Canadian Musician - November/December 2017 - Page 31

DIGITAL MUSIC One would never assume that a bunker in an Atlantic Canadian forest would house an incredible studio operated by Canadian musical prodigy Nick Fowler. Nick is known primarily for his TV compositions, having written the themes for Daily Planet and The Social. His solo project, FWLR, grows to fan and blog acclaim. With focus on writing electronic music that lives outside of the box, FWLR is carving his own path through the global musical landscape. Hear music at Soundcloud.com/FWLRmusic and FWLRmusic/bandcamp.com, and hit him up on any social media platform @FWLRmusic. Cross-Platform Collabs A Q&A with FWLR on Collaborating with Non-Electronic Artists Part 1 N ew Brunswick-based producer and electronic artist FWLR recently took part in the Songwriters Associa- tion of Canada’s SongWorks 2017 Pro Writing Camp, which brought together a number of Canadian artists from different disciplines and locations to work and compose together. Here, FWLR tells Canadian Musician about that experience and, in Part Two, about some of his other collaborations with artists from outside of the digital domain. CM: So how did it first come to be that you got involved with the S.A.C.’s SongWorks 2017 Pro Writing Camp and what were you hoping to gain from the experience? FWLR: A good friend of mine, Vince Degiorgio, suggested me to the S.A.C. team after I sent him a folder full of electronic music that was well suited for vocals. I was looking for some new vocalists to work with in order to flesh out these ideas and this camp was more than I could have ever hoped for. Once the camp organizers reached out to me and I was confirmed for the project, I was really excited but also quite nervous. This was my first camp and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect or what would be expected of me, but I was hoping to make some new connections, gain some experience, and write three awe- some songs. All of that happened, and then some! CM: Tell us a bit about how it worked – specifically, about how your writing team of you, David Spekter & A-SHO came together. FWLR: So at the beginning of each day, the eight writers and four producers would gather around in the kitchen of a beautiful mansion the S.A.C. rented for the week. Murray Daigle and Bobby John, the event organizers, would chat with us for a few minutes and then they would announce who each producer would be working with that day. W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M On the last day, I found out that I was working with David Spekter and A-SHO. We went to my production room and started listening to some small sketches I had put together prior to the camp. Those two were such an amazing team. A-SHO gets so excited about music that it inspires you to write and do your best work. David is an absolute monster when it comes to melody and writing lyrics. As we listened to about 10 sketches, the three of us bounced lyrical and melodic ideas off of each other. If we had time, I feel like we could have probably turned all 10 of those sketches into great songs, but we narrowed in on one that was really just some piano chords for an intro. As the morning went by, we were like a well-oiled machine. Even though I was primarily writing the music and A-SHO and David were primarily writing the vocals, they would throw musical ideas to me and I’d throw lyrical ideas to them. As the day was drawing to an end, we were super pressed for time. Luckily, David is an amazing producer as well and he was handling the vocal production as I wrote and pro- duced the rest of the track. A-SHO kept solving the lyrical problems that came up and somehow we were able to get the song finished on time. It was such an intense and rewarding experience. CM: You’re primarily known as an electronic artist, though tell us about your “musical pedigree.” Have you taken formal lessons in any capacity, and are you competent on other instruments? FWLR: I took a few guitar lessons when I was about 12 or so, but besides that, I am musically self-taught. I took electrical engineering tech at NBCC and that has helped me massively as a producer. I can play most plucked string instruments like guitar, bass, uke, etc., but my strength is really just that I’m a super nerdy dude who loves math and science. Mu- sic is math and electronic music takes it a step further by heavily relying on science and physics. As far as music theory goes, I have either figured it out on my own or watched enough YouTube tutorials to get me by! C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N • 31