Astara – Career Highlights Interview
Words: Mike Mode
May 17, 2024

Astara has steadily been building momentum since embarking on his musical journey, developing a signature style that appears distinct, his music continues to resonate with audiences around the globe. So today, we’re looking forward to being joined in conversation with the talented Producer to discuss his career so far, looking at the moments that stand out to him: from his first release, ‘Alone Tonight’, to delving into the inspirations that continue to motivate him, join us as we present this exclusive interview with Astara.

Hi Astara! How have you been? What’s new?

Hi! I am doing very, very well! Working on a new batch of songs for the summer and finalizing the signing of my forthcoming song “Walk Through Fire” as well! Busy times, but good times!

What sparked your passion to pursue a career in music?

Good question. My primary goal in pursuing music was to write songs that would resonate with people. I think we all have had that experience at a music festival or venue where we have felt a strong sense of connection with an Artist. But for me, it’s the quiet moments—on a train, on a ski trip, or on a rainy afternoon at home—where I feel the strongest connection to music and the Artists that create it. As a result, I have hoped my music would be compelling enough that people would feel encouraged to listen to it while going about their day—living their lives. After all, I think it’s the greatest honour to have an audience that appreciates your music and invites your songs into their daily routines.

At what point in the beginning of your career, did you decide to make the move to Nashville and leave NYC? What was it that helped you make that decision and why?

I finished college at Northwestern University in Chicago in late 2019 and headed down to Nashville immediately to start work in the music industry. Really, I just wanted to be in a place that had a solid energy and a robust music scene. What’s more, since I was born in North Carolina and have family here, I have always felt a connection to the South. Once I got to Nashville, I worked at an Americana music magazine and conducted interviews and wrote feature stories for the publication. It was a good way to get my feet wet in this town, and it introduced me to a lot of music I never had listened to before!

What are some of your early career milestones that helped you gain recognition in Electronic Music today?

I don’t look at milestones really. I think it’s better to keep your eyes in front of you and chart a solid path forward. I was happy with my first release “Alone Tonight” and some of the moderate success it experienced, but I know I have a lot more records in my catalogue, and I am excited to share those soon.

Which achievement or recognition in your career has meant the most to you personally?

I was very happy with my song “No Use,” which I released in early 2023. I felt that that song was a solid interpretation of Hayley Williams’s original, and I loved how my friend performed the vocals for it. It is a song I am very proud of to this day.

How do you feel your music has evolved and changed over time, and what influences have shaped your sound now?

I think melody has always been the primary driving force behind my records—with rhythm and percussion taking the backseat to it. But more recently, I think I have improved my ability to write basslines and drum grooves. As a result, I think the songs I have written this winter and spring have reflected a greater balance between these key elements. Additionally, I have always favored darker, underground music, but this year I have felt more emboldened to write these kinds of records. As a result, I will soon be releasing some underground tracks as well. One of them is a song I have been working on called “Dream Sequence,” which I’ve teased in a couple of guest mixes recently. I am very excited to release this one!

Which collaborations with vocalists have been pivotal to your music career?

I have had a number of great projects with vocalists—several of those Artists I count as friends. I couldn’t really pick one, because they have all been important to me and taught me different lessons. I think overall it’s just vital to get in the studio and chop it up with folks. You can’t sit in your room or a studio alone—you must get perspective from other Artists, particularly those with vocal talent, in my opinion!

What are some of your favorite releases you are proud to have produced?

These three are my favorites so far!

1. ‘Walk Through Fire’ (unreleased)

2. ‘No Use’ (released in 2023)

3. ‘DSCO Girl’ (released in 2023)

With your disposition for bringing more lyric-based tracks into Electronic Music, were there some tracks of yours’ you felt had achieved that Nashville songwriting influence?

Yes. My song “True Companion.” I didn’t write the lyrics though. It was a cover of a Marc Cohn song from the early 1990s. I learned of the song’s original version while I was here in Nashville, and it struck me as a quintessential Nashville-style composition. There’s narrative depth, development, and ultimately lyrical grace. When I made my version, I took the vocal which has that heartfelt lyricism, and I got in touch with a great singer here named Grant (who sang the cover), and I just created an instrumental that I felt embodied my sound at the time. This crossover really challenged me as a Producer. It wasn’t so easy to get the instrumental right If I’m being honest. I also did some rearranging with the lyrics in order to modernize the song. I think it took me 3-4 months to finally get the drop right on it and finalize the arrangement. Ultimately, integrating these disparate influences was a rewarding experience for me though, and I was happy with the result!

What are some of your projects or aspirations for the future of your music career?

I would love to open a venue here in Nashville. That’s my foremost aspiration right now. I feel like there aren’t enough good Dance music venues in this town, and it would be great to change that. Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and so many other Country musicians have big bars on Broadway or at least some kind of live venue in this town. All I’m sayin’ is, can’t we get one solid venue for the Dance music crowd!? So that’s up there as a big goal for me right now! Other than that, I just want to continue to grow my project, and we’ll see where that takes me. I’m just grateful that I have been able to make music and express myself thus far—it’s a great gift to have that opportunity. I look forward to the journey ahead!

Having already begun making a name for himself within Electronic Music with dynamic releases and collaborations alongside other gifted Artists, we’re sure that Astara will continue with his current trajectory, taking to new ground as he keeps discovering fresh and exciting ways to stand out. So, a talent to keep watching, make sure to follow Astara via social media.

Astara Online
Instagram | Spotify | Website