Emotional productions. Soothing tunes. Lofi beats. Relaxed atmospheric pieces stuck in the clouds. Dream Easy is an online music collective with a fitting title that features 24 producers, one curator (who also produces), and two managers (who also produce). Founded by producer/curator Rook1e this summer, and with continual help from Afternoon and Aimless, the collective hit the ground running by featuring some of the finest instrumentalists and vocalists around. With plenty of names already familiar to the blog (barnes blvd., ok2222, Fragile, through & through, j'san, and more) and with a recent 40 minute compilation of 23 tracks, I felt it necessary to reach out to the collective and find out their origin as well as their plans moving forward.
How would you describe Dream Easy to those unfamiliar?
Rook1e: We're just a blend of talent and creativity. From Rude Manners' artwork and original pieces, to silk.y's unique synth tracks, to j'san's signature guitar. Those are just a few highlights - everyone adds their own artistry to the collective, and I'm also glad so many members have collaborated with one another, as well.
How did the collective get started?
Rook1e: It all started when I tweeted "Would anyone join a collective if I started one?" This was probably back in late February. I got a few replies on the tweets, I did end up inviting a few of those people. Anyway at the end of May, I directly DMed people on Twitter with my own custom invitation message asking if they wanted to join. At the time I was just trying to gather a lot of talented beatmakers and vocalists, nothing was final yet. I also made sure it was people I've worked with or talked to before, so everyone would be friends! On June 11th, with a pretty solid roster, I started the Dream Easy Twitter chat which is where everything goes down - from planning tapes to sharing ideas to spamming memes.
A good amount of artists are included in this collective. Is it currently at capacity or are you always looking for new names?
Rook1e: It's currently at capacity but I'm always looking at submissions and considering them! Sometimes I even reject suggestions from friends in the collective. But just because I reject you at first doesn't mean you don't have shot in the future. I've heard from amazing beatmakers and vocalists, in fact. Most of the members are still here from day one, but sometimes things pop up and people decide to leave, opening up spots for other artists. If we take you in just make sure you are active and put effort into the collective, is all.
Palettes seems to be the first compilation. How long has that been in the works?
Rook1e: That has been in the works from day one of starting the collective. Though a theme, title, and artwork were uncertain from the beginning (we were actually going for a summery vibe), we started submitting exclusive tracks to contribute toward the tape. I eventually decided with 'Palettes' and the amazing artwork from ghostly_pixels. The definition of palette is "the range of color characteristic of a particular artist", the beattape represents the mix of sounds each individual artist has. I think it did a good job of showing this off.
Does the collective plan to release anything additionally this calendar year?
Rook1e: We have a lot of plans for the future! We are currently working on an Autumn themed beattape (subject to change), and possibly starting our own clothing line. Right now we're also thinking of expanding beyond musicians to designers, photographers, illustrators, vloggers, and more! This is a way for us to show support for other creatives and receive attention and love on the way back. So send away your portfolio!
Redirecting to your own work, Afternoon, I love that your art is exclusive to Shel Silverstein's pieces. Can you speak on that for a second?
Afternoon: Ever since I was a kid I've loved Shel Silverstein books, the short and simple poems with their unique yet relatable subjects and the drawings that go with them. I really enjoy the illustrative style of Shel's work and wanted to incorporate the same ideas that he uses into my music.
Do you have any advice for collectives getting off the ground?
Rook1e: I think my advice would be to not rely on numbers but on connections instead. Make sure you're friends with everyone, and that everyone gets along in the collective - it's better than inviting a nobody with thousands of followers. Make sure to be consistent, release tracks, always be working on something - it can be something small like checking your emails, being involved in your collective chat, or update your tweets. Stay connected with fans, establish a nice fanbase. I think that's all I've got :)