EARSLEY Talks about His New Single "Still Here" & Production!
We are excited to have had the chance to ask the talented producer & curator Nate Earsley about his new single "Still Here" and about his production methods! You can read the full interview below!
First things first, introduce yourself. Let the world know who you are, what you do, where you're from and how long you have been doing music.
My name is Nate Earsley, I produce under EARSLEY, I help with TRAPSTYLE and I founded and run EARCVNDY. I currently reside in LA but I was born and raised in a small town in northern California where the mountains meet the sea, Carmel.
Who are your major influencers when it comes to producing music?
My major influencers when it comes to PRODUCING are all over. Originally I was infatuated with dubstep and tried emulating Skrillex and Zomboy for a while, which was silly because I had come from a hip-hop background and blues/ classic rock before that, drawing from influences like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Black Crows, to hip-hop influences like Eminem, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Tech N9ne, even more modern influences like, The Offspring, Soundgarden, Linking park, and many others from other phases of my musical endeavors. Getting back to producing though, once I started to find myself again by tapping back into my roots, I have recently been more inspired by artists like Troyboi, Illenium, Seven Lions, Mr. Carmack, San Holo and actually, I am most inspired by artists I deal with personally. All of the releases I have had the pleasure of releasing on EARCVNDY have inspired me in one way or another, and a few of my close homies and even roommates like KAIVON, IT’S DIFFERENT, SHIP WREK, BARON FIELDS, and WOLFE to name a few, have really inspired me. My music is mostly vocally driven now though, so for that, I draw from influences like Post Malone, Blackbear, 21 Pilots, Hosier, even more, indie acts like Jarryd James and Vancouver Sleep Clinic. All in all my influences are vast and draw from all kinds of obscure places.
What genres of music do you find yourself listening to daily?
Honestly, my days are mainly taken up by listening to new music, music submissions or music from friends and artists in the community for feedback or critique. A lot of those tracks wind up on repeat, many of which are em tracks from dubstep to future/chill. When I do find the time, however, I bounce around from mainly indie pop to hip-hop. What can I say different music suits different settings or moods?
Why did you decide to become a producer & Curator?
I decided to become a producer after I spent my entire adolescence infatuated with music. I started playing guitar and singing at a young age and wound up being the front man in a couple classic rock/blues bands through high school. During that time, however, I was introduced to GarageBand by a friend and fellow bandmate, at which point my natural curiosity drove me to dive into production and creating music on a DAW. I was making hip-hop beats for a while before I decided to start rapping over them. It wasn’t until later when another close homie introduced me to reason and “dubstep” that I started dabbling with EDM. The journey to where I am now has been long and I know I am still early on my path, but somewhere along the way, I thought it would be cool/fun if I could start/ curate my own network. After meeting a few essential people and experiencing the “industry” from the inside for the first time I decided to give it a go and EARCVNDY was born.
Do you follow a certain formula when you write songs?
I actually have been following a certain formula when writing songs. Lyrics always come first, typically with a melody, and it usually starts with one line that comes to me during the day, typically sparked by something or inspired by something that just happened. Usually, the first line you hear in the song is the first line I wrote, that has been the case with all three singles this year. After that chords will naturally follow, I usually mess around with combinations before coming up with the most suitable, and that is something I want to get much better at, picking the chords that will have the most impact with the lyrics.
Out of all your releases and/or remixes, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite of my own releases?! I really liked the vocals in Still Here but overall I think Serenity has a more emotional impact... I don’t know honestly I just like the key signature in that song and the way the drop came together I guess. I will have another single coming soon to finish the year, which I am excited for, and some big vocal features in a process that I am even more excited for!
Which song did you have the most trouble writing? Why?
The songs that I’ve had the most trouble writing are the songs you never hear, however, I guess out of the recent one's Endeavor took the longest! There was a lot of tracks and a lot of vocals in that one.
What types of things inspire you to write?
Honestly I am inspired by all kinds of things, other music, other forms of art, peoples stories, even stuff I see on Netflix, however pretty much everything you hear is directly taken from my life experiences or derived from my personal ideas and views.
How much time do you spend writing per week?
Writing for me cannot really be planned, I always have to write spontaneously when a good idea comes to me, which can be at really inopportune times on occasion, like when I was in class, or when I’m driving. Those are typically the songs that get finished, the ones that just come to me. It’s like I have to write them down before they slip away forever. This being my style means my time spent on writing fluctuates greatly, some weeks I do no writing at all, others I spend 40 hours or more writing multiple songs.
What is the story behind your new single “Still Here”?
The story behind “STILL HERE” is quite simple and I believe it is relatable to many who are pursuing their dreams in this career. It’s about continuing to follow the unstable path towards achieving your goals despite what anyone else says, despite the looming fear of failure, and despite the struggles, you may encounter along the journey. I started writing it after I was just singing in the shower one day “I’m trine make some money, following my dreams” for no apparent reason. From there the song just kind of pieced itself together.
Did you write this song by yourself or was it a collaboration?
I wrote the song all alone, as I do for all originals, and all vocal parts I do.
Did this song easily come to you in terms of arrangement? Or were there any struggles?
The song was thrown together around the lyrics, the pluck progression came first underneath those lyrics and the drop was derived from the pluck but is a mutation of the melody. At first, the song was too cluttered, having tried to fit too many ideas into the drop as I tend to do in the beginning of many projects, but after I trimmed down the excess unnecessary details that were distracting from what was important, I was finally satisfied. On a side note, multiple layers of chords are hard to eq into a mix!
Was this song recorded in a studio or from home? Do you prefer one over the other?
This one was actually recorded in Studio Icon, the master studio located at Icon Collective here in LA, however, I also record quite a bit at home, in a pretty solid makeshift studio my roommates and I threw together. All though, the quality in a facility like Studio Icon is superior, I do enjoy recording at home because it is ultimately the most comfortable, and the time factor is not so much an issue, all though I do share it with my roommates, who are also producers/songwriters / musicians.
Where can people listen/stream this new single?
You can stream the new single on my artist page on Spotify or Soundcloud, just type in EARSLEY on either! It is also available for follow to download on my Soundcloud, or on all digital stores aside from Beatport if you prefer to own a copy.
What is your “go to” plugins when creating a song?
My go-to plugins are nothing fancy! First of all, I use Ableton. I’m not a crazy sound designer but I definitely use serum as my go-to synth for basically anything digital. I like Kontakt a lot for orchestral and cinematic vibes, but I do use the occasional Ableton synth still. I definitely like the waves CLA series and always use it for the guitar, and some vocals, all through a lot of the time I just use EQ, OTT, and Saturation on my vocals, in that order, with settings I’ve been tweaking for a while now to try to get it just right. Like I said I don’t really use anything too crazy but I will say I am a huge advocate of Melodyne, though the goal is to have to use it as little as possible! It really just helps every note in a vocal fall right into place! One last thing I’ve really been loving lately is this Manny Marroquin reverb plugin, which has been the only reverb I have been using for a little while now.
The Drunken Coconut