Factor B dishes on Dreamstate, what drives him artistically, and more [Q+A]
Few artists can say they’ve been booked at top festivals in their genre, signed to prolific labels, and made the leap to full-time production in under half a decade after making their entrance into dance music. Factor B falls into this minority category, lighting up the trance world with his burning passion for the music and careful attention to detail in both his sets and his original works and remixes. He’s managed to do this all from scratch in his home country of Australia, which notably has a very small scene for this particular strain of dance music.
Talent and hard work are ultimately undeniable, as the burgeoning artist has proven to himself. Prior to taking up the art of creating and performing electronic music, Factor B clocked in a large number of years as an eager consumer. His love affair with trance began with Ferry Corsten‘s Trance Nation contribution from 2000, and has only continued to grow since then. After close studying of how the music was made and performed, he soon worked up the courage to try his own hand behind the decks, which proved a natural fit for the young fan. He soon found himself taken under Solarstone‘s wing with a signing of “Sacrosanct” to Pure Trance — an uplifting anthem that established him as a force to be reckoned with. But this was only the beginning for Factor B. His clear skill and dedication to his craft landed him on other prolific imprints, like FSOE and Armada’s WAO138?! branch, with constant plays from the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Super8 & Tab, Aly & Fila, and even his role model Ferry Corsten. Such widespread adoration led to his move to Amsterdam in 2017, where since then, Factor B has seen an even bigger explosion in success that has allowed him to make a living off his music.
Ahead of his return to Dreamstate — Insomniac’s beloved trance brand whose flagship Southern California festival has become the genre’s prime destination stateside — we talked to this legend-in-the-making about his drive, influences, recent developments, and what to expect for his second time at the festival.
How would you describe the “Factor B sound?
Uplifting, cinematic, energetic, emotional & my own
What are the most influential trance songs or mixes of your past that have helped guide what you make today?
I loved a lot of the early work from Lange, Airbase, Super8, Nitrous Oxide, Nu NRG, Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond to name a few. In terms of compilations, The Global Underground series along with Gatecrasher, Slinky & Clubbers Guides were frequently in my CD players.
On that note, you’ve become known for your huge, multilayered uplifting pieces. What draws you to uplifting as opposed to say, psy trance or tech trance?
Even though I don’t mind a bit of Psy & tech, I don’t get the emotional connection to those styles the way I do with melodic trance.
When I write a record, it always has a storyline or a feeling behind it and I love translating that to an audience via sound.
You’ve been living in Amsterdam for a bit over a year now. What are some key career growth moments that have come to you as a result of moving to a trance hub?
I think just simply being closer to the action here in Europe / UK / USA has been highly beneficial for my growth. Not having to fly to & from Australia means more show opportunities and chances to showcase my music / DJing. Being on the tour circuit more often has been amazing as I’ve had the opportunity to get know more about the industry and learn from some of the really cool characters within it.
Tell us about some of the hardships you faced when taking the plunge to do music full time, and how you got over them.
I think for me it was about learning how to manage myself & my producing. Coming from a full time business background – a big challenge for me was learning to understand how to manage my creativity and not force things. I burnt out pretty quick when I first arrived in Amsterdam – I was producing non stop for 9 months, so after that happened, I learnt pretty quick to slow down, harness my inspiration and not to force it. I don’t just sit in the studio because I feel I have to now. To help the process, I have learnt to step away from music for periods of time, focus on things that help clear my mind and then approach my studio sessions nice & fresh.
How does your studio process go? Do you have a starting point you like in a track or an area you feel you have to get ‘just right’ before finishing? How do you address writer’s block?
For me it’s all about the melodies. I tend to write melodies first and once I know it’s got something special about it then I start expanding. Not all ideas make the cut. I’ve learnt to leave & come back to projects after a few days with ‘fresh ears’ so I can get a better perspective on where the track is at. If it dosent pass the goosebump test – it goes in the bin!
A good dose of exercise often helps clear the mind when things aren’t going to plan in the studio, that or a glass of whiskey!
What’s inspiring you to create the most these days?
I think it’s still just the love of the music, it’s thrilling to land a great melody and then see it grow. I love the process – the challenge, the rollercoaster that’s associated with writing music. When it all comes together – it’s difficult to find a better feeling.
Are there any specific goals you’re looking to achieve musically, like starting a new label of your own, experimenting with a new sound, playing a certain place, etc?
Of course there are always aspirations and goals, but for me traveling the world and playing my music is still fresh and exciting. I don’t want to try to do too much too soon. I love trance, I love performing – so for now I’m just focusing on keeping my music fresh and staying optimistic about whatever the future brings!
Sort of related, but since your international explosion, what have been some of your favorite places to play or prized trance memories?
No doubt Luminosity on the Beach is one of my favorite shows each year, along with any tour back home to Australia. The recent Subculture show in my home town of Melbourne in front of 7.5k people was probably one of the greatest moments of my life! The USA as a whole has been incredible for me this year. I’ve never really travelled the USA so to get to see so much of it in the last 12 months has been really exciting. Dreamstate is definitely one of the shows that launched my name in the USA so that’s one in the calendar each year I get really excited for!
You’re coming back to Dreamstate! With last year’s set erring toward the ‘producer’s set’ side, what do you have in store for us this year?
As dreamstate showcases so many great acts I think most artists sets tend to lean towards producer sets nowadays anyway but I have what I feel is some of my best work to date to playout / debut at DS this year so I really can’t wait for it!
What are your thoughts in general on the American trance scene and Dreamstate?
As mentioned previously, it’s been fantastic for me, I’m very grateful to have played so many shows around the states and for Dreamstate this year. The crowds are all great and seemingly really enjoy my uplifting style as I’m fairly fresh to the USA tour circuit. I can’t compare it to anything prior but from my experience thus far it’s healthy and growing!
Finally, what’s next in the Factor B pipeline?
Well, firstly I have an abundance of new music to release in 2019 – First and foremost that’s what excites me the most. On the show front, I have some very exciting announcements to make in the coming weeks, some big debuts and some big tours. Keep an eye on the socials! :)
It’s not to late to pick up Dreamstate tickets; make sure to purchase them here.
Photo credit: facebook/FactorBmusic