“I GUESS FOR ME, it’s very much about perceiving what will happen next in terms of music, and in general. Growing up, I was always someone who people could come to for advice and be able to work out a situation to see how it’s going to go, and I think that’s kind of the way I approach music, in a sense.” Kicking things off by diving straight in at the deep end, musical maestro, producer and Lost Codes record label owner, Visionist — real name Louis Carnell — isn’t one for rambling.
A careful thinker, Carnell does everything with intense thought and carefully considers every answer, though those gaping silences are never awkward. He keeps it short and sweet when it comes to the birth of his Visionist alter-ego: “I’m trying to create something that’s futuristic, and that name [means] having a vision for seeing things.”
“It’s exploring the sounds I want and the feelings I want and picking sounds that can emphasise those feelings… It’s all about the emotions I want to create.”
Flexing experimental techniques compacted into neatly produced, electro-infused grime, Carnell is a fan of conveying emotion. “It’s pretty much me through the years, and my own experiences. What I’ve been through and the environments I find myself in, situations I’ve found myself in. I very much work from that, it’s quite selfish music,” he says, of his man versus machine-like sound. His love of vocals, contrasted with streams of electronica is what sets him apart. “Electronic music is a machine, there’s no real feeling. By bringing in something human it really emphasises the emotion I’m able to bring into my music.”
For Carnell, there’s no element treated with less importance than its counterparts. “It’s exploring the sounds I want and the feelings I want and picking sounds that can emphasise those feelings. I vary between quite classical compositional tracks and then on the verge of clubby sounds. It’s all about the emotions I want to create.” He sighs, mulling over his next phrase. “At the end of the day, I’m trying to create stories.”
His second album, Value (think bigger sounds, more complete compositions and a bolder progression from his debut) is one that goes even deeper into his psyche than ever before. “It’s mainly about self-worth and the value of an artist within the music industry, where there’s so many other politics that go on, the artist can sometimes be considered the lowest. That’s my experience of it.” It’s not long before he’s professing his underlying emotions, explaining what the industry is really like for the core creator. “There’s so much controlled by everything else that you forget that you’re the one who’s creating the art. It’s about that. Self worth in general and believing in yourself. I’m proper stubborn. I’ll listen to people, but I know what I want.”