This is Neon Chief’s fourth release on phuture so if he’s a stranger then you are a stranger to us! Having not missed an issue since he first joined, he has continually progressed to form the sound he brings us today which segues us to ‘Ryu’. ‘Ryu’ is the first track to be released on SUNRISE which we would rather let you listen opposed to us telling you about it with words. Go ahead and press play here below then continue scrolling to find our personal interview with Neon Chief himself!
Interview with Neon Chief:
phuture: Hey Neon Chief! We’ve already been through three other interviews together – so what could we possibly go over that the world doesn’t know already??! I guess we’ll have to make this interesting ;). So, let’s start it off right this instant – What was the last thing you listened to?
Neon Chief : Hiatus Kaiyote like a producer cliche. I just love the journeys that each of their albums takes the listener on haha
phuture: How did the theme of ‘SUNRISE’ inspire you here for ‘Ryu’? We’re interested as to how it got its name.
Neon Chief: Ryu means dragon in Japanese and it’s from the Japanese name for the East Asian god of the east, Seiryu, at least in this case. I imagined a dragon flying up from the horizon at sunrise, viewed from a Japanese monastery on a cliff over the ocean. The wood sounds in the beginning are meant to be a wake up call.
phuture: Looking back over 2016 what did you learn musically? What did you learn outside of music that you can take back into it?
Neon Chief : Musically and outside of it, I’ve learned the value of respecting and revering what is human. Mistakes, of course, but people focus too much on those. Unless a mistake is internalized and accepted, it offers us little. Producers make “cool mistakes” all the time but the truly talented ones can recreate their mistakes and use them as tools. So musically, that can be jamming over a loop with a friend and rolling with a missed note and creating something different out of it or accidentally cranking a random setting during production and using it as a signature sound in creative ways throughout your music. What do you do with your mistakes?
phuture: What DAW do you use, and why did you decide to use it?
Neon Chief : I use Ableton because I switched to Apple and got sick of dual booting just to run FL haha I find that I really like the logical side of Ableton too.
phuture: How old were you when you first started producing, how old are you now?
Neon Chief: : I was 18 when I started with FL. Now I’m 24, just enjoying the process.
phuture: What is your ultimate goal with your music?
Neon Chief : I try not to set concrete goals around things I love. My ultimate goal is to continue making music for the rest of my life. Making a living off of music would be great but the world is full of opportunities, beyond just the realm of music.
phuture: Your name is very interesting, how did you settle on such a unique name?
Neon Chief : Doodling in class haha. The word neon has always been a cool-ass word to me and then my neighbor’s dog was named Chief and my dad would yell it when he came running (hobbling) outside so that sound just pops in my head sometimes. Weird way to get a name for sure haha
phuture: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Neon Chief: Turkey Havarti sandwiches are my jam! I could probably make it on those alone haha
phuture: What is your favorite part of making a song?
Neon Chief :I love jamming over a simple beat and just exploring melodies and tonal space. Normally I put down the melodies and then start to sculpt the arrangement around that. And then the melody is based off the original bones of the beat so it all kind of feeds into itself.
phuture: What do you find most beneficial to your creative process?
Neon Chief : Relaxing. I force it sometimes and that’s the best way to make a lifeless song. It’s hard to just relax into production when life is breathing down your neck haha.
phuture: How do you feel about flat earth theory?
Neon Chief : Neil Degrasse-Tyson nailed it. Feeding ignorance is dangerous. Just look at Trump. I took a red eye from Denver to Iceland and the sun never set. Also there’s a whole different set of stars below the equator. I could keep proving it wrong haha