Interview: 5 minutes with Stélouse

Stélouse aka Ross Ryan is an up and coming experimental electronic music producer and DJ from Denver, Colorado in the US. He went from starring in rock bands after high school to crafting his own electronic music. After producing music under numerous aliases, Ryan eventually started uploading bootlegs and edits to Soundcloud under the name StéLouse and stuck with it. Quickly gaining traffic amongst bloggers and music fans, StéLouse felt inspired by the reaction of the music fans and bloggers alike and decided to make an EP. ‘Home’ was his debut EP released in March of 2014 via Subterra Records. ́‘The City’ as StéLouse’s next EP released by Die High Records on May 19th 2014. There are 4 tracks on it that have already received strong support and is building a fan base of its own. Every song on ‘The City’ tells a story about Ryan’s life experiences which are laced with those future bass vibes that StéLouse is becoming best known for. The Playground catches up with Stélouse bellow:

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Heya! I’m doing well thanks. I’ve just been working in the studio all weekend.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

It ́s a bit eclectic, because I enjoy so many things about so many musical styles, I tend to be a bit all over the place. Although there is a strong nostalgic 80’s vibe that seems to run through material. It ́s not intentional, it just sort of happened, but I’m glad people are picking up on it.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

Mostly older albums and most aren’t exactly “electronic”. I wouldn’t say these are my favorite albums (although a few are up there), but definitely ones that had a large influence on me while growing up.

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Michael Jackson – Thriller

Nine Inch Nails – Downward Spiral

AFI – Sing The Sorrow

Incubus – Make Yourself

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?

I know I’m a bit late on this one, but I got really into James Blake’s new album recently. Bank’s would be another artist whom I’ve quite recently gotten really into. There is so much conviction in her music, and I love those dark minimal vibes. A few others that I’ve been enjoying a lot recently..Lido, Ta-Ku, and Fwdslash.

What are some of the key pieces of gear you use to write your tracks?

I mostly use software to create music. I use Ableton along with a few VSTs that I know inside and out. Aside from that, I do put a lot of live guitar and bass guitar in my music, so those instruments are a staple for sure.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

There ́s been a few that were stand out shows. Most of them were with the rock outfit I was previously performing with before I started producing electronic music. I can think of one in particular I was performing with my friends band, Tickle Me Pink, for a summer festival. It was outside on a big stage above a city street. The street was packed as far back as u could almost see. We did a cover of “Paradise City” by Guns n Roses. I literally felt like I was in Guns n Roses back in the 80’s at that moment. It was pretty awesome.

What’s the worst gig you have ever done and why?

When I was touring with a band just after high school, we played this show in Reno, NV (USA). There was literally no one there except the bartender and the other band.

What is your opinion on the following genres?

Classical – There is a lot of be appreciated about classical music. I tend to sample some classical records here and there and twist em up.

Blues – I love the blues. I’m also a guitarist, thats the instrument I started out on. I have a very blues based style. I love to get down on blues licks now and then still.

Soul – Are we talking some James Brown. Mmmmmm I can get down to some James Brown.

Hip Hop – Hip hop is like rock n roll, it’ll never die. Its one of the biggest genres in the world if not THE biggest. I make a lot of hip hop beats, so obviously I’m a fan. 🙂

Folk – I can get down on some folk! Or some “americana”, it ́s got a certain vibe about it that I just love.

Dubstep – I was really into dubstep when it first started to popularize in the states around 2009. First dubstep song I remember hearing (and knowing it was dubstep) was Skream’s remix of La Roux. I’ve grown quite bored of the genre over the past few years however. I feel like it has stagnated a lot recently. So many artists jumped on that bandwagon that it just isn’t exciting or fresh anymore.

Trap – I LOVE 808s! Almost all my songs use samples from a Roland 808. I’ve personally grown a bit tired of the “club edm trap” as people call it. I’m into the more experimental side of the genre.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I’m currently working on material for my next EP, probably some singles will come out over the summer before that as well. I’ve also got a quite a few collaborations in the works that I’m really excited about, some I can’t talk about just yet. 🙂

Lastly, if you weren’t a musician what would you be?

When I was younger I really wanted to be a novelist. I also have a passion for surfing and travel, so, I’d probably be a surf bum.