MJ Ross, an Electronica music producer, takes us on a sonic journey into the atmospheric world of songwriting and music production.
Get ready to explore his path as a songwriter, his unique creative process, and his aspirations for the future..
Finding the Path as a Songwriter
Without guidance, where do you start, and how are you figuring that out for yourself? What has been your journey to becoming a songwriter who writes and sings his own music?
Finding my path as a songwriter has been both challenging and fulfilling. Without formal guidance, I’ve relied on my deep passion for music and the strong desire to express myself through songwriting. While the exact moment I decided to start composing songs and working on my first album is a bit hazy, the process of acquiring equipment, setting up my basement studio, and acknowledging that I had a lot to learn happened swiftly.
There was a genuine concern that I might find myself sitting in front of expensive equipment, unable to create anything substantial. You see, my musical world revolved around Beethoven and Mozart since I was just 7 years old. I would diligently learn and practice classical piano sonatas, showcasing them to my family (and pets!) However, I had never ventured into composing my own sonata or even a song longer than a mere fifteen seconds. Nevertheless, I always had a feeling deep down that the desire to create my own music would eventually come knocking on my door.
It was the introduction of the synthesizer, with its captivating sounds and futuristic possibilities, that solidified my conviction that this was an avenue far more intriguing than my beloved Beethoven. The allure of exploring unique sounds and pushing the boundaries of traditional music became irresistible. It was a natural progression that led me to embrace songwriting as a means to express my own stories and emotions.
As I began to write the new songs for my album Dystopiac, I realized each song became a journey of growth and self-discovery. I learned to trust my instincts and embrace vulnerability in my songwriting. Each song I wrote reflected a piece of my own experiences, emotions, and observations about the world around me. Ultimately, it’s about finding authenticity in my music and connecting with others through the power of storytelling. I strive to write songs that resonate with people on a deeper level and evoke emotions that they can relate to.
A Sonic Reflection of Deep Inspiration
You have been striving to create music that doesn’t fit into today’s trends but fits you and seems very fulfilling. How would you define what you have created?
In a world saturated with trends and fleeting fads, I believe there is an enduring appeal in crafting music that is authentic, personal, and resonates on a deeper level. What I have created is a sonic reflection of my innermost emotions and experiences, inviting listeners to embark on a sonic journey that goes beyond trends. I recognize the fact that Electronica-themed songs breaking stream count records is an uphill if not impossible climb.
However, I feel I’ve created a blend of atmospheric textures, captivating melodies, and intricate soundscapes that takes listeners on a journey, evoking emotions and transporting them to otherworldly realms. My music is for the person who wants to be transformed somehow after listening. Whether that transformation happens on an emotional level, triggers memories, or transports the listener to a different mental state doesn’t really matter. If the user connects with the song on any of these levels, then I’ve done my job.
Inspired by the experimental sounds of Tangerine Dream, I decided to push the boundaries of electronic music in my own unique way. One time, I was so engrossed in creating unusual sounds with my synthesizer that I accidentally attracted a flock of curious birds to my window. They were so intrigued by the pulsating tones from my studio that they perched themselves on the ledge, creating an impromptu audience for what soon became a private concert. It was a surreal moment where I realized that even Mother Nature was a potential audience member I hoped to please.
Overcoming Challenges and Creating Connections
Where does your music fit in todays industry? Are you striving for a specific style or genre?
I’m on a constant quest to find my musical “fit,” to discover the essence of my artistic expression. When I first delved into composing, a surge of inspiration resulted in a series of long ballads, each spanning 7 to 8 minutes. It felt like those songs had been waiting inside me all along, eager to burst forth into the world. Yet, to my surprise, the subsequent songs took a different turn – shorter, more melodic, and with a touch of commercial appeal. In fact, one track even flirted with the realms of EDM, boasting an infectious beat that could set any dance floor ablaze.
These musical metamorphoses have left me pondering some intriguing questions. Why does my music take on such diverse forms? Will I eventually settle into a specific style, or will each new composition be a new surprise that takes me on an unexpected journey? I can’t provide a definitive answer just yet. What I do know is that there’s an organic evolution unfolding with each song I create, leading me down paths I never imagined traversing.
Do you have a lofty goal for your future?
As for my lofty goals, I aspire to create music that profoundly touches hearts, embarking listeners on a sonic odyssey that lingers in their souls. Whether through crafting captivating film scores, engaging in inspiring collaborations, or delivering unforgettable live performances, my vision is to share my compositions with audiences worldwide, forging meaningful connections along the way.
5 Years From Now
How do you envision yourself in 5 years?
When I envision myself five years from now, I see an artist who has expanded their horizons, evolved as a songwriter, and unreservedly embraced creative growth. I envision a tapestry of released works, a testament to my artistic journey and development. I’d love to compose a cinematic score/soundtrack. Naturally, I hold a hopeful desire to grow a devoted fan base of individuals who resonate deeply with my music and walk alongside me on this artistic expedition.
What has been the reaction thus far to your music?
It’s only been three weeks since my single, Sky Drifter, has been released, so it’s still very early. However, the reactions have been incredibly encouraging and inspiring. Several playlists have already picked up the song where it’s receiving daily steams. I’ve received positive feedback from listeners who resonate with the emotional depth and atmospheric quality of my compositions. It’s heartwarming to know that my music has touched people on a personal level and allowed them to escape into a world of sound. I’ve received amazing feedback from New Retro Wave HQ, Rogue VHS, Ingrown Radio, Indie Music Spin, Here Comes the Flood, and so much more.
Have you experienced any unusual wins that you are proud of that could be told as a short story of a struggle you overcame?
One particular win that stands out to me is the journey I took to release Sky Drifter. It was a labor of love that involved countless hours of time in the studio. I faced numerous challenges along the way, from self-doubt to technical hurdles, but I persevered because I believed in my music.
During the production process, I faced a major setback: a computer crash wiped out the entire song. All the settings, notes, and everything I had worked on had vanished into digital oblivion. It was heartbreaking, but instead of giving up, I saw it as a chance to push myself even harder. I stayed up all night rewriting and reconstructing the song, making it just as I remembered. Along the way, I discovered some changes that actually improved the song. It was a rewarding experience that taught me the importance of not giving up and finding resilience in difficult situations.
MJ Ross reminds us that music should be authentic, personal, and resonate on a deeper level. With his unique creative process, he is carving out a space for himself in the Electronica community and establishing meaningful connections with new listeners and old.