Aaron and Ian, two best friends sticking it out to the end who go by As_Is. These two are the real-deal when it comes to going about music the text-book strategy route, and with purpose and education. Residing in Tallahassee and Grand Rapids each respectively, these two are setting the standard for bass-music in the Sunshine & Wolverine States. Take notes.
Please welcome As_Is to the cloudy storm!
Q1: Welcome to the electrifying storm! We are thrilled to have you!
What can you tell us about the origin story behind the As_Is phenomenon?
A1: Thanks for having us! As_Is is our project made up of two best friends, Aaron and Ian. The project itself is actually based on our names. We’ve been friends for almost a decade now, but this project is just a little over two years old. We both are classically trained clarinetists who met in high school and ended up going to the same college (Grand Valley State University) and became really great friends almost instantly. We moved across the country and began pursuing our careers (Ian graduate school, Aaron K-12 teaching) but we always kept in touch. We’ve always enjoyed making music together and thought this project could help us continue that, even though we hardly ever see each other anymore.
Q2: How long have you been interested in and have been producing music?
A2: We both have been interested in electronic music for quite some time. Back in college was probably the first time we were really exposed to some of the music. Aaron kind of dove headfirst into the scene, going to Electric Forest five years in a row, always finding new and amazing artists to have on the aux cord. For Ian, it really didn’t set into an obsession till around 2017. We were hanging in Wilmington, North Carolina (where Aaron lived at the time) and I (Ian) remember him (Aaron) playing “Fractures” by Illenium and I was just hooked. Shortly after (around March of 2018) we decided to start a project and began writing music in May 2018.
Q3: What is your favorite part about making music? And why is it your favorite?
A3: That’s such a tough question, there are so many great parts! I (Ian) really like sound design and making something really unique and different. I also love that feeling when you’re cruising in your workflow and just writing fast. That feels really good. Just watching those ideas come out and grow and grow into a whole song is awesome! I know for me (Aaron), I love when you get into a zone and hours pass by but it feels like minutes, it’s truly one of the greatest escapes life has to offer.
Q4: You’re most notorious on Twitter. What do you feel is most advantageous on that platform versus other social media outlets?
A4: Until recently we almost exclusively used that platform (we’re trying to get into Instagram a little more now). For us, Twitter is so spur of the moment and raw. We enjoy that we can be ourselves and crack silly sarcastic jokes, and at the same time, have meaningful conversations about music, music production, life and the world. It’s just a fun platform to get to talk with people that you may never come across otherwise.
Q5: What has been the highest point in your career thus far? Walk us through that moment of jumping for joy, metaphorically speaking!
A5: That’s another tough question! We’re still so new to the scene so nothing super amazing or groundbreaking has happened. We’ve played a few sets together and those have been really special moments, just to play our music out for other people and see their reactions is a really amazing feeling. We think a lot of our exciting moments have come behind closed doors, when we make a break-through on a song, learn a new sound design or mixing technique. We’re really geeks for the process! From a song performance standpoint, our last release “Self Destruct” hit some personal milestones for us on Spotify so that’s been really exciting to see all the love and support for that track
Q6: What do you expect to gain from 2020 that you can utilize and administer in 2021 and beyond?
A6: We are hoping to lock in on our sound and workflow so that we can become more efficient and really find our lane in bass-music. It’s been hard to pick one lane so far, and we’re not sure if we ever will, but we’re spending a lot of time focusing on making musical and emotional bass-music right now.
Q7: You recently dropped Self Destruct, what went into that mentally? What about “Fire To The Roof“?
A7: “Self Destruct” was actually the first song we started during COVID. We put a lot of that frustration and uncertainty we were feeling into the song and some of those themes can be heard throughout the song.
With “Fire to the Roof,” we wanted to make a hype summer anthem song. Knowing that this summer was not going to be the same for us and most other people, we still wanted to make a fun high energy track for people to enjoy.
Q8: Whose in your radar as far as collabs go?
A8: Several dream collabs! Ultimately someone like Illenium or Clozee would be incredible. We both have so much respect for their music. But there are so many more! Currently, we are enjoying working with some of our producer friends, Aris and Scott Toddy, so we hope to have some new collabs out before the end of the year!
Q9: Who do you see killing it these days? Give them a healthy shout-out!
A9: So many people! One positive thing you see from COVID is people really seem to be honing in on their music and making such amazing progress. It’s hard to name them all but we’ll try! Aris, Rat Riley, Scott Toddy, Adame, Kodiak Beats, Tito Burrito, Nathaniel Wyvern, Snax On Hand, Dangerously Good, Apl0, Just_Kyle, are all awesome producers making great, unique music and always giving us great feedback and support on our tracks! Outside of producers, our friend Carly (aka The Golden Lotus) who has designed a lot of our album art, and listened to so many demos along the way. And last but not least, we’d like to thank our friends and family who’ve been there during, and before this project. Love you all!