“I go in blank and turn it up loud”: Talking Tech with Egyptian Lover

Egyptian Lover is a guy who get’s shit done. We asked him to take some photos of his studio for this feature and with 24 hours he’d sent them back, taking in multiple studios and wardrobe changes. Balancing a relentless touring schedule – that he books himself – with time in the studio, it’s clear he takes the same efficient approach to all parts of life. We wanted to talk tech not just to gain an insight into his creative process, but figure out how he manages to fit it all in.

Egyptian Lover plays Fat Fat Fat Festival (3rd-5th Aug) alongside Larry Heard, Ben UFO and Marcellus Pittman.

Let’s start from the beginning. What was your first ever set-up, when you started making music?

Roland TR 808
Roland SH 101
Roland Jupiter 8

What was the first serious piece of kit you bought?

Kit? Roland TR 808 was the first thing I bought.

Thanks for taking some photos around your studio. Pretty serious set-up you’ve got there now. Where is it located and do you share with anyone else?

I go to many Studios. I rent them out. I don’t have a studio of my own. I like to change things up so I don’t get board. So I rent out different studios in Hollywood, Burbank and the Valley.

Could you give us a little walk through the main components?

I use different components in different studios so it’s never boring for me. I have different engineers as well. I like to keep it suspenseful. This way I create differently.

If money were no object what would you add?

A Space Ship exterior

You must have a most treasured bit of equipment. If you had to keep just one piece, what would it be?

TR 808

How does you condense your studio set-up for live sets?

I have 2 Keyboard players playing on Roland Boutique series equipment.

Before you get into the studio, do you have a routine to get you in the right mindset?

I listen to Kraftwerk.

What’s your creative approach when you’re in the studio? Do you go in with a concept in mind and labour over it until it’s perfect, or do you opt for a more raw and impulsive approach?

I go in blank and turn it up loud. I start with a Beat and add to it until it’s Egyptian Lover Style. Then I write the lyrics while the song plays over and over and over.

Where do you go or what do you do when you have writers block? Anything to reset the mental hardware?

I draw on blank album covers. I even sell them to my fans for around $150. People love them.

You’ve got a pretty relentless tour schedule. Does this have much of an impact on your studio output or have you learnt to make the most of small pockets of time?

I get things done. I always write when I’m on tour and plan new songs.

What inspires you outside the world of music?

Science Fiction. I absolutely love Sci Fi Movies. I think I’ll start writing movies real soon. I love it.

Your Egyptian Lover Musikal Komments video was one of the most inspired bits of content on the Internet last year. Any other plans for integrating the Egyptian Lover touch into modern living? GPS narration or train station tannoy announcements, perhaps?

Nah but it would be really fun to have an Egyptian Lover iPhone app instead of Siri.

What’s on the horizon with new releases this year?

I’m releasing Vol. 1 of my 808 Beats series. Also the follow up to my 1984 album “1985” is coming this year. It’s so good. It features Newcleus, Qbert, Juan Atkins, and will probably be my best album ever.

Egyptian Lover plays Fat Fat Fat Festival (3rd-5th Aug) alongside Larry Heard, Ben UFO and Marcellus Pittman.

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