Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Sekond Prime is a synthwave music and video game soundtrack composer. He's inspired by everything from cinema to other music and from books to art. Sekond Prime enjoys creating albums that form a cohesive, narrative whole. The sounds that synthesizers make fascinate him as he explores the diverse soundscapes that they can create.
Karl Magi: What kindled your passion for making music in the first place?
Sekond Prime: I've always been a huge fan of storytelling in music. Film scores were easily found in our household growing up and with video games on the rise
I decided one day I wanted to be a composer for video games. This worked out for me which is very fortunate and while I got to work on amazing projects, I needed a little escapism, writing my music from my own inspiration (instead of project-based). This project became Sekond Prime.
KM: How were you drawn towards making synth-based music?
SP: My love for synthesizers again goes back to my childhood. I grew up on Vangelis, Hammer, Jarre, Faltermeyer and Carpenter. There is something magical about these electronic machines being able to spark life and create whole new worlds. With synthesizers anything is possible and the endless possibilities are very appealing to me. They urge you to step into their world for a bit and have an other worldly experience.
KM: Tell me about your artistic inspirations.
SP: They are really diverse. Sometimes they are movies or series and in other cases a piece of artwork or a story. My latest release is actually very heavily inspired by Dune. It is a franchise that has always been very close to my heart and I felt the urge do something with that inspiration. If you look at the covers (brilliantly done by Grinwise and Gerrit Willemse - look them up!) you'll see some other scifi franchises that inspired me (Transformers, Star Wars) as well.
KM: Walk me through the way(s) in which you create new music.
SP: Inspiration is crucial, especially since Sekond Prime is my pet project. I first set out to find an angle for a release. Anything goes, but I'm old fashioned about album releases: for me they have to form some sort of cohesive whole. Once that is done, I set out a few keywords or ideas that I want to base tracks on and get writing. I like to boot up my synths (hard- or software) and play with some sounds. Often inspiration comes from those as they set me on a certain path. Once the flow kicks in for an album writing goes pretty fast.
KM: Tell me about some of the things you're working on now about which you're especially excited.
SP: Control the Universe has just been released and I'm very excited with how it turned out. I'm very much looking forward to the new Dune film and I'm happy the album is out now in celebration of that event. I have been re-reading the books and that has been a fun experience. Next up I'm playing with the idea of doing some short EPs around smaller ideas. Oh then there is a Sekond Prime game soundtrack coming out next year which will feature a lot of '80s horror and action inspired music!
KM: Where do you want to take your music in the future?
SP: My main intent is to do something I like doing. I do not follow the trends much in that sense and go where the music takes me. I love to tell stories through music, so that'll always be an element in anything I do. In general, I don't 'just' write '80s inspired music for the sake of it. I think there is something very nostalgic and beautiful about those drifting synth tones. This will most likely also remain to be a part of the Sekond Prime adventure, but who knows what the future brings!
KM: Give me your views on the Twitter #synthfam and what it means to you.
SP: It's great to see so many people get together to enjoy a niche genre they love. Honestly I'm mostly a fan too and more than half of the stuff on my iPhone is synth oriented music. I like how so many creators out there are also fans of the scene and the other way around. It feels like a very nice trade happening constantly.
KM: What do you do to recharge yourself creatively?
SP: I'm crazy about gear, so I'm always finding out about new synths or effects going on the market. I like getting on designing the Sekond Prime merch and online pages too, which is easy with the stellar cover art I get to work with. Other than that, sometimes I just need to be away of everything else: a stroll outside with just me and my ever racing mind for company. My head is always jumping from one idea to the next, so at least I won't be having a problem with creativity any time soon!