Garnering a reputation for his distinctive brand of thought-provoking and introspective indie-electronic music, ALIGN’s atmospheric productions provide hypnotizing, melodic soundscapes to enrich our everyday lives. Performing with household names such as Illenium, Thomas Jack, SNBRN, and Autograf, ALIGN (James Fisher) has quickly gained momentum in the electronic scene of his hometown Chicago. For his first single release of 2019, ALIGN teamed up with British singer/songwriter Sarah de Warren on “Play It Cool.” The song explores the universal idea that it’s always safest to “play it cool” and keep your emotion in check rather than fall head over heels when first entering a new romance. I recently had the chance to catch up with ALIGN about the release of his new single, his musical tastes, future plans, and more.
How did you get your inspiration for your new single "Play It Cool"?
I've been working on creating a combination of indie-music, house music, and chill music all into one. Sarah's vocals seemed to lend themselves to what I was looking for. I worked around a lot of what she sent me, and let her lyrics tell the story.
What was the process like collaborating with Sarah De Warren?
She's been great to work with. Due to the fact that I'm in Chicago and she's in London, we weren't able to get into the studio together. However, we've been able to share ideas back and forth really freely, and it felt like a good fit to work together.
Would you describe yourself as a romantic? What are your thoughts about Valentine's Day?
In terms of this song, I feel like I was able to provide a special atmosphere around Sarah's story. Her lyrics of a romantic encounter narrate something we've all experienced at least a couple of times. With that being said, I think Valentine's Day is overrated.
You recently performed with Illenium. What was that experience like?
Yes! That was a special show because I knew it was going to be my final show of 2018. I played a lot of shows last year, so it felt really good to end on a high note with someone like him. The crowd was really receptive to some of my new music, which was all I could ask for. He had an awesome set which I was able to draw a lot of inspiration from, and was a really nice dude to chat with.
How would you describe your genre of music?
I always describe what I'm doing as indie-electronica or indie-house. Being in Chicago, I draw a lot of influence from house music in general, and I'll always love indie-folk music too. So combining these types of genres with samples and other elements feels right to me. I write out happy yet melancholy chord progressions when I'm starting something new, so a lot of my songs can turn out a little bit nostalgic too.
What are your five favorite new tracks?
Not all of these are new, but they're all songs I really vibe with:
Bob Moses – “Enough to Believe”
Roosevelt – “Yr Love”
Bearson - “Get Lost (Ford. Remix)” - this song is really great.
Slow Magic – “SUN”
Kasbo – “Lay It On Me”
What do you like to do when you're not working on music?
I'm working full time currently. Aside from that and everything music related, I love spending time with family, traveling as often as I can, and watching whatever is trending on Netflix.
What are some exciting things you're planning for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
I'm wrapping up my debut EP Intertwine which will come out this year, and I'm really excited to share that. I have a collab coming out with another Chicago artist who is a good friend. I also have a lot of shows to announce which should be coming out soon too!