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Rushkeys is a Lithuanian sound engineer and producer with a diverse range of talents. With a background in the piano and saxophone, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre alumni has poured his technical knowledge and compositional skills into a Chill Electronica EP titled Outlook, which will be released on the 3rd of March under the Stereofox imprint. But before then, Domas Ruškys has teased the project with the crisp percussive single ‘Kira’, a record that maintains an easy-going groove throughout and an upbeat feeling to boot. We thought we’d speak with the artist before the big reveal. Here is what he had to say:
Describe your sound for us. What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
I create melodic Electronic music where I try to combine electronic and organic sounds. In terms of genres, it is something between Downtempo and Organic House. It seems to me that my music is dreamy, it has a feeling of childhood nostalgia. I personally want it to be suitable both for dancing and for listening alone with headphones.
Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?
Boards of Canada, Benn Jordan, Bonobo.
How did you discover your particular sound?
As a teenager, I grew up listening to a lot of instrumental Hip-Hop and beats style music, but at the same time, I was also interested in electronic and dance sounds. I was curious about combining these two elements: the flow of sample-based Hip-Hop and the energy of dance music and wanted to find a middle ground without straying too much into one or another genre. Probably the first artist I heard doing this was Bonobo who naturally explored more upbeat approaches from the Trip-Hop aesthetic.
Tell us about one of the first struggles you faced (as a group or a solo artist) and how you overcame it?
Perhaps one of the first struggles I faced and still face today is to decide when the track is finished and it is time to move on. Lately, I’ve learned to feel when I’m satisfied with how it sounds by trying to look at my music as a certain moment captured in time. In that case, only I‘m responsible for when it’s finished.
What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?
Ableton Push controller, Korg MS-20 synthesizer and Roland Aerophone, which is a digital wind instrument. I learned to play the saxophone as a teenager, so lately I’ve been happy to find a way to use the sounds of a wind instrument in my music. It brings life and a unique instrumental speech to my music.
Music for the individual or the masses – which do you want to create?
I think that every musician has to find their listener, so I don’t try to please the masses and want to stay true to myself.
Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far?
I believe that all the best moments are yet to come.
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?
It is difficult to choose a specific artist, as each is unique in their own way. I am happy with every collaboration that has already taken place and open to new experiences.
What kind of message are you trying to send with your music?
I use music as a means to express myself in truth, communicate experiences, and create connections.
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?
My new mini-album Outlook will be released on the Stereofox label on March 3rd. I am very happy to find a home as an artist and meet a team that really understands and supports my vision. This EP is like a summary of the changes that happened in both my musical and personal life. I tried to combine childhood memories with the perspective of the future and extract from them something dreamy and positive, which is lacking in the world at the moment.