Ciaran Austin is a 21 year old student originally from Buckinghamshire, now studying at Exeter University. He produces all types of music from ambient to R&B and is going to be doing a BBC introducing session in the coming weeks. His music is wonderfully produced and his voice has undertones of Rejjie Snow and King Krule all mixed into one. We are premiering his latest track Red Eyes and caught up with him generally about his music.
RED EYES PREMIERE
What got you into music in the first place? Who are your inspirations?
I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until I was around 17/18 (when I took Music Tech for AS Level) that I wanted to actually produce my own stuff. I would have sessions with my friend Ed just for fun but then we eventually uploaded things onto soundcloud. And I’m inspired by being receptive to the people / experiences in my life as well as going from genre to genre like every week to learn as much as I can.
Your rap on your tracks along with produce them, what part do you prefer, rapping or the production side?
It changes depending on the song – I’ve always enjoyed writing & recording vocals as it’s always been the most accessible way to express myself but collaborating with other musicians on my more recent songs has definitely revitalised the production side.
Your voice is really unique, seems to be a cross between Loyle Carner, Rejjie and a little bit of depth like King Krule. At first you seemed to just produce ambient electronic tracks with no vocals, when did you start to incorporate the vocals into your tracks?
I started adding vocals around a year or so after I started producing. I’ve definitely come to understand how much practice is necessary for growth in that area as I think I’m only just beginning to find my voice now.
Your music seems to have a wide variety of style, ranging from hip hop to ambient, what do you think your strongest suit is?
I guess I always try to keep strong melodies on each upload so I think I draw upon both. In our recent rehearsals for live performances I’ve found that the sound has taken more of a jazz direction so it’s cool to hear how the music can adapt & evolve with the introduction of different instruments.
When writing a song, what’s your process?
I normally improvise melodies / chords and then start writing once there’s a base. It’s very rare for me to start writing a song before producing the instrumental for some reason.
What’s the inspiration for this latest track Red Eyes?
Lately I’ve been interested in setting two different soundscapes against each other in one song, so I wanted to move from energetic/aggressive synths to more mellow sounds & live instrumentation with heavy vocal processing. And Felicity’s saxophone solo brought a lot more life to the second part of the song.
What else have you got coming up in the coming months?
I’ve been asked to do a session for the BBC Introducing people down here so I’m focusing on that in the hope it extends to more gigs in the summer. Apart from that I want to focus on improving as much as possible and work towards creating a more coherent project instead of just standalone tracks, and I think this’ll happen as soon as that dissertation is done.
If you could collaborate with anyone who’s in music right now, who would it be and why?
I’d love to work with Tom Misch – so much soul in his production. Or Justin Vernon, I’ve been obsessed with 22, A Million since it came out and that man is a genius. I’ve also been working with a very talented artist called airhrt (https://soundcloud.com/airhrt/airhrt-shivers-1) on some songs which I’m really excited about!
What are your goals for 5 years time?
Kind of hard to look that far ahead as there are things I’d like to achieve outside of music as well but whatever level I’m at I hope that producing & performing music is still joyous and exciting.
Interview by Frazer Worboys