Sei A Interview for Datatransmission
Up and Coming in Paris and London with Sei A
Despite already having two solid LPs to his name on French outlet Missive Music and Turbo, the humble Glaswegian known as Sei A is an act that has somehow evaded the hype machine as he continues to make great tracks that win praise from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Crafting tracks that are embedded with unique personalities and subtly camouflaging the sense of sound design through a variety of electronic productions is no mean feat - but it's one our friend from Glasgow seems to achieve seamlessly. From his early sounds utilising soft vinyl hisses, aged cracks and pops that would belie its age, it was clear this was an act with a big future. After releasing the acclaimed Editing Shadows album and winning the hearts of Parisian clubbers, Sei has returned to the UK.
After the release of the Frozen Flower EP - an icy and underwater affair with its mixture of melancholic house dripping, knocking and shifting its way through proceedings - we caught up with the rising star to discuss his upcoming EP and plans for 2012.
Firstly, I know you loved in Paris, so I was wondering how this came about considering you come from Glasgow. How did you get into electronic music and how did you make the transition to the continent?
Well I studied sound engineering at college and I feel that’s where I really first got into it. Glasgow as always had a good sound and you realise it’s something you like listening to and something I was learning how to do. I got a copy of Cubase from a friend and it went from there really. I just started making stuff, trial and error until I made things I liked and kept doing this whilst I when I started at Uni. I think I first made a record in 2003 with a friend. Then I left university after my first year, prob as I’d spent too much time on this! That’s when I really stepped it up. After leaving Uni I knew this was what I wanted to really do and so I really went at it full time and kept producing tracks when I was signed by French label Missive. It all came from there really.
Your first album ‘Editing Shadows’ garnered a lot of praise from some of the most prominent names in the scene. Were you surprised at how well received it was by your electronic luminaries?
Well, I was really pleased that it was being enjoyed by people first and foremost. The first test for my music is whether not I, as a fan of electronic music like it. I wouldn’t put something out that I don’t really believe in but yeah it’s nice to get positive feedback to assure you that you’re on the right track and making good music.
Your eclectic style has attracted the sights of Mr. Laurent Garnier among others. How important is variety in the production of your music and how do you go about keeping the sound fresh?
Thanks, that’s a massive compliment! Well, I just make music that I enjoy. If I’m in the mood for some really driven Techno then that’s what I’ll make, if I feel like listening to some melancholic slightly deeper, then something like Frozen Flower is the more likely product. So it depends really. I make music that I want to listen to and it reflects where I am at the time. If I just stuck to one sound I’d get incredibly bored. I like to explore different sounds and experiment. It keeps me interested and the sound varied although it can make your sound hard to define!
Perhaps equally eclectic is the enigmatic Dutchman Martyn who has provided an absolute stormer of a remix for your upcoming EP in February. It's very different from the slower sounds of ‘Frozen Flower' - is this a masterplan to keep people guessing?
Yeah we got Martyn on board and he’s done a great job on the remix. It’s an EP that I’m really happy with and hopefully people will like it and it’ll be successful.
Do you feel the move to London has helped you develop as an artist? The capital can certainly be a daunting place...
I love it here in London. I really feel like I’ve settled here since I moved down in London and the scene here is amazing. There is a great scene In Glasgow and Paris too but yeah I’m really enjoying it here. My sound has definitely settled and I’m enjoying making tracks. There’s so much going on and it really helps inspire me to produce that type of music I want to. You meet so many different people and are continually exposed to new influences so you’re constantly being inspired and your sound keeps moving on.
So your sound was forged in Scotland, nurtured in Paris and is now being polished in London! A most intriguing blend that has led to its organic evolution. Do you have any plans to return north of the border to treat your fellow scots?
Definitely yeah. I want to start playing more in Scotland and in the North of England. A lot of people mistake me for being French so getting some more exposure at home would be great. Glaswegian’s love a good party so it’d be great to do some more stuff up there. It has a great scene with Slamat the Arches and all that so yeah definitely.
So what should we expect in the coming year for Sei A? Other than the upcoming EP (watch this space for the upcoming review- it’s a belter), what are your plans for 2012?
I really want to play more in the UK. After the EP release hopefully that’ll do well and I’ll be able to spread myself out. I’ll start work on a few EP’s so there should be plenty of new stuff coming from me in the new year.
Finally, we've heard that you may be producing a soundtrack for a film in the States? Any substance to this rumour? That’s a very different challenge but an interesting one that we’ve seen both Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers have a crack at recently.
Well yes. I’m in talks to potentially compose a soundtrack for a film in LA. It’s very exciting and a different challenge. The criteria are different. You’re making electronic music that has to be cinematic and will be listened to by people who aren’t necessarily familiar with electronic music and it has to fit the story. It’s something I really look forward to doing and will help deliver electronica to perhaps a different audience who may not have otherwise listened to it.