It’s a well worn fact that hard times can inspire great artistic creativity, a fact particularly true for our latest guest, UK producer Joshua Marment, better know to fans as Diamond Eyes. When best friend Christina Grimmie (The Voice) was gunned down by a fan in 2016 Marment was plunged into a dark period where music became his saving grace and a form of therapy. Rising into the light with new NCS single ‘Gravity’, Marment caught up with us for an exclusive chat to talk about his music, holding on and the importance of staying true to who you are as an artist through everything…
Raver Mag: Tell us about your new track ‘Gravity’
Diamond: Gravity is about the feeling of falling & you’re out of control feeling hopeless & hollow. It’s about hitting that pause button, taking stock of everything you’ve got & to breathe, because you’re strong & will find a way through.
Raver Mag: A lot of our readers will know you from your ‘Nightlife’ EP that knocked Skrillex off the #1 spot on Beatport. Did that open up avenues for you?
Diamond: Well to anyone reading this who knows me from that EP, hello! Glad to see you again. Regarding opportunities… I’d say most definitely, to even share the same space as Skrillex even for a brief moment in time gave me more confidence that allowed me to create opportunity. That was the biggest blessing.
Raver Mag: You sing on your tracks – would you class yourself more as a singer/songwriter or an electronic producer?
Diamond: I’d class myself as both so just ‘artist’ (who has an affinity for great tea & coffee, sometimes sushi…).
Raver Mag: Before you got into electronic music you were in EMO and rock bands – have those genres influenced the way you produce electronic music and if yes, how so?
Diamond: 100% I grew up listening to the likes of Iron Maiden, Jimi hendrix, Joe Satriani, Bring Me The Horizon (Since like 2004 ‘Traitors’ & ‘Pray for plagues’) Escape the fate etc… I’d say i’m influenced by pretty much every style of music, however rock definitely gave me a solid foundation in learning how to deliver power & emotion in my performance. Also years of playing shows to 10 people, travelling in hot hatch cars with your best friends barely making enough money to drive to the next venue & playing your soul out taught me so many valuable lessons too.
Raver Mag: Would you rather be a world famous producer touring the world DJing, or a world famous rock star performing on stage with a live band each night?
Diamond: 100% Live band, 1.) You never get lonely because you’re with people (hopefully they’re good people too) & 2.) every show is a new challenge 3.) The performance is more vulnerable & emotive, and for me that’s what I LOVE & value in touring artists, connecting with the audience in the way a ‘studio’ record cannot.
Raver Mag: What artists have influenced your sound?
Diamond: Off the top of my head: Joe Satriani, Owl City (Adam Young, he’s an incredible man), Bring Me The Horizon, Moving Mountains (not sure if they’ve disbanded now but damn… they got me through some times), The Midnight and a bunch more but those are my go-to’s.
Raver Mag: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why? What do you think you would bring to their performance/work and what do you think you’d be able to deliver?
Diamond: Right now, I’d probably cry if Bring Me The Horizon wanted to work together. Their sound is just so raw & real, no bullsh%t guys too. So to create with artists who are true to themselves would be incredible as I feel that’s where my head is at too. I’d bring another real angle to develop & realness in story telling. Ok I’m day dreaming now, next question!
Raver Mag: What’s your creative process like?
Diamond: Me – Coffee or Tea – Blank Ableton project & a quiet moody studio – Foley sounds like cityscapes or rain & a piano drenched in reverb – Delving into how I’m feeling that day, figuring out what I want to convey in the record – Fleshing that out into a full blown record – Maybe treat myself to sushi if I smashed the session.
Raver mag: As a fan, who do you like to go see DJ and why?
Diamond: I love my friends’ DJ sets most, notably ’Stan’ (Fox Stevenson) & ‘Andy’ (Feint), it’s always a blessing to see them perform both solo & when they do b2b’s. Both guys have such a talent for production & their ability to send a crowd into a frenzy is a pleasure to watch.
Raver Mag: You were very close friends with Christina Grimmie from The Voice. What lasting impact has she had on you creatively and musically?
Diamond: To love the person I am, even when I’m struggling to see the good in myself.
Raver Mag: Is writing music for more pop artists something that’s on the horizon for you?
Diamond: I’m an open book & if I believe in an act, be it pop or alt then I’m always game to create something special. See my manager for enquires haha.
Raver Mag: What’s next after the Gravity single, what else can we expect from Diamond Eyes over 2020?
Diamond: To deliver Diamond Eyes records to as many people on this planet as possible, I’ve never done music to make money & it’s always been a personal therapy. So now I’m at a stage where I’m writing records that mean something, I’d want nothing more than to share that with other listeners who need some support in life.