Cover photo credits: @shotbyek
Rising bass phenom Ace Aura (real name Eric Seall) has been on a meteoric rise with his growth in the past few years. He brings the light upon the dark in dubstep, showcasing masterful sound design by smoothly capturing the essence of the contrast within his tracks. His distinct sonic identity has been a beam of light within the music industry quickly building a loyal fanbase. He’s come off of a huge year with his first ever headlining Crystal Coalition Tour and has been on tour with staple names like Subtronics, Black Tiger Sex Machine, and Excision. Eric will also be playing at Lost Lands later this month. Check below for our backstage interview with Ace Aura right after he finished his performance at Electric Zoo Festival In New York.
You just stepped off of the Continuum stage at Electric Zoo and this also wasn’t your first time playing this festival. How was the experience and playing back in New York?
The first one was great because it was one of my first big festivals I had ever played. It was in 2021 and I played at a smaller stage at an earlier time than I played this year. It was pretty cool playing at one of the bigger stages this year. At first, there was a smaller crowd with people just coming in due to the EZoo schedule delay and towards the end of my set, it was packed.
You’ve been exploding on the bass scene with your dynamic sound, even touring with some industry staples such as BTSM, Excision, and Subtronics, can you share a little about your musical journey and how you started as a DJ?
I started Ace Aura in 2012 using lite version of Pro Tools that I got for a Christmas gift and I was just kind of messing around. 2012 was also when I found Skrillex and ever since that moment I wanted to make that kind of music. I started off watching Youtube tutorials and trial and errored my way through it before I switched to Abelton in 2016. The software change was a big jump in technical skill for me as I was originally using software that wasn’t fit for electronic music. From that moment I’ve been scaling my way up to where I am today.
You have a very distinct sound in the bass scene that focuses on shining light on bass music in the form of future riddim and color bass that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s a combination of heavy bass with a contrast of colorful chords and lighter tones, did you always start with this production style?
it’s always been a part of my music in different ways. It’s what attracted me to electronic music in the first place, I find the light and dark contrast very interesting. That’s why ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ was so cool to me when it first came out because you’ve got the melodic intro and the really heavy drop combination. I thought it was really cool that Skrillex can combine these two things in a way that makes sense. And so that had always been in my mind as something I wanted to do, but every time I’d hear it, it would be something where there’s a melodic section and a heavy section. What I wanted to do was joining the melodic and heavy elements together where there’s no separation between them. It took awhile for me to develop this type of sound design and it wasn’t until around 2018 which was when I started developing the modern sound that I have now.
You make it known on social media that Christianity is a big part of your life, does your faith integrate into your music in anyway?
Christianity like you said is a huge part of me and of my life. If you’re making art, your personality is going to find its way into your music. And so a lot of my music is inspired by my faith. For example, my song ‘Tongues of Fire’ is literally from like the book of Acts. I also have my 2018 ‘Exodus‘ EP and tracks from my ‘reset_environment‘ EP which is inspired by the book of Revelation.
Earlier you mentioned Skrillex being a huge influence on your music, are there other artists that you have drawn influence from?
Absolutely, MUST DIE! was another big one that inspired me into developing the sound I currently have. A lot of his older stuff and even his current stuff was a combination of light and melodic intros with dark and heavy drops. Zomboy is another one that has influenced me in the same way. Space Laces is another artist. I really appreciate how he’s able to take his technical knowledge and skill and use it to make things that are simple, but also intricate. And I think that’s something that not a lot of people are able to do.
Are there any artists that you would like to collaborate with next?
Definitely MUST DIE!. We’ve tried once, but we didn’t actually finish the track and so eventually I’d wanna finish the track with him. Zomboy, Space Laces, and ISOxo as well.
Your most recent release was ‘Arcadia’ with Pixel Terror. Can you speak more on how it was like collaborating with him?
We started working that track in 2020 or 2021. It had been a long time in the works but we took a pause on working on the track. And then Bentley hit me up a few months before the track saying we should finish the track. We both worked on it a bit and passed it back to each other. It was really cool to work on an idea that was older, it was a couple years older at that point. The core idea was something I could still flesh out into something that would work today. It’s pretty rare for me to find something that’s a couple years old that still interests me enough to continue working on it. As an artist, you’re always growing and evolving, like what you’re making, what your tastes are, change over time.
If you listen to ‘Arcadia’, it sounds like there is a video game influence. Are you big into playing video games yourself and what are you currently playing?
Yes definitely, the biggest modern example is Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. When it came out, it sucked up all of my time. I currently play League of Legends and Valorant with friends. Those are my two games that I’ll play to hang out with friends at night. I’ve also been playing a lot of Monster Hunter.
When you’re not busy grinding in the studio, are there other activities you do to relieve stress besides playing video games?
I guess on that note, I don’t typically do enough to destress. I was thinking about it the other day and when I take breaks from making music I’m doing other high cognitive intensity activities like playing video games so I don’t think I do a very good job of taking time to actually rest my brain until I actually go to sleep. But outside of that, I like to watch shows and movies with my wife and also go to the gym.
What type of shows do you watch?
Recently, my wife and I just got into watching anime a couple months ago. My wife and I started watching Demon Slayer and we loved it. We watched the first two seasons together and every evening we would sit down together to watch it through. My first anime I started watching was Attack on Titan and I also enjoyed that one a lot.
During your set, you played a few unreleased bangers, can you share more about those releases?
Yeah so I’ve got a new track with Deadcrow and Roniit that should come out later this year. The rest is a lot of solo stuff I’ve been working on and don’t want to spoil exactly what it’s part of but I’ve been working on a lot of music behind the scenes a lot that I still don’t even play out that I’m really excited about. I do have a lot planned for 2024 so stay tuned for that.
You wrapped up your Crystal Coalition Tour in June which was your biggest headlining tour and you will be playing at Lost Lands later this month. What else do you have coming up for your touring schedule?
I don’t think I can spoil who it’s with, but it looks like I’ll be going on tour with someone early next year. For the rest of this year it’s mostly just festivals and some scattered headlines and support dates.
What do you want to be remembered for as an artist?
I want to be known as the person that no matter what, always tried to bring light to the scene. Bring positive energy, bring God to the scene. Honestly, Jesus. I want to be remembered as someone who no matter what always had artistic integrity. I always want to be making something that feels authentic to me and that’s what I release. And honestly, that’s really hard because all the time as an artist, when being an artist is your job, there’s always this pressure to make stuff that you know will do real well rather than taking risks and staying true to what you like and what you love. And if that means me not making dubstep in a few years, who knows.
With how relevant social media is nowadays for artists, do you find it a challenge to put yourself out there on all the platforms?
That has been the big challenge for me lately because it feels like now in order to be relevant or playing shows, selling tickets, all that stuff. You have to have a big social media presence. That’s not ever really been a thing that I’ve been super into, but I want to do social media in a way that feels authentic to me, but it’s also a good strategy for promoting growth for my brand. And so it’s been kind of hard over the last few months to figure out something that works. I’ve been trying different things, but I think I’m finally starting to fall into a groove where I’m enjoying what I’m doing and it’s something people find entertaining. We live in a world where getting your name out there through social media is really important for people to discover you. And I wish it weren’t that way, I wish I could just make art and that’s it.
Check out some clips below from Eric’s Electric Zoo performance down below!