Isidor is a Serbia-based synthwave musician with strong visual and narrative threads running through his work. He explains his experiences of getting into the genre and why he likes to make music, not simple tracks.
What music projects are you working on right now?
Currently, I am working on a new album which I hope will be released in July 2017. It will be a synthwave album with a hint of electronica and Italo disco. I would also like to say that I am constantly working on new music because I have a great many melodies and arrangements in my head which I am looking to use for creating great music.
One of the projects that I am looking forward to developing is a YouTube channel for promoting ‘smaller’ artists, called Isidor’s Synth Corner, so be sure to go to YouTube and check it out. The idea behind this channel came because there are so many great new artists out there that don’t have the platform to be heard and hopefully this channel will help them do exactly that, be heard.
Could you say what first attracted you to the ‘80s sound? Do you remember first hearing it and thinking, “This is what I want to make”?
One of my great friends came over to my place one day to hang out back in 2011. I remember this because he was abroad for a long time and this was the first time we’d got together in many years. He then played me an album called Near Dark from Dance With The Dead and that’s when I knew that this is what I want to produce. They’re now my favourite synthwave artists.
Near Dark is probably the best synthwave album that I have heard to this day. The fact that I listened to it in one sitting from beginning to the end just goes to show how much I loved it from the first time I heard it. I would now say that synthwave is the best genre for me because it can be extremely melodic but on the other hand it can be powerful and brutal as well.
Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more! You say on your SoundCloud you’re mainly inspired by retro electronica, ’80s films and games. Could you tell me about how these influence the music you make?
Okay, so I love futuristic and sci-fi stories. I love the visuals that people present to us as viewers when they make something in that field. Movies and games are the main source for anything futuristic. They have it all, the music and the visuals.
The best part of this is that throughout all the games and movies you can see how the creators have no limit to what their imagination can make. Everything was or is possible and that’s something that appeals to me. One of my all time favourite games is called Inversion. If you haven’t tried it before be sure to check it out.
I love the sci-fi themes to your songs, they sound like they could be in movies! Would you say your songs have stories or themes running through them?
Spot on! All of my tracks are made with a story in mind, I believe that’s the best way to create! My album Dark Night Genesis has 10 tracks, each having been made with different stories in mind. I constantly have a minimum of 10 melodic themes floating in my head. Now I sound crazy, but hey, that’s the life of a composer. Some of them are good and some not so much but the most important thing is to know which of these melodies will fit the storyline and do it justice.
It also looks like you’re very into the graphic element of what you make. Do you enjoy photography and producing graphics?
I do have to credit my girlfriend since she’s a designer and she helps me with my graphic work. She’s there when I yell, “Help, what did I just do? Where did my layer go?” and she is also constantly teaching me about graphic design and how I can do better. I’ve always had an interest in graphic design, especially the retro style, but I have to be honest, I was gifted more in the music department then the graphic department.
What’s the music scene like in Novi Sad or Serbia more generally? Is it a good place to be making synthwave and similar music?
Short answer: NO!
Long Answer: Serbia is probably the worst place on this planet if you are a synthwave artist. The people here in Serbia do not give the acknowledgment or respect to composers who are ‘alternative’. The scene here is more of Turkish or Greek melodies and mainstream pop.
One good thing I will say is that Novi Sad, the city I live in, hosts the famous EXIT Festival where a lot of the ‘alternative’ crowd gathers. Then once a year you can come and listen to great music and hear up-and-coming artists, as well as discover sounds that just make your imagination go wild.
Finally, what do you hope to achieve in the next few years or months with your music?
At this point my main goal is to get as many people as I can to hear my music, which means I will be promoting myself wherever I can. I believe that in order for anyone to achieve this goal they need to have two things: great tracks and good promotion.
I will acknowledge that it is extremely difficult to be heard but that hard work does pay off eventually and all your blood, sweat and tears will bring you closer to achieving your goals, so never give up.
I will also say that there are a lot of composers out there because everybody can make a track today. The software is so advanced that you pretty much don’t need any knowledge about music to make a track. But that’s the problem, everybody can make a track but not everybody can make music and that is my ultimate goal: To make music, not tracks.
Thanks so much Isidor! It sounds like you have some really exciting projects coming up.
You can check out Isidor on: