It’s the turn of production outfit Universe & The Citizen and singer/songwriter Angie to chat with us this week as they talk about their single ‘Blame It On My Body.’ Both showing ample promise and talent, we get to know them better in this exclusive interview.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us! What kinds of music did you both grow up listening to?

Universe and the Citizen: When I was 12 someone showed me Linkin Park and I was mind-blown. Their music made so much sense to me at that time and probably for a lot more people as well. I thought it was the music of a generation if you will, considering I was growing up in Eastern Europe and they were as relevant to me back then as anywhere else in the world.

Then I saw Rolling Stones live in Bucharest in the Bigger Bang and I knew I had a calling for music. I started playing guitar and any other instruments I could and really grew up in the Rock Music Culture listening to The Doors and Led Zeppelin and such. It went on for years like that before even opening a DAW.

Angie: I grew up listening to a lot of r&b/pop artists like Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, Black Eyed Peas etc. and of course High School Musical!

How do you feel your sound and influences have changed along the way, and are they constantly evolving?

Universe and The Citizen: That’s probably my biggest weakness and my biggest strength in the same time. Except for when I was very young and stubborn about my musical tastes, I feel like I’ve matured enough to understand that what I love most about music is the unconditional love and subtle communication behind it. It’s something that comes in many forms and styles and as a true music lover it would be impossible to overlook. Music is communication in its purest form. I listened to EDM in the last year and I became fascinated about what it has to say and I feel the need to interpret the information and give “feedback” on it through my own understanding. So naturally whatever reaches my ears and impresses me I want to understand it musically from a production point of view. I am stuck with EDM right now because there is a lot of quality in the genre and I really feel the energy of it all. Plus, it takes time to come up with coherent “feedback” for great music.

Angie: I would say my sound and influences changed a lot over the past 2 years and they  generally got more mature then when I first started out. They are definitely constantly evolving although I feel I’m at a quite steady place sound and influence-wise right now.

Which tunes are you particularly feeling right now?

Universe and The Citizen: I’ve been revisiting Zedd’s albums lately and because I love an amazing top line with an aggressive energy. Other than that I’m still a bit stuck on \Momentum’ by Don Diablo and ‘Company’ by Justin Bieber.

Angie: I love everything that NAO is putting out but my fave song of hers has to be ‘We Don’t Give A’ and also Prince’s ‘I Would Die 4 U’!

What did you each enjoy about making ‘Blame It On My Body’? How did you get to know each other?

Universe and The Citizen: I really enjoyed working with Angie as she is incredibly driven and is so eager to learn and absorb as much as possible, so it was very easy for me to communicate and get her to come up in the mix beautifully. We met in Cannes randomly on a beautiful balcony and one conversation led to another, she told me she is into 80’s music and I said that I’ll make the freshest 80’s sounding track that I can if she wants to collab. One of my good friends who’s an amazing songwriter from Malta flew over in Bucharest to finish up the song and that was it. Here we are!

What have been the most enjoyable parts of the year so far for you both as artists?

Universe and The Citizen: Music is always a struggle, haha. It is enjoyable every time you sit back, listen to a record you’ve been working on and say: “Okay! I really don’t want to touch it anymore.” Then you get it mixed and the mission is over. After you’ve worked so hard on a tune you sometimes forget how you ended up there and it starts to feel like “luck” you get a bit scared and jump back at it and start all over again, and the quest for tension and release continues, haha.

Angie:  I really enjoyed writing the song in the first place and having UTC and Tom do their twists and tweaks on it as well as the vocal recordings. I got to hear the final version on my birthday so that was a nice present, haha! I learned a lot this year about so many different aspects and I’m thankful for that, so I would say general growth has been quite an enjoyable experience for me and of course also putting this record out!

If you could each give an artist just starting out one piece of advice, what would it be?

Universe and The Citizen: This is a tricky one cause first of all you need to do it only for the right reasons. There is so much underneath music that it goes beyond it and reaches deep down to what it means to be human and what you really want to communicate and how. I guess my advice would be to really know what they’d be getting into and to be able to own the fact that it’s a soul quest that will probably go on forever, and whatever success is, will never be guaranteed. If you really love it from the bottom of your heart, you have a calling that is beyond control and you are willing to go through that process unconditionally, you will never be wrong.

Then again, I just released my first debut song so I hope that I know what I’m talking about.

Angie: My advice is definitely that if you want something done, do it yourself! And also a 100 different people are going to tell you a 100 different things about you and your music, so really try to do what feels right for yourself.

What do you most want to achieve this year, and why?

Universe and The Citizen: This year I’ll be launching ‘Closer To The Moon.’ It might turn out to be a fully fledged album, but more likely just a slightly bigger EP. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve finally found out who I am and what I want to do so this would be my first cohesive musical project that is not ghost producing and I can own it 100%, good or bad.

Angie: I will release some more songs and just get the ball rolling.

 

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