Community Spotlight: Husky By The Geek

Authors

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu Site Founder | EU | Cerberus

Welcome to AkhMorning’s Community Spotlight #3!

Today our community spotlight is on Husky By The Geek - video games music guitarist with a penchant for Rock, Metal, Funk, Punk and other styles!

Husky With His Signature Husky Hat
Husky With His Signature Husky Hat
Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

As a musician that has been doing covers of anime and video game tracks for a long time, you have established quite a beloved name for yourself among the musical scene. Thank you for taking the time for this interview!

Could you begin by introducing who you are and telling us a bit about yourself?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

Hello AkhMorning !

I’m Husky by the Geek, I live in France and I’ve been doing video games & anime rock music covers for 8 years now.

I cover a lot of FFXIV music, this game’s music makes me feel very good & it’s often a playground for my creativity to rock over it with my guitar & my bass.

I don’t do music full time yet, my day job is being a Web Developer.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

With the effort you put in to your music I’m surprised this isn’t your full time gig! Especially with the recognition of your talent over at Square Enix.

Our readers among the FFXIV community may recall that back in March both yourself and Alex interviewed FFXIV’s maestro Masayoshi Soken.

How did it feel to have had such a unique opportunity to interview Soken, and did FanFest’s revelations at the end change anything for you, retrospectively?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

Soken-san became my favorite composer over the years. I listen to his music almost everyday. Moreover, he retweeted me from my second cover of FFXIV (it was Garuda) and has been following me since, so that’s a huge honor having your favorite composer appreciating your music.

In consequence, during the interview I felt like a child meeting his favorite superhero. He is incredibly kind, human and talented. Definitely one of the best moments of my life and I cannot wait to meet him during a Fanfest !

Obviously before the Fanfest announcement about his health we didn’t realize how close he felt to his favorite character, Lyna, when he told us why she was his favorite.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

You could really feel the joy from him during the interview, and the admiration and respect he had for you both. It was always fun to hear him make little comments about your skill at guitar and how you could be teaching him a thing or two. In learning that he had been really ill, it put the whole interview into another perspective and you could see how much it mattered to him.

On the topic of your music, today marks the release of one of your most ambitious collaborative projects ever with the FFXIV 40 Musician Medley. Seeing that drive and passion unfold as you began the creative process and managed the whole project in a timely manner was truly inspiring.

What was your rationale behind it all, what were the obstacles you came across and how did you feel it went in the end?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

Well to put it simple, the FFXIV community started to send its support to Soken-san after the Fanfest by sending him tons of fan arts & love.

I wanted to do it as well & invite as many people as possible, including big names of the community but also regular players & ingame bards so everyone would fit, but I had to keep a limit so it wouldn’t become out of control. At first I wanted 30 musicians but we ended up being 40 !

I usually hate project management, I’m more a follower than a leader. Surprisingly I handled this project naturally, without too much struggle. I took my guitar, arranged the medley, then sent their individual parts to all musicians, telling them “hey could you please play this” with audio references & partitions / tabs.

Since we had tons of vocalists I could do two choirs, one for Stormblood and one for The Tempest. These ideas came out pretty naturally, the medley was pretty easy to structure, and Alex Moukala helped me to arrange the ending as well !

I’ve spent all my free time on this over the last 3 weeks. I went home from work and directly worked on the medley. It has been exhausting, but it’s an amazing experience, I love it !

Husky Rocking Out At A Concert
Husky Rocking Out At A Concert
Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

Even the initial number of 30 seemed like a mammoth task, that it rose to 40 in the end is incredible, but not only that, you kept to schedule and delivered it in good time with your editing, recording, and project managing. To hear you say you’re not usually a leader is surprising as you handled it very well. I still can’t believe that you managed to rope me into taking part too! All in all, a 3 weeks well spent, and it was great to see your enthusiasm for it.

All of that coming from your love of FFXIV. Being a fellow Warrior of Light that has been playing for years, what is it that you so enjoy about FFXIV and your character as you play, and can you share with us some of your fondest memories of the game? How often do you get to spend time in Eorzea?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

I started to play at the 2.0 release, then took a break until the end of Heavensward. From there, I play for like 1 month, then I come back at every new patch.

I’m pretty casual since I don’t do savage/extreme content, but I enjoy doing roulettes to lvl my alt jobs (I main DRK & BRD, & try to level everything else). I joined a small but adorable FC & my best memories of the game are definitely running the Aquapolis with them.

The game often blows my mind. I remember entering in the final room of Amaurot, and told everyone in the group to stop (I was the tank, haha !) just to watch the landscape. Plus the music, the story, the gameplay, the community… I love so many things in this game.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

Amaurot was certainly one of the highest points of Shadowbringers. I’ll never forget that part of the story and how epic the telling of it was, especially the last area in The Final Days. Natsuko Ishikawa’s standing ovation for her work was well deserved, and the FFXIV team really delivered a memorable experience.

It’s these fond memories that resonate with us and bring us even closer to what the game is about, even for things outside of the game itself. You had recently announced that you had gone ahead and purchased the FFXIV Fender Stratocaster. Of the guitar players in the world, I can’t think of anyone more fitting to wield one other than the likes of The Primals and The Black Mages members!

Do you have any outlined plans on what you would especially want to record with it once it arrives next year and if so, what may we be treated to?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

First of all I’d like to thank the community who mobilized itself on my Patreon page to help me pay the guitar !

…Well actually when I saw the preorders two days ago I’ve used my personal savings so I could be sure to preorder it.

I don’t know yet what to play since I will have it in 2022. Maybe it will be an Endwalker cover, or maybe I’ll just play with it & let the magic happen.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

It’ll be a nice surprise, and if anyone can rock out and do that guitar justice, it’s you. Who knows, perhaps one day we could even see you perform with it among The Primals at an EU FanFest.

It is clear how much Final Fantasy has been a positive influence on you and your musical direction, where we can see your various nods to it in your videos such as your Alpha plushie in the background and that your YouTube channel’s first upload is Final Fantasy 14 goes Rock : A Realm Reborn Dungeon Boss Fight (Nemesis) from all the way back in 2013.

When it comes to the franchise, what are you looking forward to the most in the future and what are your dreams when it comes to yourself personally, and with Final Fantasy as a whole?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

FFXIV, with all its references, pushed me to play all the FF I haven’t done yet (back then, when I’ve started playing XIV, I’d finished only 1, 7, 9, 10 & 13). I’ve played all the main games since then & besides 8, 13-2 & LR, I enjoyed all of them (5 is my favorite 2D FF).

I just want to keep enjoying what the future games have for us. I cannot wait for Endwalker, FF7R part 2, FFXVI, and everything else in the future. Square Enix has been on fullpower mode from the last few years, I trust them 100% right now.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

As a long term Final Fantasy fan, it’s really nice and encouraging to see players less familiar with some of the games actively take their time playing through them because of the nods and references in FFXIV. 5 is one of my favourites, although I also have a soft spot for 4, which Endwalker is taking a lot of inspiration and nods from.

Outside of Final Fantasy, who or what are your influences and inspirations whether it be music and otherwise?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

I’ve grown up with punk rock music, mainly with Rise Against, Anti-Flag, Alexisonfire & Pennywise. Then I opened up to other musical genres - metal & funk, mainly.

Video game music is also a big inspiration to me, mainly Megaman & Sonic music !

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

I can definitely hear some of those musical influences in how you go about doing your covers. It’s also great to hear about your affinity for Megaman and Sonic music, the latter of which has been a huge inspiration for me over the years. Jun Senoue and Crush 40 have made some truly iconic tracks.

Given your prowess with guitar, bass and more, we can see that a lot of effort goes into perfecting your craft, as well as maintaining your musical proficiency.

What is your typical day like when it comes to your music production and practice?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

Honestly ? I’ve come to a point with these 8 years of practice, that today my standard covers take me around 10 hours. It includes learning the song, recording it, writing the drums, arranging all the other instruments, mixing & mastering it. Now the mixing & mastering part goes pretty quickly because I’ve forged my usual presets over the years.

So basically I spend 1 hour a day (when I get home after work) working on my music.

There are exceptions which can take me 30+ hours (like Innocence, because of the practice for the tapping part, or the Medley).

Husky Practising The Guitar
Husky Practising The Guitar
Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

Presets are definitely a vital time saver in the editing process. It’s not surprising to hear that much time went into the Insanity cover as those finger movements were fast! All the practice definitely shows.

If you could speak to your younger self when you first started getting into your guitar play, music and covers, what advice would you impart?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

“Wtf why are you doing only 1 cover a month, work more it’ll pay off ! And put your music on Spotify, you can license cover songs legally”.

I’ve started to release 3 videos a month from september 2020, instead of just 1. While I had more free time to play video games before when I worked less on my music, I truly enjoy the growth my channel has experienced this year & the relationship with the community.

I’ve also started to release my music on audio platforms last year, and it’s amazing that some covers that would barely work on YouTube could work well in the Spotify Algorithm.

Because 95% of my audience watches FFXIV content, the YouTube Algorithm often hides my content when I release a video game cover other than FFXIV. If you care about all of my music, please enable the notification bell !

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

The hard graft is definitely paying off. To our readers today, definitely do subscribe to his YouTube and enable the notifications so that you don’t miss out on his stellar covers for tracks outside of FFXIV, you might find a game you enjoy has also had music done!

Is there anything else you would like to share with AkhMorning and the readers here today?

Husky By The Geek
Husky By The Geek

Thank you for this interview and for everything you do.

Dear readers, if you haven’t changed your race to Lalafell yet, please do it, it’s worth it.

Nemekh Kinryuu
Nemekh Kinryuu

De rien, and thank you again Husky for taking part in AkhMorning’s Community Spotlight. The pleasure has been ours.

I’m looking forward seeing Soken and the Community’s reception to the massive medley, and I eagerly await to see your future covers for Endwalker - especially with that Strat!

~Nemekh

Husky By The Geek’s Final Fantasy XIV Medley With 40 Musicians

Final Fantasy XIV Medley with 40 Musicians - #Welcome Back Soken

You can follow Husky on his: