julian (Green) told me, “You have to get a Twitter account!” and I was like, “Why? I am not really a big Twitter fan”. Then I saw what an amazing community they built and this actually helped me to gain a lot of new fans.
KM: How do you rekindle your creativity?
MC: Traveling, reading, listening to new music. Sometimes you have to wait a bit as your internal clock is not always aligned with music time.