“From cutting hair to painting to making music, I was always self-taught and always had my own method. When I cut hair, even if it’s the same client every week, I approach each haircut from a different standpoint, usually governed by emotion and what’s going on at the time. I make songs the same way. In terms of painting, my painting and my music kind of come from the same place. ’Cuz when I’m making music, I see sounds, just as I see color when I paint. And while I’m making music, I’m factoring in colors, I’m factoring in moods. Whether you’re baking a cake or you’re baking bread, you’re still baking.
In terms of songwriting, I usually approach melody first. There was one point in my life where I would do drums first… that’s when I was really studying drum machines and I was learning step recording. But now I go with melody first. I think it works best when you can fit the drums in between the spaces of the melody and the drums are there as the solid foundation. And in that way the song has a stronger narrative. It’s all about taking different approaches to the emotion involved. Some people have said my sound is more classic, harder to put a date on. That’s definitely not done on purpose—you never attempt to write your name the way you write your name, or consciously choose the way you talk. I do know I favor the analog sound of things, it’s warmer. And I like things from scratch, in real life as well as creatively. I prefer not to eat out of cans. I like fresh vegetables. And I like fresh sounds. Stuff that has textures, layers, personality to it. As with everything, what you put into it is what you get out of it, so something with all organic ingredients is always going to taste homegrown. Which actually makes the work easier—it’s always easier to get things right when you put the freshest ingredients into it.
I’ve got lots of new work coming out these days. My new single and video, ‘Cream On Chrome,’ was my way of moving that classic sample and idea down South. I usually don’t touch stuff that other people have touched before, but I was just in love with it and when I found it I was like, this is what the big dogs was playing with. And I liked how it sounded raw. I was playing with the pitch, which directly affects the tempo on it, and when I slowed it down I just had it looped. I actually tried to make it maybe two, maybe three times over and I finally got it right. The words just kind of came together after that.
But to be honest, most of my favorite songs are instrumentals. My instrumental record I put out at the end of last year is one of my favorite projects I’ve done so far. Sometimes you can get more said with no lyrics at all.”