Entering the final year of university can be a daunting task in itself, but entering the final year of university while working on your debut EP probably sounds like a recipe for disaster. Yet for some reason, that's exactly what Fwdslxsh did.

While in the midst of what is arguably the most important year in any academic journey, he set free The Fall - a reasonably prolonged labour of love consisting of seven tracks described by The Fader as "the soundtrack to your daydreams." This isn't an exaggeration by any means - each of the seven tracks have something of a floaty, dream-like backbone that makes you want to sit on a veranda in Miami, sipping cocktails while the world passes you by, or while the ocean waves crash gently at your feet.

There's a lot of feelings and emotions that go into his music, although not explicitly expressed through words as much of, if not all of The Fall is instrumental. But there's a heavy focus on mood shifting throughout his music, whether it be his own, a track produced for someone else or even a remix. If you've listened to The Fall, or perhaps even 'Got Me Saying' - his collaboration with fellow Last Night In Paris member MD$ - on New York based DJ Kitty Cash's Love The Free mixtape, you'll get it.

Along with completing his studies in Economic and Politics, in the last 12 months or so Fwdslxsh officially became a member of the rising Last Night In Paris art collective (hotly tipped singer/songwriter Rainy Milo was once also a member) and joined forces with US based indie label HUH WHAT & WHERE (HW&W); home to the likes of Pomo, Sweater Beats and Kaytranada. For obvious reasons, he's hot property and in high demand. I'm thinking he's not the only one waiting for his studies to be over.

Fwdslxsh is somewhat of an enigma in the sense that, if you're not within his circle, you probably wouldn't really know who he was, what he looked like or where he's from. Sure, there are one or two pictures of him online but apart from that, it's all surrounded by a light veil of mystery. As I hit the call button on Skype, I started to wonder more about who this person I'm about to speak to really was. But after just a few minutes of brief chit-chat about his studies and upcoming break ("It's a relief because I can kind of just chill out over Christmas and I ain't really got to worry about anything but... this is just temporary. In January, shit gets real again!") it quickly dawned on me that he's just a regular London lad making music (not that I thought he wouldn't be regular, of course!) and really, just having fun with it all. Like his music, he speaks with a lot of passion and enthusiasm, and I get the sense that he can probably be a bit of an Energizer bunny in the studio. But there's also an underlying sense of nonchalance; not in a negative sense, not to say he doesn't care about the music or his career, but more so that he doesn't want it to become a laborious chore ("I'm just going to roll with it and see what happens I guess.")

What is your earliest musical memory?

Before I was producing, I wanted to be an A&R; simply because I was such a music junkie. I reckoned I could find the next big thing or I could be "that guy" because I was always going through stuff online. I always reckoned I could be that guy that discovers new music. Then it got to a point where I used to always watch videos of producers making music online and I was like "Yo, this is so cool, I want to get into this!" Then I was just going through YouTube and I came across producers like a guy called Sivey; he's on Soulection and a producer called ATU. When I heard their stuff, I was blown away because I hadn't really come across music of that sort. I wouldn't know what bracket to put it in but I hadn't come across music like that before so that kind of steered me in the right direction I guess. I got a piano and I was like "Yeah, I'm gonna start making music." It went from there pretty much.

Did you play any instruments when you were younger?

No, not when I was younger. About four years ago I used to play the guitar but that broke so I just got a piano instead. But I'm going to get another guitar soon, hopefully.

Was it difficult switching instruments, especially not learning at a younger age?

I guess it would be easier when you're young but no, I didn't find it particularly hard because it was something I was genuinely interested in. I would literally spend hours doing it. Hours watching YouTube tutorials on how to do it... It was all I did. I have a private playlist of piano tutorials, even stuff I haven't looked at just because I'm interested in how it works, especially with guitar. I was literally going on YouTube, finding out what I can do and what I can't do. It's not difficult I guess. It's learning. Learning is as difficult as you want it to be really. You get out what you put in.

Did you always want to go to university? Was that always the plan?

I guess it's a combination of both. I was interested in Economics; not so much Politics but I was interested in Economics. My mother was always like... You know how they are, "Get stuff done, do something..." etc so I chose to do Economics and Politics. It's not too bad though, I can't lie. It's interesting, but obviously it's hard work.

Congratulations on the release of the EP. How did it all come together?

I guess it was long overdue that I put out a project. To me, it's kind of cool to have a collection of music. Obviously you can just put out music online but to have one collection, like a project of songs so whether it be an EP or an album. I think that's a big deal. As I go along, I make tracks and I kinda say "Yeah, boom, I'm gonna use this for my EP," or "I'm just gonna release this" so tracks like 'For You' that have already been out. I decided to release that on my EP because that's an important track to me. It was quite natural, just collecting my favourite tracks that I've made. Some released, some unreleased and then putting them together.

What influenced the EP? What were you listening to when you were creating the EP?

I used to listen to a lot of Bonobo. Actually, a lot of Bonobo! I listen to a lot of stuff, man. The stuff I listen to... actually I guess sometimes I could say it subconsciously influences me but I wouldn't say I'd taken direct influences from some of it because I listen to a lot of old school Hip-Hop, a lot of Trap, hood rap... I listen to a lot of random stuff that would not even... If you watched me listening to music and then watch me make music, it's completely different. So a lot of the old school stuff and I'm a big Bonobo fan.

With that in mind, was there something that prompted you to make a project over just releasing a song or two online?

Yes and no. I said about a year ago that I was working on an EP which was the truth, I was. Obviously I'm always producing and it got to a point where I was just picking certain tracks. There's a particular feel with the EP. Well in my opinion, there's a particular atmosphere that it creates. A similar feel between the songs and I wanted to go of that... it's kind of moody music. It's moody like... it'll put you in a particular mood. I won't say it's happy or jumpy, it's just moody atmospheric music that's kind of melodic. That was the feel I was trying to go for with the EP I guess. Just something to kind of make you think. Relaxing music I guess.

The Fader called the EP "post Fly-Lo music" which is quite an accurate description. I've even seen people compare your music to Frank Ocean, which to me seems a little... bizarre perhaps. What's your opinion on these comparisons? Does it bother you?

Not at all! Especially comparisons like that? No way, man! People that I'm big fans of? Nah. That's the best thing. Stuff like that motivates me in the sense that, to think that I can be compared to someone that influential, especially someone like Frank Ocean who is an absolute genius... Like, I don't even know how to explain it. It makes me feel like one day I could maybe be in that kind of position where I can influence people like that, which would be amazing I guess.

I know some people don't particularly like being compared to others or put into boxes but you seem to almost relish in that and help push you forward?

Yeah, I guess. I think even all the people that don't like being compared; I think it pushes them forward, man. If someone compares you to a great, how can you not appreciate that? Of course you don't want people to say you're exactly the same as someone, but in comparison you could be similar. People get influenced subconsciously all the time so you could be taking ideas from stuff and not really realise it, so I don't see the problem with being compared. I think it's a good thing to be honest.

Your EP is available as a free download so you're obviously not afraid to give music away for free. Are you a fan of streaming sites like Spotify?

I don't see any problem in it at all. I think free music is the best thing but then at the end of the day you've got to make money or rather you want to make money. I put this EP out for free because I wanted to put it out for free. It's my first EP. I wanted it to be organic. I'm not thinking "I want to make so much money right now!" I just want my music to be heard. iTunes, Spotify, that didn't even come into my mind when I was planning to release it but it makes sense. I understand why people put their music on Spotify. I guess it's easier to come across but right now for me personally, I don't think it's necessary. Maybe on the next release, who knows?

I wanted to ask a little about Last Night In Paris, which you're a member of. The Guardian mentioned that they've been hailed as the UK's answer to Odd Future and from my understanding, it seems that members come and go at various points. Could you tell me a little more about the collective?

I guess different people have different things they want to do, I mean, some people were in the team before and I guess it wasn't what they wanted to do. I guess they just wanted to go a different way so... I guess that's all it was. The team now is pretty much "the team" as in I can't see it changing at all anymore. Who you see in the team is pretty much the whole squad and I'm excited for what's about to happen in 2015 with the team and creating shit.

How did you come to meet them?

The boys hit me up a while ago. Not this summer. The summer before, the boys hit me up and were just kinda like "Do you know about us? We're fans of your stuff" and I was already a fan of Last Night In Paris so it just went from there. They asked me if I wanted to be in the team, "we'd love you to be in the team" and that's about it! [Laughs]

You've probably been asked this a number of times in the past but I have to ask - how did you come up with your name?

It's pretty random to be honest with you. Me and my friend, he's proper into branding and stuff like that. He does web design and he's just into anything internet or marketing... stuff like that. We were just brainstorming random names and he just said "forward slash" and it sounded stupid to me initially but he was like "If you spell it normally, no one is going to recognise you for it so if you spell it the way you've spelt it, when people see that all they're going to think of is your music, no matter where they are in the world." You see it and because it looks so strange, you'll remember it when you see it again. It's almost like a stamp. If I was to go somewhere like China and see it written, the first thing I'd think of is the music. I wouldn't think of anything else, whereas if it was spelt correctly, I'm not going to come to mind at all. That's basically how it came about - just brainstorming.

What were you listening to in 2014? What were some of your favourite releases?

That is a good question! I'm not even sure if it came out this year but there's a guy called Daniel Caesar and this guy is amazing. He's a singer/songwriter and he put out a tape called Praise Break. I've been listening to that a lot lately. Off the top of my head, that's the initial one. I don't know if any projects have been amazing to me but particular songs. Goldlink's tape was great. Oh... Isaiah Rashad's Cilvia Demo is definitely up there for me. It's so good of a tape to me. Actually I think that's the best tape that's come out this year. It only came out last year so I can't call it a classic but that tape blew me away.

I think it's a bit of a catch 22 situation because there's so much that's accessible to us now but you have to really sift through so much that isn't great to get to the true gems. When you do find it, I think "How do people not know about this?" What are people listening to? It's crazy. I found out about a singer this year called Gwen Bunn. She's a soulful singer/songwriter and she produces as well. One of her tracks is in my Hypetrak mix - it's called 'Turn the Lights Down' but she put out an EP in 2009 and I only just heard about it! I was like "What was I doing in 2009 that I didn't come across this at all?" It's just a case of looking in the right places because someone that wants to find it will, I guess. Some people just wait for music to be tweeted onto their timeline. No one is really looking and searching.

Do you think radio and DJs are still an important aspect of music? I guess in a way, the internet has kind of taken away their job. Is there still a place for radio and the DJ in 2015, in your opinion?

I think there's a place for the live DJ. Radio is always going to be relevant in the sense that radio can successfully push a song. But in my opinion, if you're looking for special unheard of gems, like... amazing songs, I don't think radio is the best place, man. I think hopefully it's going to change in the next few years though. Me personally, I don't really listen to it unless someone I know is DJing on it. I don't think it's that big of a deal. When you've got things like Soulection Radio, that's good I guess because that's going to educate people. The type of music that's played on that, they've probably never heard in their lives. But other than that, I'm not all for it. I don't think it's that important.

What are your plans for the year?

Obviously working with the Last Night In Paris team and I'm on HW&W now so there's some stuff that I guess I can't really talk about right now that's lined up that's hopefully going to take place. Just putting more music out, I guess. I've got a lot of stuff that isn't out right now that I want to put out there now. I was kind of waiting to get my EP out first but there's a lot of stuff, some official remixes... Right now, I'm just having fun with it. Stuff gets pretty serious quickly and that kind of does take away the fun away from it when you've got deadline to meet and people get upset. I'm just going to roll with it and see what happens I guess.

Now that the EP is out, are you working towards an album?

It's on my radar but I haven't started actively working on it. I guess it's something that could come... Who knows? I haven't really thought about it that much...

What would you like your legacy to be?

You know how people say Drake's songs make you want to text their ex girlfriends? That kind of vibe I guess... Music that changes your mood. Music changes my mood a lot. I can listen to an almost depressing song and almost feel down. I want to have that kind of legacy where people listen to my music and it puts them in a certain mood because it has that much of an effect on them that it can control how their feeling or what they're thinking. I think that's an amazing legacy to leave; to change people's minds. People that wouldn't have ever listened to my type of music now listen to it. I love it. That's the kind of legacy I'd like to leave behind.


Find Fwdslxsh on: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud.