SPOTLIGHT: Troy Gunner
Troy Gunner is part of a new breed of young producers that’s inherited an electronic music scene arguably at its most rich, diverse and fruitful in years. Barely out of his teens, Troy has swiftly acquired numerous admirers across the musical spectrum due to his emotive, organic sound.
Consisting of heavily treated samples, neo-funk synths and off-kilter half-time beats, Troy’s music is markedly unique and recognisable. His ability to create raw emotion within his music is a real talent and we’re expecting big things for him this year.
So because we’re always looking to the future, we got in early to chat with Troy before he becomes the next big thing.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where do you hail from?
My name is Troy, i’m currently 19 studying Music Technology – from the South-West of UK.
You’ve already created a very rich and unique sound through your productions. What’s your main starting point when you begin to design a tune?
It’s definitely dependent on my mood at the time but most commonly working around a drum groove is how I attempt to lock everything in to it’s designated place. Sometimes if i’m feeling a bit lazy and less technical, I’ll start with the melodic work but I’ve found over time that personally it’s always best to initially build a foundation to vibe off.
Homemade samples seem to play quite an important part of your music. What first inspired you to get into field recording?
Listening to too much polished and regimented electronic music, in belief that I was one of the first to attempt to incorporate it – (oblivious to some artists that are now my main inspirations in music making!). I really like the “rough” and “unpolished” sound that’s peculiar on the ears and brain and makes you go ‘“What the fuck was that?”. Clearly it’s down to personal opinion (music is one of the most opinionated things in society) but music has never really had any rules, only theory and technique so why not branch out? Don’t be afraid of experimentation and if it sounds right to you, then you can call it selfish but that’s all that matters in my opinion.
I believe your debut release was on L2S, but it was your 3-track EP on Mindset that really got your music noticed. How did that release happen for you?
Just trying my luck at sending tunes through different people over the internet whose music I liked. Never be afraid to approach somebody whose work you admire. If the tunes are considered good enough then it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like, people will listen and the music will do the talking – (never take it too seriously or get stressed out about it or you’ll lose yourself, just do ‘you’). This is my favourite thing about this scene and the internet’s current advantage; as long as you hold confidence in your sound, the people might appreciate the vibe.
There’s a distinct melancholia in your tracks, especially in Dancing in the Leaves and Head in Hands. Do you set out to make emotional music or does it come naturally?
I just make tunes for me and what sounds right in my mind and if others dig it too then it’s morale boosting for me to realise I’m not so alone in believing in something so audacious;
“A teenage male with no future, working hard to brew one.”
It’s fair to say your music is part of a certain vogue in electronic music at the moment, with producers like Synkro gaining huge recognition all over the shop. But do you plan to experiment with other tempos like he and other similar producers have done?
Most definitely. I already wrote 170bpm and 140bpm music before i made my 130bpm ‘Mindset’ sound. I’m currently writing lots of 110bpm material, including some remixes for Synkro that I’ve done that may see the light this year and plenty of collaboration work with other amazing artists I have the honour to be sharing ideas with. I love the amount of space slowing a tempo enables you to achieve what you want, the groove is much more intricate and apparent and it’s easier to get away with overly swinging rhythms which is so interesting. I want to be able to staple my sound to any tune without tempo becoming a barrier and I’m sure this is the desire of the majority of electronic music producers. I’m into too much varied music and I don’t expect every person to like every track I make.
Now for a big one: who or what has been the biggest influence on the music you make?
Initally, the sounds of Burial, J Dilla, Joy O, anything from the Hotflush Recordings camp, Untold, oldskool UKG bootlegs from the 90s, Flying Lotus, Pariah, James Blake, Mount Kimbie….
But now, it’s got to a point where I’m actually predominantly inspired by those around me and I’m lucky to be involved in a community where we all inspire each other, resultant to vibing from each other’s creativity and ideas in the sound made. The music I am lucky enough to receive from the artists, is mainly the only music I really listen to anymore! Synkro, Indigo, Δkkord, Fybe:one, Dark Sky, Kaiju, Shadowfax, Re_flec, Versa, My Nu Leng, 123mrk, DjRum….. the list goes on.
“I’m lucky to be involved in a community where we all inspire each other, resultant to vibing from each other’s creativity and ideas in the sound made”
Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
I will no doubt be releasing a lot of varied music in the near future, mainly on the 130bpm vibe still though. I’m currently in talks and locking things down with some great labels in the scene at the moment that have distributed some of my favourite music and I am very excited to be embracing so many opportunities this year both on the DJing and producing side of things.