Interview with Nick Chronos about his new album “Keep In Your Heart”
Recently the new album of Chronos – Keep In Your Heart has been released! Keep In Your Heart is a dozen of exciting tracks, each with its own character and atmosphere and united by the one and only idea – to keep only positive vibes in your heart.
Our editor, Vera Uzhva, has spoken to Nick, the founder of Chronos, about his new album, about yoga and chillout-music.
Vera: Keep in Your Heart. What do you appeal to keep in hearts by means of your music
Nick: Music is a powerful energetic stream if you perceive it consciously but not just played on the background. Musical waves can grand courage, provide with hope for the coming day, charge with light melancholy or warmth. These are live emotions and feelings which an author tries to transmit to a listener so that the latter could CO-feel, CO-share.
Vera: Why does the album start with a track named after the yoga asana which is usually performed at the practice end?
Nick: Yoga is a wonderful practice for self-realization, charging with energy and releasing any blocks. Shawasana (the pose of a corpse) secures a practice as the concluding element of relaxation. The same way Shawasana in the album as a foreword winds listeners up for conceiving the coming musical book and anchors their attention at acoustic perception.
Vera: You ask to be given freedom to walk alone. How does it fill you?
Nick: Solitude is an obligatory component for a successful creator. Self-sufficiency and independence are obligatory components for a strong personality. Aloneness and silence are the air for the soul and mind. In our overloaded world people are merely afraid of staying all by themselves, of facing their fears and themselves real beyond layering of the world around. I am finely filled up with travelling alone when you are independent of schedules, other people’s caprices and can rely only on yourself. There can happen extreme moments: some time ago I was lost in the Caucasus at night with only a cup for mineral water and a telephone out of touch. I had very interesting feelings, the imagination started working and the brain started generating all the characters from mystical movies which I’d recently seen. But as there were only trees and stones around there were no reasons for real anxiety. 40 minutes at a jog and here were the safety lights of the city. But the feelings were interesting – ill at ease plus curious.
Vera: Tell the story of Billy and his jeans. Where do such associations come from?
Nick: We all mourn the pop-music king Michael Jackson’s departure and appreciate greatly his creative work. But the idea of the track appeared spontaneously: the hands just played Billy Jean’s theme which was duplicated with an eastern monk voice in the middle of the track (he doesn’t know about it, it was a producer technology). All these were flavoured with live vocals and the sitar, a fairy-tale with a successive narration was created, but it lacked an element of humour which was then realized in the title as a wordplay – Billie Jean – Billy’s Jeans. As the spirit is eastern they are destined to meet with a night desert.
Vera: The girl on the album cover has a European look in an Indian decor. How does it reflect the album semantics?
Nick: The girl’s look underlines the interlace of cultures and nations inside the album. The inner design reflects the same: we with the musicians are sitting against the background of a world map. From the geographical point of view we start in India with a sitar and mantras, then move to Europe with glitch and analogue synthesizers, get into Arabic countries and deserts, cross them to Africa, come back into the western civilization, drop into Spain with flamenco and finish with Gregorian traditions and symphonic.
Vera: Is this album a new Chronos, recognizable or cumulative?
Nick: This album is a mix of already well-loved cosmic sounding organically combined with ethnic, and besides it’s a move into new planes: a powerful beat, the live sitar and vocals, experiments with sound-design. And needless to say it’s emotional as emotions play a great role in music. Harmonies, melodies, accords, when they are sincere and touch shadowed corners of the soul, I think the album is a success.
Vera: You are considered a fertile musician but each particular work, moreover an album, requires some charge of inspiration and amount of time. What were the sources of this and that with regard to this album?
Nick: As well as with regard to all my previous albums all my tracks are real life stories. Life is extremely intensive with events, journeys, and emotions. They help to find inspiration for new works. I can’t like some of my colleagues compose at the brain level and only then create titles. Or to ask fans for track titles (smile). In my case a story happens first then it inspires a track.
Concerning the KIYH album sensual ingredients of events can be easily tracked:
- Only Love refers to compassion to living beings captured with wars, demonstration of force.
- Keep In Your Heart refers to amorousness and tenderness.
- Masala Putri refers to inspiration caused by a person.
- I’ll Better Walk Alone refers to forming self-sufficiency, refusal of attachments and a possibility of drawing energy from within oneself instead of searching for it in others which is connected with a bit of suffering and kicks (smile). Overcoming is expressed in the track with a powerful beat composed of vintage drums records.
- Kunilingus (Kunio Live Version) refers to the aspect of passion not necessarily of the lowest level.
- Leelah (Mystic Edit) refers to compassion, an anguish of a loss, releasing.
Vera: What does cooperative work the OkoloSna ptoject add to your creativity?
Nick: For composing a good cooperative track you must feel your co-author, be in touch. Also it’s a matter of reasonable compromises and a joint vector. Working with OkoloSna means pleasure and full understanding coming from our friendship and warm attitudes. Co-operative works with Proton Kinoun and Alba were of the same warm nature.
Vera: Why have you chosen Mystic Sound Records for releasing this album?
Nick: Mystic Sound is a young but progressively developing label which has gathered a team of excellent creators under its wing due to the devoted work of Alla Vagner and Edward Manifold. The label is developing actively and has already taken the first parts as the best label of a year. There are some reasons why Mystic Sound is my home label and the main studio: utmost honesty and openness in work, loyalty when taking creative decisions, paying real royalties far from empty promises, good distribution, quality mastering, collaborating with artists for distinctive cover arts, and the most important is an opportunity of real performances under the label wing.
Vera: A new album is always the next step in one’s creativity. How do you see yourself by the time of composing this album in this regard?
Nick: I’ve experimented in many genres, I composed trance, house, pop-music, dubstep, acoustics, symphonic, cosmic ambient. Some parts of this work were commercial for earning my living, some parts were experiments with genres. You can find more than 20 genres and subgenres in the music of the Chronos project:
jazz, funk, trip-hop, downtempo, ambient, progressive house, psyprog, rock, break beat, flamenco, chillgressive, soundtrack, idm, drum’n’bass, dubstep, dub/reggae, acid jazz, karnaval, ethno, etc.
These are always brave experiments and interlaces of genres as again I can’t like some of my colleagues occupy one niche and compose albums keeping exactly its framework. Each album is a life story, something breathtaking, and KIYH is not an exception. Here you can meet progressive electronics and live flamenco, as well as funk and symphonic, everything is interlaced in one single stream.
Vera: How do you see the present and the future of chillout music?
Nick: It’s still a very small private scene if we take into consideration the grand scale of global electronic music. And that is good, I wouldn’t like chillout to become mainstream or to move towards pop-music. It occupies its certain niche and finds its admirers as small groups of people from all over the world. On the other hand, they start to organize special festivals like Samsara in Hungary where they play only such music, a great number of global musicians take part, yoga and healthy way of life are practiced. The future belongs to events like that.
And surely chillout lables, drivers of music for mass public, are devoted to helping deliver musicians’ works to listeners. Of such labels I would like to emphasize Mystic Sound (Russia), Ultimae (France), Altar (Canada). These three studios deserve the best respect, trust, and with each release they underline their active role in developing chillout movement.
Вера: Who is your listener?
Никита: My listener is a collective character with no definite age. The age varies from 15 to 80 years old. With no definite nationality, skin colour and confession. When I get massages in the email and social networks I am both surprised and pleased at the fact that my music resonates with heart and soul of people from all over the world. It again proves that music is a universal language of creation, all can understand it regardless of linguistic and cultural communication. I feel the same at concerts in other countries where I can see live emotions, smiles and dances. Music, albums are composed for such moments, they serve a real inspiration for new achievements.