Nicholas Gunn: Sit Down Interview
In this interview, we delve into the musical journey, creative process and influences of Nicholas Gunn, a versatile artist who has made significant contributions to Electronic music. Gunn shares insights into his early influences, how his diverse musical background shaped his unique style, and the impact of collaboration on his creative process, join us as we learn more about the influences that helped shape his unique style and signature sound.
Hi Nicholas! How are you today?
I am well and thanks for asking!
Can you share some of your earliest musical influences that inspired you to pursue a career in music, particularly in the Electronic and Chill genres?
I started long before Electronic and Chill really had an identity, but I was already starting to use the first electronic keyboards at that time such as the Roland D-50, Yamaha DX7 and the Ensoniq EPS Performance Sampler. My early influences were Vangelis, Enigma and B-Tribe as well as other artists that were bridging the gaps between early groove based / Chill music and what would soon become a strong Electronic music market. Those artists appealed to my classical training (Vangelis) where the music was panoramic and textural.
Your career began in World Music before transitioning into Electronic Music. How did your diverse musical background influence your unique style as a producer? Everything I did early on was mostly acoustic and analog based, so there was a real tactile approach to creating music with limitations. Limitations meaning having to work with open reel tape decks rather than unlimited tracks on a DAW. Those kinds of limitations teach you to think differently. It became more about getting a ton out of very little. So, when I approach music today, I find myself making choices with sounds and textures that fit without having to manipulate too much. Like they say, keep it simple! That combined with how I write music, making it about the song first rather than about sound design. It all creates a style and sound that belongs to me, I feel.
Could you name a few artists or composers who have had a profound impact on your music and production techniques?
“In The End” is out now. Can you tell us about the specific musical influences and inspirations behind this track?
I went a little more Progressive on ‘’In the End as several of my previous tracks have been classic uplifting tracks, more or less. Inspiration is all about the one that got away. Love. Is there a better topic? I think the contrast you can create between dreamy topics (such as love) and the hard-hitting sound design of trance can lend itself to some amazing feels.
Collaboration seems to be a recurring theme in your career, how do working with other artists influence your creative process and the direction of your music?
‘In the End’ is my first solo trance track featuring Alina Renae. A singer who I’ve worked with and has become my voice for many years. In Trance, I’ve written for and collaborated with Armin van Burren and Aly & Fila (For All Time), Giuseppe Ottaviani (Broken), Richard Durand (Fallen and Not Afraid), as well as many others, so it’s crazy to think this is my first solo tune in that genre. Bur prior to Trance collabs, I released several hundred tracks that are not collabs including many of my recent Chill House tunes. I would say, looking sat my entire body of work, collabs are less frequent than one would think…
Your music often features dreamy and ethereal elements, can you share some sources of inspiration for creating these atmospheres in your tracks?
Vangelis. His melodies deeply influenced me in every way. His production style was panoramic, vast, and endless. I also want to leave my listeners with a yearning. You can hit hard and party with much of Electronic Dance music, but those melodies that float and cast a dreamy spell are the ones we really yearn for, at least in my humble opinion.
As a producer, how do you balance your signature style with staying current in the ever-evolving world of Electronic music?
I keep a healthy distance. I’ve had a long enough career to understand there is no glory in sounding like everyone else. In fact, it’s pretty embarrassing ten or twenty years down the line. Being original is often unpopular. But, if you have something special to share as an artist, fans will jump on board. Fans follow artists not genres, so you gotta be brave and keep a healthy distance from the trend while keeping one ear to the ground. It’s all in the balance.
You’ve had the opportunity to work with renowned artists like Armin van Buuren and Andrew Rayel; how have these collaborations influenced your growth as a musician?
It was a great experience to work with artists that are doing well. The biggest thing I learned from those associations is that it takes teams to create amazing productions and tunes. Not always, just sometimes…
Looking ahead, are there any new music styles or genres you’re eager to explore or experiment with in your upcoming productions?
Not really. Just staying the course. No fear. No desire to adhere to genre or expectations. No conditions. Just pure creativity and letting it take me where it needs to take me. This is why I have my own label…
We thank Nicholas Gunn for his time talking with us and discussing his musical journey so far, and the sounds and artists that inspired him to create his own path in Electronic music. As he promises new music on the horizon, that keeps pushing boundaries and presenting him as a name to follow, don’t forget to keep an eye on his name, as this journey has just begun.
Nicholas Gunn Online