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Multifaceted singer-songwriter-producer Gene Serene is ready to take listeners on a new experience that shatters her previous works and ascends into a sonic expression that re-invents everything about her musical past towards a higher plane.

In this interview, the British sensation is candid about her previous existence as one of the queen of electro in Berlin during its hedonistic 00s, how her music has changed her, and what it takes to be an artist in the current landscape. Gene divulges her approach to her art, the mayhem and the madness of production, and what to expect with the release of her latest creation.

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What was the purpose of your concept album?

As an artist, I have been writing and releasing music my entire life – I’ve written and recorded hundreds of songs for a myriad of producers, DJand artists.

With this album I wanted to do something special, unique and complete, the whole idea of a concept album came to me as I embarked on a new project. I wanted to make an album with substance and depth that told a story, relevant to the futuristic times we are living in. Rather than an “album” being a collection of disparate unrelated songs, I wanted to take the listener on a journey addressing issues and emotions concerning the future of humankind and “the human condition”.

I am a great fan of the album format and this is an album to be listened to from beginning to end.

How does this work contrast with your previous work as an electro performer in Berlin?

I would say the main contrasts with this album are tempo and production. The electropop that I was writing and performing in Berlin was more nightlife/club orientated. Back in those days, I would be approached by a production team or an artist with a track that they wanted a vocal on and I would write the lyric, the topline and harmonize.

On The Polaris Experience, I have been hands on in all the stages of writing and production – programming and writing music as well as lyrics and melody.

I find there’s a continuity and depth to the album from being involved in that process I was unable to achieve before. 

Whilst The Polaris Experience  still has that “pop” sound, if anything I would say this work is a natural progression, significantly developed – more sophisticated and emotive.


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Gene Serene: sonic chameleon

What was your vision behind this project and who played vital roles in seeing it to fruition?

The project started when I got in touch with Clor keyboardist Bob Earland having fallen in love with that album. I wrote to him asking if he wanted to do something amazing and sent a link to my work, it went from there…

I didn’t just want to write songs, I wanted to write an album with a concept, for it to have intention and substance.

I was performing at a friend’s wedding, camping in Dorset, and open to signs for a concept to base my work on – a friend pointed out the North Star to me in the sky and said “you see that star there? It’s the only star that doesn’t move in the sky”.

Somehow something clicked and it struck me as a portal to another place and so the journey began, the Mars One project appeared, I saw gravity. In fact, everything on the journey for me seemed to hold relevance guiding me. It took on a life of it’s own and became a bigger dream, that of it’s performance . 

I didn’t  particularly want to write to perform this work on the live music venue circuit, From the onset, I set the shows and sound for cinemas and theatres.  I wanted that cinematic edge and theatrical silence.

I want people to feel a part of it and I have worked very hard developing a multi- disciplined live show, I am very excited to have  HYENAZ dancing live and playing the main characters onstage.

Where visual and video content is concerned it’s been VJ Ultra who is taking what I see in my head and making that a reality.

I first felt it important to get the music out there and so I secured distribution independently through Duchess Box Records.

There’s been so much enthusiasm and I have had alot of support along the way, but really it is me that is very much driving this.

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As an independent artist, what are the absolute necessities one must have to make it as one?

I think it’s vital to take the many disappointments and knock-backs as a part of the success, there’s too much joy in the process and the journey.

I have struggled, and by many standards I don’t feel that I am particularly popular or successful right now but I believe in the quality of the music. I have always held a high standard in all the music that I have been involved in, and I think holding your standards and your own sound and not changing that for anyone keeps you and your style fresh and inspiring.

The second you start pandering to the demands of others be they friends or industry, you start to lose what is uniquely yours.

I am happy with what I have released, over the years I feel I have released some pretty cool music – It’s important to have pride and belief in your work.

Along the way I have applied for funding and awards, and will continue to do so until I find the performance happening, but doing all that stuff and your own promotion means doing some really uncreative stuff too, you have to be willing to put in the effort on the other stuff too.

Self-release seems to be the only way to get the music out there the way I – the artist- want it to be heard. 

I would say it’s vital to avoid the middle men. In the music industry, there are alot of executives who feel a need to be creative and tell you what your music should sound like, I would say don’t listen to them, follow your heart and what you know is right.

I am pretty cynical these days. 

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How has your approach to your art changed over the years?

That’s quite a question.

I know what I want to hear. What feels right. What I like.

I am really pleased to have co-written an album from beginning to end, with just one person.

I have always written songs and sung. It’s a cliche! But since I was a child I always knew that’s what i would do.

I guess in the past I was exploringI was very lucky growing up in London in the 80s and 90s starting from the rare groove and hip hop to Cardics concerts and gigs gigs gigs in my early teens, on to acid house and raves in fields to clubs.

Electronic music and club culture was ruch a rush for everyone I think – it changed and consumed everything for a while, till no more samplers, from tape to digital recording, there was so much sound to explore, all along the way.Then it became easy to mix live instruments and electronic sound. 

When I first started releasing music in the 90’s you had to be very brave. I learned alot doing that…

Good electro pop music is fantastic. I still love it when those great big beautiful numbers break through. 

I guess I take it all alot more seriously than I did back then. I have a vision for this album and have been working on its performance for a while now.

This means alot more to me than any single I have released. I take real pride in the work I do in fact in the whole experience. I am not pandering to other peoples opinions really. It’s original, I think, and I feel far more complete as an artist for it. My expression is bolder and brighter than ever before.

I am not just a singer/songwriter. I have been involved in music programming and production, the artwork, the video content, and the preparation to put on a live experience – I guess I am a producer/director these days, not just a solo artist and that’s exciting. It’s all changed massively for me.

Do you have a songwriting process or is every experience unique?

No. Each experience is unique.

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To follow the band for the latest news, including single releases, find them on their social media…

Here’s the first single from The Polaris Experience, ‘Don’t Let Go’

Social Media:

Band website: http://www.thepolarisexperience.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepolarisexperience

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCugACHBLcqLjyfLOtS1GpSw

Triston
Triston is an American jetset performance artist, writer, event organizer, and activist based in Europe. As a freelance journalist, he has covered both the underground and mainstream aspects of the arts, culture, music, entertainment, travel, fashion and Fashion Week in several cities, including New York, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Tokyo to name a few. He has been published in The Huffington Post, Trespass (London), Adaras Magazine (Miami) as well as featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, Turkish Huriyet and other on-line and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He recently released his memoir on life in Europe, 'Heaux Confessionals'. As a solo performer and with his band $kandal Du$t, he has toured in some of the world's most renowned clubs, simultaneously maintaining an underground renaissance, blurring the lines of all that is traditional and leaving his indelible, and ultimately unforgettable impression. There is no divide.

Brace yourself.


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