Electric Tuxedo + Roxana – Please Stop
ARTIST NAME: Electric Tuxedo + Roxana
SONG TITLE: Please Stop
RELEASE DATE: 25.01.2019
Electric Tuxedo is a London-based production trio (Andrei, Cat, Horia), whose work has been described as ‘ice cream on a grilled chicken breast’ by Vice.com. Not unwarranted, might we add, as their gutsy culinary approach extends to their sound, which mixes not only musical styles (pop, EDM, hip-hop, rock), but also lyrical subjects (first thoughts after a break-up, visiting a shrink, plunging into a black hole; not necessarily in that order). The cherry on top, as it were, is their collaboration with guest singers or instrumentalists, making every song the recipe for a very quirky musical experience.
Discuss your composition and melody.
For ‘Please Stop’ – We came up with the chord progressions first, which we tend to do for every song. We wanted each section to have a distinct flavor, in line with the narrative of the lyrics, so the chords change throughout.
The melody also follows this idea, going from the more recitative delivery of the verses to an anthemic, soaring melody for the pre-choruses and choruses. Backing vocals enter progressively and become the backbone of the penultimate, acapella chorus.
State the name of your producer and elaborate on the song.
The song was produced in-house by our production house, Radar Noise. Reaper was used as the DAW, with NI Battery and Massive doing the heavy lifting in terms of drums and synths respectively. Various samples were then added to create the modern-vintage 90s vibe (heavy side-chaining also helped!).
Shout out to FabFilter and Waves, whose plugins found their way onto most, if not all, chains in the mix.
The most fun we had was with the guitar solo, which is processed in such a way that most people think it’s a synth (we have a video coming out describing the process, so stay tuned!).
We also mastered the track, making sure the dynamics of the mix were retained, bringing it to market level in terms of width, depth, compression, and loudness.
Discuss the lyrics of the song.
‘Please Stop’ deals with the thoughts that go through someone’s mind in the first moments after a break-up. Very few of us are exempt from such episodes, and we end up asking ourselves how the relationship got to this point, what went wrong, and, ultimately, what to do next.
The song explores this all including the state of mind, using the energetic and anthemic music of the chorus to ultimately empower the listener.
Romanian singer Roxana’s powerful yet soulful vocals enhance this sense of empowerment and offer a hopeful undertone to a potentially devastating situation.
Elaborate on your music career.
We started Electric Tuxedo as a live band – the music we created at the very beginning was meant to be performed and only then recorded.
We live off the energy that the audience brings to our music. Our songs were first heard in the heart of London at venues such as The Garage, the Water Rats, the Crowndale. That’s how our first EP, Circus, came to be.
Our music was featured on BBC Introducing, Berlin ArtParasites, and Vice.com, and this gave us the impetus to keep releasing music and improving.
We’ve since taken a break from the live scene, and approached music-making from the other end, focusing on a more production-heavy sound that permits exploration of musical paths impossible to tread as a power-trio.
One of our strongest new features is the collaboration with other musicians, particularly singers, as heard on our latest single, ‘Please Stop’.
We’re currently working on new music, constantly looking for things that excite us, both musically and lyrically.
Brief us on how you are reaching fans with your music.
We interact with our fans mostly via social media, particularly through Facebook and Instagram. We like to bring them along backstage, and we often show them snippets from the production process and rehearsals.
And, of course, fans can listen to and download any of our songs from SoundCloud, iTunes, Bandcamp, or stream them on Spotify or YouTube.
Discuss your motive behind making music.
All three of us are fortunate enough to be on the same page when it comes to music-making, including our personal reasons for wanting to become musicians and songwriters in the first place.
We love music and the process of making it scratches more itches than we can describe.
There’s just something in a fat snare, lush synth, and sensuous vocal that you can’t get anywhere else. New-ageism aside, we became interested in music as a tool for self-discovery, improvement, and self-expression.
Music lets us deal with any life-problem head-on.
Discuss your lyrics and songwriting.
More often than not, we start with the music. Someone will come with an idea, we’ll record it, and then jam and brainstorm until a song surfaces. That proto-song then gets polished in the studio, while we work on lyrics. Even though all three of us compose the music, Horia is the most word-savvy of us, so he is responsible for the lively metaphors found in our songs.
We all chip in and bounce ideas off of each other, always having a clear sense of what the story of the song should be. It’s usually just about finding the right combination of words to paint the picture that’s already in our minds.
Elaborate on your work and achievement so far in your music career.
Some of the highlights of our career so far are radio plays on BBC Radio 6 (BBC Introducing) and Radio Guerilla, being featured on Vice.com and Berlin ArtParasites, as well as winning the Spellground Newcomers competition. And, of course, the release of our Circus EP and ‘Please Stop’ single!
Tell us your opinion on using a rhymes dictionary or writing software to develop lyrics.
Inspiration can come from unexpected places – sometimes a word on a billboard sparks an entire song, so seeing one in a dictionary or a website is no different, at least in our view. The most important issue here is the song and its message. Whatever you use to achieve it is fair game!
We believe there is nothing wrong with using dictionaries or writing software if these help you get your message across.
Discuss the music industry.
The music industry is in a fascinating state nowadays. On one hand, you still have massive record labels promoting extremely successful and established artists, but on the other, there are countless amazing artists bypassing these routes and taking full advantage of the age of social media and online platforms to promote their music, and in the case of a few (kudos Chance the Rapper), even win Grammys! Some call it the democratization of the music industry – but both sides are interdependent.
It’s an exciting time which makes for a very interesting and fruitful environment for up-and-coming creators and bands like us.
Elaborate on how you prepare yourself for a recording session.
Most of our music is currently made on the computer via virtual instruments and samples, so the process of recording is somewhat different from the traditional way of cutting a record. That being said, we want to maintain the ‘human’ presence in our tracks as much as possible.
Consequently, we avoid aligning everything to the grid and actually incorporate real drums, guitars, and vocals into every song.
However, since we record all of these in the comfort of our own homes (thanks to recent technological developments), preparing for a recording session is much less of a chore than it was until a few years ago.
Practicing parts hasn’t changed, of course, as you need to be on top of your game before going to tape, so to speak. But once every nuance of the performance has been rehearsed, laying the part down has become much more enjoyable, as you don’t have the pressure of a standard studio (and its daily recording costs) to worry about. Just relax and play (and don’t forget to hit the ‘record’ button)!
Brief us on your preference in terms of tempo as in up-tempo, mid-tempo, or slow tempo.
We mostly prefer composing mid to up-tempo songs. However, we often found that subdivisions and creative groupings of note durations inside a particular groove are much more important in conveying the energy level of a song than simply the tempo.
Discuss your shows or live performance.
We’ve always tried to infuse our live performances with as much energy as possible. The drums and percussion elements are a huge part of our set, and we use samples and backing tracks to emphasize the rhythmic character of our songs.
A sense of depth is equally important, and we use Ableton Live to trigger synth samples and effects, so the end result is both high in energy and sonically stimulating.
Share your press release and reviews with us.
Send a message across to your fans and supporters.
We want to thank everyone who’s been with us so far and promise that we have some wicked sounds in store for new releases (coming very soon!). And, of course, we’d also like to thank Broadtube Music Channel for their support!
Discuss the storyline of the song.
The narrative of the story is broken down into two distinct episodes, following the protagonist’s mental states. She just broke up with her partner and is about to leave their apartment for the very last time. Ignoring the pleas and reproaches of the other person, she tries to make a plan for what to do next. Who gets the records? Who gets the CDs? What about the photos?
Later on, the plan is made as she realizes that a break-up is not the end of the line. Life goes on and she can choose to be happy instead of moping around in the state she was in before deciding to break it off.
The chorus highlights this, as she announces, to both her now-ex and the world, that she’s had enough. She’ll find love elsewhere for sure. It’s a message of empowerment, for sure.
Tell us what makes this song unique from others.
‘Please Stop’ represents an unashamedly embrace of the 90s dance music we grew up with. Nonetheless, we infuse it with contemporary production techniques and samples, as well as stylistic elements from genres as diverse as trap and reggaeton to create something that complements the lyrics.
The story is also uniquely told, from the perspective of a female protagonist. Such topics have been tackled almost exclusively from a male perspective (particularly if the songwriters were men!), so it is refreshing to hear such sentiments expressed by a woman protagonist.
Tell us the theme of most of your compositions.
While we try to tackle many themes, the one through-line would be dealing with the day-to-day problems that we, like most others, face.
From the banalest (social media and its downsides, daily stress), the more esoteric (plunging into metaphorical black holes), to the more personal (getting over a break-up), we try to address each issue by offering silver linings.
Each of us has been through his or her ups and downs, but we managed to get over everything relatively unscathed, thanks in part to music.
We try to make each song energetic and uplifting so that people can forget about their daily struggles, even if only for a few minutes.