Leftenent Interview - Glistening Electronic Music
Leftenent is the new solo project by Sydney-based vocalist/producer/engineer Antonia Gauci. Grown out of late night experimentation, determination and encouragement from some of the kindest souls in Sydney’s music community, Leftenent is making a glistening contribution to the electronic music landscape.
Futuremag Music: Working as a producer and recording and mixing engineer, what are some of your favourite songs you’ve worked on? What is the most challenging part about mixing music?
Leftenent: Some of my favourites I cannot share with you just yet as they are still unreleased works, but one that has been recently released is 'Praying' by Kesha. I recorded piano and backing vocals for that track, and it was a privilege to work with Ryan Lewis, Ben Abraham and All Our Exes Live In Texas behind the scenes on it. The most challenging part I find in mixing is to give both the sense of clarity and cohesion, while still making the song sound like a song and not too much of a "technical mix". Some times things can sound technically "bad" but it may work in favour of the track. You've gotta know when to run with things, and when try new approaches or perspectives as sometimes you can get trapped in the whole thing.
Futuremag Music: Can you talk us through the creative process of your latest track ‘We Can Do Better’?
Leftenent: 'We Can Do Better' started as a soundscape a few years back. I came across it while searching for a back up of another project on my hard drive. I'd recently exchanged samples with a friend, so the percussion and bass ideas came together in an afternoon of exploration on another drive. The chords and melody came out in a few hours, but the lyrics took a while to solidify into what they are now. Words always come last for me as I struggle to articulate what I want to say.
The song got a bit of surgery as time progressed. Jack and I sat with it for long periods of time before adding or changing any of the elements. The final section of the track was a beast to tame - there were a few other vocal parts which didn't make the cut, but we knew that something was still missing. The horns (played by Anatole, Jonathan Baker) ended up being the missing piece to the puzzle.
Futuremag Music: What tips would you give engineers and producers who’re just starting out?
Leftenent: Be friendly and approachable. Remain positive. Pester your friends to record them. Don't lose your love of music. Keep going! Keep trying!
Futuremag Music: If you could make a cocktail called 'Leftenent’, what would you put into it? To best describe you and your music.
Leftenent: I wouldn't know the first place to start in making a cocktail, but I do love a whiskey and dry with fresh lime. Dark, hard hitting, but softened and refreshing.
Futuremag Music: What does the future hold for Leftenent project?
Leftenent: We'll all just have to wait and see what unfolds...