How would you say being born and raised in NYC affected your drive to become a DJ and a creative person, in general?
I think NY is a very rich and diverse city with many cultural influences and mixtures of art and music. This has helped me develop a large palate of influences to draw from for my own creative ideas. The architecture of NY alone inspires me.
Despite the touring, you also maintain a rather prolific studio schedule. What would you say is a vital piece of production gear to you? If I asked you that question 10 years ago, what would your answer have been?
Now my answer is very different from 10 years ago. I travel with a mobile studio set up- My computer, microphone, apogee sound cards and 6 terabytes of portable hard drive. 10 years ago I needed a full studio setup with an Sp 1200, banks of synths, ect – production equipment has really become miniaturized and mobile!
After all these years, what inspires you to get up and get on that plane to travel around the world to DJ? Are there any locations you have yet to visit?
I love what I do. Its that simple. I love being able to play for different crowds and see how music touches them and be a part of that experience. It inspires me.
What about other artists these days. Who inspires you?
There are many diverse artists I’m into – James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Dj Koze- I like artists that push boundaries and experiment with sound and composition.
Finally, a more general (yet relevant) question. What are your impressions of branding within dance music? Obviously, you have concept and aliases, social media accounts and the likes but, my question is, do you care about all that as an artist? Or is it more of a necessity/protocol? Do you “enjoy” engaging on social media, for instance?
Branding is important for the sake of artist recognition to their fans- it broadcasts their identity and lets people associate themselves with a sound, a lifestyle and often an ideal or school of thought that an artist can represent. However that shouldn’t outweigh the most important component- The Music.