Antwon Adell came to our attention last year when he did a two track release titled "Subfunk Hill/The Upside Down" for Bristol based label Pear Drops. He's since been working away behind the scenes on a new mastering service whilst producing a brand new 8-track project swerving in and out of Electronic, Future Bass, Grime, Hip Hop and R&B sounds that we're really excited to hear in full. 2017 is proving the year of new ventures for this guy so we brought him here to find out more about it.
"I came up with this idea of doing an 8-12 track project and tackling different styles/genres of music but still keeping it within my sound"
So you've been working on the 8-track project since December 2016, what's the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to give myself a bit of a challenge coming in to the new year, so I came up with this idea of doing an 8-12 track project and tackling different styles/genres of music but still keeping it within my sound. The tracks on The Project vary between Grime, Hip-Hop, R&B, Future Bass & Soundtrack.
What pushed you to create an lengthier piece of work rather than the standard 2 to 4 track EP?
I was just tired of repeating the same cycle, EP-EP-Single-Single. I find it boring. I have always done that same format and just thought I need to switch it up!
You've published one track on Soundcloud today, was there a thought process behind which track to publish first?
Hmm, not really, although this track I've posted today I would have published it first if I never had an intro-like tune that I thought needed to be first... If that makes any sense. Basically, 'Trappist-1e' is the introduction to The Project and everything else will follow on from there.
How do you plan to release the full project?
Once every track is finished I'll re-schedule it to be released on Dream Journey, that way people will be able to buy it on iTunes and stream it on Spotify etc, or I'll self release it via Adellog.
In terms of self release, is that something you've done before and if so what challenges have you faced in comparison to releasing on a label? It's not something I've ever done before but I have always liked the idea of trying it out one day. I think the buying experience is much more personal than when it's available in various different stores. It would be a good sign for me to see how many people are in touch with my music now with where I am today as a musician. Even if my following is quite small in terms of numbers.
So you're most recent venture is a business one, Adellog Mastering, can you tell us a bit more about that? Yeah, so I was sat down one day and was watching a couple of videos on YouTube (as I usually do) looking at different mixing/mastering techniques, seeing what's new in the plugins world and came across a video from Graham Cochrane who runs The Recording Revolution. He was giving out a few tips to people who were already in the business and to the people who were just starting out. I was already mastering my own stuff for the past year and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to be more involved and not just master my own stuff anymore but other peoples to and that brought me to creating Adellog Mastering.
"I never started Adellog to replace any of my previous ventures, but to add it to my achievements, just because I love doing anything within music."
As most artists would know, it can be challenging to make a full-time career out of music, do you hope Adellog Mastering is the answer to that problem for you? I think for so many years I've been trying to break through and without realising I had actually got there at one stage, on an underground level. I was just doing my thing and was much more active on social media back then but at the time I didn't really know that I was "the guy" as some may say. Mentally I was still trying to break down doors because I wasn't where I wanted to be financially. It's definitely a challenging road to go down but that's just like anything in life you're trying to build and have a future in, the road is never easy and it takes a life time. I never started Adellog to replace any of my previous ventures, but to add it to my achievements, just because I love doing anything within music. I would say this journey is peaking my interest more because it's still new to me and further down the line I would like to do this as a full time career.
How have you found Bristol & Bath as a base for your music ventures?
Bristol is my hometown so for me it's just number 1 and I've met so many people along the way since I started out. The city has always been an iconic place for music and even people from the outside know that. The only trouble I think we've all had coming from Bristol is not having enough platforms to showcase our music out of the city, which is just crucial for any scene. For a long time now it's been 'having that link in London' to 'go on this radio' and 'that radio' and 'that YouTube channel' where as now... we have SWU FM, which is about to make its return in September. I think it's going to be a game changer for Bristol and open up more oppourtunities and allow all Producers/DJs and MCs to be able to represent from home. As for Bath, I haven't been down here very long but from what I've gathered so far, the scene is still growing gradually but I think some people may be relocating to Bristol and other surrounding areas, so on that front it has slowed down a bit but I've noticed a few Grime events here and there which have had good line ups on them so hopefully it'll continue. In regards to me, I just feel more focused and driven here, Bath has definitely given my brain a fresh outlook on what I want to do and where I am trying to get to in the near or distant future.
Are there any labels or artists local to the city that have caught your eye in recent years?
Not really other than maybe the obvious like Bandulu or Pear Drops because they're quite fresh in terms of being a label. I've known pretty much everybody for so many years and the network in Bristol is quite tight. Everybody is doing their thing, sometimes some are just more quieter than others.
What's next on your agenda for the rest of 2017?
Get out this project and get back to building up Adellog, keep teaching myself and learning from others along the way. I think the most important though is life and not forgetting to live because this journey can have you feeling consumed for the most part and by the time you look back and realise how long it's been... a good few years have passed. I think about how long I've been on this journey for sometime and I'm still quite young, but already I'm thinking "shit man... I'm almost 30!" so to me living is very important and by living I mean exploring the world, trying new things and being present each and every day.
Click Here to visit the Adellog Mastering website.
You can hear the first track from Antwon's new project below.
(Pst... we've rebranded and we're celebrating with some of our favourites including Lamont, Galtier, Drone, Vern & Milla, Namaste & Noto. You can find us in the infamous caves of Cosies, BS2 on Friday 9th June. Click here to be taken to the Facebook event page).
Interview by Beth Sheldrick