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Interview: 2020 Must-Know - Instupendo

Interview: 2020 Must-Know - Instupendo

2019 was a big year for Instupendo (aka Aidan Peterson). It saw the release of his 'Boys By Girls' EP, the third EP he's released, but the first of which sees his own vocals included in the dreamy, ambient sounds. First making a name for himself as a SoundCloud producer, his instrumental music has developed over the years into a realm that's not only hard to define, but hard to draw comparisons from to other artists today.

Since sharing the EP last year, he's gone on to share a remixed version of each song - with No Rome and Dylan Brady (of 100 gecs) contributing and breathing new life into the songs.

Having previously collaborated with the likes of Roy Blair (he provided production on 'Grow Up'), Maxwell Young and Lontalius (they all feature on Young's 'Evergreen'), Instupendo's sound continues to expand upon each release - and with him already working on music to release this year, it's an exciting time to be listening to this talented young producer.

MUST-LISTEN: 'Cinderella', 'Sugar', 'Fleur', 'Antidote'.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Lontalius, The Japanese House, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, Roy Blair, No Rome... and a late-night game of Pokémon.

COUP DE MAIN: 'Boys By Girls' is your third EP release - do you think you'll work towards another EP or an album next?
INSTUPENDO: I’m not really sure what kind of package the next music will come in, but I have a bunch of stuff I’m working on and refining.

CDM: What do you have planned for 2020 so far?
INSTUPENDO: A lottttt. I have a running note in my phone of every idea I have, and the 2020 part of it is like a hundred lines long. We’ll see what happens though. I just got the test pressings of the ‘Boys By Girls’ + ‘Bbg Remixed: R’ vinyl, so I can say that’s coming soon enough :)

CDM: It's the first EP of yours which features your own vocals, which is so exciting! How did you first start approaching putting lyrics and your singing into songs?
INSTUPENDO: I’ve always approached my music texturally rather than technically and I came to vocals the same way. I was more focused on how the words and cadence fit in the collage of the song rather than what was being said. The lyrics developed gradually as I got closer to figuring out what the songs were about.

CDM: Do you write your lyrics specifically for the songs, or do you write poems or prose and then evolve them into song-form?
INSTUPENDO: I have this huge rolling note in my phone of phrases I think of or see throughout the day, and then eventually I sit down and stitch them together to turn them into lyrics. It’s cute because it’s also like a diary.

CDM: What's it been like performing live with your vocals now? It must add another layer to the live show.
INSTUPENDO: Singing live is so much fun. I’m fidgety, so being able to walk around rather than being stationed in front of the keys makes me sooo much more comfortable up on stage. I also like looking around into the crowd and meeting the eyes of people looking back at me, something I can’t really do as much when I’m just playing keys :(

CDM: In 'Cinderella' you sing, "I’m still stuck in a digital purgatory." Do you think that living in an age where we're all expected to live online means that we're all living in a digital purgatory?
INSTUPENDO: Kind of. I personally think the coolest people are the ones who you rarely see online. The magic of life is lost when you know what everyone’s up to.

CDM: It's been cool that you're releasing a new remix of each song - what's it been like hearing all the re-workings of the songs?
INSTUPENDO: It’s like all my friends came over and played dress-up with my songs. It’s cool hearing a song you know so well turned into something blissfully unfamiliar :)

CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
INSTUPENDO: I kind of just sit down at my desk for the whole day, working on a song until ideas don’t come easy anymore, and then I’ll pivot to a different song and repeat that until I get bored for the day. The hardest part is the last 2% of the song when I’m really just tweaking random stuff for no reason. Someone make it stopppp! Let me out.

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
INSTUPENDO: Out of the songs on ‘Boys By Girls’, probably 'Cinderella'. I recorded most of it while my roommate was asleep, so I had to restrain my urge to tweak the lyrics because I was afraid I would wake him up. The words you hear are pretty much the same as the ones on the first demo.

CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?
INSTUPENDO: Context. You can always get some songwriting scientist to make a song that will literally “sound good”, but it’s so much cooler when people take musical conventions and stick them in different musical contexts. Pop Smoke rapping over UK drill beats, Joy Again singing country songs over video game music, Lil Uzi rapping over trance progressions, this is cool to me.

CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
INSTUPENDO: I made my first full song ever when I was 12. It was a remix of this Doctor P song called 'Shishkabob' that I thought was sooooooo sick at the time. It didn’t really mean anything but I showed all my friends and they said it was cool and that meant a lot to me :)

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
INSTUPENDO: I hope that they feel revived or uplifted because they like the way it sounds or they can relate or just because something nice happened to them while they were listening to it. I just want to help <3

CDM: If I.N.S.T.U.P.E.N.D.O. were an acronym, what would each letter stand for?

CDM: What’s on your bucket-list?
INSTUPENDO: I really want to hold a speedrun record one day.

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2020… who are yours?
INSTUPENDO: Erika de Casier, Oli XL, Machine Girl, & Helica.

CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence, what would it be?
INSTUPENDO: The corruption within the hearts of the most evil so I can dispose of it.

CDM: If you were a country, what would be your national anthem?
INSTUPENDO: Drake - 'Charged Up'.

Watch Instupendo's 'Antidote' music video below...

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