While I have not technically covered Sekond Prime on Watermelon Banzai before, I did cover them on Heavy Blog is Heavy when I highlighted their Arrival EP, so I’m proud to write about them over here today as I feel they’re one of the best up and coming examples of the emerging spacewave subgenre. Furthermore, today they’ve released a new single entitled “Destroyer of Worlds” and there’s more to it than initially meets the eye as it has three things going for it: One, it’s being sold as a name your price! Two, it’s only available until October 31st and then it’s gone! Three, it’s fantastic!
Again, if you’re not familiar with Sekond Prime’s work, I encourage you to check them out further musically but what better way to understand them personally than by going a step beyond with an interview? With that said, who is Sekond Prime? How did they get involved in making their unique brand of synthwave?
“Over the past decade I have been working as a composer for videogames” Sekond Prime told me, “and as a composer I wanted to do more music that comes most naturally to me which is synthesizer infused electronic music that moves between songs and scoring material. I have been a fan of the synthwave movement since it started, so that match was easily made. Since I want people to judge the music by itself rather than by my past work experience, or credits, I chose to work under the alias of Sekond Prime as it keeps worlds separated.”
As was mentioned, they’re already well versed in the synthwave scene but what else influences them as an artist? “I listen to a lot of different music” Sekond Prime stated, “so it really goes from classical up to electronic and some pop. As for original 80s music: John Carpenter, Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre must be my biggest influences as I grew up on their music.”
Of course, what is an artist without their tools of the trade? What does Sekond Prime use to make their sounds? “My studio holds lots of synths (PolySix, Juno6, D50, and MS20 just to name a few) and I love using them where I can” Sekond Prime explained. “Mostly it is a mix of both hardware and software, combining the best of both worlds. Nothing beats a true hands-on synth though and my DSI OB6 is one of those gems I would never part with. Still have a few of the more pricey synths on my list and some might become a reality one day (Prophet 5, Jupiter 6) but others (Jupiter 8, CS80) might forever stay beyond my reach.”
These instruments and influences certainly came to a head on Sekond Prime’s Arrival EP but, while they were in complete command on the captain’s chair, they also had a few crewmembers on board in the form of collaborators both in terms of art and vocals but how did those come about exactly? “Grinwise is a friend and former colleague of mine” Sekond Prime explained when talking about the cover art of the album, “so we worked on some projects in the past and we both share a love for Transformers. When the time came to think about the cover art I wanted something different, impressive and that got in touch with the music. I feel extremely lucky having the option to work with such a talented artist as the cover art is the first thing new listeners will see, so it has to be right!”
As for the above track, which features wonderful vocal work on the part of Lara Ausensi, Sekond Prime elaborated that “Lara (who writes music and performs on scores / libraries as well) visited my studio while I was halfway into production of the EP. I had played with the idea of vocals but wasn’t sure if my way of writing would be a good fit for it. After a first listen, and explaining the concept, Lara felt inspired and sat down to write lyrics for one of the tracks. I felt the track became so much more than I had planned for while listening to the first draft of the vocals on Alpha One; Lara really did an amazing job and for me Alpha One is the highlight of the EP.” It most certainly is the EP’s single!
Speaking of singles, and getting back to the one at hand for today, what can Sekond Prime tell us about this one in particular? What was the process like in it’s creation and is it but a small taste of things to come or just a one off track in terms of its overall feel? “I felt I wanted to do something to cover the gap between Arrival and the upcoming release (hopefully later this year)” Sekond Prime stated.
“With some time on my hands I decided to write a track that has a slight different sound or theme than most of the rest. It really is a sort of thank you for all the early great support I’ve received in the past six months! Process wise I had a few melodies in my head that I wanted to use. Since I wanted to visit a slightly more menacing mood for this track, given the season, I used a few more darker sounds and created some patches that give a bit of that Carpenter feel. My aim is to try new things and never mimic, but it is fun to have a slight edge of tribute.”
As stated, or rather warned, at the beginning of this article: “Destroyer of Worlds” is only available for a limited amount of time until October 31st. What made Sekond Prime decide to go with such a unique release strategy and will we ever see said track again down the road, perhaps on a future album? “I wanted to do something a little special and different, so I decided to limit the download window. For now I’d say this really is the only way to get it, or you’d have to break into my studio – please don’t – and I hate those type of actions where people say exclusive and next month it surfaces again” Sekond Prime declared. “For me it is also a great way to measure my direct reach and size of the fanbase. So by all means, if you read this interview and want to show your support in the easiest way possible, please download and spread the word!” DO IT NOW.
What now? Where does Sekond Prime go from here? “Nothing is set in stone” Sekond Prime proclaimed, “but my intention was to be in it for the long run. This has been a fun ride and my main goal is that it should stay like that in a creative sense. I also want to keep at a certain quality level by going for a complete picture. This is why I TRY to do the best merch, artwork, and of course music. It takes time to let new tracks sink in and, if I feel they are not yet ready, I’ll shelf them for a later time if need be. It’s a luxury to do that compared to my regular work by being my own critic and pushing the bar to where I feel I should be.”
BONUS ROUND: What goes on your perfect pizza and inside your ideal burrito?
“I am not much of a burrito guy” Sekond Prime admitted, “but pizza? Oh, yes, I love pizza! American style, pepperoni for sure, and with any Italian cuisine I prefer mixed toppings. Oh, and I’m quite the lasagna addict!”