Looking for new music on this Monday morning?
We’re here with a brand new Track of the Week. We love this collaboration between BIMM Brighton students Matt Flood and Selina Heinen – AKA Surgecore & S.AGE.
This is their first dabble in working together, and if this track is anything to go by, we can’t wait to hear more! Listen now to ‘Holding On’ and discover a little more about the track below…
What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?
S.AGE: The song is about an experience I had to face a while back. The lyrics are about overcoming this feeling of being in love with someone but never fully be able to be with this person. Putting those sad feelings into this song helped me go through it and turn something sad into something hopeful.
Surgecore: I wanted to reflect the emotion that S.AGE put into the track while still keeping the chilled yet bouncy tropical vibe that’s common in a lot of summertime music.
Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?
S.AGE: I’m a big fan of Swedish songwriter Sandro Cavazza. He wrote many songs for Avicii but also collaborated with Kygo, which both have a big influence on our style.
Surgecore: As well as the above, during production, I took inspiration from Kygo’s Golden Hour album to make sure it’s in keeping with what the tropical house audience is listening to at the moment, while still keeping our own unique flair on the genre.
What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?
Surgecore: Being two separate artists collaborating, the sound of this track differs slightly from other songs we have written in the past. While my sound used to be a weird mix between ambient and dubstep music, it has now evolved into a more EDM-style-take on the two genres combined, a bit like Virtual Riot and Au5.
S.AGE: The vocals are influenced by different genres, such as Soul and Pop, using a higher range and catchy hooks as well as the German accent that occasionally comes through, which brings a special sound to the song.
Both: Together, our sound is very house, but has a lower tempo and tropical flavours in it like drum patterns and marimba sounds that give you an exotic feel. We definitely focused more on the ambient side of things while producing ‘Holding On’, but very much expanded into some new future bass and tropical-style sound design when creating some of the synths.
How does your songwriting process work?
S.AGE: The songwriting process differs for me from time to time, but with this song I came up with the topline melody first, then I’ve added the lyrics and finally some chords.
Surgecore: A lot of it was bouncing ideas back and forth and changing things as we went. Once we got a ton of ideas down, we met up and discussed the structure of the song which gave us the basis of what we were aiming for with the finished product. After that, it was just arranging the song like a jigsaw puzzle and layering the vocals down after!
Describe your sound in 3 words…
Tropical, Uplifting, Melodic.
How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?
Surgecore: As Surgecore, I’ve been able to explore many opportunities and production methods and technologies. Before coming to BIMM, I didn’t really have a sound, though now I have finally managed to decide on a style that I love doing. My sound is very much a weird mix of EDM, Melodic Dubstep, with a dash of Future Bass, but with its own special twist.
S.AGE: I’ve always loved to sing and write songs, but through BIMM, I really found my own voice and was able to stand up and be proud to be a musician. The creative environment that BIMM offers helped us find each other and become friends and helped me get the confidence to put out my own ideas.
What’s next for you?
For our solo projects, S.AGE has a lot more music coming up and you’ll see her experiment with some more genres. And Surgecore is rumoured to have another album out next year as part of a new era of music that he’s working on at the moment… I guess we’ll find out soon!
Though for both of us? This song was testing the waters for a new collaborative project under the name of LAVA, and since the song has done really well already, you’re sure to hear some more from us as LAVA!