Synthesist and controllerist Gil Assayas, aka GLASYS, shared this music video for his collaboration with hip-hop vocalist T-Pain, (Faheem Rasheed Najm) a cover of Brinstar Underground Depths from Super Metroid.
As with a lot of what Assayas does, there are layers of cool things going on in this video.
Assayas is a fan of classic video game soundtracks, and has been sharing his live cover performances on Youtube for several years.
He’s also gifted as a keyboardist and controllerist, and has pioneered a keyboard style that combines finger drumming and bass synth performance with his left hand with more traditional keyboard chops with his right hand. The combination lets him perform full arrangements, without the need for sequencing.
And the video highlights the power of the Internet to connect people. Assayas‘s Youtube performances had already led to a gig as the live keyboardist for Todd Rundgren‘s Utopia. Now it’s led to a collaboration with hip-hop royalty.
Here’s what Assayas told us about the collaboration:
“Back in 2017, T-Pain commented on a video of mine and said: ‘HO. LY. SHIT! I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. Man. PM me if you wanna work together, bro. This is amazing!’.
We ended up spending some time in an LA studio, but unfortunately the ideas we recorded that day were lost.”
For the next couple of years, we went back and forth on a few ideas, but nothing really clicked until I recently sent him one of my live video game covers (Brinstar Underground Depths from Super Metroid). He loved the cover and decided to add new lyrics/vocals to it!
So, after 3 years I’m very excited to finally release a collaboration with T-Pain….
I tracked my arrangement live, recording all parts simultaneously using the Sequential Prophet XL, Moog Matriarch, SE Boomstar 4075, Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Keyscape, NI Battery 4, Korg Microkey 2 and my custom controller Arcadia (built by Moldover)
Author Malcom Gladwell, in his book Outliers, controversially said that you have to practice 10,000 hours at something to successfully master it. And looking at Assayas’s 8 years of Youtube videos, it’s clear that he’s put in the work.
But Gladwell’s central theme, with Outliers, was that broad success depends on more than just putting in the hours. “What we do as a community, as a society, for each other, matters as much as what we do for ourselves,” notes Gladwell. “It sounds a little trite, but there’s a powerful amount of truth in that….”
Assayas‘s collab with T-pain is available on his new album Off Screen – Video Recordings.