In this exclusive interview, we dive behind the scenes with Tensteps to uncover the creative process and inspiration behind his latest track, ‘Paradise Tonight.’ From the nostalgic influences to the exciting collaboration with Sendr and Robin Vane, Tensteps gives us a glimpse into the making of this electrifying release. Discover how this talented producer continues to evolve his sound while staying true to the essence of Dance music’s golden era.
Hello Tensteps! How are you doing?
Doing well, thanks!
For those who haven’t heard ‘Paradise Tonight’, how would you describe it?
It’s a song that should take you back to around 10 years ago when Dance music was all about massive synths and catchy vocals and lots of energy, but with modern production techniques. Think Audien’s biggest releases, it’s sort of in that vein.
How do you think this new track compares to some of your other releases, have you experimented with your sound at all?
It’s different from a lot of my more uplifting Trance stuff, but more similar to tracks of mine like ‘Broken Ones’ and ‘Brighter Days’, which also centered around huge chord synths as the main melody for the drop.
Can you tell us about the collaboration with Sendr and Robin Vane? How did it come about and what was the process like?
Sendr sent me a demo version of the track as an instrumental, and it gave me this nostalgia for what I call the “golden era of EDM”, which was like 2012-2015 when Progressive House took over the US Dance scene and guys like Audien, Arty, Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Zedd, and Tritonal were absolutely killing it with massive synths that just filled up the entire sonic spectrum, and had these super catchy anthemic melodies. He asked if I wanted to work on it, and of course, I said yes and I took it most of the way to the finish line pretty quickly from there. I wrote a topline for it and found Robin Vane, who’s got a super unique voice, but there’s also some things about the way he sounds that reminds me of someone like Calvin Harris when he sings, and we knew he’d be the right fit. He actually banged out the vocal recording in like a day, it was super-fast.
What was your favourite part about working on this track?
Collaborating with Sendr was a lot of fun, I’ve enjoyed his tracks in the past and have played a few of them on my radio show, so it was very cool to work with him on this.
What is your process for layering synths? Is there a go to way that you have in your producer trick-book?
I have an entire YouTube tutorial I posted a while back about this, but in a nutshell, I’ll use tons and tons of layers. I have a specific sound I need to achieve in my mind, and I’ll just add layers and mess with EQ and compression and saturation, until I get to where I need to be. The only thing to watch out for is phase cancellation – if you use too many synths that have too many similar tonal qualities, you can easily create phase issues.
In the same vein, do you create chords before melodies or vice versa?
Chords and melodies go hand in hand, I could never create them separately. I’m hearing the whole thing in my head all at once.
Do you ever use the same drum sounds between productions or do you switch it up depending on the vibe you are going for?
Drums I do tend to re-use. For example, there’s a snare that I use in, probably like 75% of my tracks, because it just hits so nicely and works so well in all of them. Same thing with crash cymbals and rides as well.
Did you have to overcome any struggles production wise with this release? If so, how did you work to overcome them?
Working off of someone else’s stems, as happened here since Sendr started the track on his own, always comes with complications. Sometimes you want to change a note but you only have the audio rather than the MIDI and the original synth patch, so you have to recreate things as close as you can to the original so you can change what you want to change. Or sometimes you can get what you need from the other person. But there wasn’t anything overly problematic here, just the usual hiccups when working on a collaboration across different programs.
What are your hopes for this release?
The same as with any of my releases – that people love it and feel something from it. And I hope they share it with everyone they know of course!
As we conclude this journey into the making of ‘Paradise Tonight’ with Tensteps, we learned more about the passion and creativity that drives his music. His ability to blend nostalgia with modern production techniques, certainly shines through in this track. We eagerly await what the future holds for Tensteps and look forward to more captivating releases from this talented artist.
Listen and buy ‘Paradise Tonight’ now
Written by: Alejandro Serrano
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