Red Neon, originally hailing from the vibrant regions of Hertfordshire and North London, is one such creative force that thrives on pushing the envelope of musical exploration. Made up of long-time friends Warren Spencer and Vasos Stavrou, their journey into the world of music is marked by an eclectic range of influences that span across decades and styles. From the nostalgic allure of ’80s synth and new wave to the groove-infused rhythms of ’70s funk and R’n’B, Red Neon’s sonic palette knows no limits. This musical alchemy results in compositions that defy easy categorisation, embracing everything from sun-kissed house beats to the deeper realms of trance and ambient soundscapes.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into the creative process behind their latest track, ‘Dreamin’,’ gaining insight into the inspiration that fueled its creation and the artistic aspirations that guided its production. Join us as we unravel the magic behind the music.
What was the inspiration behind ‘Dreamin’?
The first thing really to come to me was the words ‘I could be dreaming” and ‘”so why are you leaving” that makes up part of the the chorus, so in this case I had to build something fitting this refrain. Being that it was always obviously dance music, it just lent itself to the imagery of maybe a beach house or some tropical/Mediterranean idyll, someone building a dream that their partner is having second thoughts about.
What was it about the track that you wanted to achieve?
It has that summery vibe to it. I wanted to make it quite uplifting and the main thing was to get someone who could vocally compliment it.
How did you approach the production process for this song compared to your previous work?
Initially, I (Warren) worked on the main piano chords and once I worked these out with a guide vocal, myself and Vasos went to work on some basics. Something felt a bit off and I worked out it was just a semi-tone out, so once sorted we got back into finishing it, with Vasos adding some keyboard solo flourishes to it which brought a jazzy element into it. Sometimes I will write to music that Vasos has already made so it’s nice to have that mix of ‘top-lining’ and building something from scratch.
How did the collaboration with Tina Tara come about?
Tina was from Soundbetter. It’s a great tool for collaborating with musicians all over, although it can be hard work finding the right voice to fit, as you’ve always got some kind of vocal tone idea in your head. Tina had already built up a profile and I also saw some Youtube music videos she’d done as well. Pretty much got the vibe immediately and I don’t remember doing any retakes with her.
Are there any artists or musicians currently on your playlist that you find particularly inspiring?
I get into a real mixture of artists on Spotify and I’ve always tried to absorb as many different styles as possible. One person/act I have long admired is Chicane and also Groove Armada are an influence in making dance music. I probably incorporate a slightly chilled element in much of what we do.
Do you have any upcoming DJ sets or performances on the horizon?
We are more musicians rather than DJs. And this is our first release so hopefully it will bring us the live shows we are after.
Are you working on anything right now that you can share?
There’s a couple of upcoming tracks that we’re remixing/re-imagining so hopefully these will be out soon on Phono Sounds.
Listen to Dreamin’ from Red Neon ft. Tina Tara including an acoustic version and remixes from eSqure, Dave Summit, and James Deron.