Amidst his busy schedule of production deadlines from his studio, a weary Egyptrixx sat down with Spinner for a chat about his hybrid sound, his musical influences, and how he approaches his work. "When I wrote 'Bible Eyes' I was listening to a lot of techno, heavy metal and ambient music," he says.
Although it might come as a surprise, Egyptrixx is only now in his mid-20's, so in the 1990s he didn't listen to techno. "When raves were popular in Toronto, I was caught up in a different world. I was going to Sonic Unyon shows at Lee's Palace and listening to guitar music. Some of my friends were into drum'n'bass and I was interested in it, but only passively."
It wasn't until Egyptrixx was in his early 20s that he started going out to hear electronic music. "I used to go to this venue called 99 Sudbury, which is now a yoga studio. I would go to hear DJ Sneak and Danny Krivit -- house music."
In the early days of his musical career, Egyptrixx had a band called Africa, and at around the same time he dreamed up his solo name Egyptrixx. But he says the connection between the names is only unconscious.
For his live set last year he changed it up quite a bit, working with different members, instruments and musical arrangements.
"A lot of electronic sets these days tend to be entirely mapped out before the show and the guys up on stage are just pressing play... and that seems boring to me."
"I like to keep my set pretty loose," he continues. "It's important to me that there's an improvisational aspect. I think having something that is entirely mapped out feels like a cheat and is boring to perform." Although he admits, "It might be a better execution if everything was prepared."
It's not only his live set, but also the way he makes music that sets him apart from some other electronic acts. "There are a million different ways to end up in the same place in music. I'm more comfortable with an instrument and I don't think I have the discipline to sit in front of a computer screen and build a whole song. It seems kind of tedious.
"I use computers and Ableton as a vessel for ideas, whereas, for a lot of people who make music now, the programs and the technology are more central to the formation of the ideas."
Having taken lessons in piano, guitar and bass when he was growing up, long before he used a computer for music, he still works in the same order for his current productions, first by playing instruments and then processing with a combination of analogue synths, older hardware synths and computer programs.
"Most of my ideas start with either a melody or a drum pattern. I'll play something and I'll put it into the computer or into a sequencer and make it into a song."
Reflecting on what makes being a musician both challenging and rewarding he says, "Being successful in music is a lot like anything else. The exciting part, the magic, coming up with ideas, represents two to three percent of the entire work expectation. The rest of it is like slogging it out -- you have to be reliable and answer your phone; there is pressure and deadlines."
Speaking of deadlines, Egyptrixx's dance card is pretty full these days, with productions he has to finish, and several new projects underway. "I just finished some production work for a band," he says. "But I don't want to preempt myself by talking about it casually."
One thing is sure, there's no shortage of work or international interest in Egyptrixx. Following his cross-Canada tour and dates in Europe, before the end of 2012 he'll also make his way to Japan, Singapore and Korea but not, alas, Egypt.