If you’re stuck working until the weary hours of the morning, then we got some bassy beats to keep you awake thanks to Stefan T.’s brand new album Night Shift, officially due out tomorrow. The recording is the culmination of several years of diligence for the artist and his work ethic has paid off with a fresh take on experimental electronic pop.
And when we say several years, we really mean several years; Stefan has been creating music while messing around on a guitar since the age of ten and remained committed to becoming a full-fledged artist who can do it all. Not just a singer or instrumentalist, he is also a reputable producer and engineer which is why the soundscapes are so diverse and well-developed throughout Night Shift. Also quite the lyricist, Stefan is, at times, retrospective, introspective and capable of evoking a whole body of emotions, from mellow and sad, to uplifting and intense, and even aggressive.
Despite his well-rounded approach to writing and recording, Night Shift wouldn’t be what it is without its many collaborators. When enlisting others to work with, Stefan wanted to work with many musicians that represented his vast musical interests which is why you hear artists like B. Rose MÁDAM, Gracie Van Such, and many others throughout the record’s nine tracks.
“Night Shift is a take on pop music with a bit of eccentricity sprinkled into it,” commented Stefan. “It’s the result of many late nights of playing with a genre that I’d never really delved into. Collaborating with the artists on this album was a great pleasure and I’m forever grateful that they lent me their talent for this project. Night Shift could also be described as a snapshot in time for my career as an artist, producer, mixing and mastering engineer. My goal for this collection of tracks is to take a listener out of their world, experience a feeling, and return back to their world feeling more human.”
With such a rad new record in Night Shift, we wanted to speak with Stefan to find out more about the tunes. Read on as the artist discusses the recording process, how the album’s collaborations came together, and what his studio preferences are.
Night Shift as a record is quite the accomplishment for you and I’m sure you’re extremely pleased to be releasing it. When did you first begin working on this record and was it continuous the whole way from start to finish, or were there breaks in between?
Stefan T: “I started working on it in September of 2019. It didn’t take long to finish, it was a sort of stream of consciousness style of creating. I didn’t take too many breaks.”
I won’t put you through the difficulty of asking you what your favourite track is since I’m sure they’re all special to you in your own way. So, instead, I’ll ask what was the most challenging song to first come together and then complete?
“There was a Coldplay-styled track that was in a 7/4 time signature that unfortunately didn’t make the cut. I had multiple different lyricists write for it but I wasn’t too into the end result. All the tracks that did make the cut were pretty simple to work on and complete.”
The album features many collaborations between yourself and other artists which certainly poses an even larger challenge when writing an album. How involved were you with your collaborators?
“It wasn’t too bad working with my collaborators. All I had to do was send over a track and I let them work their magic. Didn’t really need too many revisions done on anything.”
Did you actually sit in the studio with them or was Night Shift put together as more of a long-distance project?
“The only artist I sat in with for recording was B. Rose. Everything else was done online.”
You mentioned that Night Shift is you playing with the genre of pop music that you had never had much experience with. Why now were you motivated to create more of a pop-electronic leaning record?
“I treated the whole project as a way to put my name out there as a producer/artist/engineer. I figured that pop music was a good way to ease listeners into what I do.”
As a more general question, I’m always interested in how electronic artists use the studio since it’s more your “instrument” than say a guitar or drums are. How much time do you generally spend in the studio? Are you an artist who will spend endless hours toying with sounds and effects?
“My studio is in my apartment, so I basically live in it. I get to create at any hour of the day which is great. As far as my workflow goes, I try not to spend too much time working on one specific sound or effect. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, so I just try to get whatever I’m working on as close to perfect as possible then move on to the next.”