[INTERVIEW + STYLE GUIDE] Modapit Unravels His 'Devotion' To Breaking Sonic And Visual Barriers

Modapit, Devotion

| July 11, 2023

One of the greatest success stories in today's music realm does not have a face or voice to go along with it. Perhaps that is the intention of underground electronic-pop producer Modapit, whose project boasts a myriad of visual and auditory spectacles. The anonymous artist has had a meteoric rise over the last six months. 

Four mind-bending singles, a four-part short film, a debut performance at the main stage of EDC Las Vegas 2023, and other alluring components have all led up to the release of Modapit's highly anticipated debut album, Devotion. This 12-track compilation guides its audience on an introspective and trance-inducing journey. Unbounded by the standards of genre, Modapit fuses dark pop, European-inspired melodic house, and techno in this one-of-a-kind masterpiece. 

Inspired by this rapidly expanding project, we were lucky enough to learn more about Modapit's mysterious identity and the inner workings of his Devotion.

Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with Modapit below.

Modapit, Devotion

iEDM: What sparked the concept for Devotion? How does the order of the songs in Devotion tell a powerful narrative to its audience? 

Modapit: I thought it was really important to put a body of work together that wasn’t just a bunch of singles compiled into an album. I really wanted there to be a flow to this album. Beginning, middle, and end. Some people may not hear it that way but that’s how it was written. Each song is intentionally placed in the tracklist, and even has a coherent thread between the songs’ lyrical content.

Of course, I want to leave it up to people’s own interpretations, but my intention was to portray a journey with a general message of hope and upliftment. At one point, the album takes a dark turn, and you can sense a sincere unhappiness - this was an intentional switch to provide a contrast to the subsequent songs that are once again more uplifting or fun for the listener. 

 

iEDM: Looking back, how did you weave Devotion into your EDC Las Vegas debut performance? Which tracks from the LP do you think garnered the best crowd reactions? What were your personal highlights from the set and EDC LV in general?

Modapit: A lot of people ended up gravitating towards the finale of the set. I played “Through My Mind” and “For You” as the last two songs and it felt like those got the biggest emotional response from the  crowd. “Through My Mind” acted like a final high-energy song, and “For You” acted like this hopeful, cathartic finale.

I got so many messages from people in the crowd telling me that the ending was their favorite part of the set and that made me really happy! I’m glad people got a positive message from that experience. I actually saw people wearing Modapit merch, as well, which was super insane to me to have that kind of dedication from listeners so early on in this project. That was definitely the highlight for me. 

Modapit, EDC Las Vegas

iEDM: Your song promos and previews often embody the characteristics of being dark and cinematic. How does this build anticipation for each release while hinting at what fans will be visually and auditory experiencing? 

Modapit: I think people will always be drawn to dark and mysterious things. Those tones create curiosity. The contrast between my dark aesthetic and my uplifting music can be a huge shock.

Usually when you see a dark persona like Gessalfelstein, you’re met with a dark message and sound. I wanted to flip that narrative. I am heavily influenced by Gessalfelstein’s art direction, however. There’s no denying that. There’s something extremely alluring about his persona. 

 

iEDM: “Dancing” is a hypnotic fusion of ethereal vocals and an electrifying bassline. In your opinion, how do they complement each other, and how does the music video portray the message of the lyrics? 

Modapit: When I got together with the director, David Borges, to talk about a storyline for “Dancing”, we definitely wanted to make something abstract. The lyrics reflect a desire to lose yourself to the music. Our way of portraying that was by taking this character and putting her in a foreign situation where the act of dancing, and the group of people dancing, showed her a path to a different emotional state.

It was like deconstructing the emotional state that happens at a rave. People leave their daily lives to escape and experience these momentary feelings. I just want those feelings to be positive and uplifting. I want to uplift people.  

iEDM: Which song in Devotion pushed you the farthest out of your comfort zone in terms of creativity and experimental sound design? Why do you think this track was more of a challenge to bring into existence?

Modapit: “Another Life” and “Through My Mind” are easily the most experimental songs on the album. The chord progressions and song structures are not SUPER typical within dance music and the drops are super weird, in my opinion. It’s hard to pin down an exact genre for both of those tracks but that’s what I love about them.

I knew these songs are probably going to be the least understood, but when you’re putting together an album, you have to take a couple artistic risks in order for it to stand out. Those kinds of creative choices are also fulfilling to me. 

iEDM: What are a few of your go-to production tools and techniques when crafting Devotion? How did they help establish the sonic atmosphere you were aiming for on certain tracks? 

Modapit: A unique thing I did on the album that I don’t typically see a lot of other producers do, is use the same drums on each song. Or at least similar drums. I really thought of it like a rock or pop band. Like a drummer at a live show isn’t going to switch his drum set every single song, and that’s how I approached this LP.

I definitely tried formulating a “DNA” for the Modapit sound on the album, which is heavily defined by analog synth elements as well as real instruments. A lot of the songs have string sections mixed with noisy synth leads or really deep piano chords. Combining these kinds of sounds is one of my favorite things to do. It creates a lot of emotion for me when I'm writing.  

 

iEDM: Can you describe the significance of the 10-minute closing chapter to Devotion’s video component, and its encompassing of “For You”? Why was this track in particular segmented into three parts, and what does each part symbolize to you?

Modapit: At face value, “For You”, sounds like a really happy and upbeat song. The lyrical content is extremely uplifting and there’s a strong message of hope and perseverance. When it came to the video, we wanted to completely flip the expected aesthetic of the sound and make a dark comeback story.

You’re following this couple that has been struggling to leave a dark past behind, and the woman gets dragged back into a life of chaos due to the man’s vices. He undoubtedly cares about her but at the end of the video, we come to realize that the best thing they both can do for each other is to separate and find peace without each other. For a lot of people it didn’t seem like a happy ending, but for us, it was more about telling a comeback story. This woman finding peace in a hard decision.  

iEDM: What does it mean to you to have such a dedicated team get behind this project? What roles have director David Borges and cinematographer Carlos Perez played in forging the storyline behind Devotion?

Modapit: David and Carlos have been absolutely crucial in the storytelling of the project. They were able to take my creative vision and translate it visually in ways I never could have. They were able to capture the emotions of these performers and actors in ways I didn’t think were possible, but they also built out this disparate storyline that ended up connecting together.

From the very first trailer to the “For You” music video, every video threads together - we’re actually going to put them all together and make a final full length movie so people can watch the whole story in one sitting. 

 

iEDM: What was the initial inspiration behind your outfit? Did it all come together at once or were there different moments that the outfit inspiration can be traced to?

Modapit: There were definitely different moments, and the outfit is still evolving to this day. There have already been three iterations of the veil that I wear and I definitely believe there will be more iterations to come in the future.

In the early days, we were kind of aligning and wearing brands randomly that we thought looked cool, but as we were releasing and building a story we found Jonny Cota, who is a fashion designer that prides himself on sustainable manufacturing and production.

The story and look of his brand resonated with me, and it felt like something we wanted to connect with more. So we’ve been wearing Jonny Cota from head-to-toe recently and have some things coming with him in the near future that I’m extremely excited to show.

Modapit, Devotion

iEDM: You have a very signature look — could you break down the various  pieces of your outfit?

Modapit: The fishnet veil was made by the Entertainment Director/Costume Designer at Team Ez, Gabriela Garcia. She’s a very talented costume designer and builds costumes for a lot of festivals like Sunset Music Festival and Ubbi Dubbi.

My aesthetic from the very beginning has been to take influences from goth and rave culture and upscale it. So it was easy having a brand like Jonny Cota to lean on for clothing.

A lot of the boots I have been wearing are from a company called Viron World. They make their leather out of Apple Skin. I want to learn more about how this is done, but that fact alone was enough for me to be interested in wearing their products.  

 

iEDM: From your perspective, how does your outfit reflect the adjoined music and project identity? 

Modapit: To be honest, I don’t think my look and my sound really match at all… and I love that. That was the point from the very beginning. To make an alluring persona that contrasts the sound of my music. That’s a major theme in everything happening with this project.  Extreme contrasts in the art.

It was also easy to put on a mask because I am just such an extremely shy person in real life and there’s something about putting the mask on that gives me this overwhelming confidence to perform.

Modapit, Devotion

iEDM: Your outfit evokes a gritty streetwear vibe. What do you think the value of streetwear is in the fashion industry? What are some of your favorite brands and trends? 

Modapit: Jonny Cota and Viron World are my favorite brands right now. I don’t mess with the Louis Vuttons or Balenciagas of the world. I want to put people on to brands that aren’t on the front page and that are actually making an impact.

Both of these brands I’ve been wearing have a strong message of sustainability, and I think that’s pretty rare for fashion brands. But it doesn’t have to be… every fashion brand could practice sustainability, but they don’t because of money. That’s why I love the brands that I wear. They rebel against the cultural norm of their industry.

 

iEDM: How does Devotion open up a whole new world full of sonic and visual possibilities for Modapit? Is there any foreshadowing in regard to the future of this captivating project? 

Modapit: Debuting the project with an album, we wanted to show that Modapit is a project that’s going to lean heavily on art direction, conceptualization, and ultimately more albums in the future. We’re going to have cohesive art direction throughout everything we do. Whether it be live shows, film festivals, or fashion. We want to make a point to craft a holistic body of work. 

 

Take a look at Modapit's top 3 fits from iEDM:

Floral Camo Zip-Up Hoodie and Joggers Combo

Floral Camo Zip-Up Hoodie and Joggers Combo

 

Modapit: This hoodie and joggers combo is so epic! Feels loud, but elegant, at the same time. Huge fan of track-suits and this is radiating “Moda vibes” for sure.

Check out iEDM’s Floral Camo Zip-Up Hoodie and Joggers Combo HERE!

 

Black and Yellow Paint Splatter Hoodie and Joggers Combo

Black and Yellow Paint Splatter Hoodie and Joggers Combo

Modapit: I just love these colors and the paint splatter. This fit definitely gives off graffiti vibes and is looking like some future Modapit merch.

Check out iEDM’s Black and Yellow Paint Splatter Hoodie and Joggers Combo HERE!

 

Battle Damaged Goku Armor T-Shirt and Joggers Combo

Battle Damaged Goku Armor T-Shirt and Joggers Combo

Modapit: I will literally come out of non-talking retirement if I saw someone wearing this fit at my show just to shout them out.

Check out iEDM’s Battle Damaged Goku Armor T-Shirt and Joggers Combo HERE! 

 

Photos courtesy of Modapit and iEDM.com.

 

Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!

 

Festival season is finally upon us! Shop til' you drop with iEDM's 2023 Festival Collection HERE!

CONNOR PHILLIPS

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Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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