It always fascinates me to read artist recommendations and hear opinions across disciplines. Poets talking about hip-hop. Sculptors recommending comic books. Chefs obsessing over animated films (that's word to Ratatouille). With this mentality, I spoke with producer Through and Through about his love for movies and its connection with music.
The Cleveland-based producer (and Dream Easy affiliate) just released an EP known as Frames. At seven songs in length, each title is named after a film. From Almost Famous and Pulp Fiction to the more obscure names like Mean Creek and Right Now. Throughout our chat, we talked about movies, his new EP, seeing colors, and why Stranger Than Fiction is one of the most slept on films ever.
You hit me up saying that you wanted to talk film so: what's the last good movie you watched? What's the last bad movie you watched?
I watch movies all the time, but the last one I watched was The Big Sick. It was so masterfully done and emotional I cried A LOT. probably the best romantic comedy I have ever seen. I loved it with all my heart.
The last bad movie I watched was The Emoji Movie. it was really bad. Not as bad as everyone said it was but it was still super garbage. It was the definition of cringe and somethings made no sense. I went knowing it had awful reviews, so I had fun with it. I watch bad movies for fun a lot, too.
What's a film that you keep coming back to?
I re-watch a lot of my favorite movies because they mean so much for me, so it's hard to pick one but recently I've watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty a ton. It's so underrated, I love the script and the story, it makes me feel adventurous and brave, another one I've been coming back to frequently and always have been is Moneyball. I first saw Moneyball as a kid and thought it was okay. I was so naive because I re-watched it once I got really into film and holy cow it's a perfect movie. It's definitely in my top 10 and top 5 scripts of all time. The director Bennett Miller is such a patient director and is so mature. he nails these character studies. ALSO the documentary Indie Game on Netflix is a masterpiece. The cinematography is breathtaking and the subjects are so passionate and do their best to put you in their world of making a video game. A beautiful documentary.
If you had to recommend a film to a stranger on the street, what would it be?
A film I would recommend to a stranger would be Stranger Than Fiction. Stranger Than Fiction is one of the most underrated films of all time. It has such beautiful themes/messages and doesn't try too hard. I collect screenplay's and the screenplay to Stranger Than Fiction was the first one I purchased. Also the soundtrack was the first one I really got into as well. It is a perfect movie in my opinion. Such a nice simple story with lovable characters and brilliantly told. A very unique concept, too.
Is there a certain genre/style that you tend to avoid/dislike?
Movie wise I'm open to all genres and styles. I learn more towards dramas (Lost in Translation, Her, Moonlight, Arrival). Music wise I am also open to most genres except FOR COUNTRY. I DO NOT LIKE COUNTRY ONE BIT. I lean more towards contemporary R&B, hip-hop, and pop punk. Side note: Frank Ocean's Blonde is the best album ever made and tying Frank's album Blonde for the greatest album ever made is (because I can't choose) Choker's album Peak. Choker is relatively newer artist that is insanely talented, and a genius. Peak is amazing everyone should have to listen to it at least once.
Along with music, are you involved in film as well? Directing/writing/acting?
Yes, actually! I went to film school in New York City for a year-round program where I learned how to direct and had screenwriting classes and I also make short films with friends. I was actually bitten by the music bug in school! I would spend more time making music for my shorts instead of writing/directing/editing them. Eventually I said let me give music a real shot and that was about 8-9 months ago. That's how I came up with my name. I decided what ever career I pursue, I will give my all and put my all into it. I would become a producer "through & through"
Looping into your EP, what made you title the songs after films?
I am a huge movie nerd and I plan on merging my love for film with music one day in the future so I wanted to send a love letter to movies from my new producer self to let movies know I haven't stopped loving them even though I stopped pursuing a career in them. FOR THE TIME BEING. but it's always gonna be a plan to get back into making them. The titles represent the feelings of the films I felt while watching them. Movies and music go hand and hand for me so I wanted to shed some light on that.
Mean Creek is a really heavy one, and one that I don't see referenced very often. Care to speak on that film/song a bit?
I see all my songs as movies, or think what I would do with them if made music video for them. I think of movie references and get colors in my head that the song(s) bring out. (before I dive deeper, shout-out to my dear friend Biosphere who brought the guitar sample to me and a few of the percussion sounds to work with! He's a great dude!)
Back to the song process, halfway through making it, I started seeing a dark green color. the vibe I was getting was a bit off but still a nice vibe. Very chill. so I thought for a bit longer and for some reason my mind brought me to the the film Mean Creek. That movie had a big impact on me as a kid. I never saw a child die on TV before so when I saw that it really hit me. The tone of the film is quite murky and green but also in its own way it's nice and nostalgic feeling. It felt right. This song actually inspired me to make the EP based on films I love.
Did you give Rude Manners a prompt for your cover or was the artwork open-ended? It seems to fit so well.
I originally gave him a very detailed idea of what I wanted, like a kid on a planet looking at a movie screen with creatures around it, He's on a cloud, there was a lot going on [laughs], but I trusted Rude and I told him the gist of what I was trying to accomplish and that I loved his art style and what I wanted specifically. He did it very quickly, he sent me a new idea a few days after and it's the one we picked! I felt it was much more simple but captured exactly what I wanted still and had a story to it and theres a lot you can interpret from it.
Why do you think lofi and anime have such a strong connection/bond?
I can never pinpoint the reasoning but I think it's because the internet really seems into anime and lofi today. There's a very strong community of followers and once one person put the two together it seemed to click for others. I'm not a huge fan of anime or even lofi but I can see the connection. People identify with these fictional characters and like seeing themselves in these made up worlds or like looking up the characters in anime, anime is very different. Lofi i feel is very different as well so it draws the same crowd I think.
What's the rest of the year looking like for you?
The rest of the year is looking fun! I plan on continuing to make different music, maybe a smaller project before the end of they year but if not I will be releasing singles of all types of music.
Do you have any advice for producers working on their craft?
The advice I have for producers is to continue making music that you want to hear and do not cater to what seems popular at the moment. Make what you want to hear and what makes you happy.
Any final thoughts / words of wisdom?
Be kind to one another. Appreciate your friends. Tell your mom and dad you love them! Follow your dreams, except if your dreams are stupid (just kidding). Do what makes you happy. Also follow me on SoundCloud and Spotify and Tweet me memes please. I love you all. I hope whoever is listening to my EP enjoys it :)