Interview with Rane Shounds

Dee and Weronika interviewed electronic artist and DJ Shane Rounds, known by the stage name Rane Shounds, and discussed hyperpop, bedroom produced music, and star signs.

How did you first get into making music and realize this is something you wanted to do?

Around when I was like 13 maybe, 12 maybe, I really was into trying to make music. I was into like MewChord and Fantano and I was like “I’m gonna make music!” and I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials on FLStudio. Like, how to make hip hop beats, how to make house beats, everything. I think that’s the only reason why I know how to navigate programs and stuff. I’ve always wanted to make music, I’ve known how to DJ since I was eight years old. Because of the movie Juice, it’s a 90s gangster movie starring Tupac. There’s a DJ battle in the movie and I thought that was the coolest shit in the world when I was like eight. I guess that kind of progresses to now, with electronic music.

Your album “Infinite Azure” dropped in February. Can you talk about what inspired this record and how it came to be?

It’s a fighting stage in the game Tekken, I just thought it was cool. Last year I got really into house music, like deep house and Chicago house. It’s because it’s got really hard drums and pretty chords and that’s all I’m for. Anything I’m into I want to recreate, that’s just kind of how my brain works. I just kind of noticed this link between video game music and electronic music, like Streetfighter or really old Sonic games have crazy music. And I decided I’d make an electronic album with a video game theme so when I dropped the commercial for it it’d be like the startup menu for a video game. So really, the First Gen Xbox games I grew up with and Chicago house really inspired the album. I wanted to do something different since the last album was kind of indie and jazzy. It’s sample heavy but in a lowkey way. I wanted people to go crazy with this, like I want people to do molly when they hear this.

What song are you most proud of?

My favorite track off the album is Cyberdelia because I think the drum and bass is super, and it’s the most accurate video game music on the album, and it’s got really pretty chords.

The promotional video for this project contains clips from many different games, what are some of your favorite video games and why?

I’m a fighting games person, I’ve always liked a good fighting game. A lot of the album art is a lot of Tekken imagery. Even the album art itself is kind of a parody of Tekken. I love Mortal Kombat, it’s a classic. I grew up a lot playing the Skate franchise, like Skate 2 and 3. I’m not really playing a lot now, I kind of grew out of it for some reason. The last game I really played was Animal Crossing and that was like a year ago. Also, Dragon Ball Z has this really cool game I like called Tenkaichi 3, so good. There’s actually a clip in the [album] trailer.

electronic artist and DJ Shane Rounds
Rane Shounds performing with Wallpaper

How was making this album different from “Two Thousand Two”?

Two Thousand Two kind of came about because I had issues in my life, like personal beef and things that were not going right. It was very much out of spite, like fuck you, I’m better than you, I make better music than you, I do what I want to do. I love that record, it’s my little baby. The process for that was listening to a lot of disco, old Muzak 70s library music, trying to copy Puzzle and Enjoy and Mile High Club. I just wanna make very Summer Lake-y type shit. But this was like, I want to have all the white girls come up to me and be like, “Whoa, oh my god, I love this.” It’s electronic music but accessible, so I studied a lot of Crystal Castles as well. I wanted something that wasn’t too abrasive, like Aphex Twins, but something that you’d listen to casually.

Since the pandemic is kind of still going on, have you been able to get a sense of how people have been responding to your music?

Yeah, honestly! I’m on campus, and this is the first year that people have come up to me and say they liked my album. Or my friends messaging me, or kids online who love my stuff from Germany. That’s crazy. People in my dorm will come up to me and be like, “I really like Track Four!” and that’s insane. Crazy.

Do you think the fact that we can’t be going to shows or clubs or anything right now affects how you make your music?

Not really. I hate the term bedroom producer but that’s what I am and always will be, probably. I find comfort in knowing my music is not meant for a large setting, which is something I have to think about. I have played live, I’m a DJ. It was easy to DJ this stuff, but playing Two Thousand Two stuff live would be really weird because I’d need a backing band. I haven’t thought about playing non-Infinite Azure stuff live. Playing Two Thousand Two live would be really interesting.

Do you have any thoughts on how bedroom pop and bedroom producing is exploding and how that’s affecting music culture?

I love bedroom music, DIY-things. It doesn’t even have to be bedroom pop like Clairo or Steve Lacey. Even though he’s super canceled now and like fuck him I am a huge Ariel Pink fan. Seeing him go from making music in his bedroom to playing Coachella was amazing. Or even like Tame Impala or Tyler the Creator, like people who have literally… I remember about two years ago when Bastard turned 10 years old I remember Tyler talking about making music downstairs so his grandmother couldn’t hear. That’s like, really inspirational as a person who can’t play loud because I have neighbors in my dorm or whatever. I really respect bedroom producers and they’ve ended up being crazy big now. I think bedroom producers are underrated people.

If you could collaborate on a track with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?

I’d really wanna produce for Lil B or $ilkmoney. I’ve always wanted to do a rap album and produce everything and they rap over it. There’s not actually that many singers I wanna work with because that’s intimidating to me. Mostly rappers, I love rapper energy.

electronic artist and DJ Shane Rounds
Rane Shounds performing with Wallpaper

What’s your favorite music-related memory, whether it’s playing a live set or creating?

Recently we did play a show, we have a park right outside my dorm and we played a show there. It was in the snow with my friends. My friends are in a band called Wallpaper and they’re a rock band and I don’t have anything to do with rock but they let me perform Death Camp by Tyler and that was really fun and I fell backwards into the snow and it was really cool. I’m really into rock but I’m not really in that world because that’s not what I make, so that was really cool. That’s the most recent one that I can remember.

What is your star sign, and do you feel it fits you?

I’m a Capricorn. Sometimes I feel like I’m not, but then I realized how anal I am about certain things and it’s kind of annoying. Like if me and my friends set a time to hang out and people don’t get there until 8:15 when we said 8:00, it’ll really piss me off for no reason. I’ll type in the group chat like, “It’s 8:02 and y’all still aren’t here.” I know I’m being annoying but it’s something I can’t help. I also like my room being organized to like a fault. When it gets disorganized, I get really shaken up for no reason. I guess that’s because I’m a Capricorn, but it could be something else.

What’s your favorite thing about the music scene in your hometown?

I don’t know many musicians in Charlotte. There’s this one little small band called Feelings Club. I went to one of their shows once and that was really fun. There’s a lot of rappers that went to my high school. I don’t know where they are now but I’m a cinema major, so I really know my way around cameras and editing and they wanted me to shoot their music videos. They’re the first people who trusted me to do anything from a hiring standpoint. They were like, “You’re 14 and know how to work Premiere? Here’s a camera, shoot my music video!”. Lot of respect for them. Really bad rap songs, but I was like, “I’m down!”.

My friends Wallpaper, they make slowcorey, Built To Spill-ass music. There’s another freshman band named West Main Street. I don’t know if they’d want to say this, I mean this respectfully, but they make really Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons music. Not my thing but I respect it because that’s the bag. That’s how you really make dime.

Shoutout Cameron Butler, he’s a rapper from Charlotte. That’s all I really know. Oh, and a friend of a friend knows Parker, the hyperpop artist.

What are your thoughts on hyperpop?

Hyperpop is a very interesting genre, it’s kind of not a real thing. You have the bubblegum thing, like Sophie, Hannah Diamond type shit. Respect to Sophie, she’s crazy, she’s a good musician. And like a Gecs or a Parker or anybody else. I don’t know much about hyperpop. It’s kind of like 2000s pop with distortion. I hate simplifying genres but that’s kinda what it is. I respect any music that’s kind of different and has it’s own little thing going. I’ve never seen people stan a genre before, that’s interesting. People are like, “I’m such a hyperpop bitch!”. Except maybe punk and metal, I know punk and metalheads kind of do that too.

My friend was listening to a thing, it was a “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” cover, Soulja Boy, and I can’t remember the artist name but it was this really crazy distorted version of it. I thought it was tight. I wouldn’t listen to it again but it’s insane that we have the ability to rebuild a genre, like Britney Spears meets Death Grips type shit.

electronic artist and DJ Shane Rounds

What are your upcoming plans?

I have another album project thing that I want to do during the summer. I kind of like being a chameleon when it comes to genre. I don’t want to have a sound. I kinda want, everybody knows who Toro y Moi is, that’s one of my favorite artists because all his albums do not sound the same, but his songwriting is the exact same. You get this overarching thing, even though one is more electronic, and one is more acoustic-psychedelic, I really want that to be in the next thing I do. Oh, I get how Two Thousand Two, Infinite Azure, and this other thing I’m about to do are all kind of the same thing, same chords and everything, just different mediums. I’m not sure exactly what I want it to be, but I’ll figure it out.

I think the Gorillaz do that very well. It works perfectly. The same person who made Empire of Ants made Rock the House and that’s very insane. Very underrated. Also Beck, even though Beck’s later shit is not my favorite in the world, you can hear Loser and then the folk shit that he did five years ago and be like, “Oh, this is definitely the same person.” It has to do with songwriting, and knowing what tracks you should place where in an album. I really wanna get there, so badly.

Be sure to check out Rane Shounds’ new album, Infinite Azure!

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