Following the release of the collaborative EP Genesis on Alter/Ego, I interviewed two of the masterminds behind the project; So Sus and Sejo. We chatted about the new EP, collaboration with fellow producers Hex Cougar and Pauline Herr, and what they’ve been listening to.
How long has this project been in the offing? When was the first Genesis (heh heh) of the idea?
Sejo: We started working on Genesis about 6 months ago in January.
So Sus: This is definitely one of the quickest things iv ever been a part of. This is like the second EP I’ve done. [Hex Cougar] started talking about this in mid December. I would say that by the end of March we were done.
What was it like collaborating with three other artists when none of you are in the same room as each other?
Sejo: Honestly it was pretty organic, everyone was really receptive to each others ideas and there was hardly any pushback. I would def love to do an in studio session with all of them one day.
So Sus: It went relatively smoothly, luckily we all use Ableton so off the bat that helps. How It started was that we’d all have an idea and then every week or two we would just pass off the project to the next person. Once ever person got each song the original person got theirs back to do some final tweaks and then that was that.
How interesting was it to get an insight into how different artists work? What was it like to see first-hand how they produce?
Sejo: It was awesome seeing everyones workflow and how one of us could achieve the same idea we were going for but approach it with a completely different method such as using a different plug in to get the same results etc.
So Sus: It’s always interesting to look at anyone else’s project. Just by looking at something and needing to understand whats going on so you can add stuff, theres always something new you’re gonna find out and figure out. It was really cool to see what other people are doing. You end up learning a new skill or a new streamlined way to do something. You get a song out of it and you also get new knowledge out of it.
The EP blends really well and feels very organic. Did you find it difficult trying to keep a cohesive idea with three other brains on the project?
Sejo: I’d say we all have pretty similar taste in sound and in the demos we chose for the EP. I wouldn’t say it was too difficult, I think we would each get to a point where we didn’t know where else the tracks can go and just holding back from adding too much. So then we would just pass it onto the next person for their input/idea. We all had assigned a track to work on per week, so for example I’d work on “Your World” while Hex was working on “East Bridge” for one week and so on.
So Sus: It is really funny because we never explicitly talked about it. I think its just the artists we are, we are kind of in the same zone of musicality. We’re all into quite melodic stuff but we also like a little bit of energy in the music. Those shared characteristics that we have is the reason I think why we all wanted to work with each other. We all started on the same page. I think its great that the songs don’t sound the same but they exist within the same world. It’s a nice balance to have where the songs sound different but they have similar vibes.
The biggest single in the leadup to the EP’s release was “East Bridge”How did that track come about?
So Sus: That one was Pauline Herr’s track. From what I understand she was playing a lot of Cyberpunk  and was inspired by that and a lot of gaming. I think I was the last to get their hands on it. I cant even remember the order though. As you go further on with more and more people working on it you have to think, “What do you leave? What do you take out?” By the time it got to me it was pretty much a fully formed song so I just wanted to create interest points. It depends though on which order you get to the song.
Which song was your brainchild and what was it like to see other artists give their take on your piece?
Sejo: So my demo submission was “Your World”. I had made the demo about 5 months before we started working on Genesis. It was so interesting to see how each artist put their own touches on the tune and just overall enhancing the whole record.
So Sus: My track was “Abyss”. That one was really interesting because when I’d originally sent it to Hex Cougar I had thought of it as a complete song. He was originally like “Oh, we’ll just put it out” but then we started to talk about working on it as like a collaborative process. I’m always very happy to work with other people and I think most of my songs released at this point are collaborations. I just enjoy it, it’s more fun than working by yourself. Especially with that song, seeing how it changed, I think Sejo especially made the second drop a lot better than it was originally and I think the song is better for it.
This all came about as a result of the lockdown, how has that affected what you do? Have you been more or less prolific with he songwriting etc?
Sejo: The lockdown definitely gave me more time and focus in the studio. I sort of shifted more melodically in sound vs harder stuff. I definitely still write harder club music but its not as often as I used to.
So Sus: I find that there’s less things to do, and I’m not hanging out with people as much so I’m like, “Well, let’s just make some music then.” It just feels like I’ve had more time to make music so I’ve taken advantage of that time. For me I’ve been drifting towards music that can work in a club context but also, not. Before I’d been making music that’s bass-y for clubs and stuff but now I’m trying to do stuff that can work in both so I think stylistically its changed what i’m after.
What sort of stuff have you found yourself listening too over the last few months?
Sejo: A ton of DnB, Monty, Vowel, QZB. Machinedrum, pup, idles. Honestly my music taste has been all over the place as usual lol.
So Sus: Usually I’m listening to a lot more bassy stuff since especially where I live all the festivals have lots of heavier bass dance music. I don’t know if it’s not going to shows… I’ve been like a lot of more melodic songwriting stuff lately. I’ve been really enjoying a lot of bossa nova, things like Frank Sinatra. Recently too I’ve been listening to a lot of Japanese City Pop which is pop music from Japan in the 80s and 70s. It has a kinda soul, funk, jazzy feel to it.
Lastly, what can we expect to hear from you next?
Sejo: I have a few projects that are finished and ready to go. Some bass records, some big melodic records, and maybe some DnB.
So Sus: I have some things planned that I cant talk about yet. I want to say, but I can’t just yet…