We grab a few words with the super skilled producer and DJ Champagne Drip this week, who is currently basking in the afterglow of his latest release, the ‘Poseidon’ EP on Quality Goods Records.
Do you remember what initially inspired you to start making music? What did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to lots of rock, classical and jazz music. My mom played piano and guitar for me and took me to piano lessons when I was really young. Music has always been celebrated in my family. My dad taught me how to record his vinyl collection onto cassette tapes, so I could take my favorite records to school with me and listen on my Walkman. I have an aunt and uncle who have also found their careers in music so it was also encouraged to be creative with music. When we had to chose an instrument for music class in middle school, I picked the drums. Some of my favorite artists at the time such as NIN and Aphex Twin sparked an interest in electronic music production, and I found it impossible to gather a “band” to create anything like what I loved. Eventually I transitioned from drumming to making music on my parents computer, when I was about 15.
What would you say makes your style of producing unique?
Hmmm. Hard to say, not sure I can really reflect on my on work accurately in in any sort of objective way. I use pretty standard technology to create music… Software, speakers. I definitely know I have my own sound though, I’m not interested in sounding like anyone else. There’s WAY too much of that going on right now. The the point where I don’t really gravitate towards dance music because I can count on 99% of it being derivative and boring. I always try to make a lot of my own sounds and build them from scratch. I guess my music reflects what my interests are at the time.
How much time roughly per week would you say you spend in the studio or making music?
I try to put in 40 hours a week of production, although it’s frequently more or less. Other aspects of being a producer/DJ can be distracting and demanding; there’s work to be done beyond music creation. Sometimes I’m just waiting for a good idea to pop into my head, and other times I go through periods where I’m super inspired or have tons of studio work to do = and I spend closer to 60 hours a week. It probably averages out to full-time when I’m home.
Do you have a permanent base to make tunes right now?
Yes. I have a home studio in LA where I do most of my work.
You’ve now released your Poseidon EP through Quality Goods – does it feel good to have it out in the world? What have been some of the best reactions to it so far?
Feels great to have it out. I’ve been working on some of the music in the EP for over a year now. The reaction has felt great! I think my fans “get it” and some of my friends and colleagues have been super supportive of it.
Which tune did you enjoy making the most? Did any of them take a while to get sounding right?
I think ‘Ascension’ was the most fun to make. I actually wrote most of it in the end of 2015 and just spent a lot of time trying to find the right home for it. ‘Prometheus’ was definitely tricky to get right and the musicality of it gave me an unsettling feeling, it’s kind of a weird/dark tune, I ended up redoing the drums a couple of times as well, I’m really happy with where it ended up. It has a sort of otherworldly feel to it. The amen break samples in ‘Ascension’ took some love to get right but the vibe was strong from the beginning. ‘Return Harbor’ came together fairly quickly in my home studio. ‘Poseidon’ was written in an afternoon in a hotel room in Baltimore, didn’t take too much to finish it.
Do you have plans to work with UZ’s label again? Could we expect to see a collaboration?
I definitely hope to do more in the future and the thought of collaborating with UZ has crossed my mind, I think we could do something killer!
What have been your best memories of 2016?
I had this magical moment performing at a festival called “What The Festival” in Oregon earlier this year. It was one of the first times I got to test out some of the material that ended up on this EP and future releases. The vibe was super thick at the festival and I felt a sort of synergy with the audience. It was a deeply positive emotional experience for me.
Grab ‘Poseidon’ here.