From Piano to Electro: Take5 with the Extraordinary Paradoks

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From Piano to Electro: Take5 with the Extraordinary Paradoks

THE SERIES

PARADOKS

Although he’s built up over hundred-thousand monthly Spotify listeners, Swiss/Belgian artist Paradoks is still a relative newcomer in the EDM world.
As with many musicians, he began at a young age, teaching himself to play the piano every day after school. Then, he began to experiment with creating his music, and once his first gig rolled around, he swiftly realized that this was what he wanted to do with his life.

Since then, he’s toured worldwide, from South America to the Middle East, and more recently, he’s been getting into streaming. If all that wasn’t enough, he did a master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship during the pandemic.

He spends a lot of time in the studio but notably doesn’t finish many of the songs he begins. For him, it’s about creating an idea, playing around with it, and seeing if it works. His music is very melody focused, which he attributes, at least in part, to his early experience of learning the piano, and he’s said he tries to imbue his work with a sense of motion.

Currently, he’s with purified records, although he has worked with other labels in the past. When asked about this, he said that choosing to work with a label is about finding a good fit. It’s about whether or not they play his kind of music and whether they’ll work well together to create the best result.

Although he’s been working hard in the studio lately, he says he’s looking forward to getting back on tour again.

Q: Before we dig in, what's next for you?

Hi! Thanks for having me. I have spent around two months in the studio and plan to extend that by a few more months. I didn’t have much time to make music in 2021 because I was pursuing a master’s degree in innovation & entrepreneurship, and I had to put music on the side. Now that I have my full time again, I’m trying to focus on making unique tracks and representing my current musical state. I don’t want to do anything else before I’m happy with my new productions. Once this period is over, I will resume touring and bring other projects alive that I’ve had in my mind for a while now. But the top priority at the moment is finishing my tracks.

Q: Why did you choose to make dance music?

Before I started as Paradoks, I didn’t make dance music. I made chillstep, piano compositions, and all other kinds of non-4-on-the-floor music. But the more I grew up, the more I got interested in in all flavors, mainly because I liked the DJ aspect. I was initially influenced a lot by the future house, which I played in my first gig before Paradoks. By the time I started as Paradoks, I was really into darker tech houses. Since then, there has been a significant musical evolution that I can’t explain, but the music I’m making nowadays really feels like me. Who knows where it will evolve to in the following years: I could, for example, really enjoy scoring for a film at one point in my life, especially since my music is very emotional.

Q: How important are lyrics?

I wouldn’t say that they are essential in my kind of music. I aim to add another depth to people’s days by leaving room for subtle emotions and for the listener to interpret the track how (s)he wants. The primary elements in my ways are the main melodic themes and the beat to drive momentum. Music is enjoyed chiefly through movement, and therefore lyrics aren’t the focal point. However, I’m working with vocalists for some upcoming tracks and took the time to write more elaborate lyrics. One way of making is about pursuing our dreams and the struggles we will face and have to overcome on the path. I guess it depends on what you are aiming for with your track, but in any case, the lyrics should enhance the whole picture and not distract from it.

Q: What do you think of Robots making music?

Well, you can’t expect me to defend them! It took me years and years to find my sound and learn enough about production to create my music. So, having robots wipe us, artists, out in a dystopian future is frightening. I can already see countless new “artists” arise with a robot as a ghost producer. But on the other hand, I can’t criticize technology all that much because it opened so many possibilities for music. I think robots will probably not have the same judgment as us in what sounds good or bad. They might make some excellent tracks based on millions of analyzed ways through machine learning, but there is a high chance that we humans will pick up the difference and consider that music as generic and bland. I make rather emotional music, and I would challenge a robot to search for its inner feelings and express them to us. The best tracks aren’t planned but happen by some happy accident created by exploring other creative patterns. But who knows, they might be good at making happy accidents and might become better than us. In that case, I’d be glad to have a robot as a studio partner to help me take the many decisions I currently face for tracks. If you can’t beat them, join them!

Q: What's everyone should experience at least once?

In 2017, I went alone on a 50-day trip in Argentina and Bolivia with just my backpack and tent. I mostly traveled through hitchhiking but also took an occasional bus. I had almost no internet connection and would camp out in nature. It was travel where I just followed the path that life was setting out for me, though I had a destination that I wanted to see: the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia. The 8000 km travel brought me through 26 cities and breathtaking landscapes. I spent nights sleeping on high mountain peaks, islands, beaches, forests, and deserts in my tent and made a three-day “survival” trip in the Bolivian jungle with a guide. I even played at a few random parties! I was alone but never alone: I met and traveled with so many incredible people on the way, some that live without money and earn just enough to live through the day. But they were the freest, wisest and happiest people I have ever met. The salt flats were stunning, but they weren’t necessarily the highlight because I had no expectations. I wasn’t focused on the destination, just on the journey with an open heart and mind. That travel changed my perception of life, strengthened my bond with nature, and I realized that we don’t need much to feel alive. I wish everyone to try in the likes because you experience so much freedom, depth, and meaning and grow as a person.
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Q: Do you ever sing while taking a shower or having a bath?

Why is this popular? Do you sing in tune? No, I never do so! However, I sing somehow in tune, but with minimal range, so I’m considering taking singing courses because it would be great if I could sing on my tracks or sing correctly under the shower! As to why it’s popular, I guess it’s because the shower is generally a safe space that allows people to open up? That’s just a theory, though.

Q: What was the weirdest habit you had as a child?

When I was a child, I didn’t use my hands when I fell for some weird reason. I would fall straight to the floor, face first, and didn’t catch myself. One day, when I was walking down the stairs to kindergarten, I tripped and did a faceplant on the stairs; you can imagine the gory details. But after a while, I did learn that using my hands when falling is useful, which became rather practical for my later skateboard and snowboard activities!

Q: What invention would advance humanity the most if you could go back in time and inspire someone to make a present-day invention?

First, we would have to define what we mean by advancing. Is conquering space an advancement? What exactly are we trying to reach for? Infinite lifespan? Maybe the most significant progress would be finding inner peace, solving conflicts, and living in harmony with what we have. The most important current problem of humanity is that we overthink and repress our emotions. We are disconnected from reality and the present moment and blame others for our self-inflicted suffering. In my opinion, this is what hinders the advancement of humanity since we continue building things that aren’t necessary. I don’t know what I would like to invent, but that would help us let go of our negative emotions and grudges to remind ourselves that inner peace is within. Then we could continue to have fun, invent and develop, improve our living conditions, but we would do it more consciously.

Q: Can You Dream Of Having A Dream?

Very probably, but this never happened to me. I experimented a bit with lucid dreaming in the past: I would become conscious that I was dreaming, but every time I realized that I was within a dream, I got too excited and woke up. But I never actually reached a state of dreaming while being in a plan. 10. What double standard is ridiculous and needs to be ended? (This can be on either in the industry or out of the industry) If you’re a man and sleep with many women, you’re considered high status, but if you’re a woman and sleep with many men, you are considered differently. This is ridiculous; we should all be to do what we want without judgment.

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