Phaeleh’s music has captivated me for much of my youth. Taking a slightly more emotive approach to electronic production, ever since his debut album ‘Fallen Light’ in 2008 Phaeleh has grown from strength to strength to become an icon among current British producers. We’re super excited to present this exclusive ‘Introducing’ interview with Matt Preston, A.K.A., Phaeleh.

Hey Matt, thanks for stopping by to chat to Forecast Magazine. So we’re reaching the end of 2013, which has been a pretty eventful year for you with the release of your latest album ‘Tides’. How has the year been for you as a whole?
It’s been the most exhausting year of my life! Musically speaking, I managed to get ‘Tides’ finished and released in the summer, and squeezed in an America & Canadian tour, just got back from Australia and New Zealand and also did about 40 European shows this year too.

You released your album ‘Fallen Light’ in 2010, which has been an album that I’ve consistently listened to ever since. How soon after its release did you begin working on the tracks that were released in your newest album ‘Tides’ this year?
There was the Cold In You EP in between the albums which bought me some breathing space, but I began working on that the day after Fallen Light was mastered, and began working on Tides the day after The Cold In You was mastered. I don’t really do days off. I think the oldest track on Tides is ‘Distraction’ which was written about 6 weeks after I finished The Cold In You.

‘Tides’ is a selection of really diverse and varied tracks. How would you personally describe your sound?
Atmospheric, emotional, melodic, mostly chilled electronica. I’m the worst person on the planet for figuring out what I do musically.

Do you find it more entertaining as a producer to not really conform to one set style or genre?
It would probably be easier to just make one sound, but for me that feels like a massive compromise creatively, so I’m always keen to try new ideas and approaches, even if it means I don’t make a track I like for a while. When you do finish a track which was written outside your comfort zone it’s a great feeling.
How did your love for music initially begin? Did you take up an instrument to start with?
I played a few instruments from a young age, but wasn’t until I was about 10 or 11 that I really fell in love with playing the guitar. The only thing that ever engaged me as a kid (and it’s probably still true), was music.

“Atmospheric, emotional, melodic, mostly chilled electronica. I’m the worst person on the planet for figuring out what I do musically.”

Who, or what was it that inspired you to begin working on electronic music? Were there any artists in particular that really influenced you?
I’d got bored of bands breaking up, and felt like it was a waste of my time. I was also listening to a lot of Aphex Twin and stuff like that, so I just thought I’d push the electronic side of things a lot more. I was lucky as the music teacher at school was great at letting us use the computers there to make tunes, and I picked up a lot from friends who were a lot more involved in electronic music too.

You’re currently residing in Bristol. How do you find the music scene there? It always seems to be really active.
There’s always been a lot of producers based here which is why I think it’s such a creative city. I think the past output of the city definitely helps out too. I’m not too involved in the local scene, as if I have any spare time I tend to be writing tunes rather than being in a club, but I always see new nights popping up so that’s got to be a good thing.

You’ve collaborated with Soundmouse on a few different projects now. How did that relationship come to be?
A mutual friend put us in contact and we made a few tunes. I think the timing worked out really well, I think if those tracks came out now no one would be as interested.

Do you take a different approach to producing when you collaborate with someone on a track in comparison to when you’re just working on your own, or is the process relatively similar?
In terms of vocalists it’s all quite similar, as in I don’t really approach making tunes with a plan. I guess if there’s a singer in mind you might write in a certain key, that you know they work well in, but that’s about it. I think making beats with another producer is very different though if you’re working in the same studio. I much prefer doing work like that online, as you can still experiment a lot without thinking that someone else is getting bored. It also means you can both work when you’re feeling creative, so the results tend to be better in my experience.

What advice would you offer any Forecast Magazine readers looking to experiment with their own production?
Just do what you want to do. Work on making some solid tunes, and people will find out about it eventually and you’ll have a more solid basis to push things forward from.

Can you divulge anything that we can expect from Phaeleh in 2014?
I’m really hoping to get a new album ready for later in the year!