CRaymak started 2020 on a high note with the release of his new EP. ‘Malfunction,’ which is out now on Circus Records, features seven tracks including CRaymak’s new single “Wreck Edge” featuring Kin Crew. ‘Malfunction’ is the infectious EP we’ve been waiting for and we think this is just the beginning for this talented up-and-comer. We had the pleasure of chatting with CRaymak about his classical jazz training, the inspiration behind his EP, his plans for 2020 and so much more. Be sure to listen to ‘Malfunction’ and check out the complete interview below!
CRaymak – Malfunction EP | Download |
TSS: Introduce yourself. What do you want our audience to know about CRaymak?
CRaymak: My name is CRaymak, I’m a bass music producer from Nova Scotia and I’m really happy to be here answering these questions for you guys. I really appreciate the opportunity.
TSS: You have over 15 years of classical jazz training. What made you decide to make the switch from creating classical jazz music to bass music?
CRaymak: Honestly… just the dope beats haha. For real though, I started getting into electronic music in high school, when one of my best friends introduced me to Skrillex and my initial reaction was that I HATED IT. It grew on me after some time though and I couldn’t stop asking him to put it on. Eventually I just needed more.
I started struggling with embouchure issues while in my third year of university, where I was studying jazz and playing trumpet. It resulted in me losing endurance, and since I had already been dabbling around with production for a year, I just found I was more drawn to producing music than actually playing it.
I loved learning more about making crazy soundscapes and combing noises with aggressive simple drums. It was more addictive than just playing the same instrument every single day. I found I eventually became addicted to the idea of sounds rather than notes on an instrument. I started using guitar FX pedals on my trumpet, rigging up setups and playing electronic wind instruments and then I had the realization that electronic music was what I wanted. However, I will always have a soft spot for classical and jazz music, as that was a huge part of my life.
TSS: How has your extensive classical jazz training impacted your success creating dance productions?
CRaymak: When I first started producing, I feel like all of that training held me back quite a bit. I felt like I didn’t understand the barrier between “theory calculated” music, as if it were a math, and just writing/making songs and sounds with an artistic vision. Not thinking about theory and instead writing and making what just sounds GOOD to me.
Sometimes I fail to keep that mindset and find myself back in a habit of “calculated” music, which loses its life, and that’s what brings me into an intense writer’s block. It used to feel like a constant loop but right now it honestly feels like I broke that barrier once and for all and I’m pretty stoked about that.
I see other people who don’t have the theory struggle to understand certain things and when I take a few minutes to recall it, I can figure out chords, melodies and transcribing quite quickly most of the time, so it speeds up my writing process more often than not. In the end, over a lot of time, I just had to find the balance for what works best for me!
TSS: How would you describe your sound?
CRaymak: This has been very tough to figure out for most of my career. I tend to think I don’t have a “sound” most of the time, but some say they can hear specific things in my music, whether it’s in the subtle details or elements and arrangements. I’m forever changing styles and techniques to find what I’m most comfortable with. Figuring that out was a goal of mine for 2019-20.
If I were to try and answer, I’d have to say, punchy and intense with a melodic aspect to it. This stays true for my heaviest music, as well as my calmer music (if you can even call any of my music “calmer” haha).
TSS: Who are some of your musical influences?
CRaymak: A few of my musical influences are Skrillex, Seven Lions, Fox Stevenson, Flux Pavilion, PhaseOne, Linkin Park, I Prevail and System of a Down.
TSS: If you could collaborate with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
CRaymak: If it were to be limited to the electronic music realm, I’d have to say Seven Lions. He’s been a huge inspiration to me since I got into electronic music and I’ve followed every single release since 2010-11. I will never get sick of his sound and I definitely strive to capture his vibe throughout some of my more melodic/vocal drive tunes.
Outside of electronic music is very difficult. It’d be a tough tie between Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, being one of my all-time favorite vocalists/writers, and Serj Tankian from System of a Down because I loved his classical music influence especially with his solo orchestrated album “Elect the Dead Symphony.” Both have always been huge influences of mine.
TSS: What was the inspiration behind your new EP, ‘Malfunction?’
CRaymak: I think it all came from a chat I had with my manager. I explained that when I’m making tracks sometimes it’s just completely putting myself into “mad scientist” mode and losing my mind trying to get sounds or patterns, which eventually turn into something that either is really cool or that I hate! But I can usually come back to in a few weeks or months, end up loving it and ultimately questioning why I ever thought it sucked haha. I think somewhere in the conversation we started talking EP names and tracks that were going on it and I mentioned something about how my music just feels like some big scientific malfunction process in order for it to come out the way it does.
It’s not always like that though. It was just a point in time where that was how I was felt about the songs I was writing. Anyways, as soon as I said that, my manager repeated it back, “Scientific Malfunction… that’s good” and I agreed. It was then that we realized “Malfunction” was the name we wanted. Then the artwork came back and it was the perfect fit. Huge ups to Martipants for nailing it and putting together some of my favorite artwork!
TSS: What can your fans expect from you in 2020?
CRaymak: I just had my Malfunction EP release on Circus Records. I’m also working on a VIP project right now and another EP after that. There will be lots more for this year and I’m excited for it all!
I’m challenging myself with many goals, one being to accomplish writing/releasing tunes quicker, another to do a bit of experimentation, all whilst trying to find a sound I’m most happy and comfortable with. Working to keep it consistent not just for 2020 but for the whole future of CRaymak!