Interview: Allen Folk On How They Got Started, Their Creative Process, and Their Inspirations
Even though the electronica duo Allen Folk regularly dives into different genres frequently, there's a particular feeling their music awakens within the listener that inspires a scenic sort of imagery. A great example is one of their latest releases "Trading Time", a track that exhibits a more introspective side of their craft thematically, and sonically.
To bring you up to speed, Allen Folk is a production team consisting of two musicians: Allen and Neit. Initially the project started as Allen's solo project however due to the pressures that come with 'adulting' that negatively had an impact on his creative spark. When he moved back to his hometown, the spark not only reignited but the arrival of Neit into the team served as a form of fuel to keep the fire going. Since then they've had a string of incredible releases, especially in 2021 where they've released with GTS (Get The Sound) and Stereofox Records too. Throughout this interview Allen Folk shares their journey with us, their inspirations, and what keeps them motivated.
What was your first studio session like together, and how did you arrive at the decision of
becoming a duo?
Neit: That’s an interesting story as we’ve known each other long before the start of that project -
since school years. Even back then we were interested in music, picked up instruments and
gathered like-minded folks around us. Soon Allen started a small home studio to record himself
and his friends and I was helping him with production and recording as a session musician. But
as time went on we had to focus on our studies and getting a good job to establish a foothold in
that thing people call “adult life”. So each of us went his own way for several years… Until the
day Allen returned to his hometown, and caught a creative spark again. He started working on
new music and asked me if I wanted to work together, as in the good old days of his home
Allen: I would add some context to what Neit said…. Back in 2014 I was going through a
personal and music crisis. Coming from an indie rock/rock/blues/folk background I felt like I
needed to move forward with music, to create something that would define me as a musician,
since prior to the Allen Folk project I was mostly recording my friends, being part of many
projects at once. So in 2014 and 2015 I started experimenting with electronic genres. It's
funny, but back then I didn’t even listen to electronic music, didn’t know about Spotify… Things
were very different. So, in 2015 I recorded my first songs like Ocean, So Far and Lonely
Birds… and that’s it, then life happened with inspiration and desire to create slowly running
away from me. Almost four years forward, Neit joined the project, bringing new life, ideas and
inspiration. We started jamming together and coming up with interesting ideas and the rest is
Can you tell us more about where you guys come from and how your environment has
impacted your sound?
Allen: I’ve started learning how to play guitar around 10 years ago and I played blues, folk, indie
and post rock for a good number of years, before discovering electronic chill music, especially
chillstep. I’ve studied and worked in many countries like England, US, Russia and Czech
Republic, so different cultural background and constraint traveling and change of location
definitely impacted the sound of this project.
Neit: I started my journey in music with heavier genres, such as rock and metal, for several years
I played in a progressive metal band. So now, when I expanded to house and chill subgenres my
previous experience gives me a nice set of skills to use and an interesting perspective to look
You obviously complete each other very well in terms of creative process. I’m curious if
you share a similar working approach or both of you contributes in a different way: how
do you manage the workflow; is one of you more detail-oriented than the other; who
usually comes up with new creative ideas and directions, etc.?
Neit: Most of the time Allen comes up with an idea for a track, then he tosses this idea to me, I
add some elements and pass the track back so Allen can incorporate new ideas of his own. After
a couple of iterations we pretty much get a finished track.
Allen: We live in different countries for now, so it’s difficult to have proper studio sessions, but
we have that opportunity, it is truly awesome. We sit down in the studio with two guitars and just
start to jam. I think our best songs were written this way.
This is a question for both of you. What would you say is the album that heavily influenced
your sound and made you rethink what’s possible in music?
Allen: I can’t name an album, but I’ll try to mention artists. Red Hot Chilli Peppers for sure,
especially the guitar in their tracks, it is so emotional and melodic, I love it. I think Green Day as
well, I used to love their songs and simplistic guitar riffs, especially Wake me up when
September ends. Bob Dylan for sure with his amazing lyrics and sweet guitar.
Neit: That’s a tough one. Usually nowadays I strive to find interesting elements and ideas in any
music I listen to - there are so many talented artists around, it would be a shame not to learn from
them. But if we talk of my development as a musician I have to choose Perfect Strangers by
Deep Purple. That’s the album that made me pick up a guitar and started my journey in the world
Your music is the perfect soundtrack for a road trip with a van! How would you describe
the final destination and what would you expect to find there?
That might sound a bit cheesy, but for us the most important and interesting part is the journey
itself - experiences and friends we made along the way. But if we specifically talk about the
destination - it’s a very cozy, calm and comfortable place where you feel at home.
You define your latest track “Trading Time” as a “little getaway to think about freedom.
Freedom to spend the time on beloved activities, freedom to fully control our lives and
chose our own path.” Do you feel free right now? And what’s your current definition of
Neit: Right now I am free enough to follow my dream of making music that I love, but I still
have a day job and there are only so many hours in the day. So freeing up more time to spend on
creative activities is my current dream I’m trying to fulfill.
Allen: I feel most free when I make music, especially during the initial creative spark, when you
come up with ideas… I feel so many emotions at this moment, I feel truly free. In general, over
the last few years, when Allen Folk came back to my life, I feel way happier and freer. You
have something deep inside you that cannot be taken away, this is powerful and helps to deal
with many tough moments in life.
“Trading Time”, which was created during the pandemic , presents a quite different side of
your sound – more distilled and with subtle melancholic notes. This direction is definitely
more introverted, compared to other tracks of yours – and that’s understandable, having
in mind the period it was conceived in. Did the pandemic also affect your vision and goals,
concerning Allen Folk?
The thing that pandemic affected the most is the way we work and the flow of inspiration - being
in lockdown with no ability to go out, travel, see you friends. However we feel that our overall
vision still stays the same - just to do what we love and share it with the world.
Throughout your catalog there are a range of different styles and genres, and I’m curious
how you go about diving into different genres without polarizing your audience?
Allen: One thing I constantly hear about our music is that although it is different from song to
song, you still can capture “Allen Follkiness” in it. You can just feel that the same people wrote
it, there is some invisible mark to it. We always try to be honest with ourselves and fans, so I
think people appreciate the wide range of sub-genres that we cover.
Neit: I think the main idea here is to express ourselves in our music, to be honest with our
feelings. Sometimes we feel cheerful and light, sometimes we dive into philosophic and
melancholic overtones. The same can happen with our listeners, we just try to say how we truly
feel and hope that resonates with our audience.
What does success in the music industry look like for Allen Folk?
Hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world wholeheartedly love and support our
What shall we expect from you in the next few months, can you share a bit about your
We’re constantly working on new tracks and now we have several ones that might form a nice
chill house EP in the near future. We are also working on our marketing strategy, so stay tunned
for engaging social media content.
So… 1) An artist/band you would have a D.M.C (Deep Meaningful Conversation), 2) An
artist/band you’d love to party with. 3) Artist/band you would like to be within the studio
for a week.
Neit: Another difficult one! D.M.C. has to be Devin Towndend - a truly interesting and inspiring
musician. As for party - any party with a famous touring band or artist would be a treat to
experience. And for the studio right now I’d like to spend a week with Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Allen: 1) Bob Dylan. 2)2000’s version of RHCP 3) San Holo