In conversation with synthwave duo PRXZM

 Image credit: Nate Woodward

Rising duo PRXZM consists of college friends Nick Ortega (synth electronics) and Emma Maidenburg (vocals), who have just released their single ‘Slow Motion’ that is beaming with 80’s nostalgia. The duo has been making music together for five years, and released their third EP titled Let Me Fall ahead of the release of Slow Motion. Slow Motion premiered via CLASH Magazine, and the duo currently sits on a collective rate of 30 million plays across streaming platforms.

We find out more about this synthwave duo below.

Describe your sound for us. What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?

We are very inspired by pop music from the 80s and early 2000s, and those influences are apparent in our own sound. We often feel nostalgic for an era we didn’t exist in and we want other people to feel that sense of wonder and sentimentality.

What type of significance does your new song ‘Slow Motion’ have?

This song was written on the beach in Northern California and we think it perfectly encapsulates the emotions and nostalgia associated with spending time with people you love, not knowing it’s the last time everyone will be able to get together in the same place for a while.

 Which feelings were you trying to evoke in the listener?   

We hope that this song brings the listener a sense of calmness and warmth amidst the storm that is 2020.

Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?

Nick: Porter Robinson (He got me into electronic music in the first place), Bruce Springsteen (His entire Born In The USA album is on my running playlist), and CHVRCHES (A perfect blend of electronic and live sounds).

Emma: For me, it was simple. I had an iRiver Clix, and the three artists on it were Taylor Swift, a Rocket to the Moon, and Avril Lavigne. Oh and the cast of Wicked

How did you discover your particular sound?

It’s been a lot of trial and error! We’ve been through tons of different style changes throughout the years. We started out making really heavy electronic music and have slowly transitioned into a more live, vocal-driven sound.

What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?

Nick: I don’t use any equipment during the production process, but performing live one of the most integral parts of my setup is my Novation Launchpad.

Emma: I love my TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2. It has been a game-changer on and off stage. It helps me write melodies and find harmonies while writing.

What outside of music inspires you to create?

Nick: I’m really inspired by the surreal landscapes and universes that exist in movies and video games, and the technology that is used to create them. The possibilities are virtually limitless. Thinking about if I were to exist in spaces like that spurs my creative process.

Emma: Growing up in Northern CA, I’d say my brain feels the happiest at the beach. We don’t have warm, bathing suit, sun tan lotion beaches here though. Ours are more suited for bonfires, blankets, and long drives. I also feel inspired by simple things like movie montages and good stories with morals

Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far that you will take with you forever?

Nick: Performing at Red Rocks will always be one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done. However, I am obsessed with trampoline gyms, and every time we have a day off on tour, I’ll try to go to one in whichever city we’re in. Now that we can’t even leave our houses, I look back fondly on those memories.

Emma: My favorite memory is when our tour bus got stuck in a snowy parking lot in Sioux City Iowa. We were there for three days, eating every meal in the one bar that was open, playing darts, and watching the snow build up on the windows. I wrote two song ideas while we were stuck there! 

But Red Rocks was pretty cool too.

If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?

Nick: There’s this video of Queen performing at the 1985 Live Aid event that I watch at least once a week and it gives me chills every time. Performing with a band like that would be incredible.

Emma: I’d love to work with Prince. He was talented beyond measure and a genuinely awesome person in every way. RIP

Most artists say that if they weren’t artists they would be mailmen/women… what would you be?

Nick: I went to school for computer science and a lot of my focus was on game design and artificial intelligence. I’m really into video games and if I wasn’t making music I would definitely want to work in that industry!

Emma: Now that you mention it, I think I would be a mailwoman. Help the country, enjoy medical benefits, and get a nice calf tan!  Save the post office!!!

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

We have a couple more singles coming out this year that we can’t wait for people to hear. One is called ‘Adrenaline’ and it’s a really cool, darker take on our usual upbeat, pop-leaning synthy sound.

Follow PRXZM:

Website – Facebook – Twitter –  SoundCloud – Youtube – Instagram – Spotify

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