Insight Interview: Cobalt Rabbit

We caught up with Insight favourite Cobalt Rabbit to talk about his music, collaborating with glo and the future. Read his story here…

Hey Cobalt Rabbit! Thank you for agreeing to an interview. First off, can you recall your first real exposure to music?

No problem! I had this mp3 player that was able to tune into different FM/AM radio stations and I happened to be up late at night around 3:00AM to stumble upon an interview with Amon Tobin talking about his incredible LP “ISAM.” The intricate sounds and rhythms were something on another planet to me at the time. I looked up his library the following day and fell more and more down the rabbit hole into the more obscure underground music scene.

How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?

Back in 2008 my dad was friends with a guitar player who worked with and told him about FL Studio. I remember my dad describing the things you could do with the software and I knew I had to get my hands on it and start creating right away. He downloaded the demo version on the family computer and the rest is history, I guess!

Have you ever played live? Would you like to in future? Any upcoming shows?

I played a few shows as Cobalt Rabbit in the past and would like to do it again. I’ve been in a different mindset with other projects lately. Got back from a recent show under an alias of mine that’s far more hyper haha.

What have been your biggest influences? 

I would have to say Eskmo and Baths are pretty big influences on what I do, personally. Their complex layering of organic sounds on top of delicate elements like piano and atmospheric pads are definitely a good influence.

Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both? 

I believe it definitely comes from years of understanding how different programs work and function, on top of in-depth analyses of how music is structured. It has been 10 years since I’ve started producing and I’m still learning.

Would you say you find the creative process cathartic or therapeutic at all? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult periods in your life? 

The process is definitely cathartic, yes. I would say some of my recent material is my best work to date, as it was written around the time I was still living with my mom and her abusive boyfriend. I had a lot of rough nights and writing music to distract me/take me to different worlds kept me alive.

Any other genres you’d like to explore in future? 

I have definitely been diving into different and more abstract genres as of late. I’ve been very busy with a more fun, colorful project called “♥ GOJII ♥.” It’s an amalgamation of rave-influenced music fused with intricate future bass melodies. Cannot wait to watch it grow ♥.

Do you have any thoughts on the future of underground musical styles? Do you think the scene will evolve further?

The scenes are definitely evolving and growing into beautiful subgenres and styles. I don’t think I would want them to become mainstream, as there’s something magical and feeling more like a “family” when it stays “underground” you know.

Your latest EP is a collab with Fox Machine Gun. How did that collab come about and how did you both work together to produce such amazing sounds? 

Fox Machine Gun is one of my many side-projects actually! Dnb and neuro subgenres have been of fascination to me. I wanted to see if I could utilize bass sound design as more of a percussive element and less of a focal point of a track, as can be heard in my latest EP. it was a fun process and I might do more of it in the future, we’ll see.

Can we expect any more Cobalt Rabbit collabs in future? Any other specific artists you’d like to work with? 

I would love to do more collaborations with glo again. His dark yet delicate soundscapes are magic to work with and I feel our sound as a whole is something magical. As far as new collabs go, i’ve always dreamed of possibly producing for FKA Twigs….

Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?

I wouldn’t say I had a ‘top’ favorite, as i love A LOT of music, haha, but I’m currently in love with Bewilderbeast‘s LP “Still/Alive.”

It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that? Have you ever thought of swapping this life for a different one? Would you have any words of advice for young producers who might be nervous about putting their music out there? 

Life personally has been a bit rough lately and i’ve been struggling with depression/anxiety episodes daily on top of cutting off a toxic family. Swapping lives has crossed my mind occasionally, but I don’t think I would. I get to live with the love of my life and we both appreciate each other’s art. it’s not perfect, but it’s very special and dear to me. As for aspiring producers, if you’re trying to get into the music scene in hope of fame and financial success, it’s a very tough field and there will be a lot of obstacles. Also luck determines whether or not you really “make it.”

Ultimately if you’re doing something that makes you happy and you feel the world should hear it, definitely put your stories out there!

Any other Cobalt Rabbit projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?

I’m gonna take a little break from that project at the moment production-wise but I am interested in playing more shows in the future by the end of 2017.

And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about? 

Underground/underrated artists I definitely recommend: Bewilderbeast, Elevation, Geotic, and Isqa.

Thanks so much Cobalt Rabbit!

No problem!

‘Luminance’ by Cobalt Rabbit x Fox Machine Gun is out now on Insight – available here.