Interview: Kooma takes a minimalistic approach to new song ‘Subliminal’

Kooma, Nils Frahm, Brian Eno, eevee, Jinsang
Kooma, Nils Frahm, Brian Eno, eevee, Jinsang

Image credit: Samir Abya

After topping 2022 with his mixtape Freefall, a collection of percussive records, producer Kooma has decided to create something different. This time, he has kept his eye on layering tones for their feeling, forging new soundscapes in a track titled ‘Subliminal’, alluding to the sub-conscious, meditative nature of the track. In the past, the Finnish musician’s productions featured on the Youtube channel Ambient, aired by his home country’s radio station YleX, Radio Helsinki, and gained support from the tastemaker Stereofox. Let’s dig deeper and find out what makes him tick.

Stream / Download: Kooma – ‘Subliminal’

What sounds failed to make the cut for the final version of ‘Subliminal’? And why?

Drums didn’t make the cut for the final version even though I was considering that option for a long time. I also had an idea of a root note stab synth that would work as a ‘snare’ of some sort but that just felt too distracting for this specific vibe.

What do you picture while you listen to your new song?

Quiet and snowy winter night. I feel like I was able to catch the exact image in my head with the visualizer.

Tell us about the first time you decided to become a musician

Producing was just a hobby for me until 2016-2017. Those were the years when I decided to put all into my music career. It took a couple of years but in 2019 I was able to quit my day job and pursue music full-time. Couldn’t be happier with the decision I made over five years ago!

When performing a live set, do you allow your music to change to the tone of the room or do you rather use your music as a tool to change the tone?

I haven’t performed any Kooma live sets yet – maybe I’ll have an answer to this question in the future.

If you were told that today was your last day on earth, what would you do?

Spend time with family and loved ones and listen to End Credits EP by EDEN.

Describe a typical day in your studio space.

I don’t really have typical days in my studio space since I’m mostly randomly experimenting until there’s something interesting enough to build a track around. The only recurring thing is my morning coffee.

How do you find inspiration for your sound?

By consuming a lot of visual art and listening to my surroundings for interesting noises.

What is your favourite part of being a musician?

The endless creative possibilities: every new blank project file could be anything. It’s like a leap to the unknown; you never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.

Share your favourite quote/s

The world doesn’t just disappear when you close your eyes, does it?

What can we expect from you in the near future?

A lot of new releases, varying from chill vibes to more experimental raw sounds.

Complete the sentence: Music is…


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