By now Turkish producer Surrender! should be on your Nu-Disco radar. He’s one of those artists that, rather than making a massive splash, has slowly and surely entered our consciousness over the last year to the point where the announcement of his self-titled début album, due out September on La Bombe, was exciting stuff.
And this 23 year-old, despite only a handful of releases to his name, is already earning himself fans in the form of some of electronic music’s top names. Aeroplane, A-Trak, Villa, Treasure Fingers and Digitalism have all become regular spinners of Surrenders! tunes, Digitalism even included his track Travellers on their recent DJ-KICKS album.
His music is instantly familiar, yet uniquely fresh. The obvious elements of French Touch and Electro, Italo and House are all present, but Surrender! pushes them into overdrive, creating something as exciting as chainsaw synthed Electro-House and as Funky as Disco. The forthcoming album promises to be an odyssey through hard hitting, groove laden synth madness.
In the lead up to the album’s release, Surrender! took some time to give us a peek into the world of mad Disco.
ER: So, first up, what prompted the name change from Opptimo to Surrender!? There was a lot of support for Travellers, why the change?
S: What I didn’t knew was that there was another Opptimo with only one ‘p’. Optimo from the UK. And they were also making electronic music. So it was best to change it earlier rather than have problems later. If they were just a rock band I don’t think I would have changed it but hey, I’m really glad I did!
ER: When did you get into making music? How did that happen?
S: I got into making music when I was 18. It wasn’t anything serious at first but as time passed and I learned new things, I started to really love it so I kept going and going. I was always interested in making music.
♫ Surrender! – Volute
ER: What did you listen to growing up, was it electronic and dance music or did you come to that later?
S:When I was about 7 I was in love with Michael Jackson but that changed throughout the years and I started listening to some really hard metal bands. Dimmu Borgir, DEICIDE, Bloodbath etc. But at the same time I always loved the Chemical Brothers and Prodigy. So electronic music was always there with me no matter what. And finally at 15 I just completely fell in love with electronic music.
ER: You’re about to drop your new album in September. Tell us a little about it and what it means to you as a whole body of work?
S: It was really different than just making an EP because EP’s are easy to do for me. I can just use the same formula or same kind of approach with them but an album is a whole another ball game. Just like that Chemical Brothers song: Music:Response. You have to keep the mood alive and think of the album as one rather than just a compilation of tracks because in the end they are like organs of a body. You cannot separate them and expect to have a functioning body. I matured a lot with this album, I actually learned more about music than I did in the last couple of years.
♫ Surrender! (Feat. Jhameel) – Hurry (Lovin’ Is Crazy)
ER: When you sit down to write a track, what is influencing you other than music?
S: Not a lot of things. A good road trip and meeting new people always seems to give me new ideas and thoughts about music though.
ER:So what’s the Surrender!’s studio? Do you have a favourite bit of studio kit? Any favourite synths?
S: I wouldn’t even call where I make my music a studio because the only hardware I have is my M-Audio midi keyboard along with a T.C Electronic sound card. I don’t even have monitors. It’s funny to see people visit my place and ask where all the gear is.
♫ Surrender! – Locate
ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?
S: Juno 106.
ER: Do you prefer songwriting/studio work or playing live/DJing?
S: I think that they complement each other. It would really hard to do just one and skip the other.
ER: What’s your breakfast preference? Cereal or cooked breakfast? Would your answer change the day after a show?
S: Right now I’m actually working out and eating healthy for a change so my breakfast is a few small tomatoes, a little cheese, 2 egg whites and green tea. And yes, after a show it would change probably Haha.
♫ Surrender! – Fast Days
Surrender!’s self-titled début album is due out in September on La Bombe.
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