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David Sugalski, a Philadelphia native with a business degree from the University of Colorado, has carved out a respectable career for himself in dance music. Better known in EDM circles as the Polish Ambassador, Sugalski is creating music that reflects his life while constantly evolving as an artist and finding new and engaging ways to connect with listeners. We spoke with the producer about his creative process.
Westword: Is using a patch or plug-in like clip art for music?
David Sugalski: It's pretty much exactly like clip art; it's like the musical version of that. It's something that is really cool, and people are making cool stuff, but so many people can get their hands on it. How many times do you go out in the music scene and hear a song and feel like you've heard the same song over and over? Even though it's not the same song, it has the same presets and synthesizers. I have my own prejudices against that kind of music, and I don't really want to get into that. There is room for creativity. It comes down to do you want to be fascinated and move things forward, or do you want to get lazy and pay for plug-ins?
That said, when you're able to recognize that, you're able to avoid it. With your new album, as well as your previous work, how are you keeping the creativity exciting with yourself while maintaining your integrity?
That's a great question. How do I do that? Huh. I think that I spend a lot of time — [laughing] I don't know how this will come off — I spend a lot of time working introspectively, where I am not working at the computer. My partner, Illa, wakes up every morning, and she writes down her dreams in a dream journal. What I do when I wake up is rest for twenty minutes. I feel into myself and think about what feelings are coming through this body today based on my experiences yesterday and the day before with the interactions with everyone.
For me, I want to know how to capture what I am feeling in this life, in this body, and how I can filter those experiences into music. For me, there is a piece of time that I allocate toward that which helps assemble things on the philosophical side. On the technological side, what I am gravitating toward right now is collaboration with real musicians. I want to use what I have learned in the processing and synthesis world. I want to merge that with real musicianship.