It’s gotten increasingly harder and harder to get noticed as an electronic music producer over the years. As the market continues to become saturated with ambitious hopefuls, we begin to wonder what does it take to stand out above the rest? Most people would agree mimicking top DJ’s and jumping from trend to trend won’t get anyone very far, but what does that mean for the dreamer in the bed room? Personally, I believe crafting a unique sound goes very far. Taking the time to create an identity through your music allows an audience to better connect with genuine artists. One particular group that is starting to get some traction is the dynamic duo professionally known as PRXZM. The Indiana University students have been able to successfully develop a unique sound that is all their own. I got a chance to catch up with members Nick and Emma and pick their brains about what makes their music click.
TrapStyle (TS) :Do you play any instruments?
Emma (E): I was classically trained in vocal performance for 10 years. Since then I’ve *dabbled* in guitar and sometimes ukulele when there is one nearby!
Nick (N): I’ve played piano ever since I could sit up by myself at the bench! I also dabble in ukulele and can play hot cross buns on the recorder flawlessly.
TS: I understand you’re both full time students at Indiana State University. How do you balance being a student and producing music/touring?
PRXZM: It is definitely a difficult balance sometimes. We often do as much homework as we can during the day so our afternoons can be spent in the studio. On weekends, we leave right after our last classes and go straight to the airport. No matter how little sleep we get or how much homework we have to do in the green room before a set, it is always worth it.
TS: I can just picture you two studying away in the green room while everyone is getting lit! How did the Borgore collaboration come about?
PRXZM: We released a song called “Lost With You” with AMPR in August of 2015 on Buygore. From that track, Borgore heard my voice and knew he wanted to feature us on his album. From there we recorded “Out of My Mind” and released it in October!
TS: What’s been your favorite show to play so far?
E: In October we got the opportunity to perform our track with Borgore with him at Freaky Deaky in Chicago. It was my first time getting to sing in front of a huge crowd and was the most insane rush. Favorite show that was just ours was probably a warehouse show we did in Chicago also. The intimate setting and crazy energy was awesome.
TS: Was there any particular moment where you decided music is what you wanted to
devote your life to?
PRXZM: If it hadn’t already been confirmed, our performance with Borgore solidified it for sure. And just getting to see everyone’s constant positivity towards what we’re doing is such an amazing feeling.
TS: Who are some of your biggest influences/inspirations?
PRXZM: Porter Robinson, Madeon, Snails, Jai Wolf, Skrillex, Halsey
TS: How do you guys split up your work flow? (In regards to composition, mixing down
songs, song/lyric writing, etc)
E: I write the songs and melodies, fitting them into ideas that Nick has started
N: Yeah, usually I’ll just mess around on the piano to come up with a solid chord progression and then we just go from there! Emma will write solid lyrics (like she always does) and we’ll build the track around those.
TS: What led you two to want to cover “im on one”
PRXZM: Every time we go on road trips or have a long journey to a show, we listen to the pop2k station on siriusXM and whenever a Drake song comes on, we scream it at the top of our lungs. ‘I’m On One’ has always been one of our favorites so we thought “why not try something new!”
TS: Any plans for an album or EP?
PRXZM: We would definitely like to release an EP. We’re going to wait probably another 6 months-a year before it happens though, need to have a solid platform to release on.
TS: You guys are pretty diverse when it comes to genres, is there any genre you haven’t
dipped into that you can see yourself getting involved in in the future?
PRXZM: We’d love to do a moombahton track and maybe a more hip hop style one as well.
TS: Any cities you guys hope to visit soon?
PRXZM: Seattle, New York, and Austin! Also, Tokyo would be amazing.
TS: I get the feeling you guys would be welcomed with open arms in tokyo. What can we expect in regards to the future of PRXZM music? More vibes or more bangers?
PRXZM: Our versatility isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so you can expect some more of both 😉
TS: I’m gonna hold you to that! So how did you guys meet/decide to start working together?
PRXZM: The first week of our freshman year, Nick posted on our IU Class of 2017 page wondering if anyone would be interested in singing on a track he made. We made 2 tracks together and decided to become PRXZM in January of our freshman year.
TS: There’s a constant theme throughout your project that seems to be inspired by Japanese art. Do you watch anime? If so which ones.
PRXZM: Neither of us have really gotten to into it. We both really love the whole Japanese culture and the style of art that anime is drawn in. And we always tell ourselves we’re gonna get into it but we have no clue where to start.
TS: I’d definitely recommend Sword Art Online. If you could be a musician in any decade which decade would it be?
E: For me, I feel very fortunate to be a musician in this decade because of the insane amount of opportunities and room for versatility that we have in this musical era.
N: I would want to be a musician in the year 3000 because you know they would have some wild stuff going on. Either that or everything is just going to sound like Zomboy and Virtual Riot.
TS: By 3000 all music will probably be for robots anyways since they’ll have taken over haha. We get to hear Emma’s vocals on a good majority of your tracks. Are we ever gonna get to hear Nick’s saucy vocals on a track?
N: Definitely. We’re currently working on scoring a nature documentary and we’re using my vocals to emulate dying animal noises. It’s pretty cool actually, we don’t have to use any processing at all like they just naturally sound like that.
TS: Definitely have to be on the lookout for that. There’s no doubt that the industry has been saturated with millions of hopeful producers trying to make it. You guys have managed to stand out from the crowd with a unique sound. Any advice for aspiring producers struggling to find their own identity?
E: The best advice I could give someone struggling with their musical identity would be to not constantly compare yourself to other people and just make what you like because if you’re doing that well, other people will notice and you will develop a unique fan base.
N: Definitely. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Also make sure you build a strong online presence. And of course, practice, practice, practice. Fame and fortune doesn’t happen overnight. There are thousands of hours of hard work and dedication that happen behind the scenes.
TS: Couldn’t agree more. What are some artists you think are underrated?
E: Real Slow, V A L E N T I N E, Gill Chang
N: MYRNE, QUEST, WAVEDASH
TS: What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
E: I listened to a lot of classical music in choir. Aside from that, I loved (and still love) Taylor Swift. The rest of pop2k was also regular on my iPod touch
N: Ok so don’t judge me but I went through some… interesting musical phases. Like from 7th to 9th grade I literally only listened to extremely heavy metal (metalcore??). August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, and Suicide Silence were like the three top listened to bands on my iPod. I also used to be really into rap. Like really into it. I think at one point I thought I was actually Eminem. I have like 3 raps that I recorded that will never see the light of day.
TS: In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about being a DJ/producer?
PRXZM: Probably the misconception that live performances are a joke. We put hundreds of hours into a single track and getting to perform it live is no small deal. Singing and performing each track is a different art form that we love equally as much as creating it.
TS: What’s one song that never fails to make you cry?
E: I’ve cried every time I’ve seen Porter play Language. This was the first electronic style song that I truly loved and it throws me back to that stage in my life.
N: Any Taylor Swift song makes me sob uncontrollably, I don’t know why. Also the sad song that plays in that dog commercial with the red head lady.
TS: I would’ve expected opposite answers since Emma’s the huge Swift fan! You’re not alone Nick. Not a dry eye in the room whenever that commercial comes on. One more question for you guys. To those who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it?
PRXZM: A mix of wavey and future bass with some harder tracks offsetting the continuity of the chill genre.
Today PRXZM continues their consistent streak of releases with their newest single “Higher”. The track perfectly captures that wavey future bass vibe previously mentioned. “Higher” features Emma’s signature vocals along with melodic vocal chops and a downtempo beat. This single is available for a FREE DOWNLOAD through their soundcloud page so make sure to cop that while you can! Also make sure to keep up with all of PRXZM’s social media to stay updated on all their latest releases, whether they be bangers or ballads.
Stream & Download “Higher”:
Some other note-worthy PRXZM tunes: