Posted On 22 Sep 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Astralwerks, Avicii, Bo En, Chapel Hill, Daft Punk, Dance Dance Revolution, Deadmau5, DJ, film scores, Kanye West, Kyary Pamyupamyu, Maxo, movie soundtracks, Noisia, North Carolina, Porter Robinson, Producer, Sad Machine, Saint Pepsi, soundtracks, Spotify, Virgin Records, Virgin/EMI, Wolfgang Gartner, Worlds, Yasktaka Nakata
Porter Robinson is giving the EDM genre a much-needed adjustment. His thoughtful take on the genre defies the negative associations, even if he never intended it to. “I’m less interested in changing EDM and more interested in having a signature and a unique identity as an artist,” the 22-year-old Robinson says. “I mean, I do have problems with the genre, and I think it needs to improve for its own sake. But my new music isn’t a reaction or an intentional subversion of EDM.”
Robinson just tries to makes the most interesting music he can, the kind of songs that sound less like bangers you’d play in the heart of the club and more like ones you’d listen to while watching the sunrise after the night is over.
On his debut album, Worlds, which was just released on August 12th, Robinson has produced a truly new sound outside the genre’s standard bombastic formulas, songs that delicately straddle dance-friendly beats with more pensive moments that will appeal to anyone with a penchant for textured electronic music.
Read more about Porter Robinson in his interview with All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa here:
Hi Porter! Where does this interview find you today? What’s on the agenda today besides this interview?
I’m at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I’m working on preparing my liveshow and just doing a bunch of press.
So you are only 22 years old and already producing and DJing all over the world. How did your musical journey begin? How has it been so far?
I’ve been doing music stuff for about 10 years now. I started when I was 12 after I heard electronic music in the Japanese rhythm game Dance Dance Revolution. I kind of chanced into a DJ career and then got all angsty about it, so I started writing music that was more personal to me and that’s Worlds.
You grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. How do you think your location influenced your style? Were you inspired by the music scene there or did you mostly do your own thing?
It influenced me exactly none, I think – I think the greatest thing Chapel Hill did for me was to not have any kind of scene for me to get distracted by. I was raised on the internet and barely ever went outside.
I understand you are a self-taught producer. How did you get into producing? Was it a particular person that inspired you?
Noisia, Wolfgang Gartner were a few of my favorites when I was first starting off. They’re just the masters of immensely high-detailed, high-effort production. That was the stuff that inspired me at first — I wanted to be aproducer’s producer. I was less focused on musical ideas and much more focused on the technical side of things. That’s changed for me as of late.
Your highly anticipated first studio album, Worlds (Astralwerks/Virgin EMI) is a cinematic excursion that combines your technological prowess with your love of evocative melody. Some of Worlds’ finest moments arrive in quiet orchestral sections that hint at some imaginary science-fiction film score. Any favorite movie scores in particular that you are inspired by?
Aww, thanks! Worlds is really influenced by a lot of anime and videogame soundtrack tropes. There’s a certain chord sensibility that those things have that’s always been meaningful and evocative to me.
You turned down countless DJ offers in 2013 to spend the entire year devoting yourself to a process of introspection and reinvention for the new album. You are especially skillful at writing melodies that can be arranged in multiple ways. What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes? Do you need total solitude and peace and quiet or can you write just about anywhere?
Heee, thanks again. I tend to think in terms of hooks. I like songs whose first few moments are iconic and memorable – I like really loud, conspicuous sounds and iconic melodies.
And I can’t really write on the road. I absolutely must be at home – something about being with my dogs and my family and my room… it helps.
You have said that a huge part of your work has always been an “effortful, expedited self-discovery,” Do you have a favorite song on the new album or one that is the closest to your heart?
My favorite song on Worlds is definitely Sad Machine. To me, it kind of summarized the events on the album – it evokes precisely the feelings I intended.
You have been commissioned for official remixes for artists including, Avicii and Deadmau5. Is there anyone you would like to work with and collaborate with in the future? (i.e.; producer, singer, songwriter, fellow musician) Who are you working with next?
I’d love to work with Kyary Pamyupamyu or her producer Yasutaka Nakata. Kanye West and Daft Punk are my all-time idols, so I’d drop everything to work with either of them.
Who are some of the new artists who inspire you? Who is in your current playlist?
Saint Pepsi, Bo En, Maxo are some of my recent favorites.
Any “guilty pleasure” songs or who might we be surprised to find on your playlist?
I actually run a Spotify playlist – not all guilty pleasures, but all stuff I love. Look up Porter Robinson’s This is Good list.
You are about to launch a technology ambitious 40+ date tour for “Worlds” release, beginning on August 28th. Any song in particular that you’re the most excited to play live?
Definitely Sad Machine. It’s my favorite song on the album. I’m dying to hear people sing along to it, honestly.
To enter Porter Robinson’s musical world and check out upcoming tour dates, visit his website here