Where It Started: Mako

After much anticipation, Mako dropped his sophomore album Fable just last month. The incredible 11 piece LP is a deeply personal body of work, representing the recent chapter of Mako’s life as he explores the creative depths of fusing various musical genres. Fable serves as a example of Mako pushing new boundaries and exploring different sounds as a solo project guided by Alex Seaver. The eleven-track album features previously released singles as well as some brand new additions. Any music fans need to have a listen to Mako’s noteworthy album. Stream or Download Fable.

Celebrating the album release, Mako joins us for our Where It Started feature. The feature allows artists to take us back to the start and the journey that has led up until now. Mako has done just that, delving into his beginnings, musical changes and the newest album. Mako’s picks are very vast, covering many genres and styles, resulting in a must read feature.

Mako prefaced the playlist selections below:

Ok so, fair warning…this is a highly odd playlist of music.  But I wanted to literally dictate my career to this point in a series of influential pieces at ten different check points.  Keep in mind…I was a french horn player, turned DJ, turned songwriter, turned pop artist, turned film + video game composer. So, we’ve got some ground to cover 🙂 here’s where I’m at (this playlist is in chronological order with my life).” 

Rimsky Korsakov – Scheherazade 

I’ll keep all this brief.  I walked into a concert hall in 9th grade, heard a high school symphony perform this piece.  I found it so jaw droppingly beautiful and cinematic and inspiring that it completely changed my life.  I didn’t listen to anything but classical music for the next 8 years of my life.

John Powell – Romantic Flight

So, towards my final years in college (I was a French Horn major, of all things. This was at Juilliard, this Dreamworks animated movie came out called How To Train Your Dragon. Similar to Scheherazade, the score for this movie touched such a sincere part of my soul that I remember specifically thinking, “I don’t know if this is even possible, but I have to stop what I’m doing and begin writing music that makes people feel the way this score makes me feel.” The rest is history. I dedicated my whole life to writing music, rather than performing it


Radiohead – 15 Step. 

Slightly prior to How To Train Your Dragon, Radiohead’s album, In Rainbows, released my freshman year of college. I remember being introduced to it by my roommate, liking it and living with it at arms-length for a few years. Fast forward to now, it leaves with ease as my greatest record of all time, a constant source of inspiration at every new chapter in my musical life, and an active influence on my current music.  The opening track of my latest album, Parable, is an upbeat light and rhythmic tune in 7/8 time-signature, an homage to how much I adore In Rainbows kicking off with a like-tempered tune in 5/4 time-signature.

Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji – Pressure (Alesso Remix)

To take our first left turn of the evening.  I then moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a life in film scoring. I wasn’t in town for all of a month before I met a guy named Logan (my eventual partner in Mako), who invited me to Electric Daisy Carnival (keep in mind, I’d never heard electronic dance music before). I walked into the racetrack to this music, and that kicked off an entirely unexpected and new chapter of my life as an electronic music producer, and the birth of Mako.

Swedish House Mafia – Save The World

This track would normally plainly belong in the category of Pressure.  Save for the fact that it had a vocal element I would come to realize would greatly influence a part of my creative life that is insanely active for me to this day. It belongs in a category I’ve created in my mind called “Stadium Anthem”.  It has a vocal hook that is so good, so big, and so memorable, that any concert you’d play it at in the span of 6+ years…the entire crowd would scream along with it at the top of their lungs. I’ve been fortunate to write about 4 “World’s Anthems” for a video game League Of Legends….these songs are all in the stadium anthem category.  And guess where I learned how to write those from…

Labrinth – Jealous 

Post-EDM, I became really fascinated with an overall focus on pop songwriting.  At this period, I was not only writing for myself and other artists, I was really getting into a groove of singing all of these songs as well.  Labrinth serves as a forever-idol of mine as a guy who does it all, producer, writer, singer, artist.  And beyond that, Jealous is in my personal pantheon of greatest pop songs ever written (it does all the things I love most about a great pop song).

John Powell – Goa  

Starting to circle back to Film Scoring, I’m finally getting into a groove with my years-old career pursuit.  John Powells work here is immensely inspiring to me in a way that How To Train Your Dragon wasn’t…which is a hybrid electronic/orchestral score.

Dario Marianelli – Every Reborn

No story here, this is just one of my favorite cues of all time. I steal bit of the chord writing in here constantly.

James Blake – Retrograde

As I started losing some of the romance with pop-writing…artists like James Blake have really served as a beacon for me on how to take an Artist project into some deeper corners, without being necessarily un-digestible to a broader audience

Jon Hopkins – Singularity

This track just serves as a surrogate for the whole album.  But this record came out write as I was tickling around on my latest album.  And it basically kicked my ass completely in gear to finish Fable as an entirely personal, authentic, and original piece of material.

Listen through all of Mako’s picks and overall story through the entire playlist below.

Listen below or Stream/Buy Mako’s incredible new album.

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