By Emily Santhanam
Deep into the night, you'll find him alone in his room. The computer screen illuminates his face. His hands lithely navigate the keyboard. Andrew Maloney creates his music in the still silence of the night.
Maloney, a 17-year-old Greenwich High School senior, known as `Floboy' to his music fans, has written hundreds of pieces of electronic music, each with a different taste, a unique flavor. Taking a break from laying down his solid grooves, Floboy spoke to the Citizen about the music he loves, his passion for composing and what would be his dream career.
So, what exactly is electronic music?
Electronic music is what the name says. It is music composed electronically, whether it be on a synthesizer or computer.
When did you first begin experimenting with this type of music?
I was first introduced to electronic music around five years ago, but it wasn't until two years ago that I started experimenting with it. My cousin had let me borrow his program, Fruity Loops Studio, and that's where I kind of got the feel and taste for electronic music. I later bought a Mac computer, and along with it I bought the program I still use today.
Why this genre -- how does it appeal to you?
This genre appeals to me because I like the fact that you are not limited to anything. For example, if you are a trumpet player, there is only one sound you can make with that trumpet. With electronic music, you literally have an infinite amount of possible sounds you can create.
Are there any artists or composers who inspire you?
There are quite a few composers who inspire me, but one really sticks out. Around the time that I started producing electronic music, a friend showed me a track that he had particularly liked at the time. The track was "Starbright" by Jaytech. So he sent me the song and after I had listened to it, I had to play it again and again. I must have listened to it 30 times that day!
I literally felt like that little kid inside that candy shop. From that day on, I really kind of set my course on what kind of music I was going to produce.
What do you use to create your music?
I use a digital audio workstation called Logic Studio. It is a Mac program and as with everything Mac, you better expect to pay a lot of money. My main synth that I use for almost every instrument is a program called Massive. That wasn't too cheap either, but was definitely worth it. Besides that, I am currently using a very, very minimal setup: the computer and software, a keyboard, and a four channel mixer that connects my computer to my speakers. I am in the middle of getting a bunch of new equipment for the summer so I guess that explains the whole minimal idea.
What is the typical process you go through to compose a song?
It really depends on what mood I'm in, or what's going on around me, but usually it starts the same way. I'll either write a solid drum groove, or a solid chord progression, and then it takes off from there, honestly. It is something I can't really explain to you, but I can say that some songs take a day or two to write, while others take months and months of work.
It really just depends on the emotions of the song, and the emotions that you feel at the time.
Have you written lyrics to accompany your music? How is that process different from the creation of purely electronic beats and rhythms?
Yes, I have written lyrics to accompany my music, but those songs will never be released out of sheer embarrassment!
I have, however, found an extremely talented vocalist who sounds amazing -- no matter what she sings. Her name is Julia Zivic, and on our songs she writes the lyrics. I'm just there to tell her how I want the song to feel and such. On songs with vocals, I really have to limit certain things I would usually do. The main focus on these vocal tracks is the vocals, so I have to cut back on the things that would distract the listener from the voice of the song.
How do you promote your songs?
I've been promoting my songs mostly on the Internet. Facebook is where I promote the most, but of course, like every other human on the planet, I have gotten a Twitter account. I thought about making `Floboy' T-shirts, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Are you involved in other forms of music?
I am a part of the percussion ensemble and wind ensemble at GHS. I've been playing drums since I was six or seven, and when I was in elementary school I played the trombone.
Describe your relationship with music in one word.
Vital. I think that vital describes my relationship with music because music is essential to me and it helps me live.
Do you intend on creating music in the future? As a profession?
I plan on writing music for as long as my ears allow me to. I definitely would love to write music as a profession. Doing something you love as your profession is everyone's dream.
If I want to listen to your music, where should I go?
If you want to check out my music, you could go to my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/FloboyOfficial, my Sound Cloud, http://soundcloud.com/floboyofficial, or my Twitter, http://twitter.com/floboyofficial.
Emily Santhanam is a senior at Greenwich High School. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall.