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It began in 2013: The Legend behind Psyntst
Written by:
Emily Plazek

The year was 2013. MIC was but a newborn LLC in my arms, and I knew we needed a family of musicians to truly start off the journey. I put ads on Indeed and Craigslist and one of the first people to respond, and the only one that has stuck around the entire 6 years since, was music producer Psyntst -- JP Embrey.

What struck me most about JP from the getgo was his love of the art, and his determination not to see roadblocks. He wasn't even technically in Pittsburgh (MIC was MIC PGH at the time), he was 3 hours away across PA. To some people that would make them shrug their shoulders and walk away - but to JP, he knew how much he wanted an artistic career, and he knew he would do what it took, and he knew how the internet works, so we became fast musical partners in crime. I've respected this musician and his unique take on video-gaming/experimentally-inspired music the whole time I've been blessed to work with him.

On Millaze's last EP, "In a Room With You", Psyntst is featured as one of the remix DJs, so it felt right to officially introduce him to the MIC world - it should've happened sooner! In fact, let me emphasize: JP, thank you for sticking around through so so many MIC experiments during our research for The Mountain. This isn't the first song we've worked on together (Remember Red Chocolate 2? What a throwback!) and you've been patient and creative the whole time - you rock.

I'd like to share with everyone how much you rock now. Interview Game On. (Smart idea: listen to his soundcloud as you read, here!)

Psyntst at work
Who is Psyntst, and are we spelling it right?

Yeah, it's just an upper case P with all lower case after that. I like to think of myself as an artist, producer, composer, and engineer. I love working with both the creative and technical aspects of sound and experimenting with it in different ways, be it through genre bending, fusion, or just manipulating sound. I've been dabbling in music since I was a kid, trying out different instruments, and then eventually trying out music production software. I believe music is all around us and that we live in a world full of it, like a symphony of sorts, however harmonious or discordant it may be.

How did you start working with Millaze/MIC?

I started with MIC and Millaze about four years ago. I saw a job posting for music production and saw it was relatively close to where I lived so I thought "Awesome! I'm going to apply for it!" They got back to me with some questions and so I answered as elaborately as I could, practically spilling my heart out with some of it. They loved my responses and followed up with a phone interview, and after that I was brought on board.

Where does your music inspiration lie? How/why/when did you get started in music?

I have a funny way of disliking things before I really like them. With music, I remember hearing some stuff playing on the radio thinking "This sucks!", and then becoming hooked on music incredibly fast. I guess things have an interesting way of growing on me, haha! I got a Casio keyboard as a gift for Christmas around the time I said that, and had a lot of fun with the different presets on there and even learned a few songs on there as well. Several years later, I tried out an electric guitar, then electronic drums years afterwards, and then turntables. I was never a virtuoso at any of them, even though I knew a few basic fundamentals for each. Then, when I messed with music production software and started recording some stuff I thought "What if I could combine all of this?" and that's when I really got into doing what I do now. Some of my biggest musical influences include Tool, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, Moby, DJ Shadow, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, John Cage, Nujabes, The Crystal Method, and just a lot of other alternative and experimental style electronic, hip hop, rock, industrial, ambient, etc. music. I even find influence from film scores, particularly spy, science fiction, and horror films, and love the work of composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer. I also find influence from video game scores, especially from Graeme Norgate, Koji Kondo, and Nobuo Uematsu. I remember a project I did for a World Music class in college requiring us to just sit outside and listen to everything for a good 15 minutes, and it really changed the way I view music.

What makes you unique as a indie musician? ‍

I think what makes me unique as that I'm always trying to come up with something new no matter what I do, whilst trying to make it sound good. I really delve into both the creative and technical aspects of music and sound as I'd mentioned previously, and love seeing what I can come up with. I think a lot of artists are afraid to experiment, whereas I make it a requirement with all that I do. I suppose it's cliche to say this, but I don't try to confine myself to one genre and try to be my own individual in the music realm.

What are some of your struggles as an indie musician, and how do you use MIC's Mountainto help you handle them?

I find it incredibly hard to promote myself as an indie musician. They weren't kidding when they said you really have to give it your all, especially in this day and age with a thing called the Internet and everyone else trying to promote themselves as well. It's like a competition for who can shout the loudest or attract the most attention. People think all this interconnectivity and the World Wide Web have made things easier, which in ways I think it has, but at the same time I think it's also made things a lot more complex and difficult on the flip side. MIC truly is dedicated to helping artists and musicians succeed in this vast, seemingly infinite Internet world, and it shows in everything they do -- MIC's research is elaborate and detailed, and with all the years of planning that it took, it really pays off with how helpful each step has proven to be when I use it.

Psyntst: artist, producer, composer, and engineer.
Share your favorite past projects, and your current ones!

I made called CrossLab (which is dedicated to promoting a vast array of works within the arts and sciences including music, film, gaming, culinary, painting, sculpting, photography, engineering, architecture, etc.), which is unfortunately no longer running. I enjoy working with multimedia and am passionate about everything it encompasses, from music and sound, to video (I do music and gaming videos, and where I currently work I do training videos for the employees), and some photography and even dabble in some computer coding and programming. I currently work as a video producer and produce training videos for the employees as well as marketing videos for promoting the company. I am also a programmer who works with machinery and installing a network to monitor machine performance statistics. As far as music goes, I produced a LP which I titled Weapons of Mass Discussion, an experimental electronic album of sorts that pays homage to various eras of electronic music (trip hop, industrial, dubstep, ambient, avant-garde, etc.) and fuses other musical genres and elements within each of those genres. Think of it as an aural collage with various socio-political themes.

You can check it out here, and the rest of my music, via my SoundCloud: Psyntst

I also recently produced a video for a local alternative rock group by the name of Mawcore. They did a cover for the Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby. Everyone in the group seemed to really like it, and it's gotten an overwhelmingly positive response online as well:

Eleanor Rigby - by Mawcore (Beatles Cover)



Anything else?

I plan on knocking out some more music, video, and coding projects for now. I was talking to a friend of mine who helped with the mastering portion of Weapons of Mass Discussion and we were discussing doing a collaboration and making more music together as an experimental electronic duo and challenging ourselves in seeing what we can come up with. I also have a radio show on 88.7 FM for WSYC in Shippensburg, PA. You can also go online to wsyc.org and listen live there. We even have our own app for all Apple and Android phones which you can download and use to listen to us anytime and anywhere. I currently do my show on Wednesdays from 6-8 PM, so tune in when you get the time!

All of my music on YouTube will be available at my channel, here.

Thanks for all the support everyone has given me every step of the way! It really means a lot!







It began in 2013: The Legend behind Psyntst
It began in 2013: The Legend behind Psyntst
MIC is my baby.

The year was 2013. MIC was but a newborn LLC in my arms, and I knew we needed a family of musicians to truly start off the journey. I put ads on Indeed and Craigslist and one of the first people to respond, and the only one that has stuck around the entire 6 years since, was music producer Psyntst -- JP Embrey.

What struck me most about JP from the getgo was his love of the art, and his determination not to see roadblocks. He wasn't even technically in Pittsburgh (MIC was MIC PGH at the time), he was 3 hours away across PA. To some people that would make them shrug their shoulders and walk away - but to JP, he knew how much he wanted an artistic career, and he knew he would do what it took, and he knew how the internet works, so we became fast musical partners in crime. I've respected this musician and his unique take on video-gaming/experimentally-inspired music the whole time I've been blessed to work with him.

On Millaze's last EP, "In a Room With You", Psyntst is featured as one of the remix DJs, so it felt right to officially introduce him to the MIC world - it should've happened sooner! In fact, let me emphasize: JP, thank you for sticking around through so so many MIC experiments during our research for The Mountain. This isn't the first song we've worked on together (Remember Red Chocolate 2? What a throwback!) and you've been patient and creative the whole time - you rock.

I'd like to share with everyone how much you rock now. Interview Game On. (Smart idea: listen to his soundcloud as you read, here!)

Psyntst at work
Who is Psyntst, and are we spelling it right?

Yeah, it's just an upper case P with all lower case after that. I like to think of myself as an artist, producer, composer, and engineer. I love working with both the creative and technical aspects of sound and experimenting with it in different ways, be it through genre bending, fusion, or just manipulating sound. I've been dabbling in music since I was a kid, trying out different instruments, and then eventually trying out music production software. I believe music is all around us and that we live in a world full of it, like a symphony of sorts, however harmonious or discordant it may be.

How did you start working with Millaze/MIC?

I started with MIC and Millaze about four years ago. I saw a job posting for music production and saw it was relatively close to where I lived so I thought "Awesome! I'm going to apply for it!" They got back to me with some questions and so I answered as elaborately as I could, practically spilling my heart out with some of it. They loved my responses and followed up with a phone interview, and after that I was brought on board.

Where does your music inspiration lie? How/why/when did you get started in music?

I have a funny way of disliking things before I really like them. With music, I remember hearing some stuff playing on the radio thinking "This sucks!", and then becoming hooked on music incredibly fast. I guess things have an interesting way of growing on me, haha! I got a Casio keyboard as a gift for Christmas around the time I said that, and had a lot of fun with the different presets on there and even learned a few songs on there as well. Several years later, I tried out an electric guitar, then electronic drums years afterwards, and then turntables. I was never a virtuoso at any of them, even though I knew a few basic fundamentals for each. Then, when I messed with music production software and started recording some stuff I thought "What if I could combine all of this?" and that's when I really got into doing what I do now. Some of my biggest musical influences include Tool, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Aphex Twin, The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, Moby, DJ Shadow, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, John Cage, Nujabes, The Crystal Method, and just a lot of other alternative and experimental style electronic, hip hop, rock, industrial, ambient, etc. music. I even find influence from film scores, particularly spy, science fiction, and horror films, and love the work of composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer. I also find influence from video game scores, especially from Graeme Norgate, Koji Kondo, and Nobuo Uematsu. I remember a project I did for a World Music class in college requiring us to just sit outside and listen to everything for a good 15 minutes, and it really changed the way I view music.

What makes you unique as a indie musician? ‍

I think what makes me unique as that I'm always trying to come up with something new no matter what I do, whilst trying to make it sound good. I really delve into both the creative and technical aspects of music and sound as I'd mentioned previously, and love seeing what I can come up with. I think a lot of artists are afraid to experiment, whereas I make it a requirement with all that I do. I suppose it's cliche to say this, but I don't try to confine myself to one genre and try to be my own individual in the music realm.

What are some of your struggles as an indie musician, and how do you use MIC's Mountainto help you handle them?

I find it incredibly hard to promote myself as an indie musician. They weren't kidding when they said you really have to give it your all, especially in this day and age with a thing called the Internet and everyone else trying to promote themselves as well. It's like a competition for who can shout the loudest or attract the most attention. People think all this interconnectivity and the World Wide Web have made things easier, which in ways I think it has, but at the same time I think it's also made things a lot more complex and difficult on the flip side. MIC truly is dedicated to helping artists and musicians succeed in this vast, seemingly infinite Internet world, and it shows in everything they do -- MIC's research is elaborate and detailed, and with all the years of planning that it took, it really pays off with how helpful each step has proven to be when I use it.

Psyntst: artist, producer, composer, and engineer.
Share your favorite past projects, and your current ones!

I made called CrossLab (which is dedicated to promoting a vast array of works within the arts and sciences including music, film, gaming, culinary, painting, sculpting, photography, engineering, architecture, etc.), which is unfortunately no longer running. I enjoy working with multimedia and am passionate about everything it encompasses, from music and sound, to video (I do music and gaming videos, and where I currently work I do training videos for the employees), and some photography and even dabble in some computer coding and programming. I currently work as a video producer and produce training videos for the employees as well as marketing videos for promoting the company. I am also a programmer who works with machinery and installing a network to monitor machine performance statistics. As far as music goes, I produced a LP which I titled Weapons of Mass Discussion, an experimental electronic album of sorts that pays homage to various eras of electronic music (trip hop, industrial, dubstep, ambient, avant-garde, etc.) and fuses other musical genres and elements within each of those genres. Think of it as an aural collage with various socio-political themes.

You can check it out here, and the rest of my music, via my SoundCloud: Psyntst

I also recently produced a video for a local alternative rock group by the name of Mawcore. They did a cover for the Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby. Everyone in the group seemed to really like it, and it's gotten an overwhelmingly positive response online as well:

Eleanor Rigby - by Mawcore (Beatles Cover)



Anything else?

I plan on knocking out some more music, video, and coding projects for now. I was talking to a friend of mine who helped with the mastering portion of Weapons of Mass Discussion and we were discussing doing a collaboration and making more music together as an experimental electronic duo and challenging ourselves in seeing what we can come up with. I also have a radio show on 88.7 FM for WSYC in Shippensburg, PA. You can also go online to wsyc.org and listen live there. We even have our own app for all Apple and Android phones which you can download and use to listen to us anytime and anywhere. I currently do my show on Wednesdays from 6-8 PM, so tune in when you get the time!

All of my music on YouTube will be available at my channel, here.

Thanks for all the support everyone has given me every step of the way! It really means a lot!







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