Interview: We talk to Celestial Trax about his new EP
Celestial Trax has been one of the underground’s most exciting artists in the last couple of years. His work with RinseFM and Purple Tape Pedigree have been both praised by critics and beloved by eager electronic music fans. He’s recently released From the Womb, four-tracks that songs grab the listener from their core, and hits them hard. With that in mind, we chatted about his release, life in NY, and much more!
Hi CT, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! You’ve just recently dropped your From the Womb EP. When you release any project, do you tend to think of the project concept first? What were your personal goals with the EP?
It’s a pleasure. The concept idea has been growing on me for a while now, and it’s definitely something I was conscious of. I’ve always been visually oriented person and in my previous work, aesthetics played a big role but I’ve been taking that idea even further over the past year or so and try to tell a story with my music and make the music itself as visual as possible. From The Womb and my last EP for Rinse, Vaxxilate, were very introspective and personal. I wanted to harness some of the negative aspects in my life and try to turn them into something positive. My biggest personal goal was probably just be able to communicate and articulate some of the events in my life.
You’ve been in the music production game as ‘Celestial Trax’ for a good few years now- what would you say are your current biggest achievements and vice versa, were there any low points that taught you a good lesson?
Releasing music and being affiliated with Rinse FM was, and still is, a big deal for me. I used to listen to a lot of the shows on the radio and it’s really cool to be able to do stuff with them, albeit not as much as I’d liked to with me being across the Atlantic and that. As far as low points go, I’d say being a bit naive in the past and not staying 100% true to myself and my own art form by trying to please others too much etc.
You’ve made the leap from the UK to NY, would you say that moving to the US (and its most famous city) has influenced your music? What does NY add to the Celestial Trax sound?
Yes, definitely. I think the experience of moving to the States, not knowing anyone, and ending a long term relationship after just few months in the country had a huge impact on me as a person, and it obviously influenced my music. I think I learned a lot about myself in the process and I feel I’ve been able to channel my experiences through my music better and better. New York can be a really inspiring place to live in, but it can also be suffocating and relentless. There’s beauty around you in the smallest things, but you also witness A LOT of madness. Maybe those to two elements describe my music quite well too.
In your other interviews, you bring up V5MT and their work. Did you work with them on graphics for this one as well? How did you begin teaming up with them, and what about their aesthetic works so well with you and your music?
I worked with V5MT on my last three EPs for Rinse but not on this one.. The cover art for ‘From The Womb’ is actually a still taken off from a forthcoming video for ‘Together’ made by ZODIACK, who also throws parties and are overall a very creative bunch. V5MT originally hit me up years ago and asked to use an old track for visual and the relationship just kinda grew from there.. For that trio of releases I wanted to have this bleak 3D net art feel; broken statues, fallen angels, tribal symbols etc.
You’ve released a lot of work with Purple Tape Pedigree, a label that hones in on exciting electronic music. What do you think makes the label special? What are some of your favorite tracks from the label’s back catalog?
I think it’s their dedication, vision and loyalty that sets them apart for me. PTP are my New York/USA day ones for sure.. They look after their artists really well and have put me up in the past when I’ve needed a place to crash and stuff. As far as my favorite records go, there are a lot of good ones to choose from but ‘Charly Tek’ by MM and ’10 Cones’ by DJ NJ Drone are a couple cuts that I’ve been playing a lot. I feel like this is a big year for the label and they’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up.
What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions people have about the music industry and its artists?
Perhaps that we pay our rent etc. with “exposure”…
Finally, what else can fans expect from you in 2016?
I’m going on tour in the US in May and June and then Europe later in the summer so come say hi.. I’m dropping a release with another producer that features some very exciting local rappers in June. I’m also currently discussing details about a soundtrack/score project which I’m really hyped about, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a minute now. Got few other projects in the works too, plus trying to find time to start working on a full length.
Thanks for the interview, Celestial Trax! Purchase From the Womb can be found here.