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Music Waves likes to meet new artists. Today, we give the floor to Altish to talk about his instrumental EP and his future projects.
CALGEPO - 05.11.2020 -
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Alitsh is a young artist who decided to start an instrumental adventure. As a one man band producer of "Chasing Lights", the musician talks about the use of DAW but also about his desires and future projects.

Music seems to be chasing you for a long time and yet we read that you learned the guitar relatively late, around 18, why this choice?

Alitsh: Indeed, I learned to play the piano and the xylophone at the age of 6, except that at that time music did not interest me and of course I did not find pleasure in playing these instruments . So I quit at the age of 9 and put my energy into sports. It was when I was 17 that I started listening to rock music (Avenged Sevenfold, All American Rejects, The Used, Nickelback, My Chemical Romance…). There was always a sound that attracted me, it was the electric guitar. And that's how my love of music came back not only as a fan but also as a serious and determined musician. So I started learning guitar in 2008 and bass in 2011.


How long did the process of creating "Chasing Lights" last, was it spontaneous or was the writing a lot more thoughtful?

Alitsh: It depends on the songs. Already written bass or guitar lines had been in the drawers for months or even years waiting for D-Day to find their place in a song. This was the case for example with 'Gone', 'The Bridge' and 'Far Away'. The other 2, 'Breakthrough' and 'The Endless Road' were all written in one shot. The complete writing, including recording, of each track took between 3 weeks and 1 month. So that between March and July 2020 I produced the 5 songs that make up this first EP "Chasing Lights".

This EP is essentially instrumental, why such a choice, is it because the music to you is sufficient to express the emotions?
Alitsh: I have always been passionate about the magic of music and its power to move mountains. Since I was 15, pure music without vocals has been my main motivator in life, by listening before it comes into practice. My brain and my emotions were and still are fed & healed by the music rich in instruments and fusion and in particular the movie themes (soundtracks) produced by the geniuses Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson, John Williams… and many other famous artists. Rock, metal, ambient and funk styles also have their place in my life and I regard them today as the essential elements through which I can sometimes express myself more quickly than with spoken or written words. To sum up, music for me will forever be the universal language and my favorite means of communication.
Releasing such an album today at a time when music has become a pure consumption product is relatively risky, do you measure this risk and how do you approach it?

Alitsh: My goal is not necessarily to follow the classical bands’ path. First I make music for myself and then I hope that my music will someday be part of the soundtracks of movies, video games or even commercials. Therefore, this EP and the others to come will be considered as my library of achievements to demonstrate my ability to produce music in different styles and in various contexts with both short and long durations.

In the way of approaching an instrumental album, some will highlight the technical qualities such as guitar heroes, how do you see the writing of such an album and what do you prefer?
Alitsh: It all starts with a simple idea, which I loop in Ableton Live session mode and around which I develop the lines of the other instruments. This idea can be a chorus or a verse or an intro or… The writing often starts with a fairly solid and thoughtful bassline. the rest revolves around. But quickly over a few tracks, other instruments can take the lead over a few passages or even over the entire track. I prefer the catchy and beautiful sound of each passage over the technique. Sometimes I develop very hard and technically loaded riffs or lines which I ultimately give up. Nevertheless, there are always technical passages in my songs in terms of solos as well as the time signatures which vary usually between 4: 4, 3: 4, 5: 4, 6: 8 and 7: 8.

The tracks are relatively short (except 'The Endless Road'), were you totally aware of trying to limit yourself to a specific duration and why such a choice because we could argue the lack of development as in the very pleasant title ' Far Away 'that we would like it to last a bit longer?
Alitsh: Yeah, it was totally conscious. The lengths of the tracks vary depending on the emotional state during the writing and the message I wanted to deliver. The duration for me is not a parameter to be set or determined at the start. I write freely without constraints and when my mind, my hands and my feelings tell me "it's okay we stop", I stop. Also, I don't aim to do songs that are 10 minutes long either, it's not something I like too much. Most music listeners after 5 minutes have had enough. On the other hand, and depending on demand, I could make soundtracks for movies and there the duration could be extended. Basically, for me there is no rule. It all depends on the feelings if these are my own instrumentals, and then on the demand if it’s a track to be created for someone else.
'The Endless Road' is the longest track and one of the most metal in the EP with sharp guitar riffs which establish a kind of duel with the bass (a bit like Dream Theater) and which is followed with a calm & slow bridge then the heavy part comes back, almost a progressive track, does this style speak to you and is it a way that you would like to explore?
Alitsh: I don't limit myself to a specific genre. Neither can I categorize myself as a rock/metal musician only. I don't have a defined color. Each EP will have its own color or even its colors and it all depends on the context. For example, the next EP will be rich in orchestral arrangements on a few tracks, ambient on others as well as electro and oriental. In other words, I consider myself as a free musician in a free world, which hovers where emotions take him. This is precisely the point that I have developed over the years so that I can finally adapt the music to what I feel and soon to movies / ads / video games ...

You bring a touch of modernity with some electro effects especially in "Far Away", in what proportion do you help yourself, if this is the case, with DAW (digital audio workstation)?
Alitsh: Yes, there is this modern electro touch that I now consider in my choice of samples and instruments. In this first EP we see it on 'Far Away'. On the next EP we will see it on several tracks. I find it hard to stay in the pure and old school where only the basic instruments such as bass, drums and guitar are the only consideration. I love subs, synths, new beats, orchestral instruments and especially reverbs that broaden the mood and make the sound distant. I use Ableton Live. I create my own sounds and sometimes I use samples or racks already created by other artists and then I adapt them to my taste.

This EP is a solo project, do you plan to start a band in the future and bring something more organic to life that matches your ambitions?
Alitsh: No, I am not planning to create a band. I am in the process of developing my proficiency in Ableton Live so that I can perform on stage alone using my computer, pads, synths and guitar / bass.

You are Franco-Egyptian, do you plan for your next projects to explore this mix between European and Eastern music a bit like Myrath because we know that musical mixing and fusion bring even more richness to the music ?
Alitsh: Yes, I am considering that. The next EP will consist of 6 tracks including 1 hardrock track and 1 electro rock, both with an oriental fusion. Oriental instruments such as the Egyptian flute and the Darbuka will be used.

Your music is very colorful like Original Film Soundtracks, would you be interested in working for the cinema and for whom?
Alitsh: Yes, this is my main goal. The first EP was a demonstration of my ability to produce my music entirely in self-production. The second will have a slightly more film and video games oriented structures thanks to the diversity of styles that vary between ambient, orchestral, rock, metal and electro. Today, I don't have any means to be part of the world of movies industry. I would love to develop soundtracks for Netflix, Ubisoft, EA Games and Disney productions. It's only a dream for now, but you never know ...

Music is often like a catharsis for musicians, where the instrument is often an extension of their emotions that they share, do you also see the music writing and the performance as such?
Alitsh: Music has always been a way for me to free myself from my constraints, to dream, to imagine myself in unimaginable situations. As I write each track I imagine the image that goes with it as a music video. The instrument is my tool to put it all together. I can start a song with a bassline or guitar or synth or drums ... So to answer the question more precisely, music is my world and the instrument is my flying broom that allows me to roam freely in it.

We are living a very dark period with this virus which leads to sometimes incomprehensible and very harsh decisions, especially for the culture and the musicians who can no longer express themselves live, how are you living this period? Does it inspire you for future projects?
Alitsh: This period was the trigger for this adventure. Things started before the lockdown last spring and came to fruition as the lockdown went on. The pessimistic news, my fragile health at that time following 2 operations as well as the death of relatives have awakened within me a deep desire to dare, to go further and to express myself freely through my music. I take the positive out of every situation and I don't go idle for long. Every day I build, I create, I develop and I learn. This adventure has only just begun and this very period provides me with the time I need to push my limits further and further.


What are you waiting for this EP?

Alitsh: This EP is just the beginning. I expect it to be heard all over the world. Right now the statistics show a strong appreciation among Americans. I didn’t orient any specific advertisement campaigns to specific countries. I let the EP surf the web freely and that's how I will be able to define my audience over time. In addition, the music video for 'The Bridge' will be released on November 11th on Youtube. I had fun working on it with the Crossroad association team based in Rouen-France. I hope this clip will also go around the world and become my first window into the world of movies scoring.

A final word for Music Waves readers?
Alitsh: Thanks for taking the time to read this interview. I am delighted to welcome you to my world and can't wait to surprise you with lots of new things that I am currently working on. The year 2021 will be even richer in interesting and varied content. Do not hesitate to follow me on social media, you will find all the links here.

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