Prior to music, you started off as an actor — what made you decide to switch tracks andgo into music?
I’m extremely grateful for my experiences in acting and all of the shows I had been on, but there came a point where I had to take a look in the mirror and ask myself if what I was doing with my life made me happy. I realized I had been in denial for a very long time and that since life was short I needed to make a decision quickly.
I could either stay pursuing acting, being miserable, hating everything about that world or I could take a shot in the dark, take advantage of my musical background in piano, and attend this school gaining a big reputation churning out awesome music producers in Icon Collective. I chose the latter and I’d have to say it’s the best decision I’ve made to date.
I think we all have an idealized dream of what life as a dj is like — what is the one mostunexpectedly enjoyable parts of being a DJ? What’s the least glamorous part of your job?
I like to think of myself as a pretty outgoing person. I spent a lot of years in the crowd as a true raver and fan of the music and culture, so every time a fan of mine or another DJ I admire comes up to me and gives me a compliment about my work literally means the world to me as a DJ and music production is my way of giving back to the culture that has given me so much.
I truly enjoy meeting and talking with as many fans as I possibly can.As for the least glamorous? Let’s just say there are a lot of factors you can’t control as an artist. You just have to be able to roll with the punches and make the best out of what possibly could be a rough time, whatever it may be.
You studied Geography and your music has a deep sense of place and movement, howdoes the theme of geography resonate for you personally?
I was lucky enough to study Geography under Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond, Ph.D. when I was a student at UCLA and I came to realize that Geography is a discipline that shows you how the world works and how societies have come to be from a geographic standpoint.
I come from such a mixed background that, for me personally, understanding how geography has shaped roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places, and environments, gives me a greater understanding of my mixed ethnic heritage. The subject has really helped me understand global interdependence and how I can be the best global citizen possible.
You describe your music as an accompaniment for interstellar travel — how does the science of astronomy influence your work? Do you do research or is it more emotive?
While I do pay attention to new developments within the science of astronomy, my music relies much more on the emotive. At the center of it all, I try to score mini-movies within my head that happen to fit into a dance floor setting.
For example, say there’s some distant world in another galaxy that has a hostile environment filled with unknown hostile beings. What would the soundtrack to flying into that world sound like to me?
What experience would you like people to come away with after listening to your music?
Each track I make was made with a different concept behind it, but overall I’d like my music to take you out of this world, if even for a brief moment, and into another world not of this Earth, all while keeping you dancing and grooving.
What’s your favorite celestial body?
Europa, one of Jupiter’s icy moons that has an ocean beneath its surface. Though it’s alongshot, that ocean can potentially harbor life and NASA already has plans for a mission thereto hopefully find out.
As far as as musical influences, what are you listening to on heavy rotation right now?
A little known fact about me is that I listen to a ton of rap music even though I produce progressive and techno music. I got Young Dolph’s new album on heavy rotation at themoment, so many tracks are pure bangers. My manager recently put me onto Drakeo The Ruler and that guy has one of the more unique flows I’ve ever heard.
Do you find self-presentation to be an important part of your work or is it more about the music? How has your personal style changed since becoming a DJ?
Self-presentation absolutely is an important part of my brand and I think all artists should taketheir self-presentation seriously. Everything an artist does, from the way they dress, to how they do their hair, etc. is an extension of their own brand, and that brand is often how fans can connect with them outside of just the music.
Let’s be absolutely clear though, if an artist’s music is sub-par then their self-presentation, no matter how good it is, will be overlooked because that artist is delivering a bad product.Since becoming a DJ my personal style has actually become simpler.
I usually wear all black,most likely a black long sleeve with a relaxed, but not baggy, fit, and black denim from myfavorite brand Kith. I pair that up with either some black leather old skool Vans or somethingfrom my new favorite sneaker brand, Filling Pieces. That’s pretty much my trademark outfit.
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
I’m lowkey obsessed with F1 racing. I wish for one day that I could race the hell out of LewisHamilton’s F1 Mercedes car to see just how incredible driving at that speed is.
If you could have coffee with one person (living, dead or fictional) who would it be andwhy?
My dad. Is he dead? No, he’s very much alive. As I get older I cherish spending quality time with loved ones. But as I get older I know that there will come a day where I won’t be able to grab lunch with him, so I’d choose to spend time with him now over anyone from the past or any fictional character.