Nicholas Green aka Fragile Air is an artist from Guelph, Ontario who has spent the past 12 years experimenting, tinkering, collecting and curating tracks largely in GarageBand '08, but more recently has gotten into the world of analog synthesizers & sequencers as he explores darkwave and synth-wave.
Fragile Air gave us a banger we weren’t prepared for. The uniquely executed release of his latest single “Green Ice Exposed” had us completely shook! What attracted me to “Green Ice Exposed” was the instant head-banging and aggressive bass. It just smacks you hard across the face and you realized you’re officially listening to this unreal track! Besides the bass having a sense of aggression to it, the unique synths and sequencers were so intricate and detailed it added a detailed element to the track. I personally love listening to expert beats and quality production material. They’re the foundation of every successful song. Therefore, a lively beat with a unique artist to add a story line to it is remarkable. Fragile Air breathes life into a melancholic mood with a dynamically produced track like “Green Ice Exposed”. The sound arrangements and style were a clear representation of the dark-wave aesthetic Fragile Air is used to. “Green Ice Exposed” was nonetheless, a well-executed track!
Listen to "Green Ice Exposed" here and read more with Fragile Air below in our exclusive interview!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Fragile Air! Tell us about your background and growing environment!? In what ways were you impacted by your upbringing?
Thanks for having me!
My dad was a jazz pianist, so there was always a piano in the house. He would frequently show me how to play music I was listening to on the piano, just from hearing it once.
If I'm honest, I didn't and still don't totally get a lot of jazz. There are elements I like, but my Dad and I never listed to the same music (my Mom introduced me to the Beatles, which was lift-off as far as exploring music was concerned).
After awhile, though, I waspicking out the notes & chords myself that I was hearing and trying to figure out what I liked so much about them. I paid attention to how the chords were put together and how they were able to play them so easily via inversions, etc
At one point, my parents actually thought I was tone deaf after hearing me sing. This was some of the worst news I could hope to get, as singing was and still is absolutely one of my favourite things to do. After that, I made an effort to sing as much as I could, wherever I could and I actually noticed myself getting better, bit by bit until I actually liked my own voice!
What are some of the most challenging aspects you face in producing a track? How do you manage to overcome these obstacles?
The hardest thing for me to tackle when producing a track is probably knowing when you're done. I try to keep things down to on the essentials I need to get the track across, but I often can't help gilding the lily and throwing extra beats or countermelodies on top just because I've thought of one.
The other tricky bit is that I am allergic (probably to a fault) to doing a run of the mill beat or chord progression. I will try to make it complex almost for the sake of it if I feel the track is 'too easy', but sometimes I gotta get out of my own way.
When creating “Green Ice Exposed”, did you have a specific vision for this song you were hoping to translate?
This song is actually my first one I've released that has any 'live' playing on it. I am normally very structured and preplanned with how my tracks go, but in this one I laid the bass and beat down and had this awesome arpeggiated synth line. I wanted the synth to feel like it couldn't be contained & like it had a mind of it's own, so i went through the track while constantly changing up the filter the resonance to get this feeling that you can never quite get the synth to settle into a groove.
What was the inspiration for “Green Ice Exposed”?
I wanted to really get the slowburn feeling of a hard beat with a roaring bass underneath & a relentless synth. To give off the impression of a really dense groove without ever settling into it, and then getting out of the track before you even know what's happened.
How do you plan on elevating your next song from this seemingly perfect hit?
Well, it's going to be back to the lab and seeing if I can find those new synth tones. I've recently picked up a polyphonic FM synth which has some incredible sounds I'm going to be mixing in with what I've already got. Looking to create some intricate rhythms and strong melodies going forward!
Keep up with Fragile Air through his socials!