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Track by Track: PIEK –DESPERTAR

The Spanish artists take us through his new album.
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I had been doing dance music for years and feeling imprisoned until I collapsed. I needed to make music that would allow me to explore less narrowed territories and to transmit more sensations. At the same time, I wanted to find a point where my two passions (electronic and pop) could coexist in peace. So, this project was born with the intention of making an electronic soul record, very influenced by artists like Sigur Ros, Moderat or Bonobo but of pop appearance. That is, making it accessible also for the audience that is not used to listening to electronic music.

Intense Kiss

The title says it all, it’s a love letter. 

I looped the main melody constantly with different sound layers made with synths and played with intense passion, just as though you were caressing your lover’s skin. Intense Kiss is emotive, honest and simple, with no tricks.

This song was the starting point for the whole álbum: it’s the most special one for me. 

The Son With The Father’s Gun (Feat. RIA, Ryan Roush & Cheney)

I've always liked hip hop and 90's dance music. Those pop verses with some fine rapping sprinkled all over them. This song is about life and wrongdoing, about a boy making the same mistakes as his father. When I produced this track, I was really into Kanye's 808s & Heartbreak. I contacted with two American rappers (Ryan Roush and Cheney) to give life to the hooks, while RIA, a Hamburg-based Colombian girl, brought the necessary soul for the chorus. The combination of these two factors became a match made in heaven. This technique is often used in today's radio hits, but I decided to give the underground sound a much greater influence... To make it a little less predictable? To amuse myself? I don't know for sure but it was a helluva ride. 

Breathe (Feat. Kash)

Inspired by German rave and electro sounds from the 90s, Breathe is a love story that turns into something dark, nasty but still passionate. I thought it could be a very interesting idea to ask Kash to record the vocals for this track. He brings that London vibe and takes the song to the next level with his beautiul voice that has the right balance beetween Soul, R&B and Pop. 

I Saw You (Feat. HokHok)

Barcelona-based but Basque-born Hohok, is an old friend of mine. We met at highschool and I must say she is a truly hidden gem. She has an angelical voice and she also plays the guitar, the violin and the piano.

We always wanted to try to make music together, so one day she sent me a raw recording of this song, just her voice and a guitar. It was beautiful, innocent and so touching… it absolutely blew my mind. So I asked her to come to my studio and record it properly. The song was ready in just a day and it’s also one of my favorites from the álbum.

F.R.E.E. (Feat. Zebulon & Ryan Roush)

When I made this song I was very influenced by many Trap, Dubstep and Rap productions. Records by Diplo, Flume, The Weeknd or Kendrick Lamar. This song came up to life from a rejected demo I did for an advertising spot and the main goal was just to have fun making a rap song about feeling free, going out and smiling.

I wanted to give this song a very personal trademark and make it less predictable. So I decided to arrange it like a pop song, add pure R&B vocals in the chorus and, obviously, use sounds inspired by underground electronic music. I enjoyed it quite a lot.

The main rap part was written and sung by Zebulon, a really cool old school styled rapper from the USA. We also made some room in one of the verses for my good friend and super talented rapper Ryan Roush, who also collaborated on The Son With The Father’s Gun.

F.R.E.E. is probably the most radio friendly song from the whole álbum. For this reason I wasn’t sure about including it in the final tracklist but in the end, I felt it was essential to have a feel-good, summer-ready song.

That’s Me (Trippin´) (Feat. Jim Hast)

This is the the first single from the álbum and also one of my favorites.
I discovered Jim Hast when a good fiend sent me the video of his debut single “Bridges To You”. It absolutely blew my mind, it was love at first sight. His voice captivated me, it’s magic, sensual, evocative and it really sounds unique.

The story behind this song is really special. In the beginning of 2014 I met a British born, Hamburg based guy called Tony Phillips. He showed me the world of music for advertising and we started some amazing projects together.

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Tony was a very talented advertsing writter but despite he is a true music lover, he never had the chance to fulfill one of his dreams: write a proper song. Naturally, I cheered him up to do it.

The first thing he wrote was That’s Me, a song about going out, doing drugs in good company, travelling etc. In other words: the journey of knowing yourself and the search for freedom. I was absolutely feeling it but I didn’t tell him about my upcoming plan…

The thing is that I already had a very cool demo in my hard drive that was perfect for those lyrics and I had also just met Jim Hast, so, obviously I sent everything to him and invited him to join us. He loved both the demo and the lyrics and started recording vocals straight away. When I heard what Jim recorded I just couldn’t believe it. It was MAGIC. I spent a few weeks working on the track and I decided to send to Tony the final versión of the track just the day his daughter was born. Just as a present for all the cool things he did for me. He literally cried ☺

Despertar (Feat. Fábel)

This is going to be the second single of the álbum and it also is the most club-oriented track.

Fábel is a Spanish musician, producer and dj based in London - and he’s one of the most smart guys I know. His passion for music is endles: one of thouse guys who can talk hours and hours about music, records, artists etc. A Little genious in the shadows.

I sent him some samples and he came up with that beautiful melody that touched my soul. So I decided to use it as the main hook and build the whole track around it.

This song is a journey full of emotions: sweet in the beginning, with a very intense build up, it explodes like fireworks, then it gets mental and finally arrives the calm after the storm: back to the starting point with those beautiful piano notes and cozy pads. Peace.

This song is a little tribute to life and love.

Avalanche (Feat. Hokhok)

This is my second collaboration with HokHok, where she plays the piano and sings. We dive deep into melancholy on this song but in the most beautiful way possible. She gets emotive, sweet and lets you touch her soul. What I really like about this song is the fact that it doesn’t really talk about a specific subject. It’s just a delicate description of a picture.

Baztan (A Tony Phillips Poem)

Tony became a very important person in my life and I wanted to have his voice in this álbum as a way to thank him for all the joy he brought to my life.

As I said before, he’s a very talented writter, so I thought it could be great to ask him to write a poem about the place where I live: Baztan Valley. A lovely área located in the north of Navarre, just near the French Borderline.

Sous Les Étoiles

(Under the stars in french.)

I wanted to finish the album with a colourful, bright and optimistic song.

A warm way to say goodbye after the emotional journey that is Despertar and also a song that represents my way of living. 

Personal thoughts... I never imagined the enormous effort involved in completing an album of these characteristics. I think if I had come to know, I would never have started.

In the same way that I did not imagine this, the prize, beyond the music itself, was meeting wonderful people and the enormous happiness of being able to share this work with them. Things go well when you really have fun.

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