Everyone knows the music genres of pop, country and rock, but have you ever heard of synthwave?
Turner Burton, a freshman studying music production, knows synthwave inside and out.
"Synthwave is like if they made EDM in the 80s," says Burton in a Zoom interview. "It's electronic music, not always for dancing, but made to emulate that. It's an 80s aesthetic, and I appreciate that kind of 80s culture more than anything else."
Burton not only knows synthwave but produces it as well. For the past five years, he’s been making music and, within the past year, has developed the alternate music persona, Falco Fury.
"Falco Fury is to me what Spiderman is to Peter Parker," said Burton. "The goal is to be as cheesy, over the top 80s as possible. So, that's why I call myself Falco Fury because it seems like that action hero you would find on the shelves of a video store in the 80s."
Burton's love of synthwave stemmed from the recently broken-up electronic duo Daft Punk. The music streaming platform, Spotify, recommends new songs based on users' playlists. From there, in late 2016, he discovered synthwave artists Justice and Kavinsky.
Burton’s discography includes two albums, a bonus feature album and six singles. Burton will soon expand his discography with a new single, "Like a Dream," on April 2.
"Like a Dream" is unlike any of Burton's other singles for a few reasons. Burton collaborated with Megan McDuffee, one of the most famous female artists in the synthwave community. He created the beats and McDuffee performed the vocals.
However, collaborating with McDuffee was not Burton's initial plan for the single. He reached out in a synthwave artist group chat, looking for a vocalist to sing with the beat he had created. A local artist reached out and wrote vocals and a melody to accompany the beat. However, the artist chose not to record the vocals to go along with the song.
So, Burton was left with a beat, melody and lyrics but no vocals. Burton had heard McDuffee before and thought she would be the perfect vocal fit. But, in his mind, since she was a professional, securing her to sing would be a long shot.
Burton went back and forth until finally he DMed her on Instagram, thanks to his roommate's encouragement. McDuffee agreed and it was a dream come true for Burton.
Additionally, the new single is noteworthy because it drops April 2, which happens to be the first anniversary of Falco Fury's birth.
Once Burton started making synthwave music, he quickly learned it was its own community. The artists all listen to each other's music and provide feedback and support.
His most recent album was a compilation with other artists.
"It felt like I was working with a bunch of my friends that I had met in other places," said Burton. "Instagram lowers the barrier of entry for stuff like that you can just talk to these people, and that was something that I didn't even realize at first, you know, you don't think about it, but they are people too."
"It's not like they're The Weeknd, they're not untouchable," said Burton. "They're not too busy to talk to you; they are people, like me, living in a small apartment or a dorm, just trying to make some cool music."
"In a few words, ‘Like a Dream’ is the darkest, dreamiest disco you've ever been to," said Burton. "It's not funky, it's halfway between a ballad and a dance song and it's powerful but spacey and dreamy."
Listen to "Like a Dream" on Spotify and Apple Music on April 2 and follow Falco Fury on Instagram @falco.fury.