ACHILLES stopped by to chat about his UNDERGROUND ENERGY EP, his production process, and his goals for the rest of 2021!
Although he’s a relatively new face on the scene, ACHILLES has exhibited a relentless work ethic along with an infectious house sound that has captivated listeners. He sets the bar higher and higher for himself and explores various sub-genres of house with each passing release and you simply cannot throw on a track by him without wanting to get up and dance!
Since 2019, ACHILLES has kept his foot on the gas and is showing no signs of letting up. Releases such as “Neon Rave” on Nightenjin, paved the way for him to be a part of the Pit Crew V2 compilation with his single “Rydrz.” He followed that up with a string of hot releases such as “RUNNIN” which came out on Jauz’ Bite This! as well as “Signals” on Gold Digger. Continuing that momentum, his latest EP UNDERGROUND ENERGY showcases ACHILLES at his best as he pushes the envelope forward.
With all the buzz around this rising house star, we knew we had to chat with ACHILLES about his latest release, where he draws inspiration from for his signature sound, and his goals for the rest of 2021. So stream the new EP, listen to this exclusive guest mix from ACHILLES, and read on for the full conversation!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 287 || ACHILLES on SoundCloud:
Hey ACHILLES, thanks for chatting with us! Let’s take a step back in time, how did you get into producing electronic music? Did you have prior musical experience or was this something you developed later on in your life?
It all really started back in 2015 when I first got into DJ’ing and mildly into production. I’ve been a fan of electronic music for some years before that but after meeting one of my good friends Josh (Shöckface), who at the time was DJ’ing and producing, that’s when I fell in love with the idea of making music and performing it live. Prior to that, I did not have any musical experience myself but members of my family like my father were all musicians and highly encouraged I try it myself. As the years went on, things began to fall into place and I knew that this journey was meant for me.
Where do you draw inspiration from for the thumping Achilles sound that we have grown to love?
When I first started out, my main inspirations at the time were Flux Pavilion, Jauz, Skrillex, etc. and they are still inspirations to this day. But as the years went on and I continued to develop my production style and “sound”, I grew to find inspirations in not only big names like Joyryde, Habstrakt, etc. but also up and coming artists who were crafting their own sound as well. I think it’s very important for artists to grow together and learn from each other. We’re all chasing the same dream, why not inspire each other to get there?
Now we can bring things to the present and discuss your latest UNDERGROUND ENERGY EP that was released on Emengy. What’s the story behind making this EP and did it differ from your previous releases?
Ah yes. This EP is truly one of my more prestigious works I’d say. I began working on ‘Move’ with Haus of Panda in 2020 during the pandemic and at the time, we planned on releasing it through his record label Speed House Movement. As time went on and I explored more into the speed house realm, I ended up creating ‘Underground’ which I thought was perfect to include with ‘Move’ as a two-track EP.
We shopped around a little but ended up sitting on it for a while but after speaking with Nick and Vince from Emengy, they told us we had something big here and they wanted to showcase that and have it be their first house release on Emengy. I truly think they were the perfect fit for it.
One of my favorite tracks off the EP is “MOVE” with Haus of Panda. How did this track come about and what’s your process like in the studio when collaborating with artists?
Like I mentioned before, ‘Move’ was created through the pandemic and it was definitely one that we spent a good amount of time on. Working with Haus of Panda was not only stress-free but an honor as well since I’ve been a fan of his for some time now. I’m happy to have made a good friend throughout the process of that song. I think the main process of collaborating with artists is not just to share your names on a track, etc. but to feed off of each other’s knowledge, use each other’s strengths and help with the weaknesses so you can both learn and grow as artists and showcase a product that resembles both of your sounds.
With the world in such a weird state, how do you keep the creativity flowing in the studio and drive yourself to continue to crank out outstanding tunes?
This was definitely hard. Working full time as a firefighter definitely did not make it easy combined with the pandemic and everything happening in the world today to keep that creativity flowing. I usually will keep a routine of keeping my work at work then once I get home, I focus on music. I’m always learning, always supporting my friends, and always using that positive energy to guide my creativity. I think it’s also really important to not overwork yourself and to have mental health days so you stay sharp and focused. It’s crucial in my opinion.
Having released music on labels like BITE THIS!, Nightenjin, and Emengy, what has it felt like to receive support from these labels and collectives as a rising artist in the scene?
Having been a fan of Jauz for years and years, it was a HUGE goal to land a release on Bite This! When he first announced his record label. I knew at the time I wasn’t ready yet and made it a goal to send him something once I deemed the time was right. I cannot express in words how good it felt to have one of my favorite artists sign my track and show his support to my brand.
I have a massive amount of love for Danny and Nightenjin as they were the first record label I ever signed a track with. They definitely paved the way for all my success throughout 2020 and on. Same with Nick, Vince, and the Emengy team. Both labels will always hold a special place in my heart and an important point in my music career.
Aside from the pandemic, what has been the biggest struggle you’ve faced so far in your career?
Getting my name out I’d say but any artist could say the same. It’s really important to know your self-worth but to also be humble. When I first started out, nobody in the Massachusetts scene really noticed me or gave me a chance. I was playing tiny empty clubs on a Traktor S4 not knowing what the hell I’m going to do to get to the next level.
After some time, I got to meet some of the guys who run Hyperglow and told them about myself, hoping they would give me a chance and they did. I played three consecutive Hyperglow’s in my hometown for a massive crowd and opening for artists such as 12th Planet, 4B, etc. This is what seriously took the Achilles brand to the next level and set the tone for the future.
Finally, as we dive deeper into the latter half of the year, what are some goals you’d like to achieve before the end of 2021?
There are so many goals to list. I’d say my main goals to achieve before the end of 2021 would be to push out a couple more tunes, get my foot in the door with labels such as Confession, Night Bass, Dim Mak, etc. and begin preparing for 2022. I think 2021 has been a huge year for me in regards to releases and the support I’ve gained but something tells me 2022 is going to be even bigger. To anyone reading this, stay locked in because we’re just getting started.