Enigmatic Egyptian producer Fulltone sits down with us to discuss his music, some of his favourite hardware and software, what’s upcoming for 2020 plus his latest release that has just dropped via French Electronic Music imprint Klassified Music. Have a great read while listening to his latest track ‘Mahe’.
WWD : Hey Amir, great to chat with you today. Firstly tell us about your initial foray into music, what first set you on the path as a much producer.
Thank you for having me :)) What set me on the path is my love for music from a very young age and also my fascination with music technology and playing live instruments.
WWD: What have been the greatest obstacles in carving out a career in the music industry?
One of the biggest obstacles was having my music heard. In the music industry there are a lot of great artists making fantastic music, but ultimately when you don’t have the proper audience it’s very difficult to make a career out of it. Personally I struggled with this a lot especially that this type of electronic music scene in Egypt starting growing relatively recently. This meant that I had to work really hard locally to grow with the scene and internationally to get my music out there.
Talk us through your production process, for some producers there’s a methodical process, for others it’s an organic process, how do you set out when starting a new production.
I don’t really have a formula for starting a project, but usually I start with the harmonies and finding chord progressions and melodies that I like, then finding the sounds to play these harmonies. However, that’s not a rule at all, sometimes I start with the groove or I find a sound that really inspires me and start looking for a melody to play with it. Often I hear a melody in my head and record my self humming it on the phone until I go to the studio and start working on it. I also love when I accidentally find a sound that I like or maybe hit the wrong key on the keyboard and it brings in another idea. It sometimes even feels like I make music by coincidence.
WWD: What are the pieces of software/hardware that you can’t live without?
I just love all music equipment from analog synths to guitars to ethnic instruments to drum machines to microphones to compressors and eqs. I love them all and I kind of feel at home around them.
But if I had to choose my list would be : 1- Ableton live 2- Dave Smith prophet 6 3- Moog sub374-Elektron analog rytm 5-Classical guitar 6- AKG C414 Microphone.
WWD: If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any producer (any genre, dead or alive) who would that be and why?
Alan Parsons, for sure! I grew up listening to his music and I love almost all his releases. And the guy produced Dark side of the moon, what more can you ask for?!
WWD: Tell us more about your music, past, present and future.
I believe that it’s all interlinked. Without the music influences of my past, including the very important guitar-rock phase that I went through, I would never have evolved to what I am doing today. Also, I am positive that without constantly continuing to expose myself to new kinds of music, I will never be able to evolve. So like I said it’s all very connected to each other.
WWD: What are the most positive and also most challenging things about the work you create and the career path you’ve chosen?
The most challenging thing is getting my music out there and this is directly linked with how difficult this career path is. If you cannot get your music to be heard then it becomes very difficult to sign with labels, tour.. etc and then making a career out of it becomes almost impossible.
This brings me directly to the most positive thing, which is the satisfaction and gratitude that I feel when my music is heard and I am able to deliver it to an audience that wants to hear it.
Also, one of the most positive things about this career is the many many beautiful people I get to meet through the music community. I have formed so many close friendships that would not have been possible if it weren’t for that music I make.
WWD: What are your interests outside of music?
I’m fascinated with all kinds of arts that are part art & part science. I always believe that architecture was the best thing I’ve ever studied even though I didn’t end up working in that field but it taught me so many things and there are so many similarities between architecture and music. They’re both what I consider “part art & part science”.
In architecture there’s the artistic side which is the creative part of design and using spaces in an innovative way but there’s also the science, a mathematical part, which is the loads and weights and how will this wall carry this ceiling and so on. With music there’s also the creative part, which is the composition, the sound design, arrangement…etc but there’s also the science mathematical part, which is managing the frequencies and how to achieve separation in a mix, there’s also the counting (time signature..etc)
WWD: If you never made it as a musician what would you be doing today?
I think I would probably be working in sustainable and vernacular architecture. Maybe building mud brick dome houses in the country side.
WWD: What order would you prioritise the following in…Drum machine, your partner, your National football team.
1. My partner (The love of my life, my wife Amina)
2. Drum machine
3. Drum machine (again)
You can buy Fulltone’s latest EP HERE