This Thursday we’re excited to present Stephen Auslander, otherwise known as Saus, in high spirits with the recent release of his debut EP “Bloom”! Saus is a producer currently studying musicianship, artistry development, and entrepreneurship at The Frost School of Music (University of Miami), where he’s sharpening the tools under his belt to create electronic, gravity-defying hits. With the help of his classmates and friends, Saus meshes acoustic vocal and instrumental elements with taut production and heartfelt lyrics to create unique emotional EDM ballads.
We wanted to learn more about Stephen, his new album, and his influences. Here’s what we found out:
How would you describe your music?
For the longest time, I wasn’t sure what style of music I wanted to make. I was so passionate about many different styles and genres. However, with my debut EP “Bloom”, I think I found the sound I want to pursue. I love EDM and I love singer/songwriter stuff as well. In this EP, I tried to combine the two, having the energy of dance music as well as the emotional lyrical content of singer/songwriter music.
What song are you listening to right now?
I’ve actually been on a huge country kick. Sam Hunt just came out with a new song called “Hard to Forget” which has been on repeat. And of course, my favorite artists Illenium and Martin Garrix are always playing as well.
How did you get into the music industry and how has the journey been so far?
When I was a freshman in high school, I fell in love with an EDM/Pop duo named Timeflies. They used to do this project called Timeflies Tuesday, in which every Tuesday they would release a cover of a popular song. They were college kids at the time and would stay up all night on the Monday before making the new song/video to go along with it. I fell in love with that idea and wanted to start making music myself.
In terms of my journey, it’s been fun and difficult at the same time. I am now confident enough in my writing and mixing ability where it’s just enjoyable to make music, but getting people to listen is always a struggle. Gaining followers and diversifying my audience is extremely difficult.
What are some of the major lessons you’ve learned from writing your own music?
Don’t try to replicate another artist’s style. It’s okay to take influence from them, but you need to be your own artist. What’s fun about making music that is already popular? Try and make something that means something to you.
Out of all of your released music do you have a favorite? If so, why is that one your favorite?
This whole EP is by far the strongest and best work I’ve ever put out. It’s the first time I feel like I’ve put out music that I am extremely proud of and passionate about. I helped co-write the lyrics which was a first for me. I never thought I would be writing lyrics so this is crazy for me. I also had a blast collaborating with so many different artists and writers. I had so much fun working with all of them and seeing the music come together has been crazy.
Tell us about your new EP – what’s it about? Is there a storyline?
There is a storyline. The listener follows the journey of the narrator who is finding a way to cope with the end of a relationship. It was extremely hard to span a story across five songs, but I think the writers and I were able to do it successfully.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a musician for you?
When I start a new project and I’m staring at that empty page, it can be really intimidating. To look back and see that a song started as a blank page is the craziest thing ever.
Who or what are your biggest musical influences?
I am a huge Illenium fan, and I think you can see that influence in a few songs on “Bloom”. I am also a huge Ed Sheeran fan, so the lyrical content and harmonic content is important to me as well. I also take a lot of influence from some of my favorite classical musicians, such as Eric Whitacre and Frank Tichelli. My progressions can be somewhat cinematic at times which comes from Whitacre and Tichelli, as well as Hans Zimmer.
Who would be your dream to collaborate with?
In terms of a dream producer collab, either Illenium or Martin Garrix. Both are incredible in their own ways and it would be unreal to work with them. For vocalists, I would love to work with Ed Sheeran or Jon Bellion. Both are incredible vocalists and writers, and I think we could make something really emotional.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Do you have any new music or live shows coming soon?
I am hoping to release my next single within a month or two. I have already started the process of writing a full-length album which is going to be a lot of work but I am super passionate about it.