After getting in contact with me last year, these lads have been dropping singles on their SoundCloud and Bandcamp. Each one more blissful than the other.
I had a chat with the duo about their inspirations, future projects, opinions on SoundCloud and more:
Who is part of SON?
SON is a musical project by Ryan Bunney and Daniel White. We are both 18 years old and have been creating music collaboratively for the past five years in our bedrooms, achieving what we can between the two of us. We feel that it’s important to have something you enjoy concentrating and working on. For us, that’s been this project, which is a lot of fun.
Where are you guys from and where are you based now?
We are from Essex and are still limited to making music in our bedrooms, but for now can’t imagine it being any other way. Producing music at home makes the whole process very relaxed and it’s nice to know that everything we make comes from the hours spent in our rooms.
How did the name “SON” come about?
There is no big meaning behind the name. The idea stemmed from the Caribou song ‘Sun’ which is a track that we both love. After both of us endlessly singing the intro, our version of the name has stuck with us. We feel that there are multiple reasons as to why the name fits, but none are particularly significant.
How would you describe the music that you make?
Our music is a combination of what we love from both electronic and alternative music. We’ve always been massive fans of dance music so that naturally plays a huge part in our sound. We’re attracted to rhythmic beats and moving bass which not only do we enjoy listening to, but also love producing. Our tracks also consist of smooth melodic riffs that compliment the overall ambience and groove. As you already know, one of the best things about electronic music is that there are no limitations in terms of what sounds you can create. We both love discovering new sounds and finding ways to utilise them in our tracks. With the endless possibilities, naturally our sound will continue to develop making us excited to explore new ideas.
What artists influence you and your music?
We’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly where our inspiration comes from as we are constantly drawing ideas from what’s currently around us. Both of us are consistently finding new music, so to give an accurate list of exactly where our ideas originate from is very hard. We focus more on being inspired by certain themes, emotions and experiences that we can embed within our material. One major influence on our music is colour and how certain colours can portray certain feelings, which explains the colour theme that is carried throughout our artwork. Art is another major influence and the idea of lots of textures working together to create a composition is something that is carried throughout our project and creative process.
What does your live set-up consist of?
We try to keep our live set up simple, as we don’t want to over complicate anything. Within our set up we have a couple of synthesisers, drum machines, a hardware controller and some effects pedals for both vocals and guitar. The two of us try to make it as live as possible, which isn’t always easy, but is a key factor of our live set up.
Who would you say is the best artist you’ve seen live and why?
The two of us saw James Blake on the tail end of last year. That gig was a special one as we feel that he is a genius in his own right. The ability to have such complex electronic music played completely live by three musicians with no hidden tricks is so inspiring. It really sets the bar high for live electronic acts. We have seen a lot of live music together over the course of our friendship and every set has been enjoyable for different reasons.
D: I recently saw Sampha play at Rough Trade East in support of his debut record ‘Process’. It was an acoustic set made up of just him and a piano. His ability to capture and maintain the attention of everyone in the audience throughout the entire performance, with such a stripped back set up, was incredibly inspiring.
R: I was taken back by the intensity of Mandar’s live set for Unleash in London not too long ago. The three of them were locked in creating what was needed for the dance floor at every moment, making it such a special act to catch. There was so much movement, watching them deliver it was both extremely impressive and enjoyable.
How important do you feel live performance is in electronic music specifically?
Watching live music is always very enjoyable and it’s such a captivating experience for both the audience and performer. We appreciate electronic music a lot when it’s performed live as we know how hard it can be to create a fully live electronic set. In our opinion, its much more effective when you can see how a song moves and develops in a live environment. You can really feel the emotion that’s attached to the music when someone is performing it right in front of you. So yeah, for us we feel it’s important.
You’ve released 4 amazing singles, any plans for a full-length project coming up?
Thank you. As it stands, we are currently half way through producing an EP, which we are very excited to be able to share in a few months time. We’re enjoying writing songs that are part of a collective rather than just having stand alone tracks. What we have so far we are very happy with, so we are feeling very optimistic about the final product.
How does your creative process work between the two of you?
Our creative process differs with every track. We’ve always made our music using our live set up as we found it to be not only a fun way of producing, but also an effective way of approaching our live sets, as we already know how to play them live before even coming to start the recording process. We’ve never sat at a computer together to start a track. Instead, we will use our live equipment, normally starting with just a piano and a notepad to build the foundations. Once we feel that we are on to something that we like, we will then start to express our ideas for where we want to take the track. We follow very little, if any, writing structure when creating, but try to bounce as many ideas as possible off of each other.
I personally have a love/hate relationship with SoundCloud. There are many positives and negatives to using the platform to release your work. What’s your opinion on the whole “SoundCloud producer” scene and SoundCloud as a music platform in general?
As for many, Soundcloud was the first platform that we starting sharing music on. It’s very easy, which of course is helpful for up and coming producers and musicians, but we can’t help but notice the decline in how useful Soundcloud is for us. We feel that it could just be a temporary stepping-stone that we can use to share our music, until a more appropriate platform is assessable for us to use. Although we continue to use it, we find Bandcamp to be our preferred platform as there is much more control with how you want to present your music and promote yourself. We just wished more people used it, as it seems to be mainly musicians that do. Although Soundcloud does have its drawbacks, its integration with social media is very effective as you can listen to someone’s music very quickly without having to leave the website you’re on.
Where do you guys see yourselves this time next year?
Throughout the course of the next year, we plan to continue learning as much as we can about writing and producing. We want to carry on making music that we love, sharing as much of it as possible. We are excited to gig more, as live performance is a wicked way of showcasing what we enjoy spending our time on.
Written by Stanley Sorrell