Q: In your new single “Solar” (which is a major hit), you sing with a falsetto to magnetize the effect of the poetic lyrics. What about singing falsetto do you enjoy most?
AXIS NEPTUNE: I find that when I sing falsetto, I have to fully commit to it. I can’t sing falsetto in a lazy way, but rather I have to just put my all into it. It is more vulnerable and honest sounding.
Q: With soul, jazz and indie influences, you have seemingly mastered your own unique sound as an artist. Similar to Glass Animals and Alt-J, with a highly soulful presence, do you have any specific artists that have guided you musically?
AXIS NEPTUNE: When I was learning to play guitar, John Frusciante was my idol. I still listen to his solo work now. The way he looks at music and his instrument is different to the way in which I was taught to play the piano (which I no longer can very well). He respects the overall sound and still manages to shine through as a lead player. When I was at university a UK electronic artists called Lapalux was my go-to. That guy is incredible.
Q: After becoming the first artist to perform live from China for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on BBC Introducing, you were booked for numerous other live performances. Is there a particular one that stands out?
AXIS NEPTUNE: I was the first to perform live for BBC Introducing. I have played all over China since. I recently toured through Yunnan province which was very special and beautiful.
Q: What is the inspiration to your name, Axis Neptune?
AXIS NEPTUNE: I love the planet Neptune. I was obsessed with it when I was a kid, and it still amazes me today. I have a very difficult time focusing on things but whenever I looked at images of planets, especially Neptune, I would feel calm. I think it might be connected to me having grown up in Scarborough (U.K.) next to the ocean. I spent a lot of time in and around the ocean as a child and Neptune’s deep blue always fascinated me. ‘Axis’ refers to the central line of the planet upon which it spins.
Q: In your single “Cherry Red” you wrote, “What is love without a sacrifice?” Is there a specific influence to this lyric?
AXIS NEPTUNE: Love does not come without sacrifice. We all have to give up things we love, and people we love, in order to give enough energy and time to that person. In this song the sacrifice is equivalent to death.
Q: After learning to play the guitar at age 7, did you try any other instruments?
AXIS NEPTUNE: I learned drums and piano for a while. I also sang in a choir. I learned to use DAWs and production software and tape recorders from a young age too.
Q: As well as writing, you focus on sound designing. What exactly is sound designing, how long does it take to start and finish one song?
AXIS NEPTUNE: I do sound design for the automotive industry. I create sound for electric cars. For example, when the car turns on and off, and also create ‘fake’ engine noises (did you know electric vehicles are actually silent, basically?) I create the sounds for some of those vehicles.
Interviewed by Molly Byrne
FOLLOW AXIS NEPTUNE: