For those who know me, It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of Electro and Indie-pop. The sense of freedom and energy is indescribable and I know I just found a good artist at doing it because of the connection I immediately feel. ULYSSES is 100% one of ’em. As soon as I’ve listened to the opening track of his fourth EP “COUNT ON ME” my mind was hypnotized.
Can’t believe this dude wrote down this stunning material all on his own in a crowded basement suite amongst piles of forgotten belongings. Electro vibes twisted perfectly into the raw passion of the indie with the guitar always at the core of everything. Ulysses knows how to create great music and this EP has proved that this guy’s creativity has no limit. Absolutely suggested!
YMX: Hey ULYSSES, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
ULYSSES: Hey, my pleasure! These gloomy times have been good for me. I’ve been very concerned with the wellbeing of my fellow humans during all this chaos, but I’ve been making good use of the isolation and channelling my unrest into making art that is healing for me, and hopefully others. I find it’s important to put the phone down and shut off the noise and just disappear into my creative zone on a regular basis.
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
ULYSSES: I grew up in a musical household, it was never a question of “if”, but “what instrument are you going to play?”. It’s been a long, rewarding, process. I’m just a big fan of music, especially melodies! It’s the quickest way to open up your emotions and explore ideas and imagination. Hearing The Strokes for the first time was pretty big.
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
ULYSSES: Jon Hopkins – his music is like a soundtrack to life on earth. It’s elemental and existential all at once. Frank Ocean – pop hooks wrapped up in-ear candy with adventurous production and incredible storytelling, need I say more!? Zane Coppard – my brother makes incredible music, and I mix and master most of his stuff. It’s collaborative, and we share a lot of attention and energy in life. His work really moves me.
YMX: You recently released “COUNT ON ME”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
ULYSSES: ‘Count On Me’ is the final EP in a series of four that I planned out in 2015 when I started producing my own music. Making these records has been both an opportunity to learn how to make my imaginary tunes come to life, and to express all kinds of things that would have stayed bottled up inside me — I don’t think it’s healthy to bottle it up. You gotta channel all that stuff! The process has taught me how to be more self-assured, how to build things of quality, and opened up all kinds of music-related opportunities for collaboration, as well as new relationships.
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
ULYSSES: I had it really easy. Pre-pandemic I had already transitioned to working mostly alone in my home studio. A lot of my music is self-contained, or in collab with my brother (who was in my bubble). I’d also began mixing and mastering for other artists, and it’s pretty easy to send those files around and do facetime chats and stuff.
YMX: Professional Livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
ULYSSES: Yeah for sure! In fact, my housemates and I (at @Valhalla.Ridge on IG) just hosted a Livestream show, which I performed on with my band Smash Boom Pow, which includes my bro. As for my solo stuff? Totally, I haven’t really stepped into performing my stuff live yet but it’s been on my mind a fair amount lately.
YMX: Since the pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
ULYSSES: I’ve been pulling back a little bit from promoting heavily online. Partly for my own wellbeing, and partly because I’m feeling some shifts in my unconscious that are changing my approach and the music I’m making. I want to give that process some space so I can allow it to be as powerful as possible.
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)
ULYSSES: I’m almost done making a couple of new tracks (okay, maybe 60% done) and I’ll be sharing them soon enough. Right now I’m most interested in evolving my sound and diving deeper into my studio. I have some new gear I’m learning the ins and outs of — most notably a Korg Minilogue XD, which is a game-changer. All you producers out there still using only plugin synths, you gotta grab a hardware one, if only for the workflow upgrade, it’s INSANE how much faster you get good sounding stuff with low CPU usage. Ahem, I’m just trying to spread some good vibes in the world with my jams. I’m (perhaps naively) optimistic about humanity and where we’re heading. Be good to each other.