Reflecting on 2017 with Running Touch (Music Insight)
Multiple tours. Multiple releases along with a debut EP that opened in the top 10 on iTunes (as well as number one on the electronic charts). It’s fair to say that this year has been a huge one for Running Touch.
As the year came to the end, he decided that this year needed a soundtrack, and with it, came his new release ‘Equaliser.’ So big this year has been, he even admitted that he sometimes has to still pinch himself about how quickly this year has gone when he sat down to chat with Music Insight.
“You get lost in the process. When you first dive in, you don’t really think about it. You just put your head down, you keep going… especially you get momentum. Once you get that, you just want to keep going, get more creative, just focus on getting better.”
The year got off to a flyer when he released his EP A Body Slow in March, (which you can check out our review and interview for here). For RT, this EP would come to serve as a platform, not just for the remainder of the year, but also for him as an artist.
“To be honest, more than anything it really helped me find a future plan: it gave me mental and mutual clarity. It showed me what I needed to do next, it gave me a direction. It’s been great. I think you need a steady body of work to introduce yourself off. That opened the door to things like South by Southwest, other festivals this year and going into next year. More than anything else, it gave me direction.”
Direction proved to be focal point when crafting ‘Equaliser,’ as RT focused on striking a balance between his own style of music and his passion for experimenting.
“In my mind it is definitely a healthy hybrid of everything I’ve released this year,” he explains.
“You’ve got things like ‘Aubrey’ which is a lot more funk-orientated, you’ve got ‘Courtesy Of’ which is quite band-heavy music, really driving, piano heavy. This song nestles quite nicely into the middle of all that.
“Obviously, as artists especially in this age, you really have to find your niche because of the sheer volume of content that is out there. Rather than jump, like I always do, between different genres based on what I’m interested in, I thought to myself, what is a nice hybrid to tie some consistency into my music, and then kind of build from there.
“I’m totally aware that this track is much more of a niche listen. It’s not a track that, you know, you go on Spotify and see it in every single playlist. It’s much more of an acquired taste. If you already know my music, then you’ll understand it a lot more. I just kind of wanted to do something that is healthy for the future of the project, and healthy for people who already follow me. Providing that stasis to the project, a platform to build upon rather than just doing whatever I feel like.”
The creative process for the track was also very different for Running Touch, compared to the work he had done when he was writing A Body Slow.
“At the start of the year, I had quite a lengthy period of time for writing. I ended up with about thirty or so demos on top of the demos I already had. I guess, you know, it was just the golden picking from that. When I made this, and this is actually from an Instagram project that is still there on my page, this was cut up and made from that. After several demos and versions that took me the whole year, this track was kind of the endgame for all of those. I had to make all of those pieces to get to this one.
“It was quite painful to be honest with you.”
While the track took a long time to come together instrumentally, there was no hesitation in bringing IH back on board, after having worked with him on ‘Aubrey.’
“He’d never really had been interested in releasing stuff: it was one of the reasons why the track so long to be released. I felt that this track needed to be the next one for us. He initially didn’t want to be a part of it, because he doesn’t like to view music as a platform for himself. I had to encourage him, it was exactly the same as what happened with ‘Aubrey.’ It is like a graduation from our last track as well. In terms of his processes and his knowledge, he’s very good at what he does.”
With ‘Equaliser’ out, Running Touch will be finishing off his year with several festival shows in New South Wales, Victoria and Fiji. The live show has ended up becoming one of most creatively changing aspects of the year for Running Touch, especially in terms of an experience for the audience.
“Performing is one of the greatest things you will ever do as an artist. Getting to perform music that you have created to an audience that is willing to listen, it is such a thrill. It is so polarising compared to the usual task of producing. In terms of touring overall though, I think the biggest thing I really enjoy is getting to shake it up: playing each show, getting to take away what did and didn’t work, and then putting that into the next show.
“In the end, what I really want to do is make an enjoyable product for everyone, and I enjoy it: constantly having that sense of being able to change my product and what I have to offer better.”
So, with releases and touring out of the way, what does 2018 hold for Running Touch?
“God there is so much!” he laughs.
“I think, at this point with this project, there is just so many opportunities and so many doors in front of me that it’s really a matter of choosing the right one to put the time into. For next year, there’s a lot more shows, more content, more collaborations with other artists. I want to flip the coin from last year and be a lot more apparent with releases and content.”
One of the first collaborations already on the cards is returning to do more with Ocean Grove, who have themselves had a pretty big year.
“It’s definitely on par with Running Touch now as a priority for me, they have a similar timeline in terms of releases compared to me, which is both beautiful and terrifying for my schedule. This year will be very full on, they’ll be releasing just as much as Running Touch, if not more.
“We will be going over to America together to do writing, and they will be pretty much touring overseas all year next year, so there will be a lot of onus on me to write here and communicate with them. It’ll be a biblical year for all of us in terms of workload: it’ll either turn out amazing or we’ll all fall under the pressure and get half of what we needed to done. Hopefully, it’ll be the former.
“I think this was my ‘coming into’ year. It was a year for me where I really grew into being an artist. I believe in myself and grow more into myself rather than just devoting myself to a project, and then leaking ideas from that into another project. It’s about being realistic. Growth is the key word, you get older, you learn, you grow. This year, (and hopefully next year too), is one that I hope I’ll always look back on as my coming into as a producer rather than just an artist or project.”