Interview - Andre Unknown
Keyboardist, vocalist, and designer Andre Unknown, who is from Rio de Janeiro and currently resides in New York, makes his own music using self-made software, a variety of partners, and a self-produced method. He makes a comeback with his most recent release, 'Affection', which he co-wrote and co-produced with Vic Delnur.
Andre Unknown captivates his listeners with this indie-electronica music because of his variety in production and vocals. He uses house-inspired beats, grooves, Japanese vocals, French speech, poetry, and digital synths to create artificial and intelligent music. Half man, half machine, his voice draws inspiration from a variety of genres, including electronic and popular music.
We sat down with Andre Unknown to discuss his music and much more. Here's what he had to say:
Hey Andre Unknown, welcome to FLEX! How are you? Medium-rare. There is a lot going on with the upcoming release and the new events I'm organizing in Brooklyn. Glad to be on FLEX! Congratulations on your new single 'Affection' - what inspired this particular track? Thank you! This is a collaboration with the eternally talented and supremely insightful DELNUR. It was a production conceptualized early in our friendship and a great opportunity to merge our different backgrounds into something new.
And do you have to be in a certain mood to write? I do not; I have a very inspiration-less-oriented workflow. If I can't write, I can study; if I can't study, I can organize. We can only photograph a lightning strike if the camera is recording while it's raining. I try to make time (even if it's a small amount every day) to do something related to writing or producing music. It's challenging since I also invest a lot of time in the visuals. How was the recording and writing process? DELNUR started with the production of the instrumental and sent over a pretty polished first draft. I was super inspired by the overall musicality and groove of the arrangement and sat down to record some ideas. It was mostly the melodies that came from the first pass, but from there on, it took a couple of years for the final product to be complete. For viewers that don't know Andre Unknown, how would you describe your sound?
Music made by a designer. Doing the best with what I know how to do. You don't have to be a musician to become a musician. My songs are mostly an output of a specific experiment or concept that I am trying to explore. Design is about solving problems, so in music, I create my own problems and try to express myself through solutions. Can I make a song with the bass playing just one note? Can I replace the last chorus with spoken poetry? Can I figure out a new way of singing? Once I feel like I've accomplished or given my best shot to fully realize a solution, I consider it done and move on. And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren't writing or recording in the studio? By trade, I'm a design director. I have been designing since I was 13 when I did a web design course, so everything that I do is under the lens of design thinking. It ends up blending with my artistic output, and I love exploring new visual languages that can go with my sound. I also love crafting processes to overcome my lack of music training, either by creating an app to help me catalog/write lyrics, sampling weird sounds and dialogues, or expanding my creative network and getting talented musicians to collaborate and create together. At the moment, I'm also pretty busy starting a new party called Moving Company in Brooklyn with the help of Atilla Ural. I have been DJing and throwing parties for over 15 years, and I can confidently say that MC parties have been the most unique and satisfying events I've put together.