#Synthfam Interview: System96
System96 (Blake Ethridge) is a U.S. based synthwave producer. He creates experimental melodies and mixes them with a "captivating mix of synths, bass, and lush pads." I talked to him about his start as a music maker, his approach to production and his sources of inspiration.
Karl Magi: How'd you first get passionate about making music?
Blake Ethridge: I was raised around music. It’s kinda just always been a part of my life, I didn’t really gain interest in making music until I was about 15 though. After downloading Ableton I experimented with different genres. (Mostly techno and DnB) and landed on synthwave when I was just turning 21.
KM: What drew you into wanting to make synth-based music?
BE: I discovered Com Truise when I was in 10th grade. It really had a big influence on the tunes I was making.
KM: Who are your creative inspirations?
BE: Com Truise, tycho, Mitch murder, kraftwerk.
KM: Walk me through how you go about creating new music.
BE: I usually start with a drum loop and some chords. After I add the bass, I’ll listen to that for a while and eventually come up with a melody.
KM: Tell me about some of the current projects you're working on and why they excite you?
BE: I’m currently working on a new live set, one that will include some new tracks as well as visuals. It's definitely going to be interesting!
KM: Where do you want to take your music going forward?
BE: I want to start touring and being able to make it profitable, traveling is expensive and it’s gotta be paid for somehow.
KM: Tell me what it is that appeals to you about the Twitter #synthfam?
BE: I feel like there’s a sense of community and being able communicate with people all over the place that have the same interest and ideas as you.
KM: What recharges your creative batteries?
BE: I’ll usually take a few breaks in the production of a track. Get some coffee or just take my kind away from music for a while.