Ever since he was a child, Uncle_NeX would drum up rhythms while listening to music, play on the piano whenever he got the chance and create and sing his very own songs. He has always been fascinated by counter-melodies and harmonies.
When he was in high school, he signed up for music theory classes and continued to take similar course until graduation. For his senior project, he was to take sound samples from anything he could find, compile them using an audio editing software and create a song. The project sparked his interest for music production and since then, Uncle_NeX has shared his work on SoundCloud, as well as YouTube. Currently, he is partnering up with Scorpia Tournaments to provide us with some custom tunes.
We interviewed Uncle_NeX about the idea behind his music, how his work reflects his views and vice versa, as well as the process behind his music production.
What is the idea behind your music?
Uncle_NeX: The main premise behind my music can be summed up into three words: “I hate Genres.” I have always disliked the idea of classifying music into multiple different sub-categories, allowing people to say things like, “Heavy Metal sucks” or “All Country music is garbage.” To me, music is one of two things: good music or music I don’t prefer. I don’t believe that there is a such thing as “bad music,” because at least one person will always enjoy a song; and if one person likes a song, then it isn’t “bad.” So, with my music, I try to blend multiple “genres” into one song and make records of all “genres.” Hopefully, I will spearhead the movement into weeding genres out and opening people up to types of music they normally wouldn’t listen to.
How does your music reflect your view on life? And how does your view on life affect your music?
Uncle_NeX: Well, my view on life is considered a bit odd. Through many hardships from a young age, including, but not limited to many deaths of loved ones and my parents getting divorced when I was seven, I had a broad understanding of the futility of life and how fragile it can be. To most, this would be something negative and a massive setback. However, I learned a lot very early on from this. I try to portray my outlook on the beauty of life in many ways through music. One being that nothing is perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. Modern music focuses so much on trying to get everything to sound as close to perfect as possible and in the process, loses a lot of that raw feeling that makes music so marvelous. So, I purposefully don’t tune my vocals unless specific sections of a song calls for that precise harmony. Otherwise, I just leave the vocals with that raw imperfection that is the human voice. Without getting into the science of it too much, basically, the human voice is physically incapable of producing perfect pitch. There will always be inconsistencies in notes and vocal artifacts, because we produce sound by vibrations. Vibrations are not static, therefore, cannot produce static pitch.
Why is being able to express your interests, views and thoughts through a musical medium important to you?
Uncle_NeX: Music, and all other platforms of entertainment, are the absolute best way to express your inner self. I treat my music just as I treat a conversation with another person. I am raw, uncut, blunt and brutally honest. I don’t believe in the social stigma of masking yourself or sugar coating what you say in order to protect someone else. So, being able to take a tough topic or a deep and depressive thought and conveying that in a beautiful way that is fun to listen to — that is what music is about to me. If my music can brighten somebody’s day, teach someone my wisdom or help at least one person, I’ve accomplished what I wanted to.
What are some of the challenges you face while producing music? How do you overcome these challenges?
Uncle_NeX: The main challenge I face when producing is vocal melody. I can make melodies with instruments, record drums and lay out a track easily all day. But when it comes the time to record vocals, I tend to have an issue making a dynamic counter-melody that flows with the lyrics. I’m not too sure on why I have this issue, as I can do it with instruments easily. In order to overcome it, I tend to make the melody on my piano and plug the vocals over that. Even then, I sometimes get too caught up in the melody and I make it very difficult to sing. So when that happens, I will take a break and come back to the song later. Sometimes, I leave it alone for a day or so and return with a fresh ear. When you do that, your ears are no longer used to the sounds of the song and you start to notice things you don’t like or exactly what is missing musically.
What are you most looking forwards to with Scorpia Tournaments?
Uncle_NeX: I am most looking forward to the next season of matches, as well as the bright future this company has ahead of it.
What is the support like for the music you produce?
Uncle_NeX: The support for my music is absolutely amazing. Always has been, since I was in my old band for a few years. My father has been playing guitar, singing and writing music since he was 12 and been in bands since he was 15. I have the utmost support from him. He will even hear me working on an instrumental, bring his guitar into the studio and record some riffs over it. My mother would support everything I did in my band, including going to all my shows, helping with costs when we would go on tour and selling merch and tickets to her friends and coworkers. She loves metal and would actually go to the shows to listen to the music — not just to support her son. My brother is on the same boat as me, in a way. He’s been writing music since he was little and went to college for music composition and percussion. He currently teaches at two high schools and is an audio engineer for the Cadets at Drum Corps International. My immediate family is very supportive, as well as my close friends. I am very fortunate to have the life I do, the connections I’ve made and the friends and family I have been blessed with.
What is a song that you are very proud of, and why that particular song?
Uncle_NeX: Well, from a production standpoint, I am most proud of the song “Resurrection” that I just released. I put a lot of work into making it sound the absolute best I could and the finished product is absolutely amazing. However, the record that I am most proud of on a personal level is a track called “The Last Curtain Call.” This song was made directly after my high school drama teacher unfortunately passed away. I made it in his memory and the lyrics were directly related to advice he had given me during tough times. He was more than just a teacher to me — he was a life mentor, a great friend — he was family. I’ve struggled with clinically diagnosed severe depression and anxiety my whole life, as well as atypical ADHD. When things would get rough in high school, I would go to his office and he would just listen. He would give me some of the best advice I have ever been given. He gave me the courage, confidence and drive I needed to be successful. I’m unsure where I would be in life if it weren’t for this man and I owe everything I accomplish to him. I just wish that he were here to see how far I have come, as well as the impact he had on my life. May god rest his soul and he be looking down on me, proud of the man I have become. Rest in peace, M.
What’s next for you?
Uncle_NeX: Anything is possible. I will continue to grow as not only a streamer, caster and music producer, but as a person. I will experience life to its fullest and make an impact on this world that will never be forgotten. The only limitations in life are those you set for yourself. Always remember that others can only see things from their level of perception — don’t let their reality corrupt yours.
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- 22nd October 2018