Polyphonic Underground

Artist interview - Robot On A Playground - 2020-02-24

Robot on a Playground is an electronic music producer based out of Düsseldorf, Germany, known on occasion to stream his production sessions live on Twitch. He’s one of the artists featured on Polyphonic Underground’s upcoming record release Terrible Investments. You can learn more about him at robotonaplayground.com

Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: It all started with Status Quo. I was and still am such a big fan of this band. So I started to learn playing the guitar at the age of eleven. Took lessons for about nine years, wrote my first song when I was fourteen and started playing in bands at the age of sixteen. Fast forward to 2013, when I fell in love with a band called CHVRCHES and finally started making electronic music in 2015.

Q: Where does the name, Robot on a Playground, come from?

A: I’d love to tell you a really cool, funny story about my name but...actually it just came up to my mind one day and I liked it.

Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?

A: Hmm, as this project is still pretty young, it’s hard to describe it’s music. I’d say it’s...glitchy electronic emo pop music. Maybe.

Q: What’s your song composition process?

A: Most of the time it starts with jaming around. If I end up with something I like, maybe a nice groove, chord progression or just a nice freaky sound, I save it and come back to it a few days later. If there’s still something that... kind of gets me, I start again working on it. Adding other sounds, beats and whatever. It’s more of a playful approach and I love that. Maybe that’s the reason for...you know...the playground.

Q: When you create music, what is your personal purpose or goal?

A: Of course, I’d love to earn money with my music (who doesn’t?), but my general goal is to make music that I’d like to hear, but can’t find anywhere else. Which doesn’t mean, that I think I’m very innovative. I’m just too lazy to search for new/different music. Also, I’ve always used creating music as some kind of therapy. My favorite therapy.

Q: What does your studio look like? What gear do you typically use?

A: My studio is in a corner of my living room. It has nice lighting, some vinyl figures (me = geek), and is just a few steps away from the kitchen. I do not have/use that many hardware synths. I’m working in/with Ableton and getting most of the sounds I use, with Abletons own software instruments. I’m a big fan of Abletons Wavetable. I do own a Novation Bass Station II, which I use more often than my Arturia MicroFreak. My main guitar is my Fender Telecaster, which I bought together with an Orange Rocker 15, two years ago. I also own a Yamaha Revstar and a Yamaha acoustic guitar. Nothing vintage. Several shakers, a cajon...that’s pretty much everything.

Q: Who are your favorite artists, Synthwave or otherwise?

A: As already mentioned, there are two bands that I really love: Status Quo and CHVRCHES. Both of them had a really huge impact on me as a musician. Maybe also as a human. I’m a big fan of Mr. Bill, Andrew Huang, Dresage and Rachel K. Collier as well. Everything I know about recording and producing music, I’ve learned from them. When it comes to synthwave, I’m a big fan of Le Matos.

Q: Of your own music, do you have a favorite?

A: No, I’m too old to make tracks that I do not like ;-) I love all of them equally <3

Q: How did you start streaming your music production on Twitch?

A: It was my sister’s idea. She (@FrlvonMarzipan) streams games on Twitch and she told me that there are musicians/producers, who stream their production process there. So I tried it. It felt kinda weird in the beginning, but it soon became a lot of fun.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

A: It’s that therapy thing. Expressing my feelings and sharing them with other people. Giving people a part of myself. Making people smile, dance, cry...the magic of music as a language, everybody understands...that's what I love.

Q: What is the best music related advice you’ve been given?

A: There are four:
1. Never do it for anybody else but you.
2. Trust your ears. If it sounds good to you, it is good.
3. Do not start making music. It’s too expensive.
4. Do not follow every piece of advice.

Q: What can you tell us about your upcoming EP?

A: The EP is about 60% finished. So there’s still some work to do, but I think I'll be able to release it in April. There will be five, maybe six tracks on it and it will be released on all major platforms.
And it will be called:
*insert drumroll here*

Q: Fantastic! We'll look forward to its release in April. OK, last question. What are your ambitions as an artist from here?

A: Making and releasing more music. Doing more streams on Twitch. Maybe even live gigs. Doing collabs with other musicians/producers. Learn more about producing. I have a bazillion of ideas. Only need to find time and energy to implement them.


Thanks to Robot On A Playground for joining us today!

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