Pensive Interview - Leading The Way
Meet Pensive, an up and coming Aussie producer who's leading the way for a new generation. The 17 year old's mature and developed sound has caught the attention of ambient heavy hitters, Weroh K, Myst, and Raiku resulting in 'Klexos', one of Pensive's strongest releases to date. We had a chat to Pensive to uncover his production secrets, the collaboration process on 'Klexos', plus more!
Futuremag Music: How'd you move into production? What's your relationship with music been like over the years?
Pensive: I was never involved in music much in my childhood, I never played an instrument or took classes. When I was in my first year of high school a friend showed me Skrillex's 'Bangarang' and I was just hooked from then on! I started listening to a whole heap of electronic music, mainly house, dubstep and DnB. After a while I became so immersed in the world of electronic music I decided I would give it a go myself. So with no music experience at all, I got a demo version of FL and started playing around. It wasn't until a few years later when I was about 15 or 16 I began making less bass orientated tracks and began making chilled and ambient tunes. There's just something personal about deeper tunes that hits me. It's fun to make bass'ier genres, but its a whole new world when you make chill. In late 2016, I met Brisbane ambient producer Tom Hartney, we have made a bunch of songs together which has let my love for ambient music really blossom.
Futuremag Music: Being a young gun within the scene your sound is very mature, can you talk us through the process when writing a song?
Pensive: My song writing process will almost always start off with a piano chord progression, and depending on what I want the song to be I might add a melody on top. I find it easiest to work on a track when the melodic content is right there for me to listen to and I can make sounds around that. Majority of my tunes also heavily feature processed foley, sometimes its my own recordings. So a lot of my process involves playing around with atonal sounds and spreading them throughout a tune. From there on things are usually pretty touch and go. There's no specific structure or method I follow.
My 'mature' sound is most likely a cause of my inspirations, Hans Zimmer, Sorrow, Asa, Koda, Koan Sound. All of which have a very mature sound, I draw a lot of inspiration from that. I usually try to make less of "song" type music and more "soundtrack" music if that makes any sense? I listen to a lot of modern orchestral and soundtracks too. When I make a tune I imagine a movie going along with it which helps a lot with coming up with new ideas and in turn makes my music sound more like a soundtrack. I do however, still make a few less chilled tune, which is 'So Fake', but generally its chilled.
Futuremag Music: With your latest release 'Klexos' you worked with the likes of Myst, Raiku, and Weroh K. How did you guys all get in contact? What aspects of the production did you work on?
Pensive: Before I met Myst I was a fan of his music and I remember when he followed me on SoundCloud, i got so excited haha. Not too long after which was in late 2016, he messaged me and asked if i wanted to make a tune with him which nearly made me cry I was that excited. So we began work on some ideas, I believe I wrote the original piano though I may be wrong, it was a collaborative effort regardless. A few of the vocals hits, ambiences and short bass phrases were my own doings as well. So about 4-5 months after we began work we had a finished product but we both weren't particularly happy with it. So Myst approached his friends Raiku and Weroh K and asked if they wanted to join the project and put their spin on it. For the next 6 months we were on and off bouncing ideas trying to come up with something unique, different, and releasable. The song changed key at one point, and had so many different versions. It was a lot of work put into one song, and was certainly the longest song I've worked on from start to finish. We were all certainly glad to see it finished and released.
Futuremag Music: How would you like the Australian music scene to develop throughout 2018?
Pensive: I would love to see the Australian music scene develop an appreciation for diverse music, I think generic genres are too focused on whilst other great talent within more avant garde genres are ignored. Aussie musicians such as Copycatt, Mr Bill, and Herzeloyde who genuinely do something different are underrated, especially Mr Bill, that dudes a genius. For me, music is about trying something different not repeating the same stuff over and over. There are no boundaries to push, it's an open field you, may as well explore it. But generally people don't seem to see music as that. People who don't make music probably don't value it as much as those who do make music which is expected, and theres nothing wrong with that at all. The only issue that creates is that music becomes something you listen to in the background while you live your life. If there ever comes a time when people value music more and consume it on its own and appreciate it for its own sake, we will see a greater love for the different kind of music out there. I highly doubt that time will ever come, but its cool to imagine.
Futuremag Music: What does the future hold for Pensive?
Pensive: The future for Pensive is looking pretty exciting. I've got my biggest project yet in the works which is an EP with my great friend and brilliant musician Tom Hartney. We have been working on and off on the EP for over a year now and are not far away from finishing the project. I have a few solo releases that are in the works that will be released on compilations.
The distant future for Pensive is unclear however. A few more tunes like 'Tudiskava' may be released, and certainly some more collaborations with the Upscale Recordings crew. I don't really have a specific path I want to follow or a particular type of music I want to be creating. It's just going to be touch and go, make what I feel, and enjoy it.