The loop station pedal is not only used by youtubers and amateur musicians, but it is also a device used by famous artists to make solo music. Ed Sheeran, Tash Sultana and Elise Trouw are some of them, as they sing and accompany themselves by recording loops on a loop station.
Ed Sheeran and his live accompaniment
His real name is Edward Christopher Sheeran and he was born in Halifex, England on February 17, 1991. Since he was a child he sang, thanks to his parents taking him to the local church choir. When he was 16 years old he left for London, because he wanted to start his musical career.
He is a bit shy, but that didn’t stop him from achieving his goals. Between the years 2006 and 2007 he recorded two studio albums and from 2008 he played various open mic nights in London. Later, in 2011, Elton John put him in contact with the record label Atlantic Records. In addition, at the beginning of the same year Sheeran signed a contract with Asylum Records, to record an album.
From 2011 to 2014 he was very successful with his album +, pronounced plus, the song The A Team was one of the most striking songs of the moment. In the United States, this song even reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. From then on, the fame of the young artist grew, leading him to perform in various countries around the world, including the United States and some of South America. In 2016 he won two Grammy Awards, specifically for best song of the year and best solo vocal performance, thanks to his song Thinking Out Loud.
Many will wonder how this English singer-songwriter has achieved such popularity, well, it hasn’t been with a band as such, but through his talent playing acoustic guitar and singing. Normally, he uses a loop station to live loop his performances, so he accompanies himself. Although it may sound impossible, for Sheeran it is not, since he has been able to fill stadiums only with his guitar and the loop station.
Tash Sultana and the use of the loop station to make experimental music
Natasha Sultana is an Australian artist who plays many musical instruments including keyboard, flute, electric guitar, and percussion. Furthermore, she has an elegant voice with which she not only sings, but also beatboxes at her concerts. Due to her success on social media, Sultana is recognized internationally and she travels to various countries to play without a band to accompany her.
You may wonder why he doesn’t play with a band, but he doesn’t need one, as he has an innate talent for full harmonies and melodies. As a teenager he had problems with drugs and when rehabilitated he found a refuge and a way of life in music. His most famous song is perhaps Jungle, whose lyrics are about love for another person.
Jungle is a fairly free and authentic musical theme, in which Tash Sultana shows her mastery of several instruments and her excellent musical ear to make live overdubs. Similarly, in this and other songs by the artist we can see how she lets her creativity flow, making long introductions, up to 2 minutes, before beginning to sing. It’s about experimental music, which we don’t see much in people who use loop station.
On the other hand, his style is new, it’s neither rock nor reggae, but a mixture of various genres. It is difficult for us to find a word for his style, but perhaps free is the most appropriate, since he also includes many improvisations in the songs.
If you want to make experimental music with loop pedals, a good start would be to listen to Sultana’s songs, as they can inspire you. In Ella’s theme Jungle, we can see how she makes tempo rhythms and syncopations, especially when she plays electronic percussion instruments.
On the other hand, if we analyze her style in depth, we notice that she not only uses one looper, but several, in addition to using effects pedals. She even uses more than one microphone, so she can move on stage freely to play another instrument and sing at the same time.
Elise Trouw and her live looping style covers
This young American was born on April 27, 1999, so she is the youngest of the three artists mentioned in the article. However, this doesn’t make her any less talented at live looping, as she plays drums, guitar, bass, and keyboard in her YouTube videos.
Elise studied music from a young age, but specialized in drums. Also, she has a very well educated voice and striking timbre, she even composes her own songs. One of her most prominent internet topics of hers is Burn, with over 1 million views on her YouTube channel.
However, their covers have had the greatest reception on social networks so far. An example of this is the live looping cover of Foo Fighters and Bobby Caldwell, as it has more than 10 million views on YouTube.
Similarly, there is the cover of a classic Brazilian bossa nova, The Girl for Ipanema. In that cover Elise has 6 million views.
Perhaps at this point you are wondering how she has made such successful covers. Well, these achievements are due to the striking of her live looping videos, in which she is seen playing and recording various layers with various instruments. Also, she makes musical arrangements to those covers, so that they adapt to the live looping style properly.
In other words, having or not having the best loop station of the moment is something that does not worry many artists like Elise, since the most important thing is to have musical skill and creativity. That is, a simple loop station with one or two pedals could be enough to start live looping.