Singer-songwriter DEON has just released Oceans Remix, a free to download EP, available at various digital platforms.
Songs were taken from his sophomore album Oceans, re-arranged/re-worked/re-mixed, and 9 different tracks were produced by THIEVVES, Dru Chen, Mitch Advent, Intriguant, Doopz, blankverse, mockstarr, IGGS and hdj tas riser. We spoke to DEON about the story behind Oceans Remix.
What was the catalyst for doing a remix LP of Oceans?
I’ve always wanted to collaborate with different Singaporean musicians, and mainly out of curiosity I wanted to find how my tracks would sound like after undergoing a remix. So for starters, I approached Intriguant in 2015 to work on one of my tracks – and he picked ‘Home’. The end result was really beautiful, and it sparked an appetite for more remixes. I saw it as a chance to give listeners a renewed perspective of my works, and started planning for the EP.
The idea was to get different creative minds centered around the core of my songs. Not just the musicians – we got two visual artists, Hana Wolhf (www.wolhf.com) and Herabot (www.herabot.com), to work on the visual representation of how they interpreted the music as well.
What was the selection process like for artists to work on the remix LP?
It was a very open and organic selection process. I did know that I wanted to find artists who primarily worked within the electronic genres; and various producers who I currently work with. On top of that, I definitely have to love their works and appreciate them for artists that they are. I came up with a list of names that I felt comfortable working with, and although not everyone on that list agreed to work on Oceans Remix due to time and workload constraints, I managed to convince most of them to give my music a go.
Were artists given parameters regarding the remixes or was it carte blanche?
There were absolutely NO parameters on this one. For me, the best way to capture the essence of a collaborator’s talents would be to let them run wild with their ideas, and I think it really paid off in this EP. Based on a first-come-first served basis, they got to select which tracks they wanted to work on as well.
Were you ever nervous about how artists might re-interpret your work?
Extremely. It was a mixture of nervousness and excitement, and some insecurity. But as the remixes started to come in, all of that eased away and I was just purely excited. My band mates/team were just as excited as I was, and collectively, we were very much blown away. It just reminded me of the reason why I chose to work with these artists in the first place, they are really top class.
Were there any remixes that caught you by surprise?
To be honest, all of them caught me by surprise. Every remix had an element of surprise for me; for example THIEVVES did this amazing re-arrangement of “Summer”, and it was just a privilege to have a peek into his musical brilliance – I could never have heard the song in that fashion.
hdj tas riser (a.k.a Leonard Soosay) co-produced and recorded the original ‘Oceans’ album, and it was also very exciting to see his take on one of my songs. Moreover, it’s been a while since he did a remix – the anticipation was real. It’s as though he was making a confession of how he hears my music in his head.
I could go on and on about how much I love mockstarr’s (a.k.a. Adam Shah) work on ‘Light/Stars’, or how blankverse really stood out on his remix, and how Dru Chen really injected his soul into the rework; or how much it was an honor to have had IGGS do a take on my track. There really would be no end to it.
Were there collaborators that you hoped to work with but things didn’t pan out?
There were a handful of collaborators that I really wanted to work with, but things didn’t work out for various reasons. Still, it’s all good and positive, perhaps in the near future. Some of the names include Fauxe, Tim De Cotta, and Fzpz.
How would you recommend these remixes to someone who already has Oceans?
If you already have Oceans, then this one is for you. It was crafted for Oceans listeners in mind. As a singer-songwriter, melodies are very important to me. In this EP, the melodies are preserved, and the essence of the songs are still intact. What really changed are the arrangements and production work, and how different musicians view the tunes in their heads. Oceans Remix basically opened a world of possibilities for my tunes, and new ways to look at my music.
If you want to be pleasantly surprised, and go on a different journey with ‘Oceans’, then listen to it!
What’s next on the horizon for you? New recordings? Overseas touring?
I just opened for Of Monsters And Men, which was pretty life-changing (shout out to WOAH Fest and Symmetry Entertainment), a new song was premiered that night too. And right now, I’m focusing on the up-coming Tokyo Tour starting end June. The band and I are also representing Mercy Relief on the tour to raise awareness and hopefully some funds for the Earthquake victims. Meanwhile, there are a couple of new tunes in the works – and the crafting of the third album has begun.
Thanks to DEON for making this interview possible.
Official Site: http://www.deontheband.com/