Interview With Lo-Fi Artist & Producer ‘Puzzle Neptune’

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hello. My name is Gabriel, I’m 28 and I’m from East Europe, Romania.

How did you come up with your artist name?

Puzzle Neptune, “puzzle” because I make the projects piece by piece, but in a weird way.

For example, on project “x”, I make the drums, then I load project “y”, there I make the bass line, and so on. 

Can’t stay, let’s say more than 3 hours on one project. Don’t know why 😦

“Neptune”, the eighth planet from our Solar system. I’ve been born in August, the eighth month. Also, don’t matter the nuances, blue is my favorite color. 

So there you go, “Puzzle Neptune” 🙂

How long have you been in the music industry?

I started at the end of 2012, that period of time when the rumor about the end of the world was a big hype. :)) 

How did you get started in the music business in the first place?

Had an old Toshiba laptop from my sister, manufactured in 2004, and an Fl Studio producer edition. 

In the beginning, it was very hard. Didn’t have any knowledge about music theory, sounds selections, etc. 

But with time, I gained experience, and the internet started to be flooded with video tutorials, articles, you name it!

So yeah, great memories I have, and I don’t regret it. 

How would you describe your latest single?

“Let’s fly to the sky”, is also the title of my first lo-fi album. The album, for the most part, tells the story of two youngsters. (Fictional characters)

The song is the 7th on the album, and it is about the female “person”. At the beginning of the story, they meet by chance on a street, and was love at first sight.

But in the 7th act, the woman has long been separated from the man, she did that because she wants to become financially independent and famous.

She is a dreamer and needs to find someone like her. She can’t live with a simple guy who doesn’t believe in her dreams.

Besides fiction and my imagination, I added some old memories to finish this track/song. 

My father has been a mechanic in military aviation. Also a parachutist, and he dreamed that I will follow his steps. He even got me there to his workplace at a young age, like 6/7 years old.

But in time, plans got changed and here we are today 🙂

When can fans expect the visuals for the single?

Don’t know if I will upload the album or the song on YouTube. 

But there are chances for the song or the album to have visuals. 

I’ve delivered the album to some lofi curators, probably right now, the work is in progress 🙂

So definitely, when I will be announced, I will share the video materials with my listeners. 

Who are your inspirations in the music industry?

Bee Gees, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Joji, Dua Lipa, Modern Talking, Michael Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Daft Punk, Scorpions, Drake, Stromae, Childish Gambino and many more!

How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?

In the last year, I implemented a way that I’ve thought a long time ago.

I start something only if I have that “creative mood”.

Despite the fact that I am not able to have long sessions.

I choose a scale that I think it fits. If not, I try until it does.

Further, choosing the instruments & sounds to fit with the mood. This is one of the hard steps for me. 

When I’m half done with it, I start with the chords and playing around until I come with a progression that I like. Then I add more instruments if I think the song needs them, or delete.

Based on the chords, mood, and scale, I come with a title. 

When the “core” is done, I mean, the bass line, melody, chords, drums. 

I’m drawing the song structure, add the foley effects, transition effects, vocal chops or don’t. 

With all these things “recorded”, I let the project file for a while. An undefined period of time. 

When I almost completely forgot the groove and how the project sounds, I jump into it and check if is something that I would like to change. After is done, I prepare the song for the mixing process.

What is the concept behind your forthcoming project if working on one?

I work on two EPs, one will be with some recycled tunes. Besides recycling, I will give them the vintage/lofi touch. 

The next one will be without vocal samples, “smooth overloaded”, probably I will renounce at acoustic drums and I will go only with electronic ones. 

Now I will see what I will finish 🙂

Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?

No, first because I’m an introverted person, the second reason, with this pandemic is almost impossible to organize an event and the third one, in my area, lofi listeners are like diamonds, very rare 🙂

What did you buy with your first check off music?

With the last money made from music, I bought a nice sound library from Ik multimedia. 

What are must-haves when you are in the studio working?

My pc with sounds, my keyboard, my monitors, yeah the tools that I have right now. 

I’ve tried to work in other places and I’m not so relaxed and confident in myself. (I should try again)

What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?

To keep pushing no matter what everyone around me says. 

Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?

Yes, I’m planning on the 3rd material to have collaborations or maybe on the second one, don’t know. We will see. 

What artist have you had the pleasure of working with and what was it like?

To be honest, I had some collaborations but I’m no more proud of them. I can say, one collaboration was great when I collaborated on a techno song with a dark vibe. This was at my beginnings, a period where I jumped from a genre to another. 

By the way, the artist nickname is “Nica” 🙂

Name an artist(s) that you would love to work with?

I would like to work with Joji. (Yeah right, yeah right) 

The second one would be… don’t know right now. Oops! 

Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?

In my case, definitely for the beats.

What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..

A lot of improvements must be made. From production to promotion, more active on social media, etc. 

What’s your all-time favorite song?

This question is hard. At this moment a lot of favorite songs come into my mind. So I don’t have one. 

What was the last album you listened to?

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

Your favorite artist of all time and why?

Oh, another hard one. Yeah, don’t have one… 

Who’s your fav five artists right now?

Right now it goes in this order.

1. Dua Lipa

2. Childish Gambino  

3. Rita Ora

4. Drake

5. Justin Timberlake

In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?

I will keep the answer short. Joji, because the is comic, versatile, crazy talented, with censored video clips.

Who has been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?

Didn’t have a chance in the first place. 

How do you feel about the current state of music?

Don’t know if I’m understanding correctly the question. I’m a little confused. The question is about what I think about the music industry or what I think about the surprises that had a place in the last years?

If it is about surprises, then it is overwhelming how it goes. Now with the 80’s fever, reaggeton fever in trends and lofi music. I’m very curious to see what will be like in the next years. What is the next surprise, the next big deal.

Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?

Ah, I don’t dream that far. Not yet. 🙂 

What is your main goal as far as music?

At this moment to finish and release one of the EP’s, this year must happen and I need to promote it more than the album.

Who would you say your music relates to the most?

From the statistics that Spotify provides me daily, youngsters are the leaders, and I can’t be surprised or mad.

What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)

What separates me from other lofi artists right now. I think this is the way I set the drums to play with the melody lines. But for future projects, I will try to be even more different. 

When your not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?

I like to listen to music, doesn’t matter if is old or new. I like to walk around, alone or with friends. I like to watch movies, to make small moves & plans and many more.  

If you could work with any producer who would it be?

From lofi, I would like to work first time with Badsnacks.

What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?

The last milestones that I’ve achieved lately. Are the good feedback that I receive from this album. And I hope I will receive more until the next release. 

For the second milestone, I’ve been added to 30 Spotify playlists so far. (I must reach 50)

The third one, an interview, and has happened. 😀

Yeah, instead of one, three, and many thanks to everybody, you ROCK!!! 

What is your dream venue to perform at?

Don’t think I will perform live ever.  

What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?

Wow, last book… Sadly It passed a lot of years. It was a series, written by Issac Asimov. The Foundation series! 

What’s your favorite sports team and why?

Don’t have a favorite team. 

Who’s your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?

Oh, here I go again. 

Actor – I will choose Benicio del Toro and the best movie is “Snatch”

Actress – Scarlett Johansson, conquered my heart playing Lucy in the “Lucy” movie. 🙂

This thing with favorite actors changes constantly. 

Name someone famous who inspires you and why?

Nothing comes to mind at the moment.

What can we expect from you in the future?

As I said, projects are in the oven. 🙂

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