Artists in the U.S. are talented, but it’s nice to have a different sound, and it’s no secret that the UK has birthed some of the most energizing and brilliant artists we know today. Take Don Diablo and Jessie J’s “Brave,” for example, which was last year’s summertime jam.
The group behind the track’s production and sound, Electric, has continued to make headlines for its spark and energizing aurora it brings to the industry. Hailing from Norway, the electronic duo, composed of Henrik Michelsen and Edvard Erfjord, has turned the UK’s ear towards their sound. Both are notable producers with an ever-growing list of production credits.
Taking a closer look into Erfjord’s background, we can see the spark of ingenuity which stems back to his decision to first attend Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he eventually met his bandmate, Michelsen.
As 2021 approaches, the music industry has been shaken enough with digital transformation, but what nobody expected is the toll the industry would take if and when a global pandemic came knocking on its doors. For the past ten months, the coronavirus has infiltrated every segment of an artist’s career, from mere writing all the way to the mastery and production stage.
And during this time, while performances, tours, and other events have been either postponed or canceled, artists and producers have been forced to somehow keep up their appearance and work. Now even more so, following Facebook’s updates to its Music Terms of Service. In a Bloomberg Law Insight, attorney Andrew Rossow argues that the social media giant’s newest additions via its algorithm, actually discriminate and restrict certain genres of music, such as EDM DJ’s which present a problem for copyright law. And the problem, according to Rossow, is that Facebook’s algorithm is still underdeveloped when it comes to distinguishing potential infringing content.
“How can it detect that an EDM DJ who has the right to use a licensed work, a common industry practice, is actually within their right to do so, before outright restricting or removing that artist’s content? It can’t, yet.”
Which brings us to the topic of personal branding. With artists taking to social media and video streaming platforms to continue staying “relevant” to their audience, how can individuals like Erfjord who write, produce, and perform in a highly energized environment, continue to put out that same appeal?
The group’s name, “Electric,” certainly sparks creativity, which Erfjord believes also has a positive vibe to it. Since live-streaming platforms like Zoom have become an industry “must,” adapting and adopting seems to be the only way to stay afloat.
“I do quite alot of online sessions over Zoom,” Erfjord tells us, adding that “it’s actually working really well. I’m very pleased that this is an option now since I can’t travel like I usually do for sessions.”
Zoom has allowed Erfjord to have more time to make tracks and come up with new ideas. “I think it’s nice to have some more time to experiment with different sounds and production in the studio; so I’m able to make more tracks and send them to different topliners and artists.”
As for the equipment of choice, Erfjord loves his ATC SCM45A studio monitors in addition to his Collings acoustic guitar, and of course the Gibson and Fender electric guitars.
“For plugins, I really love the FabFilter stuff, Soundtoys, OTT, Inflator, and the good old Waves renaissance bundle.”
With success, comes the struggle. And the Electric co-founder is no stranger to it. He shared that one of the biggest obstacles he overcame was getting his music out when he first started his career:
“You end up having a bunch of ideas and music, but not anywhere to send it. The whole idea behind a publishing deal was very cryptic to me, as I had no idea how to get signed. I just heard everyone say that it was important to get a publishing deal to get the ball rolling. So, getting my network both in terms of publishers and management, with collaborators was essential for me.”
Erfjord confessed that if he could collaborate with one artist he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to yet, it would be Green Day, as he grew up listening to the group, which comes with a bunch of nostalgia. “I saw Green Day live on the Dookie tour when I was 10-years-old.”
The problem with many musicians today, however, is that many forget where they came from; how they got their start. Not Erfjord. He told us that he still keeps in touch with people from Liverpool’s Institute for Performing Arts.
“I still keep in touch with these people, as they are spread across the industry–in labels, managements, studios, and publishing. I was based in a studio complex, called Tileyard in London for many years. It was started by Charlie Arme, who started working for Virgin Records at LIPA, and we worked with a couple of acts that he looked after while I studied there.”