German producer Topic has been sharing his melancholic dance music on social media since the age of 16 and the social media gave back. His first track “Light It Up,” released in 2014, charted almost immediately, and was followed by another great breakout single called “Home” (ft Nico Santos) which quickly gained platinum status in Germany and double platinum in Australia. Now an Astralwerks artist, Topic joined forces with a Swedish producer A7S on a new track “Breaking Me” and this song has been blowing up not just music stream but also TikTok.
Kateryna Topol: Let’s start at the “beginning” so to say, what inspired you to make music?
Topic: I owe it to my former music teacher that I became a producer at all. I knew that he was ahead of time and that he had planned a project where we could use music programs on computers. And as I was young of course I was drawn to media. That was it! I got stuck on that and also started producing at home as a hobby.
I actually worked in a business job for 5 years, but in 2014 music became a bigger and bigger part in my life and I finally decided to quit my job and only make music.
KT: What is your production and creative process like?
T: Let me take you through my usual process of creating a track: before we start writing a song we get together as a group and everyone talks about what currently goes on in their lives and what moves them. These topics [laughs] are processed in songs.
However, a song itself is not always about a certain situation that has been experienced by yourself – but an emotion that many might know and could empathize with.
KT: Awesome! Do you play any instruments?
T: Yes I do. I play the guitar and the piano, which is quite essential for producing.
KT: And how do you choose who to collaborate with for vocals?
T: This is always different. Sometimes you get into the room with people in songwriting sessions and then end up doing the single with them. And other times you already have songs and pitch them to other artists, which you think could be suitable for that track.
KT: And with “Breaking Me” – how did this song and collaboration with A7S come about?
T: A7S and I started working closely in 2018, since then we went on several songwriting trips to the US and Berlin. In one of those trips in Summer 2019 we made “Breaking Me”.
We came up with the initial idea in Berlin, but we got stuck so we decided to work on it on another day. We didn’t work on the track for almost 2 months then. Until we decided to work on it on a songwriting trip in Miami.
KT: You’re based in Germany, how would you describe the dance music scene there?
T: It is pretty diverse. We have a huge rap scene here with some great artists. Then we have some domestic pop artists as well. And then of course a huge DJ and dance scene, which also is pretty diverse. From commercial to super underground techno. What I like the most is there are no boundaries anymore, every genre can be turned into a dance track.
KT: How has it been coming up there as an artist?
T: I got to know a lot of different great musicians, songwriters, producers, artists etc. from many different genres.
KT: Nice, and what’s next for Topic, 2020 and beyond?
T: I’ve spent a lot of time in my studio the past few months, so there is a lot coming up. My “ily” Surf Mesa Remix has come out now and there are also some more remixes coming. And a follow up single sometime this year!
I now also have a great international booking team on hand for the first time in my career, which is working on international gigs for 2021. So there is a lot to look forward to.
KT: Looking back, what are some of your favorite live performances from the last few years?
T: There have been so many to be honest. It’s impossible to choose. But all Parookavilles I played so far were great as well as Lollapalooza. I really like playing festivals as there is a very special vibe to them.
KT: What venues or festivals are you looking forward to playing again?
T: Parookaville is setting up a Mini-festival in July, which I’m very looking forward to, as I’ve been playing there over the past years. It will be in compliance with the guidelines so a much smaller crowd. Playing the big festivals globally is something I’d like to accomplish as soon as it’s safe again. Let’s hope for 2021!
KT: Social media had a big role to play in your music career, what were some of your favorite channels?
T: I’d say YouTube, as I kind of started my music career there. I love a good music video, it’s a great channel to show people what we created visually for the music.
KT: True true. What tips can you share for up-and-coming artists when it comes to becoming a social media success?
T: Me myself, I had quite a few setbacks when it comes to my music career. But consistency is key! That would be my tip for every life situation not only music or social media: don’t give up – stay consistent!
Photo Credit: Vien Tran Van