Exclusive Interview with Free The Robots
Quay Records, Pistonhead Lager & Obey Clothing present OBEY RADIO BANGKOK with the American Hip Hop DJ & Producer FREE THE ROBOTS (Alphapup Records). He is respected for the energy and technical skill behind his live performances, has shared stages with artists such as DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus and Afrika Bambaataa and has performed at the prestigious Boiler Room.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Free The Robots, shortly before his performance at OBEY RADIO BANGKOK at LIVE RCA on June 19.
You are a musician, beat maker & DJ from Santa Ana, California (USA), respected for the energy and technical skill behind your live performances. You have shared stages with artists such as DJ Shadow, Flying Lotus and Afrika Bambaataa and you have performed at the prestigious Boiler Room. How did you get in touch with DJing and music production in the first place?
It was mainly boredom and curiosity, added with inspiration from some of the early artist who were doing interesting things before me. I started DJing back in the mid-late 90's, as a turntablist in the battle scene. There weren't many people doing this at the time, and growing up as a minority, who identified with Hip Hop Culture, I was obsessed with anything that had to do with something different. DJing and spending most of my time in record shops, searching for samples and drum breaks that existed in Jazz, Psychedelic, and Library records introduced me to different worlds of music. Constantly digging, i was exposed to so much, and wanted to learn more. Personal musical progress was inevitable at that point, and by the early 2000's, I decided to take it further. I started learning instruments and ways to record with the limited sources I had at the time.
Your unique signature sound is a diverse mix of Hip Hop, Jazz and Electronic. How would you describe your own sound in just a few words; what is distinct about your sound?
I can't put it in a genre in general; there are elements of everything found in it. What is distinct about it is no matter what futuristic or vintage sounds i am using, there is always an underlying base paying homage to the type of music that inspired my in the first place. Most of it was recorded in the 60's so vintage drums, and synth have always been part of my musical make up. In the end just It's spiritual music; Not in context to any religion, but free minded creation itself is a very spiritual thing.
What tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
Tracks: Lonely traveler, Jazzhole, Awake or Asleep, Jupiter, Ophic, The Truth, Take Flight, Blow sum Smoke (feat Opio)... mixes: Roam & Urth (City to City)... radio broadcasts from my monthly Jerusalem radio show on Raash-hour.com... will give you a glimpse
Looking back on over a decade of performing live, what were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things ever occurred during any of your performances?
I can't say if any performances stand out as best or worst. I just see shows as a chance for me to express myself and share my own world with other worlds. Those who choose to join me, weather its 100% or 1% of the audience, I am satisfied; any performance can have a huge effect. People can take it in at that moment and vibe, get inspired to create something for themselves, or even question and reject it. Either way its a reaction. Performances, recordings and my role as an artist is to sir the pot up a little bit.
On 19th June you will perform live at the OBEY RADIO BANGKOK night at Live RCA, alongside fellow countryman Roam Elsewhere (Obey Records, Los Angeles) and Bangkok’s very own DJ Pichy (Co-Founder of Quay Records). Have you visited Thailand before? What can Bangkok expect of your upcoming performance?
This will be my first time in Thailand although i have heard great things. Also being such a fan of Thai Psych classics, I'm excited to play, and find records on down time. I'm not a fan of drawing a box of expectation. All i would just recommend is to keep an open mind to everything and anything that may come. It goes in a lot of different directions.