Alexander Tobias Orest - Swedish Instrumentalist
In this Creator Magazine, we interviewed composers of the Audio Cartel team where they share their perspectives on composing music for films and TV, and talk in-depth about their careers and the production music industry.
We hope that these interviews will give you insight and advice about the library music industry, especially the business side and how to get involved with this fascinating industry.
Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Please introduce yourself.
"Hello, my name is Alexander Tobias Orest and I’m from Kungsbacka, Sweden. My musical specialty consists of a lot of different music genres, so I compose in many different colors and styles, like world music and hybrid world music with orchestral action elements and also, I'm doing a lot of stuff with vocals, but for Audio Cartel, for now it's mainly instrumental music."
How did you find yourself in the library music industry?
"Well, it all started in 2007, when I joined Taxi (Taxi.com) and I started to get some deals. Then I just continued successfully, and it was through Taxi that I signed with Audio Cartel."
What is one of the things you like the most about the library music industry?
"Well, one thing is, it's a less stressful situation with music libraries because you don't have that pressure that you need to do 20 songs a week. I can do a lot of different music styles which I love. And I can do a lot of other things as well, because you're not just signed to one music library, you can be signed to a lot of different music libraries."
What is something you would suggest to an early composer?
"It’s very important to just read and be curious about a lot of things. Also, to listen to other composers in other music libraries because they have a lot of experience, and if you want to compose library music you have to write in a certain formula to match what they need."
Who are some of your favorite composers that inspired you to get into library music?
"Well, I think they are a bit outside the library music world, but you know Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and also some young, talented people. We have a lot of Swedish composers as well doing Star Wars stuff. So I think I started to enjoy a lot of background music actually in both TV series and movies and stuff like that and just wanted to do that."
In that sense, was there a certain composer or a certain movie that made you realize this is what you wanted to do?
"Well, no, not really, because when I joined Taxi, I would just scroll through all the listings and started to listen to a lot of different music and just thought “hey I can do that” because I compose this in so many different styles. Actually, I think it was music similar to the Fifth Element with Bruce Willis. I really like the music in that movie because it was so creative and something I had never heard before. Some years later, The Matrix was also very unique for the music for that movie."
Do you have a favorite genre that you like creating within library music, and if so, what is it?
"Yeah, I think orchestral hybrid music with the elements Middle Eastern, Far East stuff, but I really like orchestral music because it makes me whole as a person and a way to express myself with all the sections of the orchestra. I also like putting other elements in the music like Rock music, Hard Rock music, and Metal music. I love a lot of music really."
What would your future goals, either within or past library music be?
"Well, just to keep pushing forward and never give up because I think too many people just give it one year or so, but it takes a long time to actually be a name and to earn money. In order to work and succeed in this industry you have to become a better composer, a better producer, which means also investing money in high-end equipment, in good plugins, production tools and computer software."
So what are some challenges or obstacles, or a routine that you have when you're creating a new musical artwork?
"Nowadays I don't have to rely on inspiration because I can just compose. It takes time though, so if you are a new composer, and haven't done this before, you just have to compose a lot of tracks and songs, and with time it gets easier. One frustrating thing is that it can be a technical thing, with regard to labels and clients, as they request things differently, so that can be a bit challenging and you have to read carefully, and you have to ask them if you don't understand. Make sure all is clear so you don’t have redo things, which is a very tedious process. I love composing music, but doing things you don’t love are a part of the business and the job as well."
The background work that comes with what you love.
What are your goals here on Earth?
"Here on earth. Well, my first goal is to be there for my son because he's my everything really. I'm also active in the church, so I spend a lot of time there. I started playing the piano when I was three years old, so it has always been there for me. That's why I love composing, because I can just express myself and hopefully reach other people with my expressions and music."
It's really awesome that you had music as a constant throughout your life and something that could support you when you needed it. So far, what do you like best about working with Audio Cartel?
"Well, I think I like it a lot because it's very clear what they need. I also think they are a bit similar to me when it comes to being the driving force, because they are really pushing everything forward, signing some big names, and I think that is really interesting as well. So I really love that part because I can see myself as one of the people within Audio Cartel as well."
Is there anything else you would like the audiences of Audio Cartel to know about you as a person, as an artist or the messages you want your music to convey?
"I write a lot of music and some emotions can be pretty dark, but I don't want to convey that feeling because it's more like hope and inspiration, and sometimes you have to go through dark periods to reach that point. It’s like a journey, so I really want the audience to truly listen to my music like a journey. It's my way of expressing myself."
Do you have any stories or anything else you would like to share?
"Yeah, I have one story actually about an Asian traditional song that I wrote 10-12 years ago. It was signed with a movie featuring Nicolas Cage. Being a Swedish composer doing traditional Asian Style and it was playing in a Hollywood movie was so crazy to experience!"
Thank you for reading!
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