RED’s Emerging Music Artist Contest Grand Prize Winner/ Music
We are very pleased to announce the grand prize winner of our Emerging Music Artist Contest, Night Lights – a Los Angeles-based band made up of Yusuke, Mau, Jeff and Dag.
Yusuke entered our Emerging Music Artist Contest on behalf of his band with their indie pop song Childish.
In order to get to know our winners we sent them over a few questions to answer…
Where does your love of music come from? How have you gone about following your music dream?
Mau: I grew up with a very rough case of ADHD. I felt misunderstood and frustrated at how hard it was to say the things I needed to. I was always very emotional and didn’t know how to make my words powerful and meaningful, to describe what I was feeling. My dad was huge on music and he introduced me to that world. Eventually I got a drum set and it was a great outlet for my ADHD. Drums turned to bass, turned to guitar turned to singing and writing. Somehow the music just felt good. I felt like I could be understood. Ever since, I wanted to be able to put to words and to music the things people have trouble saying. I obsessed over songwriting. Now, I’ve left home and family and friends and other job opportunities to pursue this dream of helping people feel what they need to feel through our music.
Please elaborate on why you chose the three words you did to describe your music
Mau: We originally wrote indie pop/rock, which is literally what genre our music is. But beyond our genre, I would say the best three words to describe our music are honest, fun, and creative.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Mau: I find it in relationships and in interactions with people. The world is in an interesting place right now, so as the world evolves, so does our music. The internet age fascinates me, so thats what’s currently inspiring me, but a couple of years ago, it was girls and my awkward interactions with people. Who knows what will be next?
Tell us about how the different personalities of the band influence your musical output.
Yusuke: Mau is a very creative person and he has many great ideas. Since I am a rational person, I take those ideas and evaluate which of those ideas are seizable. Dag then, being a perfectionist, helps execute the ideas perfectly.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played (and why was it the best)?
Yusuke: For me the best show we have ever played was School Night. School Night is a very well known artist showcase for up-and-coming, buzzing new artists in LA. The venue was packed, people were singing along, and the energy was great. We even got an encore!
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played (and why it was the worst)?
Dag: We played a show in Philly once at a Venue called The Kung Fu Necktie. The venue is a pretty highly praised spot. Small, but has good rep for good bands. When it was our turn to play, we literally played for the bartender, the sound guy, and the bassist of one of the other bands. It wasn’t a terrible gig. We played our hearts out, but it was hard staying motivated and excited to play our music. We decided to dedicate that show to each other and have fun. We made it work in the end, and all three audience members truly enjoyed it, hahahaha.
Where would be your dream venue to host a gig and why?
Dag: The Denver Red Rock Amphitheater. It’s just such a beautiful location. Somehow, nature sets the perfect mood for good music. Makes people more receptive to it and makes the experience more memorable, I think.
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with and why?
Dag: If it was an artist, we think MuteMath and us would have an awesome time creating music and going crazy. We also feel like we share a lot of the same core values as them and as such see them as guides in what were trying to do, so working with them would be a dream come true. If it were with a producer, Anders Opdahl (lead producer of Emilie Nicolas’s – “Like Im A Warrior” album, which we really like). He just has a beautiful understanding of spaces and arrangements that we admire and would love to tap in to.
What are your top tips for other musicians starting out?
Mau: Listen to a ton of things. Get inspiration from everything. Because when you get so much input from other musicians, you start to find your sound somewhere in the mix of all of your inspirers, and theres no better feeling than finding your sound and being comfortable in it.
What’s your life motto?
Yusuke: Unity in diversity.