INTERVIEWS

Foreign Suspects: One EDM Exclusive Interview

EDM duo, Foreign Suspects, has been emerging on the scene over the past couple of years. The two Filipino friends, Jae and Abel, have made their home in Florida and since have been hitting the club circuit. The two artists have been making a name for themselves with their genre-bending tracks. Now, the group is preparing to drop their first EP.

Foreign Suspects have a unique style of EDM that does not tether them to any particular genre, but rather, gives them the freedom to blend the genres into a unique experience for their listeners. After winning a contest that got them up on the Main Stage at the Forbidden Kingdom this year, it is suffice to say that these two should be on everyone’s must-watch list. One EDM got the chance to catch up with the two and learn a little more about them and their rise to the scene.

Interview with Foreign Suspects

OneEDM: A couple of months ago, you got the amazing opportunity to play the main stage at the Forbidden Kingdom Music Festival. How was that experience for you and had you ever played for a crowd that sized before?

Jae: It was amazing and surreal at the same time. It shows that hard work and perseverance pays off. A few months after FK I had the opportunity to play a b2b renegade set with SkyHye & TooKind opening for Rezz. Abel wasn’t there because he had prior engagements and we had no idea that we would end up playing due to Bleep Bloop being late because of travel issues. I believe there were 9000+ people there if I’m not mistaken. It was humbling and an honor to be asked to play and experience that.

Abel: Very surreal. I’ve never thought I’d play in front of anyone when I started learning music production on a really old and beat up laptop.

In your interview with Noise Porn, you all mentioned that you were waiting to go on tour so you can release more content. Are you able to tell us more about what that new content will be like now that you have released the new collaboration with Riot Ten? Or maybe some future collaborations coming up? 

Abel: We are set with music releases until the end of the year so far. But right now, we are focusing and putting all of our effort and energy on the first EP that we plan to do. It is going to show our what Foreign Suspects’ sound really is. 

Jae: We have shows lined up announced and unannounced in the upcoming months. Right now focus us on music and our first EP which we are really stoked about.

The heisted track you all just dropped from Atliens, what was the collaboration process like for that song? Or, how do you all decide which songs you are going to “heist”?

Abel: You know, it’s crazy to think that we literally “Heisted” that song the same exact day the original was released by ATLiens. Heard it super early in the morning and literally worked on the heist 5 minutes right after. Sometimes, a certain song just hits a nerve that triggers a massive rush of inspiration that everything just clicks from beginning to end. So it’s more of like how a song inspires up than a “deciding process” of what song we should do next.

Jae: With this particular heist Abel literally surprised us (including management) and just came out guns blazing. After he sent it, we just literally made a few adjustments and that was it! As far as choosing a heist, there’s really no process. if it hits you it hits you and you just know.

As you all have been working together, have you noticed a progression or change in the way you make music? 

Jae: Yes definitely. You learn daily so you progress daily. Always evolve so you don’t get left behind.

Abel: Yes. It changes constantly. We learn something new every day and we incorporate the ones that help us the most into what we do to progress.

While on the festival circuit, what has been one of the biggest challenges you all have had to overcome? 

Abel: Nothing major so far I suppose. Because the only thing that we deal with right now is that nobody really knows us like that yet. So we are constantly introducing ourselves and what we do to everyone. 

Jae: Yeah, pretty much just introducing ourselves and making sure we connect with the right people. Also I think that artists tend to forget to enjoy festivals and shows because they are too concerned about networking, but watching and experiencing the music and everything is also a must.

When the festival season comes to a close, what is on the radar for you two in terms of events, releases, etc.?

 Jae:  Right now the main focus is releasing music and working on our EP.

Abel: We stick with our plan no matter what day of the year it is. We have a monthly meeting with management and plan our moves for the next couple of months. Our management is really good about timing when releasing whatever content for potential upcoming bookings. 

When it comes to collaboration with each other on a new track, what does your process look like and how do you all build your song together?

Abel: Honestly, we don’t live in the same household so we work separately a lot. But whenever we have an idea, we send it to each other and pick what we need to do to execute and lay down that idea flawlessly.

Jae: What’s funny is when we first started producing together, the projects I started always looked like a giant scrambled up Rubix cube and it used to drive Abel crazy. Files were all over the place in my laptop, unorganized folders, no grouping, color coordinating in the project files. lol. Organization is key! Hahaha

Have you all ever disagreed on something (a sound, lyric, etc.) while creating? If so, any tips for other duos on how to overcome those disagreements? 

Abel: Oh, absolutely. Every time we disagree on a lot of things but it is normal because every single artist is creative in their own way no matter how close you are. If that was the case, every song in the world would sound exactly the same. But we’re really good at meeting halfway and mashing our styles together in one track.

Jae: Exactly what Abel said, but we have the relationship where we can really get feedback off of each other and work on that on our own or together. Either way being in a duo you learn to compromise and also learn to be open-minded about everything.

As new technology has come out in the music production world, what have been some of your favorite and least favorite changes? (New equipment, new ways of making sounds, etc.)

Jae: Electronic music and technology go hand in hand. Like what I said earlier, evolve with the times or get left behind. Be open-minded and try new things. Not the greatest at sound design, but resampling a sound and making it your own

Abel: So far, my personal favorite is Ableton 10. The changes they’ve made have made life so much easier when it comes to making music. So many new amazing gadgets that have come out that make music producers take their sound to a new level but I am very crafty with sampling. I even sample my own sound that I designed. Ableton has no limit when it comes to sampling the simplest sound.

What are your thoughts on some of the trends going around the EDM music world right now? (Sounds, visuals, production styles, etc.) 

Jae: I think it’s dope. Everyone’s really starting to bring their “A” game to the table to go along with their sound. Innovation is key. Giving your fans an experience and memories that will last a lifetime is what it’s all about. 

Abel: Sounds and production are gonna be endless. It’s going to change every single minute so we try our best to make the best we can. Granted we are still working hard on ours but honestly, visuals have to be as good as your music. It’s not just a gimmick like what everyone is saying. It’s a way to give the people an experience beyond the music. We’ve spent almost 100% of our time, and worked so hard for behind closed doors. 

Right now, what are some goals that you two have for Foreign Suspects for the next couple of years?

Abel: Some our are my major goals. Work with Space Laces, Must Die!, Modestep, Hekler, Tynan, Yookie, Jkyl & Hyde and Levitate. Play EDC Vegas, Tomorrowland and Electric Forest. 

Jae: This year I had the opportunity to attend and play at Electric Forest (all thanks to Rhune and the wonderful people at GrassRoots). That in itself was a life-altering experience. Abel was not able to come because everything played out last minute, but that’s EF definite goal for us in the years to come!

Notes

Needless to say, there are big things that we can expect to see from Foreign Suspects. With a new EP soon to be dropping, as well as heisted tracks, these two artists need to be on all ‘must-watch-for’ radars. Hopefully, we can expect a tour from the duo soon so we can all experience their new music live.

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