ARTIST TO WATCH: ALIGN
1) Tell us something about yourself that your fans may not know.
A: Most people don't know that I work full time at a tech company in Chicago. Aside from that, I really love hiking, camping, and snowboarding. Being outside is a wonderful thing that I love, and I'm always able to draw inspiration from it.
2) How did you get into producing and more specifically, electronic music?
A: I actually started listening to electronic music when I was 14. My older brothers listened to Bonobo and showed me him. That opened me up to what electronic music was, and what it could be too. When I was 19, I realized that I wanted to make and perform music that would make listeners feel something, the same way this was happening to me with my favorite producers. I got logic, and from there I never stopped playing with it.
3) How has being from Chicago influenced your music style, if any?
A: I've definitely been influenced by Chicago. I feel that some of the "Chicago-House" element comes out in my music. Many of my songs have a little bit of a house backbone. The constant change of weather is certainly helpful too, different seasons always bring about new emotions and moods.
4) Are you the first in your family to pursue a musical career or does your family have a musical background?
A: I'm the first person to pursue music, but my family definitely has a creative side. One of my brothers co-founded a VR company, while my other brother and sister work creative jobs in the NBA and writing textbooks for classrooms! I think I get my free thought from my mom.
(video by Maron Music/ YouTube)
5) What's the biggest thing you've had to overcome so far as an artist?
A: Time. I don't ever have enough time right now. Since I'm working full-time, it's hard to make sure music gets the attention that it deserves, but I make sure to dedicate some time every single night to something music oriented.
6) Who is the 1 person you really want to collaborate with?
A: I'd really like to find myself in the studio with Shallou or Autograf. They're artists I really enjoy and look up to, and I think I could bring some good ideas to the table. (Sorry I know that was 2)
7) When can we expect the next release from you?
A: By the end of April I should have 2 new songs out!
8) What are your goals for 2019?
A: Goal #1 is to release my EP. I'm really excited about some of the music I have for it. Aside from that I have my eyes on a few festivals this summer, and I'm hoping to continue the momentum we've had with shows in general. I'm aiming to continue building out my live show this year, so my next step is to incorporate guitar along with the drumming and Ableton clip launching! I'm hoping 2019 brings some good stuff for the project.
9) How would you describe the 'ALIGN' sound.
A: I think I'm continuing to develop an atmospheric sound. I'm learning to create soundscapes which I hope allow the user to get lost in their thoughts. On top of that, I think the ALIGN sound is pretty dancy, so I like the mixture of thoughtful chord progressions alongside moving percussion.
10) If you were to name a song after your favourite food, what would it be?
A: "Takeya" - Ramen is one of my favorite foods, and Ramen Takeya is one of my favorite spots in the west loop of Chicago.
Twitter - @align_music
Soundcloud - @align_music
Facebook - @alignmusic
Instagram - @align_music