Touch Loops X Rebecca Mardal
In this weeks blog we sit down with the unbelievable Rebecca Mardal, following the release of her new Touch Loops pack 'Songwriter Guitars'
When it comes to guitar, I think most of the tone comes from the player and the guitar, rather than plug ins and EQ.
Hi Rebecca! Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I'm a Swedish guitarist & producer, producing lofi and chill instrumental guitar music. I went to Liverpool University of Performing Arts where I mainly studied jazz/neo soul guitar, so there's a lot of that coming through in the way I write and produce.
How did you get into music? Has guitar always been your go-to instrument?
I've been playing guitar for 18 years now, but I think that the fact that I only played pop punk for the first 4 years set me back a bit, haha. All the guys in my town were playing AC/DC, so they could play solos when I was stuck in rhythmic rock chords. It was actually when I first watched Green Day's live DVD "Bullet in a Bible" I knew that's what I wanted to do, so I'll be forever thankful for that. I can't imagine what my life would've looked like if I hadn't picked up a guitar in the first place. I got my first guitar teacher at 15, and he forced me to play jazz. I'll be forever thankful for that as well!
Could you tell us about your gear? Is there anything in your studio you couldn't live without?
Coming from a jazz background, rather than a producer background, I'm really simple when it comes to studio set up. My only two must haves are my 'Fender Strat', for that glassy, crisp guitar tone, and my 'Epiphone Sheraton', for that jazzy, round, hollow-body guitar tone. I feel like those specific tones come from the guitar itself, and are almost impossible to fake in the DAW.
The tone you achieve is beautiful. How do you do it?! Any tips?
Again, it's pretty much only plug in and go for me. I'm really minimal when it comes to effects, so what you see is what you get! When it comes to guitar, I think most of the tone comes from the player and the guitar, rather than plug ins and EQing. That's why you can hear whenever a producer has hired a trained guitarist for their track, and I think that's important in order to make the track come to life.
You manage to fit so much personality and movement into the loops you create. How do you approach composing them versus writing for a full song?
I absolutely love writing loops! I don't know how many unfinished songs I have on my hard drive. Writing loops is fun, because you get to experience that excitement when you first start writing a song over and over!
Moving away from the guitar a little, how did you get into the lo-fi and beats scene?
I saw this guy on YouTube, 'Myles Jaznowski', soloing over a HipHop beat, and I fell in love with the mix between the two! The first lo-fi track I heard featured a sample from the jazz standard "Misty", so the mix between jazz and beats were absolutely magical to me as well!
We noticed across your 2020/2021 releases you've worked with a range of labels and some self-releases. Do you think it's important to build those wider connections across labels when releasing tracks these days?
I think it's important to be involved in the scene, whatever genre you're into. In my experience, labels and producers in the lo-fi scene are some of the most welcoming. People love to collaborate, and I just love that.
How does Instagram affect your work, creativity, and approach to the music industry?
8. That's hard, because although I recognize that my relatively big following on instagram has given me a lot of opportunities, I've never really been into social media in that way. In Sweden we have an unwritten law that's sort of ingrained in all of us, the 'Law of Jante', that says that you should never think of yourself as better than anyone else and definitely not stand out from the crowd in any way. So me posting on social media feels a bit like "heeey this is me, look what I'm playing, look at me!" and has always been a bit of a struggle, and still is. I don't think that I'm better than any guitarist I see on the app, so why should I post? Who'd want to see that anyway? Why should I take up space on anyone's feed? Who do I think I am? At the same time, I absolutely love how easy it is to connect with people. I've met so many great musicians, and gotten to collaborate with so many great people, only by virtually meeting them through instagram. I love that I'm able to discuss guitar pick ups with someone halfway across the world, it blows my mind! I've started a challenge this year, where I post a short guitar solo every day, to force myself out of my comfort zone.
What's on the horizon for 2022?
An instrumental guitar EP! And a lot of fun collaborations with 'Dokkodo Sounds' and Hush Child to name a couple. Two great producers I never would've come into contact with if it hadn't been for instagram!
Rebecca's Pack: 'Songwriter Guitars' is available now!