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INTERVIEW: SZABO

Hi SZABO, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Well thanks, although I slipped yesterday and put my back out so I’ve actually been in a lot of pain! But apart from that I spent January in sunny Australia writing and producing records for some artists there and now that I’m back in the U.K I’ve been focusing on my first original single release.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single ‘GO DO YOU’?

Sure! It’s collaboration with Russian vocalist Dila who is signed to Nexar Music here in the UK. I would label the track dark EDM/pop. There’s an amazing film clip from Jono Hart that we dropped on release day and a bunch of additional remixes and an acoustic version all coming! I’ve had several releases before but they were remixes so I’m really excited to be presenting original music now.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not an event specifically but probably more the recent positive change in society surrounding the support of women. The songs title comes from the chorus lyric “So go do you… I’ll do me too”. It’s all about a woman rising through adversity and doing what she wants and needs to do.

How was the recording and writing process?

Super involved actually. It began in Australia with my co-writer Gemma Lyon and she did the original vocal on the demo. I then went to Sweden to work with Dila and spent a few days there recording her. She was amazing and brought a whole new feel to the track – which warranted me re-working the original production until it felt right behind her voice. It took months to refine it. We then brought in Liam Nolan at Metropolis here in London to mix it – which took it up another level again. The whole thing was also executive produced by my manager Darren Poole – so it was a huge team effort as these things often are.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! It’s the next step for me really now that I’m releasing original music. I am looking forward to hitting clubs and playing a DJ set I’ve been building using live instruments and vocalists. I’ve played piano and guitar live my whole life on tours etc. and I’m really comfortable with it.

What else is happening in SZABO’s world?

I’m trying to find a place to live with my girlfriend. If anyone wants to live with a friendly couple – hit me up. Thank god for Air BnB.

Who is your musical inspiration?

I actually grew up on the singer songwriters of the 70’s, which probably seems strange since I write and produce EDM. Artists like America, Harry Chapin, Bob Sega, Billy Joel, LOBO, The Beach Boys. It was a lot of west coast Americana being played around my house when I was young – thanks to my Father! But all those records gave me such a strong sense of melody and lyric, which has influenced me on the song writing side. I then moved into a phase of loving bands like Radiohead, Coldplay and Snow Patrol. I didn’t actually come to EDM until my late 20’s.

On the music production and sonic side of things I’m very much influenced by Kygo, Martin Jensen, Armin Van buuren, Cheat Codes, Kriss Kross Amsterdam, Lost Frequencies, Zedd – all the people currently pushing the envelope on crossing EDM over into the pop world.

What song do you have on repeat?

At the moment I can’t stop listening to “Tightrope” by Sara Bareilles. “Sunny Days” by Armin Van Buuren is also being played a lot – and lately I keep going back to “Let Down” by Radiohead which could be the best song ever written… maybe after God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. The latest album from Christine and the Queens is getting a work out – and the production on Martin Jensen’s latest single “Somebody I’m not” is incredible so I keep trying to dissect that.

What do you like about the music scene in the UK?

It’s very different to Australia – the population is so dense and there’s such a mix of culture, which gives you a whole world of different influences. It feels like it’s bubbling with creativity here and you get the sense that anything is possible. I find it easier to source collaborations and I feel like there’s an exciting energy around. There’s a quote I read once that said “talent exists everywhere – opportunities do not” and I think it’s very true. There’s a lot of talent in the U.K but also a lot of opportunity – especially right here in London. Also the live scene is amazing – people are really committed to supporting live music and venues and festivals.

Does the new track mean we can expect new material in 2019?

Absolutely! I have some more exciting feature vocalists including Newton Faulkner and Andy Jordan – and some remixes which are still under wraps so I can’t say anything more! Several songs I’ve written are also coming out with other DJ’s throughout Europe too, which is cool…

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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