2022 is almost over and it’s a good moment to review the most important milestones of this past year full of learnings, new experiences and, of course, music.
Clan Brude shares some insight about his year and his plans for the holidays.
T.H.E – Hi, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. 2022 is almost over, we want to know what is your most important highlight of the year, both musically and personally?
Clan Brude – Musically it’s been a great year. I felt like I really got the project up and running with regular releases across some smaller labels. The highlight of that was the EP release this month which complied of a mix of two of the first tracks I produced to fruition with two later ones, so you can see the development of my approach to production through them. The title track Lagos draws heavy on the synths and features an ode to the city in the narrative.
Personally, I got engaged this year, so hard to beat that one!
T.H.E – What was your favorite release of 2022 (of your own)?
Clan Brude – That’s a tough one as I have a number of personal highlights from a busy 2022, but I’ll go with ‘Where We Belong’. This was a quite a big production and took longer than others. It was the one where I started to feel comfortable as a producer and bring in more elements of my own sound design to push towards more of a signature style. I was working with a really good vocalist in the UK and although I had worked with vocalists previously, much more of this track is centered around the vocal than the previous ones. I recorded my own guitar loop on this one which also adds to my attachment to it.
T.H.E – And what was your favorite track of the year from someone else?
Clan Brude – I loved the high tempo and very sweet B.O.T.A. by Eliza Rose. The vocal hook and kalimba-like lead are really infectious. Her Spotify bio says she is just at the beginning so I will be following her music for sure and will try to catch her when I’m back in the UK.
T.H.E – Did you have any special standout shows this year either that you played or attended?
Clan Brude – That’s a tricky one living in Shanghai during 2022 which suffered a long lockdown and closure of a lot of venues, some of which won’t recover. To answer this, I would have to jump back to the first three months of the year (pre-lockdown). In another project, I play bass guitar in a local punk band and we released an album of 22 songs (for 2022) in March and played local underground venue YuYinTang to celebrate. We went full out to put on a show and wore of Day of the Dead suits and tin foil hats. Had to be seen to be believed really.
T.H.E – What was the biggest lesson you learned in life 2022?
Clan Brude – It’s been a wild year over here due to the aforementioned lockdown and Covid controls in Shanghai. Many, many, friends left during that period or have done so subsequently, so one lesson to be reminded of is not to take people or environment for granted ever. This holds even truer when living in such a turbulent environment. Never a dull moment in Shanghai.
T.H.E – And following on, what was the biggest lesson you learned in music?
Clan Brude – Again, there have been so many lessons as I really have felt I have cut my teeth in producing this year. Of all the lessons I have learned, I think the overarching one is the value in taking time with productions. It’s not just about getting your ideas down and saying that is good enough. The other mechanics and details are equally important. Understanding the frequency spectrum better, for instance, allows you to make space for certain sounds to seep through and create the mix best suited to the vibe. It’s not always easy or self-evident and a second of third pair of ears can be vital to this, but it’s really worth it in the end.
T.H.E – If you could send yourself a message to you 5 years ago, what would it be and why?
Clan Brude – Start producing earlier! I have no idea why it took me until Covid times to get going with this. I always had an interest and have played in bands for years, but production never caught on with me. Of course, now I wish I had those further years of experience under my belt, but we are all on our own journeys and I am glad I got there in the end!
T.H.E – How has your sound developed in 2022?
Clan Brude – As 2022 has been about gaining confidence for me, things have changed quite significantly. I was leaning much more on the basics with my earlier releases and in doing so was using a lot of samples from Splice and so on for things like vocal hooks. As the year progressed, I got more into recording original vocal hooks and working with vocalists. I found this was a much better source of originality and inspiration. Pretty much from ‘Where We Belong’ onwards you can see this and that will continue in the first tracks I have ready for 2023.
T.H.E – Who would you say was the most innovative artist in 2022?
Clan Brude – Four Tet continues to innovate in the field, I think.
T.H.E – Which label or labels do you think where at the top of their game in 2022?
Clan Brude – I’m not hugely au fait with labels but I follow a couple, for instance Anjunabeats and more downtempo All Day I Dream. Both have had some nice releases that I have enjoyed. I really enjoyed Tim Green’s EP drop on the latter label for example. Really nicely produced.
T.H.E – If any, do you have any regrets for the year behind us?
Clan Brude – Nothing specific here. It was more a case of surviving than making any life choices that I might have regretted!
T.H.E – What are your plans for the holidays?
Clan Brude – Still being made to be honest. Things have changed pretty fast over here (Shanghai) in the last week or so and that it has caught people be surprise. However, it’s still a bit short notice to fly home for this one (next one no doubt). We’ll be having Christmas lunch at a restaurant that does British style food and then it’ll just be taking it easy. I’ll do some producing in the downtime and then party on NYE somewhere I suspect.
Just for fun, if you had to take a classic Christmas song and remix it, what style would it be and what could we expect?
Haha, let’s do a Drum N Bass of Mariah’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’.
T.H.E – Where will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Clan Brude – Yet to be decided! But things are opening up here and Shanghai always serves up some good options normally. System is one of the current underground clubs doing interesting parties and could be worth checking out for NYE.
T.H.E – If you had to put 2022 into one sentence, what would it be?
Clan Brude – Nonsensical madness that has come full circle and has resulted in the side-product of allowing space and time for creativity and building more skills for a better future.