Is there a better way to start the week than having a incredible guest for an interview ? We have the honor to have Maclain Drake for Rouge Vis today! Come discover this amazing human being!
Discover Maclain Drake’s music here
- Who is Maclain ?
I used to go by an alter ego under Wat Music which was a play on my disability. I started a production company about two years ago where the whole purpose of it was to throw concerts that were accessible for deaf since I had the disability myself. Originally it was just meant to be my friends playing at the events. For some reasons I just didn’t have enough artists on the line-up after I announced the show and so the artists just recommended me “We don’t have any deaf or hearing disable artist on the line-up, so why don’t you do it ?” because I’m able to understand this culture more than anyone else there. I started there and I continued because I didn’t want people to think I was doing it for fame. Over time, for two years now, a lot more people are listening to my music and I changed my name to my actual person name which is Maclain Drake. My whole purpose of being a musician is always involving looking at music from a deaf perspective. It’s also about educating people to be more knowledgeable. People wanted me to be more in the spotlight whether that was what I was trying to do originally or not. It makes deaf community more empowered. That’s me in a nutshell.
- We already say that you are deaf. Does you compose music differently ?
I come from a very mainstream way of how I want to adapt my hearing loss. Some people know how to lip read because they can’t hear anything but they lip read so efficiently that you can have a conversation with them. There are people who are completely deaf and enjoy sound through vibrations. If you are laughing they would put their hands around your neck so they can feel these vibrations. For me, I have a chair that has music coming out from it so I can feel it. I also have Subpacs which are vibrating backpacks. They actually sponsor some stuff we do. Also for our shows I have a platform that actually do vibrations that made no audio at all. They help me to understand how effective my bass line is. I think everybody knows that when you are at a show you can feel the music. Anyway, to compose I usually go to friends’ house. With my hearing aid I’m able to hear pretty well. I still have a disability but I’m still able to make good judgments on sounds and I’m always trying to add something from the culture (the deaf culture – ndlr)
- How can you describe your music ?
Right. The best description would be: I like to make my music like a scene for a movie. I try to have a story or a meaning behind each song. I also have visuals which go with it. I would say my music is meant to tell stories. My music essentially comes from thing me or my friends have experienced. I like to use actors for my visuals to display motions and help people understand the music better. I think people sometimes forget this point. For example, Porter Robinson is using anime style graphics for his visuals. It helps people to understand what kind of world he’s creating. It explains why his album is going this way or explains who he is. I would say each of my song is representation of an emotion.
- How did you come to electronic music ?
I think it was back in high school when I first heard an electronic track. It was a song from Skrillex, Scary monsters and the Nice Sprites. They played it at a school dance and just didn’t understand it. It was a weird electronic sound. I didn’t know how to dance on that. Then a friend of mine from a film production class showed me Madeon and he invited me in a small group page. At this time I heard about this artist called Kill Paris. It was at this moment I fell in love with music. The first concert I went to let me felt the music better. It was a complete different experience for me. That was the starting point.
I have a 70% hearing loss of the bass and my higher frequencies are not as bad. That’s why I love EDM because a lot of songs that come out are about feeling that lower end.Maclain Drake
- What is Vibe Music Event ?
Vibe Music Event is a two side organisation. We have a non-profit side and a business side. Our non-profit side mission statement is to create and enhance experience for everyone and especially making it better for people with disabilities. Essentially the whole purpose of what we do is making shows accessible for not only deaf people but also for people with autism or blind people. We actually make technologies that makes disables experience better and we keep developing more and more stuff. So we enhance experience for people with disabilities while making a better atmosphere for those who don’t have those disabilities. It’s a very inclusive environment. We work a lot with parents, we do a lot of school dances, we do it all because there’s no one who does it.
- What is the best experience you had on an event ?
My best experience, I’d say, was at a deaf convention. We get invited to a lot of these conventions for business as I’m a deaf business owner. So we brought a platform that allow people to enjoy the feeling aspect without hearing the song. We had a parent who came in with a deaf child. Typically deaf children are born from hearing parents. She was like “Can I put my child on you platform ? Can you let me play my own songs ?” So we did so and then she came back to see me saying “I really appreciate that you guys take the time to make this kind of technology because my son has never been able to enjoy any of the music I had.” She was very happy to share her world with her child. Even I would never understand deaf completely. I can only understand it to a degree. As long as the deaf community say me “that’s the thing we want” I’ll go for it. I try not to do it for money, greed or for power. At the end of the day I want to make sure they are happy.
- “Feelings” is the most listened song. How did it come live ?
Feelings was a collaboration with a good friend of mine who goes by the alias Jive. He’s a very good friend. Essentially the start of the song is like a feeling of falling in love with someone. It’s very nice. The drop/breakdown sounds more like a broken effect. It’s more like a transition into people who breakup but they try to make it still work. In a lot of these situations you get hurt more than you actually make it happen. The idea was to tell the story of people falling in love, breaking up, coming back together, breaking again etc… People that don’t want to give up on something they think there is still a chance. That’s why the 2nd drop is very similar to the first one. It still have a similar feeling. If you have the song on repeat it’s the same cycle as they have in their relationship.
- What about the collaboration you did with SHSTR on the title “I love you” ?
SHSTR is one of my best talented friend I have. He’s actually coming out with an EP next month (november) which is just insane. There are a lot of reason why we called this song “I love you”. We just imagined a song where someone was saying “I love you” basically. The song is very happy, very “in love”. It’s you telling yourself you really love that person and how you feel inside. He really like my melodic side. SHSTR called me to write all the melodic part while he did the glitch/robot sound part.
- Do you have any future project ?
I do have an EP on track. I’m trying to get it you in the next two months where I personally wrote all the tracks. I’m working on a collaboration with Kwantum. Me and him are very close to finish up. I’m also working on a track with Jive. It’s more a video-esc song. He took samples from videos games and we worked to do a proper song. We’re still working on that one. I’ve couple collaborations right now. I know that people want me to release more songs but I’m definitely trying to push it out there with running shows and running a business. I also manage a lot of artists and booking them for stage events. I’m working to make it happen.
It was a great pleasure to discuss with Maclain ! He is truly an inspiring human being ! Go follow him on social media and Soundcloud, he deserves it !
By Maksance ©RougeVis
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