While electronic, house and EDM music are experiencing a surge in mainstream popularity, with festivals like Wayhome featuring DJ’s such as Flume as headliners, there is an underworld where DJ’s collaborate, experiment, and try to get off their feet. This underworld is largely facilitated by the music platform Soundcloud. However, some worry that Spotify, the music-streaming platform that’s giving iTunes a run for its money, may affect emerging artists who are trying to get their music out there.
Meet Sefaro, a young Canadian DJ/music producer who has just recently achieved 3,000 followers on Soundcloud. While this may seem like a small feat, it’s the exact same place where DJ’s like Chet Porter and Louis the Child have amassed their following, with the former performing at Coachella and the latter recently performing a set at the Wayhome Music Festival.
With luck, Sefaro may go on to achieve the same level of success, though mainstream fame is not why he makes music. In his Soundcloud bio, he aptly describes himself as “Someone who is a musician for fun.”
Yet recently, his song “Espionage,” a collaboration with Defsharp, was featured on TYPE 91, an EDM network connected to EDM.com (the Artist Intelligence Agency). With over one million fans on Souncloud, they have shared exclusive releases from artists like KDrew, Barely Alive, Deorro and more. Sefaro can count himself among them, with over 38, 000 plays on “Espionage.”
In an interview with Lemonwire, Sefaro gives some interesting insight into this elusive and sometimes complicated world of DIY music production.
While his fans may know him as Sefaro, his real name is Liam Young, and he is only seventeen years old. Achieving a 3,000 follower fan-base by seventeen suddenly seems a lot more impressive. In fact, he has been making music for four and a half years, meaning he started at the age of twelve!
He began small, using the demo version of FL studio, but has since progressed to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) program, also called FL Studio 12. That said, there are numerous other programs people can use to create music, including Ableton, Logic, Cubase and Bitwig.
According to Sefaro, the fastest and most reliable way to share his music is through Soundcloud. While Spotify has slowly been gaining ground, Sefaro insists that Soundcloud is more user friendly for new artists. He feels that Soundcloud is much more than a music sharing platform- it’s a community. “I believe one of the greatest things about Soundcloud is the amount of amazing and talented people I’ve met through the platform and the friendships that can be built.” Many of his tracks feature artists he met through Soundcloud.
Sefaro regards many of the artists he discovered via the Souncloud community as his inspiration. He considers the Monstercat community to be the root of his taste in electronic music, sharing “it wasn’t until I discovered Monstercat (an EDM label based in Vancouver) that I believed I could be making this kind of music myself and it was something I wanted to do.” He also cites Porter Robinson, Madeon, Grant, KOAN Sound, Laszlo as strong musical influences. He and Porter Robinson also share an admiration for Japanese culture and anime, and subtle hints of this can be found throughout their music, particularly in Robinson’s album “Worlds,” and the short film for his song “Shelter.”
Over the last four and a half years, Sefaro says he has tried experimenting with multiple genres, yet he believes his strength ultimately lies with house music. He shares, “I find myself most comfortable when I make beats in the traditional 128 BPM (Beats Per Minute) 4 on the floor style and expand from there, but I’m always up for trying genres with slower or faster BPMs to boost my creativity.”
To date, he considers his best song to be “Style.” He describes it as a combination of Electro House, Future House, Bass House, with a lot of Dubstep mixed in. He believes that the tracks greatest strength is the fusion of sounds and genres he was able to include.
Working in such an isolated manner, confined to your own space and not a recording studio, it’s easy to get stuck inside your head. Sefaro explains that one of the biggest challenges he faces as an artist is branching out and not relying on previously successful formats. He says it’s easy to get caught up in trying to please followers or trying to fit into a specific genre to please a larger audience. In his own words: “You should never be afraid of just doing what you want to do in your music and breaking away from trends.”
When asked what he hopes to achieve with his music, Sefaro shares his hopes of creating a full-length album that he can be “wholeheartedly proud of.” He wants to branch out with his musical style, while retaining his “personal sound.” Yet, true to any artist, above all else he hopes to make people happy with his music.
You can check out his latest release, “Empire,” here:
Follow Sefaro on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/sefaro
Or follow him on twitter: @SefaroOfficial