Playlist: Synthetic Noise


Beyond uploading tracks online and crossing their fingers, how do new artists get their music heard? We spoke to Stefanie Chew, who some of you may know under the moniker Faded Gold, about Synthetic Noise, a project set up earlier this year to forgeround new talent… 

The Double Negative: How and why did Synthetic Noise come about?

Stefanie Chew: Synthetic Noise came about as a direct result of working in a music school which led to me being exposed to lots of talented upcoming music producers and DJs. After working at the school for a few months, it became clear that the vast majority of students were struggling to get their music heard, couldn’t get gigs and found it difficult to get their music career off the ground. I think in the very early stages of a young person’s music career, it’s quite demotivating to struggle in this way.

When I first started making music myself I was lucky enough to grab the attention of publications such as yourself [we were lucky enough to have Stefanie play our launch party], Bido Lito and GetIntoThis, and it gave me the push to continue pursuing my passion. With SN I simply want to help people in the same way, giving people the opportunity to perform live and also gain exposure online.

Do you have plans for the site beyond foregrounding talent in this way? Is there an ambition to put people’s music out in any traditional sense?

Eventually I would love to release music, as I think running a small label would perfectly tie together my interests and skill set; however, I do think it’s something I’d have to work towards and right now I’m concentrating on building the brand awareness.

Are we, as a culture, still getting to grips with where and  how to filter our consumption of music today?

Yes I think so. The music industry has changed so much since I first started producing. Social media now plays such a vital role and music producers/DJs have had to step up their game up when it comes to self-promotion. I think we are still getting to grips with the way the industry works and it’s more important than ever for producers to realise the road to success doesn’t simply involve making a great track.

Whilst it’s great that everyone can share their music online I do think filters need to be in place and listeners will always return to tastemakers for tips on what to listen to next, whether this is a record label, a website, a radio station or even an instagram account sharing great music.

“Take the time to get to really understand your local scene and the key players within it”

You obviously think deeply about the challenges faced by young musicians today – how can they get their music in front of the right people?

I would say being active on social media is essential and some musicians underestimate the importance of this. It’s crucial that you find your niche when it comes to style and genre as it will enable you to find the right audience for your music. Once you know this, following leaders within your niche and interacting with them online is useful. Reach out to independent radio show hosts and send them your tracks and take advantage of companies offering opportunities such as BBC introducing, Brighter Sound and The Unsigned Guide. Take the time to get to really understand your local scene and the key players within it and, lastly, publish your music on Spotify.


The landscape has changed so much in publishing. You’ve mentioned the NME in conversations, and how it was so important to you when you were young. Are there any titles or writers you still love to read and go to for inspiration today?

I have to be honest and say I don’t read publications half as much as I used to, and I think this is due to the fact everything has become instantly accessible. Whilst in the past, I would read NME and then have to hunt down different artists, sometimes purchasing music before I’d even heard it, now I can download an artist’s entire back catalogue instantly, I can read a quick tweet or a facebook post and listen to the music straight away. I do continually re-visit some websites and two of my current favourites I would say are Electronic Beats and The Waveform Transmitter. For me, independent radio has become one of my favourite ways to keep in touch with new music as I can do this on the go. I have my favourites on NTS, Melodic Distraction, Noods Radio and BBC 6 music that I listen to weekly.

“So many people putting themselves out there motivates you to do the same”

You’ve recently made the move from Liverpool to Manchester, cities in very close proximity geographically, but culturally maybe not so much – what are the main commonalities and differences you’ve observed?

Manchester is a much bigger city with a much larger music scene. Venues and bars are inundated with requests to put on gigs and I’ve found the scene difficult to break into. At the same time, the city is full of fantastic events, there’s an incredible amount of talented musicians and it’s a very inspirational place to be. The fact that there are so many people putting themselves out there motivates you to do the same.

Liverpool’s music scene is a lot smaller, yet I would say that there’s a stronger sense of community amongst music producers. As I mentioned earlier, the big players such as yourselves, Bido Lito, Getintothis and now Melodic Distraction, have really helped build the scene into a supportive creative community and, again, there have been more and more fantastic events taking place in the city.

You DJ and produce yourself, what have you got coming up on the horizon we should be aware of? Do you still record as Faded Gold?

We’re holding our first Synthetic Noise event at 3B Records this Saturday [22 June, from 6pm], which will feature DJ sets from myself, Devastia and Ashley Jade. It’s going to be loud, but it’s going to be fun! Production wise, I’m very close to releasing a couple of new synth heavy techno tracks, similar in style to Out There, a track I put online a few months back.

I’m still creating ambient music but less frequently these days. I do however have a handful of finished ambient tracks that I will probably put online under the Faded Gold name sometime over the next few months.

Mike Pinnington

Don’t miss Synthetic Noise Presents @ 3B Records, Liverpool

Read more over at Synthetic Noise

Posted on 22/06/2019 by thedoublenegative