Close to the Sun

 
 Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

 
 

About Close to the Sun

Close to the Sun is a new EDM act from Seattle, WA, and makes a strange type of house music. His style is house music with the percussion section of a marching band. That's right, "drumline house." Close to the Sun's last album "new face, same game" marked a change in appearance and in his sound. Now he sports a smiling minecraft creeper head, custom pentagon pendant, jacket and shirt. Close to the Sun is thankful that you read this far into his bio and wants you to download his EP, and Album. but if you don't, that's OK...

Tell us a little about how you discovered your love for music. What are some of your greatest influences?

I stumbled upon music (at least in an obsessive way) on my 11th birthday via a roller coaster in Disneyland Paris featuring Aerosmith. First, I tried to be a one man rock band but later on i stumbled upon a Daft Punk song called "Derezzed" and even though it was just a 1 bar synth loop, I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to make music like that. Just as groovy and just as awesome. I started with beats on my windows phone and later graduated to a sheet music creating software with a playback function. I was later inspired by artists like Madeon and Conte using launchpads, eventually I bought one and by extension, Ableton Live. Ever since, I've used and loved Ableton Live for studio work and performances. Although most performances recently, I've used Serato (a Digital Vinyl System, as opposed to a Digital Audio Workstation) instead because of long setup times and a high crash potential on stage with Ableton Live.

As a huge fan of Daft Punk, I latched heavily onto the vocoder funk sound along with the punchy house beats. And recently, I have been able to make them meet on my own. In about 2013, I released a mixtape of phone beats and sheet music arrangements titled "New Face, Same Game." The name coming from the concept of me being a new face but playing the same game as anyone else in the dance music industry. Right around the release, a friend and leader of an after school group at West Seattle High School, Pak, invited me to an open mic night at Totem Star. From there I met and, very quickly, became a part of the Totem Star family.

 Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

Tell us about your song. What inspired you? How do you hope listeners will receive your message?

My song "Me To You" has a much less sunny backstory than it's cover and sound portray. I wrote the song as a fun bouncy jam in the style of Avicii, but all I could think for vocals was existing samples, starting with Marshmello's "Alone." Around that time, a very close friend of mine had a disagreement with me and resulted in the ending of a 4 year friendship. Devastated, I took the day off of work and spent time with family to cope with the loss of that friendship. Days later, I wrote the lyrics to a catchy synth line and vocoded it in to get what you hear on the record today. The song's happy tone comes from the place of me showing that I'm still happy to be a friend and help that person if they are in need. I hope as listeners hear the song, they feel inspired to ask for help when they need it. Even if it's from someone you wouldn't expect help from. This song is released as a single on itunes, Spotify, etc. The full album, "Instant Memories," will be released on June 26, 2018.

 Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

Photo Credit: Amber Zbitnoff

 
 

What have you learned from your experience with Totem Star? What are some of the biggest takeaways? What advice would you give to other young artists?

To all young artists reading this, take inspiration from any happenings in your life. Some of the best stories are true, and your music will sound more experienced with authentic emotions and feelings. If nothing else, I gained TONS of experience through Totem Star and I'm sure that they have gotten some from me as well. Whether it be, how to make and reverse loop, to the beginnings of mixing and mastering, Totem Star has helped me become a better artist and I hope to continue working with them into the future.