Energetic and always ready to bring the party, RAC grad and electronic music creator Polykrome has just dropped a new single, “No Doubt”. It might just be your next song of the summer.
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Polykrome 101: Cheat Sheet
One piece of gear you can’t live without:
The computer. It’s the brain of everything. Without it, I can’t do any of what I do.
Favourite music moment:
Releasing my latest track, ‘No Doubt.’ I created everything; the music, artwork, videos, and handled all the promotion.
Favourite song you’ve released:
You guessed it, it’s ‘No Doubt.’ Also, what I’m going to release later this year.
Favourite music video:
‘Down’ by Marian Hill. It’s also one of my top favourite songs.
Least favourite song by your favourite artist:
Tough question. I’ll go with my least favourite album, which is ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ by Metallica
Polykrome is a film composer inspired by the dramatic work of Beethoven and Franz Liszt. Wait, no—Polykrome creates interactive audio for mobile games. Actually, that’s not right either. Polykrome is an electronic music creator and DJ producing cinematic soundscapes—no—epic dubstep bangers—no—wait, who is Polykrome?
Polykrome is the pseudonym of one Kamel Bushnaq, a Canadian-born music producer, DJ, and composer who has been making music since the age of 17. For the multi-faceted creator, no genre is off-limits. Polykrome is constantly re-inventing himself and pushing electronic music into new sonic territory. His latest release, “No Doubt”, a bass-house banger that, like almost everything he’s done to date, redefines what Polykrome is as an artist as much as it refines his sound as a music creator. We sat down with Polykrome following the release of “No Doubt”, to chat about his inspirations growing up and how he’s navigated his musical journey from film composer to DJ to sought-after producer.
Growing up in an artistic household in Jordan, his parents exposed him to a wide range of visual art, literature, and world music. Polykrome recalls, “I grew up listening to classical music, so composers such as Beethoven and Franz Liszt were inspirations early on. As I got older, I became interested in electronic music. Artists like Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, deadmau5, and David Guetta had a huge impact on me. As time went on, producers such as Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and Rick Rubin became an influence as well”.
The ball dropped when a friend introduced him to everyone’s favourite gateway DAW, FL Studio. He knew then and there that music creation is what he wanted to do with his life.
It didn’t take long for Polykrome to realize that a traditional education wasn’t the right for him. After a short stint at Montreal’s Concordia University, he knew that he needed to focus on his passion and applied to RAC. It was here that he started to get a taste of real-world projects, learning, among other things, how to record and design sound for film. This allowed him to quickly apply his newfound skills to the world of film scoring, television, commercials, and video games. His favourite early-career highlights include scoring a Game of Thrones-inspired short film and a video game called Hyper Void.
Despite finding early success in different areas of the music industry, Polykrome continued to push himself to grow as an artist, shifting his focus to music production and DJing. His early music explores highly cinematic themes. Tracks like “Ether” provide a more ambient soundscape with hints of the electronic blitz to come. His music takes a darker tone with “12 Negative”, which features a heavier dubstep-inspired bass drop, and could easily be the soundtrack to a deep-space voyage. Polykrome’s sound ramped up in intensity with his 2019 track “Finality”, which still carries some of that space-age sound from earlier work, but leans towards a more EDM festival sound. His latest track, “No Doubt”, still incorporates the darker electronic themes present in earlier works, but the added vocals steer his sound more towards a club-oriented sound, setting the stage for his latest creative evolution.
Polykrome’s creative process is structured by his fail-safe daily routine: Wake up early, get ready, get coffee, go to work and create the best music he can. Seems simple enough, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated than he lets on. (Read Polykrome’s two-article feature on producing compelling electronic music and establishing a unique sound palette on our website). For example, when creating his song, “Braindeath”, Polykrome spent endless hours tweaking knobs, designing synth patches and worked at creating a killer drop to build his track around.
He explains, “As a producer, it’s your job to put the listener through a journey that’s interesting and memorable, giving them a little bit of what they wanted and a little bit of what they didn’t know they wanted.” Whether it’s testing different methods to create new beats or trying a new approach to his sound design and production, Polykrome is constantly reinventing himself through musical innovation.
For the latter half of 2021, Polykrome is hoping to get back to performing live and touring as well as continuing to produce for himself and other artists. In the meantime, keep an eye out for some heavy bass-house bangers and pop-oriented tracks to be released later this year.
Illustration by Malaika Astorga