Melodical Musings: FM-84

Connecting design with music has been an old tradition from days gone by, We have the ability has nothing but love for the melodical, particularly of the synthwave kind. What better way to get to know more about music than to get in touch with some of the great artists responsible for producing it.

“Sun-soaked 80s inspired cinematic synth pop. The sound of a summer long gone.” is what written on FM-84’s Facebook and it perfectly describes the feels one will get, lets get to know what feels he gets…


Describe what you want your music to do others?

For 80s kids like myself, I hope that the music transports them back to that feeling of innocence and wonder. Playing outdoors, building tree houses, trying to be a Goonie and wishing you could take a ride with Max, the spaceship from Flight of the Navigator. For people born in the 90s and 00s, I hope that the balance of nostalgic elements with a modern approach is a refreshing alternative to mainstream pop and electronic music today.


When was the exact moment that sparked the thought that music was the direction for your career?

Even though music isn’t my main career, it has always been my first love. My dad was a DJ in the 70s so I grew up with music at the center of my world. In my late teens I was torn between following a path of art or music. I chose art school and ultimately a career in graphic design. I love design but writing and producing music will always be my passion.


What influences in your life contribute to your creative process?

Creativity is at the heart and soul of everything I do. I’ve been writing music as a hobby for decades. I draw inspiration from my eclectic music taste, design, travel and cinema. It all forms a sound that’s born from my own experiences and in many ways is a reflection of me.


What is it about this particular music genre that keeps you inspired to create more?

I’m always looking for ways to evolve my sound and keep it fresh, but familiar. The 80s will always be at the heart of how I approach melodies and songwriting. Retrowave is a nostalgic window back to my childhood and I love to embrace everything that goes with it.


Who in the genre at the moment do you think is nailing it?

The Midnight are a huge influence on me. Tim and Tyler continually blow me away with the quality of their songwriting and production. Their latest remix of Kyra by Clubhouse is a masterclass of production and arrangement. It’s a dream to be jointly headlining our first live show with them in San Francisco on July 14. I’m also a huge fan of The Northern Lights (aka Astronaut Arcade). His approach to songwriting, chord structures and melodies blows me away. I also love his balance between acoustic and electronic elements. His sound is a huge influence on me and I’m constantly amazed by his talents.


Do you think commercial success is a positive thing or do you think keeping it under the radar keeps the artist aspect of the music?

While it’s cool to be an underground act, I think it’s a positive thing if your music can reach more people. I’m very proud of the success Atlas has had within the retrowave community. Well beyond my wildest dreams. Outside the scene, I’m lucky that more and more people have heard of FM-84, but at the same time it’s far from being a huge mainstream success. Songwriting with Ollie Wride is a dream combination and I’m hoping that the quality of the music we’re creating together is high enough to someday crossover to the mainstream. I’d love to hear one of our songs on commercial radio. That’s the dream


What song would you consider to be your life theme?

Offshore (Disco Citizens Remix) by Chicane from 1996 is the one track that defines me. I was hugely into progressive house (Sasha, John Digweed etc.) in the mid 90s and I can still remember the moment my best friend Alan played it to me. It was everything I ever dreamt of hearing in a track. It blew me away. Every note, every element – including the subtle reference to Love On A Real Train by Tangerine Dream – made it the perfect track. It reflects everything I love about music and its influence is heard on everything I produce.


You can find more FM-84 over at his SoundcloudBandcamp and Facebook


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