Tentendo Sets the Tone on Feel-Good EP ‘Morning Light’

Australian producer, Tentendo, has just released his Summer infused EP ‘Morning Light. Known for his eclectic electronic style which draws on mainstream sounds, the artist once again has created an uplifting listening experience. This time around he draws on disco, garage and R&B, placing a key emphasis on live instrumentation in the process. Working alongside vocalist Annalisa Fernandez – who features on each track – we see Tendendo shift from his electronic production roots. Working in tandem, Fernandez helps to spearhead the soulful and emotive message behind the EP which transcends themes of change, growth, self-empowerment, and connectivity.

The Melbourned based artist was driven by a will to make people smile and dance, a message that’s certainly clear on ‘Give It Up’. Driven by the artist’s trademark shuffled grooves and funky basslines, it’s feel-good from start to finish and Fernandez’s gentle vocals adds a personal touch. The sonic variety of the EP can be shown on ‘Shining’ with its epic strings, flute and Motown influence. Whilst the dreamy opening track ‘Find My Way’ instantly sets the tone and draws the listener into the duo’s world. Each track hits us with feelings of warmth that transports us to the Australian coast, offering that sense of escape that only music can offer. 

Compelled by the message behind ‘Morning Light’, we spoke to Tendendo about his creative process, the inspiration behind the EP and why the collaboration with Fernandez was long overdue. You can read our conversation below. 

Hey Tendendo! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. When did you start your musical journey? Was it always your dream to be a producer? 

I started learning bass guitar when I was 13? At the start of high school, it was my dream for a long time just to be a bass player but I ended up falling into music production and found out I like it a lot more. Initially I was really sad about having to let go of being a bass player but it’s been a massive blessing and I’m much happier it being this way

You’ve built a back catalogue full of dance infused hits. What steered you in the direction of electronic music?

When I first started producing I was listening to and making a lot of hip-hop, soul and lo-fi beats. I was also going out and partying a lot at the time and every time we were out in the clubs it was house music all the time. I honestly hated it at first but slowly I grew to be a massive fan of it. It’s slowly crept its way more and more into the music too. 

You’re based in Melbourne, what is the music scene like in Australia? Is there a certain sound that resonates in your homeland that’s particularly influenced your music?

There’s so many talented artists in Australia. There’s so many amazing and inspiring artists in all different genres. At the same time I think a lot of artists struggle to find their way to popularity, there’s not a lot of an eco system for many artists to work their way up. 

You’ve just released your four-track EP ‘Morning Light’, what was the inspiration behind the project?

I think we just wanted to make some fun, soulful music for us to dance around the house too, that was pretty much it. Annalisa and I had been listening to a heap of disco and soulection and this project is where we landed

The project features some deeply emotive vocals from Annalisa Fernandez, who’s an integral piece of each track. How did this collaboration come about?

I mean we’ve actually been dating for just over 6 years now, so actually it’s a bit overdue to be honest haha. We’ve made so much music together over the years but this music just kind of happened and we decided to put it together into a proper project

There’s notable influence from disco and motown on the EP which marks a notable shift in your sound. What was it about that era that grabbed your attention on this project?

It’s an amazing era of music. I’ve loved this music for a while but it’s honestly not the easiest to create, so I think it took me a while to be able to understand how to make it. I just love the sonics of this era of music, how warm and organic everything is, but also how the Motown vocals are quite lofi and overdriven. Of course all the live instrumentation and grooves are really present in both of those styles too

You’ve stated that you want to uplift people with the sound of this EP. How important is it for you that your music transmits positivity and a sense of escape to those listening?

It probably wasn’t something we really set out as a goal to do, but something that just naturally happened. We were just making music and the project kind of just came together and has these positive themes and sounds throughout. I really like that about it

You’ve consistently proved an ability to blend niche electronic sounds alongside more mainstream influences. ‘Morning Light’ sees you draw on disco, garage and R&B, when you enter the studio are you driven by an urge to never rest on your laurels and consistently innovate?

Yeah exactly, I think I have to do that. I get bored easily and I always need to be pushing myself in a new direction to keep it interesting. It’s important I keep evolving my sound and taste with every release

What are your plans for the rest of this year and beyond?

Well I’ve been travelling around Europe for the past couple of months and I’ve made some music I’m really proud of- it might be a project? but I’m not sure yet. I’m really excited to get home and start refining all these ideas

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Words: Jake Wright