Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!
Chris Keya is a synthwave producer based in Rome, Italy. He creates cyberpunk-influenced synthwave full of dark soundscapes and brooding moods. In an email, he told me about his start as a music maker, his creative inspirations and the latest projects on which he's working.
Karl Magi: When did the fire to make music first get lit under you?
Chris Keya: For me the fire to make music started back when I was 10, I started listening to metal music from bands like Trivium and In Flames. I immediately got hooked on it, so I started playing guitar. I was in a lot of bands in my teenage years.
KM: From there, what moved you in the direction of making synth-based music?
CK: I discovered electronic music thanks to progressive house and especially dubstep with artists like Deadmau5 and Skrillex. After that, I decided to pick up synths along with my audio engineering studies and I focused on music production as well. I became an avid electronic music listeners and, thanks to my passion for cyberpunk books and movies, I got into the world of synthwave music.
KM: Who, in terms of creators, would you cite as influential on your approach to music?
CK: I'd like to cite lots of artists but I'll mention the ones who are most influential to me at the moment. First of all, I want to cite as an influence the cyberpunk world as iI said before, so books like Neuromancer, 1984 and films like Bladerunner and Ghost in The Shell. Musically speaking my influence goes from modern electro, synthwave, aggrotech, industrial, metal, D'n'B and especially film scores and videogame music.Artists like Hyper, NERO, Carpenter Brut, Depeche Mode, Rammstein, Hans Zimmer, Combichrist, High Contrast. Mix everything in a cauldron and you get the CK sound.
KM: Talk to me about how you approach music creation.
CK: I usually start in two ways: The first one is when I already have a clear idea in mind of the whole song, so get it ready step by step from the intro to the outro. The second one is having a main riff or hook around which I build the song.
KM: Give me a run down on your current projects and what's exciting you about them?
CK: My current projects are a new album called SYSTEM SHOCK coming up this winter. I've been working for several months with CZARINA on a big concept album entitled STARCROSS.
KM: Where would you like to take your musical career in the future?
CK: I always want to improve myself and learn new things. I always want to bring my music in new territories so i will probably experiment with a lots of other electronic music genres.
KM: Give me your thoughts on the #synthfam and what that community means for you.
CK: I think that synthwave has the best community in music at the moment. Everyone support everyone else, the curators and the shows are always nice and on point and that's why the genre is gaining a lot of traction. Support means growing together, big ups for the #synthfam!
KM: How do you recharge your creative batteries?
CK: I usually listen to some new music, read a book or watch a film. This way I always get some new inspiration and ideas for new tracks!