Q&A with ‘Vivi’ music producers Elevven

Image credit: Eric Schwimmer

Releasing their transcending track ‘Vivi’ via Monstercat, the duo Elevven rise from the ashes of a turbulent two years for live gigs. ‘Vivi’ takes light and levitating electronic textures, leaving us feeling relaxed and somewhat at ease about whatever is rattling the brainwaves. The duo consists of pals and music producers Shahin and Swapneel who produced this track as a tribute to their family and community who have constantly been supporting their musical endeavors, now more than ever. Now that festivals are picking up again, the duo has also lit up the stage once again, performing at the TranceFamilySF Festival earlier this month. 

We chatted with Elevven, who shared their future plans. 

Tell us about your earliest musical memory?

Earliest all-time musical memory…buying The Lion King soundtrack on CD! (No, really).

The very first electronic music memory I have is hearing two particular songs: Andain’s ‘Beautiful Things’ and Motorcycle’s ‘As The Rush Comes’, both featured on Tiesto’s Nyana compilation. These two records served as the gateway into dance music for me and I became obsessed.

At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create?”

It must have been around the time that I began diving deeper into the old trance compilations. I grew up as a rock/metalhead, and early vocal trance became my gateway. Soon after discovering the genre, I was introduced to the early Anjunabeats compilations, and I was blown away by the musicality and the parallels shared in that music with progressive rock.

Please list some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:

Above & Beyond – Tri-State

Tiesto – Nyana

Anjunabeats 100 – From Goa to Rio

Thrice – The Artist in the Ambulance

Dream Theater – Images & Words

What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?

As a duo, we tend to use all different kinds of gear, and we make life difficult for ourselves. Neel uses Ableton, and I (Shahin) use Cubase. That being said, we’re pretty familiar with all DAWs and all software.

I also have a Dave Smith Prophet Rev 2 that I use for certain sounds, and when I can bust it out, my Moog Sub 37!

What inspires you outside of music? What do you turn to when the creative well runs a little low?

I try to take an extended break from working on a song and come back with fresh ears. This is really hard to force myself to do at times because I keep telling myself that I “must keep going”. Sadly, that’s rarely true and sometimes you need to pull yourself away and come back with some fresh perspective (and maybe coffee).

What is your opinion on the ever spreading sub-genre vine? Are there too many? Do you think there’ s perhaps a sub-genre that doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

I actually think it’s fantastic seeing more and more ‘sub genres’ spring up, because these vines are beginning to get intermingled. We’re starting to see more techno influences come back into the trance world – and vice versa! Much of the melodic and deep house music that is resonating with folks also brings over those trance-inspired elements. I think it’s fantastic.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?

This is a toughie. I think they both scratch very different itches for me, but if I absolutely had to pick one, it would be music production (or at least, those ‘fun’ moments of production!) There’s nothing more satisfying than wrapping up a song and being immensely proud of how it sounds.

Sometimes it takes a while, but the payoff is worth it.

As a music artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

I feel it has become increasingly difficult (in some ways) for artists to make a living off of their music. There’s a continued reliance on live gigs to bring in any sort of income, and the fees offered in those gigs seem to be ever creeping lower.

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar? Who shouldn’t the world sleep on?

This past year has given us the opportunity to share the music from some up-and-coming artists that we love and really champion their music. Some notable examples that we’re huge fans of include Hausman and Movement Machina.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

We’ve just wrapped up a couple of remixes that were debuted at Above & Beyond’s recent ABGT450 gig, and ‘Vivi’ is our first official release under the Monstercat banner (although our history with Silk Music goes back 10 years!)

Lots of upcoming shows on the horizon as well, including Groove Cruise in early 2022.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

We’re eternally grateful to our fans and community that have helped us get through this past year. It’s been our biggest blessing and we love you guys!

Vivi’ features on the Spotify playlist HOUSE_GROUND.fm

Follow Elevven:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

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