Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I currently live in the college town of Auburn, AL, where we have a small but dedicated community of electronic music fans. There are several local DJ’s, including myself, who hold residencies and throw events for the EDM community, while also hosting a slew of new and established artists.
How did you first start playing music?
With both my parents being musicians, I started playing at an early age; first learning how to drum, then learning guitar, and finally piano. I participated in the music programs at my school for several years playing percussion, and once I even got to perform at Carnegie Hall.
What’s been happening recently?
Things have been pretty crazy lately. Getting my EP picked up by none other than Gramatik has definitely helped expose my music to a lot of people, and I’ve been steadily booking shows for 2020 as a result. Between performing and visiting family for the holidays, I’ve been trying to find time to sit down and work on some new material.
Your new EP ‘Manufactured Moments’ is out now via Lowtemp, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this EP?
With this EP I really wanted to explore the sounds of 60’s-70’s psychedelia and create something that instilled a feeling of antiquated grooviness, presented in the form of modern nuero-hop beats. I take a lot of influence from the bass music community (obviously), but also from older psychedelic soul records and bands. I tried to bridge the gap between the two.
How did you go about writing the music?
I spent a little over a month preparing for this album by digging through old records and cutting samples that would serve as the building blocks of the tracks. During this time I also created a plethora of sounds using synthesis and cut samples of those as well. Once I felt I had all the building blocks, I spent a month straight working in the studio 9-5, creating ideas for beats. I generated around 10 initial rough ideas and then chose my favorite four to complete, and these four are what you hear on the EP.
Where and when did you record/produce?
I produced the entirety of the record in my home studio in Auburn. I prefer to begin working as early as possible so I can have all day to complete an idea. A good session often went into the early hours of the next morning.
What programs/instruments did you use?
I produce my music in Ableton and self-recorded the majority of the guitar heard in the EP. The electronic sounds were created using Serum and Operator (both are software synthesizers in Ableton) and a handful of analogue synthesizers.
How did you approach the recording/production process?
For this EP, I really wanted to take an organized and planned approach to the writing process with a lot of self-imposed deadlines. I find that when I just work based on how I’m feeling, a lot of tracks tend to get stuck in limbo and are never finished. For this EP I made a pretty meticulous plan for how I would go about writing, with deadlines for each phase of the process so I wouldn’t get bogged down with indecision. I think the results really speak volumes. As to me, this definitely feels like my best and most cohesive work to date.
How did you come to release Manufactured Moments via Lowtemp?
I have been working with Adam Stehr (Gramatik’s touring guitarist) for the past few years on guitar and music in general. Adam is extremely talented and knowledgeable. I’m very grateful to be able to learn from him. When I asked him to help me with the mixes for a few of my tracks, he ended up forwarding them to Denis (Gramatik). Apparently Denis dug the tunes, and he offered me to release on Lowtemp shortly after hearing the EP. It’s a huge honor to be featured on the label of someone I have listened to and looked up to for so long, and I’m extremely grateful to Adam for making it happen. He was even kind enough to lay down some guitar which can be heard on “Candlelight.”
What do you like to do away from music?
My biggest hobby away from music is probably reading, I love books. Additionally I love film and video games. Anything with a story. Beyond that I enjoy creating digital art, either for my music or just for fun, and being outside with my dog.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Electronic music wise i’ve really been enjoying the latest from Charlesthefirst, Of The Trees, and Jade Cicada. These guys all push the envelope when it comes to sound design but they present it in such a chill, laid-back way that I identify with heavily. Beyond electronic beats I really stay listening to albums from my favorite bands like Radiohead, Washed Out, and Tame Impala. I’m also always digging for groovy classic records and rare gems to add to my productions.
What’s planned for 2020?
I’ve got another upcoming release this month with Wavecraft Collective (date tba) and I’m really excited to start the year off with this one because it’s an especially hard tune. I’ve also got a handful of collaborations i’ve been working on with some really talented people and I’m really excited to share them. Performance wise I think this will be my biggest year yet. I am working with the team at Electric Hawk to spread my wings as much as possible this year (pun intended) and have already booked a slew of show in new cities. Hoping for big things and a few festivals this year.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Definitely Kung-Pao Chicken, especially if I made it myself. Favorite place to hangout is definitely my porch. I live on the second story and have a massive porch that overlooks downtown. Perfect place to read or work on music.