Shiny And Colourful: An Interview With Pusher
One of the most significant traits about an artist is their ability to create a unique sound and image for themselves. An artist who identifies his music as “shiny” and “colourful”, and who has a very unique story behind his album art, producer Pusher is a perfect example of this concept. We had the opportunity to ask a few questions to the artist himself, and his honest and insightful responses are a perfect window into who he is as both an artist and as a human being.
You have a very unique sound. How would you describe your style/genre?
I describe it as shiny and colourful, and I call it neon but that’s just to give people something to call it. In reality I steal from everything I’ve ever heard and mix it together.
When and how did you know you wanted to produce music?
It happened pretty naturally. I’ve always been really interested in music and spent a long time learning to play the piano, but I want to reach people with my music so I work in the electronic realm because that’s what’s cutting-edge right now. I dabbled in recording software years ago but got into it more seriously towards the end of my music degree when I started using Logic to score short films and ads and games and stuff like that.
What has been a pivotal moment for you in your career thus far?
There have been a few upticks but the success of Clear (ft. Mothica) was the biggest one in terms of opening doors. It got a lot of people to pay attention to the stuff I’m working on and the world I’m creating.
What passions do you have outside of music?
I’m super interested in lots of things, and I have to be careful to not let them sidetrack me too much. I like learning about languages (I’m only fluent in English, but I like to have a sense of other ones) – right now I’m learning German with Duolingo. I also recently just learned Toki Pona which is the smallest language that exists – it only has like 123 words. I like to read, I like to cycle in the summer. I’m pretty low-key in my hobbies. I try to put all of my craziness into my music.
We will be able to see your set at Lights All Night in Dallas on New Years Eve. Can you tell us what to expect from your set?
You can expect to hear all of the best music I’ve heard recently that goes hard enough to dance to. I always want to play just really beautiful music to share it with people but there’s a certain chill threshold to keep people moving that I have to stay above. Also I will be playing much of New Laces. It’s tricky to work them into a DJ set but they’ll be there.
Any New Year’s Resolutions?
More of the things that make me flourish, less of the things that make me lazy. Focus on producing and releasing music, meditating, physical activity, learning, reading.
Who have been your biggest musical inspirations over time?
In order since I first became obsessed – Little Richard, RHCP, Eminem, The Beatles, Radiohead, John Coltrane, Brad Mehldau, Gustav Holst, Doc McKinney, Skrillex, Madeon, Porter Robinson. Since I started producing it’s been absolutely all over the map. I just follow my ears now, I trust my ears more than anybody or any ideas or trends.
Who are your favourite artists currently?
SOPHIE. Hands down. There’s a rare bit of genius happening there and I admire the sheer originality.
Your album art always follows a certain style and pattern. What inspired the look that you’ve created?
I was temporarily infatuated with pixel art when I started the project, and I wanted to have a sort-of mascot for my music like Deadmau5 or Pink Floyd. I had no money for art and I was making no money from music so I drew it myself cause it was fairly easy. As I’ve been developing my sound and working with vocalists and lyricists I feel like there’s been an extra layer of depth added to the sound, so I wanted the art to literally be 3D to match. I scoured Instagram for weeks before I found Kenji Chai who has done my album art for New Laces. He’s a Kuala Lumpur-based graffiti artist and I really admire his work. I told him to take my pixel art character and make it more “Super Mario meets Felix the Cat”.
Everyone has one, what is your guilty pleasure?
Ugh, junk food. Especially sweet stuff. I try not to eat it but it’s addictive. I don’t have a level of addiction where I’m crawling out of my skin, but it’s hard to avoid even though I want to be healthier.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring musicians or producers, what would it be?
Work hard be mindful of yourself. Nobody fails, they just give up. If you can avoid giving up forever you will only get better. Nobody works at something every day and gets worse at it, that would be ridiculous.
What’s next for you and your music?
Onward and upward. I will make more of it, do more shows, travel more. I feel like I’m beginning to find my stride with producing ‘Pusher’ stuff and that’s exciting.
What’s something we would be surprised to know about you?
I’m missing a small but noticeable fragment of one of my fingers since it was taken from me by the chain of an exercise bike when I was like 10.
Please tell everyone where they can follow you:
In the following order:
– where you’ll get all of my music, you know, the actual reason anybody cares I exist
Facebook – www.facebook.com/its.Pusher
– where I can actually communicate with you in words
Twitter – www.twitter.com/itsPusher
– updates, endless dad jokes, contests for free tickets, etc…
Instagram – www.instagram.com/itsPusher
– all killer no filler
Soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/itsPusher
– music again, including stuff I can’t legally put on Spotify
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