How did you get the stage name AF THE NAYSAYER and what does this moniker represent about you and your music?
AF is short for abstruse function. Abstruse function is physics, dealing with ongoing, changing problems. I was thinking about human beings and how we evolve and change over time, whether it be mindset or physically. If someone were to have met me when I was younger—I didn’t talk a whole lot, per se—they would have had a hard time getting a read from me. The concept of my own evolution got me thinking of abstruse function. The NAYSAYER part pays tribute to my punk-rock roots. So, it’s my stamp of where I was and where I am.
You’re originally from Los Angeles. What inspired the move to make music in New Orleans?
I didn’t get into electronic beat-making until I went to college in Lake Charles, at McNeese State, where I started making hip-hop beats and eventually moved on to electronic production. When I was in college, I was always coming back and forth to New Orleans and partaking in Merged Music Series, which is put on by Justin Peake. I was inspired by being around all those people.
What do you enjoy most about making beats?
It’s a release for me. But I also push myself and challenge myself by giving myself certain assignments. Like learning different techniques and applying those techniques to expand upon new things and new ideas. It’s almost a religion—this routine where I make an idea come to life.
How did you approach a remix? For instance, the one you created for “Friendly” by [Taiwanese hip-hop duo] Juzzy Orange?
Usually when I remix, I don’t like to hear the actual original song first. I like to hear just the a cappella—build everything around the vocal track, not hear any of the instruments. Once I have a skeleton for an idea, I’ll go and listen to the original version. If it sounds too much like the same vibe of the original, then I scrap the whole idea and start over. To me the whole idea of a remix is to take a certain song and make it appeal to another audience that wouldn’t normally like it. If a song is real poppy, then I make it harsh and dirty.
How does it feel to make your debut at BUKU Music + Art Project?
I’m very excited to play. Probably would have wanted it to happen earlier, but it makes more sense for it to happen this year. I have two EPs out and a handful of mixes. My first EP came out September 2016. My time slot—my whole situation, really—is better because I waited.
AF THE NAYSAYER hits the Back Alley at BUKU at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.