In an era when electronic dance music controls the radio waves, CloudNone is providing an inspiring reminder of the genre’s humble origins. And though the name implies the opposite of the term “cloud nine”, CloudNone has harnessed a unique ability to create uplifting melodies that immediately elevate listeners into another world.
In just over three years since his debut release, his songs have already gathered tens of millions of plays. They have brought in DJ support from the likes of Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and Illenium, and his songs have seen placements in video games such as Fortnite, Forza Horizon 5, and Rocket League.
While continuing to provide a steady downpour of releases, CloudNone is now taking to the stage and has already performed at legendary venues such as Red Rocks in Colorado and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, further legitimizing CloudNone as an influencer on the greater electronic music scene and proving that for CloudNone, the sky is the limit. Check out the exclusive interview with CloudNone below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
CloudNone: CloudNone began as an explorative need of nostalgia within a season of self-doubt and depression. I blocked out the whole world for two weeks with a goal to create as much music as possible in an attempt to stir something inside of myself and I ended up making nine songs within those two weeks. I sent those nine songs to a few friends who encouraged me to send them to the lead A&R at Monstercat, who responded positively towards it. We ended up deciding to drop one song, add a few extras and then split those songs into two separate EP’s, the Welcome To London and Midnight Underground EP’s.
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
CloudNone: I’m mostly self-taught, but I regularly study at university of youtube.
3. Why the name ‘CloudNone’?
CloudNone: I found it humorous that I could change one letter and flip the meaning of “cloud nine” on its head, and I was also wishing my own clouds away, so it just felt appropriate.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how would you personally describe your sound?
CloudNone: Initially I was digging myself out of depression and I think that sort of authenticity embedded itself in the music, but at the same time, my sound was laced with hints of hope. Another aesthetic that I really love is dirty audio quality from eras when more experimentation was taking place and before everything got too pristine. We experience so much through cell phones and cell phone audio has just become a part of our lives, and I enjoy embracing that grit and noise in my music.
5. For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and music maker, and the transition towards your own style, which is known as EDM?
CloudNone: Yeah, the whole thing kicked off with a video regarding Burial’s production style and how he rarely used a grid-locked production method. I quickly grabbed the first drum samples I could find and hastily threw them into a DAW without really knowing anything about what genre I was creating or any heritage but I’ve been learning more and growing into my own skin ever since. There have been a few important moments that have really spurred me into growth, such as collaborating with Direct and hearing his more polished take on a similar feel and genre to what I was making. Then having support and feedback from Oliver Heldens was a huge moment of mental growth, and then most recently having Illenium’s support and playing shows with him has really changed my mind around how I think about my music and what I consider is possible in regards to marrying my sound to a live environment. Each of those have been pivotal catalysts into new ideas that I had never imagined before.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfillment as the amount of work you are putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
CloudNone: Yes and no. I’m always listening to my music wherever I go, so in a way, that’s everything I could ever want from it but finding my path in the live playspace has been a bit of a challenge. I think the opinion has often been that my music is too calm to be effective in a live environment and that’s been tough to digest and navigate when I’ve felt otherwise. Playing at Allegiant Stadium with Illenium this past summer was a huge boost and really changed that take, at least in my own mind. My self-opinion, self-worth, whatever you want to call it has changed quite a bit in regards to my live energy and I now have a few opinions regarding my path forward that will begin playing out in the music I release starting later this year. I have big belief and high hopes for that.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do you usually start, and go about shaping ideas into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you collaborate with others in this process?
CloudNone: The creative process has taken on all of those methods. I think if a song or melody is emotive when it’s stripped back to something as fundamental as a piano, it’s effective. So I like to begin so many of my songs on a piano, then move into rhythmic information from there. When I collaborate with others, I try to be fluid, adaptable and stay in my own lane. I really strive to not edit others’ creative process too much although that’s easier said than done.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
CloudNone: In the early days, having the first few wins and beginning to believe in myself was so powerful. I was at the lowest point of my mental health when I started the project, so that’s the most obvious response and I’m grateful that those feelings are more distant now. I’m still struggling to find my way in a world where income from streaming just generally feels low, accolades don’t put food on the table, yet I should be proud of my numbers. Trying to remain optimistic in light of those realities is a constant struggle.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or music career so far?
CloudNone: I’m incredibly proud to have played the shows that I have and I know so much of that has nothing to do with me and I have a lot of gratitude towards the artists who have invited me out, but I’m still so proud to have played in Allegiant Stadium and Red Rocks. I’m proud to have my music in video games like Rocket League, Forza, Fortnite. All of that still seems surreal to be able to say.