Emil Smith Interview on Nagamag

Emil Smith

What are the genres that describe better your music style?

Emil Smith:
Cinematic, instrumental world (middle eastern).

Few words about your musical background and career?

Emil Smith:
My background as a music producer, sound engineer and singer/songwriter has shaped my approach to how I currently work with soundtracks and instrumental compositions. I have a deep interest in shaping timbre and working with transforming textures.

Do you remember your first connection of love to music that was the right impact to be a music artist now?

Emil Smith:
My first head dive into music was when my brother introduced me to grunge rock. I started playing guitar and instantly connected with the genre and subculture.
A few years later I met a guy who did recordings and synth programming. I was intrigued by the creative process behind sound manipulation and using the recording studio as an instrument and a compositional tool.
Since, I've played in many small bands as a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and drummer and gradually I've been leaning towards creation and less towards live performance.
I love storytelling, and I think music is a great tool to tell a story. I bring my own story and my love of art, fiction, world music and creativity into my music.

What is the idea behind the Middle Eastern instrumentation used throughout the EP?

Emil Smith:
The EP is a conceptual soundtrack for an animation project called 'Aetherreach' (in development). It's set in a desert wasteland: As the rivers are polluted by toxic waste, the drought-plagued desert tribes rebel against the tyranny of the advanced tech-nation of Aetherreach.
I wanted the soundtrack to sound middle eastern, without pointing towards a specific culture of traditional music, as the story is set in an alternate universe. This is why the instrumentation is so eclectic - I've borrowed a bit here and there: Syrian kamancheh, Armenian duduk, Turkish saz, North African percussion and kalimba - besides neoclassical strings, dark synths and glitch drums presenting the sci-fi elements from Aetherreach.

Do you have any new projects coming?

Emil Smith:
I'm sketching out my first ideas for a collaborative project with world influences and dark cinematic bowed textures.
Besides that, I'm working on the score of a short documentary. In August I start a Film Scoring master degree on the National Film School of Denmark.

Most artists have a favorite song from a different music genre than the one they are producing music for... Which is yours?

Emil Smith:
Sudan Archives "Oatmeal"

Of Course Nagamag would love to listen also which track from a similar artist you admire?

Emil Smith:
Madar Ensemble "Silence"

Discover & Listen to Emil Smith

Emil Smith on Spotify

Emil Smith's Signature Track

Emil Smith on Social Media


Emil Smith – Desert Secrets (Spotify)

The melody is introduced by the baglama (Turkish Saz). Along with the ethnic kamancheh strings the composition is driven forward by a self-customized domestic drum kit consisting of pots, pans, a singing bowl and a water jug. In an odd-time minimalistic arrangement Desert Secrets rises into a dramatic crescendo.

'Desert Secrets' is made for a scene in the animated show 'Aetherreach' (currently in development), where our two protagonists travel through drought desert villages and toxic wastelands searching a cure for the plagued lands.

It's partly inspired by the soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's movie 'Only Lovers Left Alive'.

Emil Smith – Aetherreach (Spotify)

This song serves as an intro for an animated series 'Aetherreach', which is currently in development.

It encapsulates the ethnic middle eastern setting in a science-fantasy universe with advanced robotic technology.

With organic drums and ethnic instruments such as kamancheh and duduk, the song progresses in odd time ostinatos into a crescendo of a cinematic action-packed climax.

Cover-art by the director Lakstein Fernandes.

Go to Top