Crafting Melodic Journeys: An Exclusive Interview with Astara

Nashville-based producer Astara is a promising talent making waves in the Electronic Music scene with his distinct blend of Melodic Techno and Deep House, captivating genre enthusiasts with his uplifting sound. Following the successful release of singles like ‘No Use’ and ‘DSCO Girl’ in 2023, Astara’s trajectory suggests an exciting year ahead in 2024. We are delighted to welcome this passionate producer and look forward to discovering his future endeavors with us. 

Sit back and delve into this exclusive interview, as we dive into Astara’s journey and his creative aspirations for this upcoming year, as we explore his dedication and passion for crafting Electronic Music.


Hi Astara, pleasure to meet you! How’s it going?


It’s going very well, thank you! It’s always a pleasure to connect with the community and share what’s happening on my end of things. I’m particularly excited by some new creative projects, I have lined up this spring, including an upcoming release, which I’m sure we’ll be able to talk about in a little bit! 


We’ve finally arrived in 2024. We’d love to know more about any upcoming projects you may have in the works! Do you have any new releases coming up this year?


Absolutely, 2024 is shaping up to be a great year. I’ve been working on a new set of songs that delve deeper into Progressive House (traditionally speaking) and Techno. These genres have been a consistent theme for my project. Before I started releasing consistently under Astara, I did a lot of production for other musicians in this genre, so now, it’s going to be quite fulfilling to bring this to the center-stage of my project, so to speak. The first single to drop in the spring will probably be my song “Walk Through Fire,” which I’m working out the details for right now. It’s a vocal-driven Melodic Techno record inspired by the idea that you would go to the ends of the earth for someone you care about. Or walk over hot coals like Tony Robbins…haha. But in all seriousness, I’m super excited to share this one, because it really encapsulates the sound that now defines my project!


Do you have any new upcoming collaborations with other vocalists or producers? Or a dream vocalist you’d love to work with in the future?


I’m currently working with a few incredible vocalists, crafting lyrics for my instrumentals, but I don’t want to share too much on that ground just yet! One artist I’d love to work with would be Ella Vos. I really like how she writes her vocal melodies, and her voice has a lovely timbre. I also like how she layers her doubles and crafts harmonies. The song ‘00000 million’ is an excellent example of her ability to build vocal depth with harmonies and doubles, if you’re interested in checking out her work! Also, her album ‘Words I Never Said’ from 2017 is one of my favorites. I revisit it every once in a while, when I am looking for some inspiration.


Do you plan on experimenting and blending Deep House or Melodic Techno with other genres? If so, what types of musical influences are you looking to delve into further?


That’s a great question. Experimentation is at the very heart of what I do. I think it has to be for all artists. That being said, I like to work within the established conventions of a genre, and Progressive House and Techno have ‘very sound’ foundations: from Orbital to Sasha to Deep Dish. Where I see room to experiment is with the vocal composition. I’m particularly interested in incorporating strong lyrics and vocal melodies, into my records. I think Dance has always faced a challenge in incorporating meaningful lyrics into the fold— it’s a genre that’s not exactly known for its lyrical grace. And that’s okay, sometimes we just want the euphoric anthems! However, I do think there’s space to write songs that have a strong vocal. Songs such as ‘Missing’ by ‘Everything But the Girl’ and ‘Need To Feel Loved,’ by Delline Bass and Reflekt come to mind. These are songs that have incredible emotive character. Also, there are artists like Monolink doing very interesting (somewhat left-field) vocal work. This kind of innovation is something the genre truly needs. My goal is to do my part to contribute meaningful lyrics and catchy vocal melodies as well. Ultimately, my hope is that my records will not only stand out in the club, but also in other contexts: on a drive, at the beach, or by the pool. Solid lyrics are a big part of accomplishing that goal. 


With your passion for songwriting and lyrical influences from Nashville, what is one songwriting technique or strategy you’d love to implement this year?


Nashville brings to mind Country Music, but it is much more than that. It has been a pivotal recording hub for artists across various genres for decades. Elton John recorded his acclaimed Tumbleweed Connection here, Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde at Columbia Studio A, the Rolling Stones wrote several songs for Exile On Main Street in ’72 here, and acts from Ed Sheeran to Fred Again have worked here quite recently. So, there’s a great history to draw from in this town. One thing that’s clear though is that Nashville has taught me the power of narrative in music, and I want to bring that into the Electronic realm. Crafting songs that tell a story lyrically is vital to me for that reason. It’s all part of my plan to engage listeners on a deeper emotional level.


Got any new techniques, equipment, or software you plan to use in your music production process?


This year, I’m integrating modular synthesizers into my workflow. The incredibly wonky nature of modular makes it almost impossible to put in a box, figuratively speaking, and when you include them in your songs you invariably get some very creative results. And I am no master over these instruments, so they really do act as a reminder for me, that beauty can be found in imperfection. Or in this case, it must be found in imperfection—because there’s no way I can tame these little machines. It feels like they have a mind of their own! So, exploring these tools has really opened up a new world of sound design possibilities for me.


We see that you have built an ‘Inner Circle’ private community online, where you provide tools and resources to producers. What was your inspiration behind creating it? Anything exciting in the works for your ‘Inner Circle’ community?


The ‘Inner Circle’ was born out of a desire to give back to the music production community. I actually haven’t opened the ‘Inner Circle’ to the public yet. The circle currently exists as a ‘mastermind group’ consisting of a number of close producer friends, but I will expand it once I have built the infrastructure out to my satisfaction. But to speak more broadly, having navigated the challenges of building a career in music, I wanted to create a space where emerging artists could find support, learn, and grow. We’ve got some exciting things lined up for this year, focusing on everything from the obvious production components to broader conversations about the industry and where it’s headed with AI. The ‘Inner Circle’ is quite literally the center of my creative work and the entertainment arm of my project, so as I expand it, I am going to ensure it has the very best features for my friends and fellow members! 


Are there any special venues or festivals you’d love to perform at this year or in the near future? What would be your dream venue?


Well, we know the landscape of live events is incredibly volatile, especially in the wake of Covid. We’ve seen a hesitant recovery in live events. Also, there are the perennial issues that plague festivals—local ordinances, grouchy residents who complain about noise—and to be fair, the real environmental concerns. As a result, we’ve seen the demise of storied festivals. For one, SnowGlobe in Lake Tahoe comes to mind. We’ve also seen huge issues at iconic festivals like ‘Ezoo’ this past summer. So, my choice for my number one festival would be ‘Lollapalooza’ in Chicago. There’s just nothing that beats Chicago in the summer. Sure, you get to meet a distinctive local species: the basketball jersey-adorned, camelback-toting high schoolers from across the Chicagoland area who descend on the city to experiment with questionable substances and hit the mosh pit at Perry’s Stage, but it’s all in good fun. The setting in Grant Park is magnificent. Live music a stone’s throw from the shimmering blue of Lake Michigan? Sorry Coachella, you just can’t beat it! I think the mainstage timeslot on a Sunday night has to be the best live performance opportunity for any musician in the world. It’s also incredible, how the entire downtown financial sector surrounds the festival, giving everyone stuck in their high-rise office overlooking Grant Park a front row view. I have to imagine, sitting in your swivel chair, looking out the window on a sunny Friday afternoon, must engender an exclusive blend of envy and entertainment—one that only ‘Lollapalooza’ could serve up! 


What are some goals or projects aside from music that you’re planning to accomplish?


One of my key goals outside of music this year is to build and expand my YouTube channel. I’m passionate about talking about current events in music and cutting-edge technology in the production space, and I want to do so in an entertaining way. I think there are way too many gear heads on YouTube hoarding away studio gear and turning their nose up at digital synths, etc. We need to bring the fun back to music. There are several channels where people are just making music and having fun using new software and technology without an agenda or particular bias. These folks really inspire me, and this year I am going to be doing similar things, albeit in my own way! Ultimately, expanding the content on my channel is something I’m truly excited about, not only for the fun I’ll have making videos, but also for the inspiration I think I can bring to fellow creators. Especially, with the difficult year we have ahead with the election cycle, we are going to need to make sure everyone keeps their heads up! 


What are you most looking forward to this year?


I am most looking forward to releasing a lot of music for my current audience and connecting with new listeners. I have so many unreleased songs—I could rattle off about fifteen songs off the top of my head right now! So, it’s just going to be awesome to get back into the flow of steady releases and building a strong story, alongside these songs. I have spent a long time toiling away silently in my studio, and now’s the time to bring these songs to the light. I’m just grateful I get to follow my love for music and share what I’ve worked so hard on with you all! 


We finish our interview thanking Astara for sharing his insights on his year ahead; sharing more details on infusing more lyrical elements into his Electronic compositions, drawing inspiration from his Nashville roots and the upcoming collaborations with vocalists, shedding some light into his plans . Stay connected with him on social media to stay updated of his latest releases and projects.


Astara Online
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