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‘Seconds’ of inspiration: An exclusive interview with Eternal Self

Tom Gatley, also known as Eternal Self, is a music producer based in the UK. He has embarked on an incredible artistic journey driven by a deep passion for electronic music.

Photo credit: Eternal Self – Official

From his early days of sneaking into his parents’ bedroom in Germany to listen to electronic music, to creating and performing his own compositions in Progressive House and Techno, music has always been his guiding force.

Eternal Self combines analog and soft synths to create his unique style. He has released music on labels such as Black Kat, Whartone Records, Natura Viva, and Freakin’909. Collaborating with industry veterans like Pianoman and Sweet Female Attitude, Eternal Self has gained recognition from platforms like Toolroom Radio, BBC Radio Wales, and DMC World Magazine.

Beyond the studio and decks, Eternal Self believes in music’s power to connect people on the dance floor. He aims to DJ in more countries, tour Asia, and expand his global fan base. Eternal Self’s journey in techno and progressive sounds is an ever-evolving adventure through the melodic worlds of electronic music.

EG had the opportunity to interview Eternal Self and delve deeper into his creative process, latest releases, and upcoming endeavors.

EG: Hi, Tom! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you right now?

Eternal Self: Hey EG, thanks for having me and your continued support for my music. I’m currently in Bangkok, making the most of my remaining time here.

EG: Congratulations on your trip to Thailand. What has the experience been like so far?

Eternal Self: Thailand might be my favorite country in the world, of the ones I’ve visited. There’s freedom here that you don’t get in countries like the UK, and a thriving music scene. I think they hold some of the best parties in the world, you just have to watch out not to party too hard, even as a DJ! Thankfully, I’ve met a community of great DJs and people out here who make it feel like home.

EG: What’s it like playing in Thailand? What is the crowd like, when compared to “western” ones?

Eternal Self: I think people are more open to things here. In Western countries, you could say some people get a bit pretentious about music and what they want to hear at a club. Here, it is the opposite: you can walk into any venue where they will be playing anything from Disco House to Progressive or bouncing EDM, and I love it all. The crowd does too, and I think it comes down to a lot of DJs just being super talented here. I know I could walk into any club around Bangkok and would probably have a great time. People work hard to make the party the best it can be. The warm temperature helps too!

On top of that, no one is really gatekeeping music, but just enjoying it, which is what it should be about. In terms of getting gigs, I’ve also found it a lot easier out here. Sotu Events, who I am playing for now, instantly welcomed me with open arms, first at a techno club called Astral Moon and now at an awesome venue called Highout Rooftop Lounge. They are an event to watch out for in the coming years here, and I’m looking forward to playing for them more.

EG: By the way, congratulations on the release of your new single, ‘Seconds’! You must be very excited to share this one. What has the initial reception been like so far? Do you remember the first time you played this one live?

Eternal Self: Thank you, a few music friends have said my tracks have reached a new level with this one. I’m just grateful because it’s one of those tracks that came from somewhere within, and it just worked. I am planning to play it on the 27th in Bangkok, so if you want to hear the first live premiere, come along to that Sotu Event!

“No one is really gatekeeping music, but just enjoying it, which is what it should be about”

EG: So, what’s ‘Seconds’ all about? What can your fans expect to find on this one? Is there a concept or inspirational trigger driving the piece?

Eternal Self: I released an upbeat track last year called ‘Days’, and this felt like a natural progression because both of them came from the heart and relate to time. When you make music, you think about the seconds. When you release the music, it’s more like days! I just know I feel good when I hear it now because I can relate it to my time here in Thailand. I also hope it holds a similar sentiment for any fans and uplifts people. The inspiration stemmed from the vocal ‘tell the world goodbye’. So it is also about letting go, how we can change our life at any second if we just let go of worldly things that are holding us back from our true expression or happiness. I try to live by that.

EG: By the way, we already know that your next release will be your ‘Atlantis’ EP. Is there anything you can share about this one?

Eternal Self: This is my first Techno EP as Eternal Self, and it features some melodic sounds that I really resonate with. I believe it’s a diverse EP musically, and it has already received positive feedback from DJs like Grammik & Cristian Varela. I hope people will embrace this kind of melodic techno that offers something fresh, rather than imitating what they’ve already heard because it comes from a place within me that I try not to let be too influenced. It will be released on Natura Viva on March 3rd.

EG: Stepping out of the studio for a moment… Over the past few years, we have witnessed a significant increase in acts or concepts that rely on large screens and captivating visuals. Do you think this enhances the musical experience? Or does it detract too much from the music itself?

Eternal Self: Personally, having spent years working in film and video editing, I appreciate these grand shows, but I believe it depends on the artist. Deadmau5 is very involved in his visual work, so it’s an integral part of his art. As long as the music remains the priority. Sometimes, a good laser and smoke machine are sufficient, right? Both impressive visuals and smoke machines should always enhance the musical experience.

EG: Additionally, the use of AI in music has become quite common since its initial introduction, which raised many eyebrows. What’s your stance on this? Have you considered its possibilities? Do you find any potential uses appealing?

Eternal Self: I find AI interesting, but I never want it to be a part of my creative process. The true joy of making music is to see what unfolds, as it should come from a deep place within or above, wherever you find that inspiration. If I were to give that up, I would give up making music altogether. Even if the Terminators took over and the radio played 99% AI-generated tracks, I would still be doing what I love in the studio and finding people who appreciate it. Personally, I don’t believe AI will take over because it’s almost too perfect. It’s similar to when they tried to convince everyone to watch 3D movies.

“The true joy of making music is to see what unfolds, as it should come from a deep place within or above, wherever you find that inspiration”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Eternal Self? What’s in store for 2024? Where can your fans catch you next?

Eternal Self: I’ll be back in the UK to finish more music. I have a lot to share and the process can take longer than I would like. I’ll also try not to limit myself to a specific genre, as long as it comes from the heart. I aim to return to Bangkok in the near future and stay longer, as there are many more opportunities throughout Southeast Asia, and my journey here has just begun.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Tom! We wish you all the best for the future. Take care!

Eternal Self: Thank you too, and thank you for continuously supporting my journey. It means a lot! Take care.

Eternal Self’s ‘Seconds’ is out now. Stream and download here.

Follow Eternal Self: Spotify | Soundcloud | Instagram

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