I had a conversation the other day with a friend. We were discussing an upcoming music video project when we found ourselves on a tangent discussing the value of music. Music unites people. She said to me, “I think you feel the most connected to people when you’re at a show…and you’re not even speaking to people”. Dialogue very obviously connects human beings. But music — music is something that speaks to people’s souls. It makes you feel alive. And to know that the people surrounding you can feel exactly what you feel is something so special, something truly unique to music. And I can’t even imagine what it would be like from an artist’s perspective. Playing music for people who feel what you feel, and it’s your music evoking these emotions.
I vividly remember standing in the photographer’s pit, looking up at Chris Emerson, producer of What So Not, watching him as he smiled from ear to ear. It was the most genuine smile. His gratitude was so evident through that smile, and I could turn around and see that same smile on all of his fans.
Chris put on a seamless, passion-filled show for his fans. And it all starts with his music. What So Not used to be comprised of Chris and Harley Streten, better known by his stage name, Flume. The two artists split up about two years ago, and as Harley pursued his Flume project, Chris stuck by what the two had built together, What So Not. Honestly, having half of your creative team leave would probably be extremely discouraging, but Chris, talented and dedicated, continued to produce unique content. I think when an artist can successfully create their own sound, they’ve made it. Even better is when the artist can manage a sound while still creating very different tracks. What So Not perfectly embodies this exact concept. Some of his tracks are more uplifting and euphoric, while others are darker. His sounds are unique. They tell my body how to move. I think that’s so interesting. With a simple beat, you have some liberty to dance however you want. But when an artist creates something with expansive, popping, experimental sounds, it’s almost as though the music controls the way in which you move. You feel the urge to hit a different move on every single sound whether it’s a small pop or a liquid-like sound. This is what sets a good artist apart from a mediocre artist.
To really set yourself apart from electronic artists today isn’t all that easy. I mean, sure, you can be a great DJ and produce some decent tracks and you might end up playing at some major festivals. But it’s the artists who create something entirely new, something that doesn’t ever lose its magic — those are the real artists. And What So Not is definitely one of them.