Grammy-nominated electronic music prodigy ford. took some time to join our Q&A series so we could get to know him a little better. Ford. has just released his new album ‘The Colors of Nothing’, and so we wanted to learn a bit about his journey and what has been his secret to success. Follow the Q&A below:
You have a hugely diverse background, having spent time in different countries – what’s special about where you are currently based? And how has it inspired you creatively?
Since moving to Utah I’ve definitely spent more time outdoors than I have in the past. Nothing interesting really goes on in the more central Utah Valley areas so I feel like being able to head up a canyon and be in the mountains within a 5-10 minute drive is something I try not to take for granted. That side of Utah is something special and it has been inspiring my music heavily in the years I’ve been here so far.
What were you doing when you found out you were nominated for a Grammy?
I was actually panicking in a car on the way to the airport because I was supposed to be flying to Minneapolis for the first show of the Madeon Good Faith Tour, but there was an accident blocking the strip to the departures. I was convinced I was going to miss the flight and throw everything off. As I’m panicking, trying to find any other flights to MN I started getting Twitter notifications from friends about the nomination. Never had so many confusing emotions going on at once. Needless to say, made the flight and everything worked out.
What made you get into music and who were the people around you that influenced you?
Electronic music really sparked my interest in being able to make music when I was like 11 or 12. This idea of having a program on your computer that gave you the resources to make fully developed songs from your room just blew my mind. Going into high school I was exposed to a whole new side of music and that shift in my taste really influenced a similar change in the music I started trying to make. Artists like Tom Misch, Nick Leng, Jon Hopkins, and (funnily enough) ODESZA really helped shape my sound and motivated me to work at my craft.
Having been a couple of years since your previous album, (The) Evening, how did you change your approach for The Color of Nothing?
I wrote most of the first album while I was in high school. I was just learning how to produce, work with other artists, create full songs etc… The fact that all those tracks came together in one uniform package felt pretty serendipitous. The process of writing this album was completely different. All my decisions, influences, and styles were much more thought out and pre-determined. With album one I was just happy to have a group of songs finished whereas with this album process I tried to be purposeful each step of the way.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
“Haha honestly no clue. Always loved film and photography but music is what I know and love”
Do you feel any added pressure being only 20 years old, and seeing so much success already in the music career with the popularity of your songs?
Not necessarily pressure because of my age but definitely can see how expectations of what you’re supposed to sound like can takes its toll. Music is such a therapeutic process for me that I hope I can always feel free to create for myself.
Who are the people around you who keep you focused and motivated?
I’m lucky to have some great friends and family who are always in my corner ready to help. Definitely owe my ability to keep moving and keep staying motivated to my manager Kyle. We’ll usually hop on a call once a day if not every other day to check in and make sure I’m feeling good about the music or the art or any other aspect of what I’m working on. It’s really reassuring to have people like that ready to back you up.
Are there any producers/artists you work really well with? If so, what makes your relationship work?
I feel like this project really gave me a chance to focus more on my abilities as a solo producer but overall, I definitely have some close friends that I’ve worked well with. Most obvious ones might be Hanz and Sonn. We’ve always just resonated with each other’s melody ideas and percussive rhythms so getting on a song together feels very natural and effortless when we bounce ideas off each other. I think it’s always a great experience to make something with people that you click with both musically and just as people.
What were early experiences in music; did you start with playing instruments or go straight into producing with a DAW?
My mother’s side of the family were all raised classically trained so naturally most of my siblings and I tried to follow suit and take piano lessons when we were younger. I was on and off for a few years but moving around made it difficult to stay consistent with it and I eventually stopped taking lessons and just trying to teach myself and play by ear. Besides that, I took drums for a few years growing up and have always loved percussion, so I think those two instruments were what I gravitated towards when I started working in different DAWs.
What’s your relationship like with your label, Foreign Family Collective, and why did you decide to release with them?
For one, I’ve always been a big fan of ODESZA’s work so naturally I gravitated towards a label that’s founded by them, but the people over at FFC are honestly just the homies. It’s a very transparent relationship and I love how everyone is so unbelievably good at what they do there. Their drive and work ethic is something I really respect and admire. All of that aside though, they’re all just really good people that want you to see you develop and get better as an artist. As surprising as it may be, that’s not often the case with a lot of labels these days so I feel fortunate to be in the situation I am in.
Describe your new album The Color of Nothing in three words
Coming of Age
You can listen to Ford. new album, Colors of Nothing below. Let me know your thoughts: