How did you start making music and who inspired you?

I started making music in high school using shitty iPhone apps like alchemy studio and stuff! It wasn’t until I got my first laptop before I went off to college that I started recording songs I wrote over beats I’d find on Soundcloud! As for idols, I’d say Britney Spears had a huge impact on me when I was younger! I also really love Heidi Montag. And Robyn!!!

When did you start working with Ayesha Erotica?

Someone actually dm’d me in like late July telling me I looked like a blonde Ayesha Erotica. I was like “who is that??” and googled her and became fully obsessed with her music. Her songs blew me away, I was immediately a fan so on a whim, I dm’d her on Instagram asking if she wanted to do a song and we did!!

That is awesome, what other producers are you collaborating with right now?

For my album in November I’m collaborating with Boy Sim a bunch, Lynden Rook produced and is featuring on a track, and maybe a few more Ayesha produced tracks!

Ok so… design your ideal mall, what’s in it?

A big food court, a BEBE store, and a Juicy Couture store!! I was so upset when all the juicy stores closed down, so I would definitely need that. Also Louis Vuitton and Gucci stores… I’m in loads of credit card debt, lol!

Who would play you in the major motion picture about your life?

Tara Reid

Wow true, you should recreate that picture where she is handing like 20 dollars to a dog.


What’s your songwriting process? Every song seems to have a distinct theme. 

The process itself is pretty fast! I write fast and if a song takes to long I trash it. I pick themes for songs after listening to the beat, I’m lucky to work with such amazing producers! Usually, I just listen and a concept forms within the first minute. I always start with a title then I make liner notes in my notebook of words that fit the concept. I like making really thematic music.

How did the early club influence on your sound work its way into your music?

The club influence comes from my love for like 90’s/early 2000s euro club music — Barbie Girl by Aqua, Shoes by Kelly, This is Your Night by Amber, Cascada, etc. That’s the music I remember being most drawn to when I was younger.

What are your favorite emojis?

I hate the emotion emojis. Like the crying laughing one. It’s so weird to me lol! My favorites are 💖🍒💅🏻👻

Thank you, lastly, can you tell us 2 truths and a lie?

I’ve been arrested 3 times!
I got breast implants when I was 20!
And my legal name is Slater!

Follow Slayyyter on Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify. Slayyyter has been recently been anointed as the future of pop music by The Fader. 

Juno Reactor

How did you first conceive the idea of “The Mutant Theatre” and how did you bring this concept into fruition?

I met the Russian dancers in 2011, the first time I met Stigma Show was on an island in India, we were playing at a really strange festival that we had to travel to on a small boat across the sea at night, with only the aid of the moon light. The festival was promoted by a man we later nicknamed “The Master of Disaster” as not much seemed to go right for him or his punters. One thing he did schedule properly was when the dawn rose and Stigma Show jumped onstage in their mirrored costumes as we played Conga Fury, jump-starting the LSD… I remember they just looked amazing. The other performance group was Agnivo I met in Moscow whilst DJing. It was then when I thought The Mutant Theater was a possible big show. Agnivo reminded me of militant guardians of an Orphean World. Then in 2015 we played Ozora Festival as a band, After the show the organizers said I should come back next year but with something different. The budget was there so that was the time to test it out 🙂

Is there a narrative element behind this project and if so can you tell us a little about it?

There is not a story in particular, I see the show as being a cross between Pan’s Labyrinth and Barbarella. Reality caught in a web of fantasy and science fiction, the world around us surrounding us –distilled, regurgitated into an cosmic cartoon reflection. I’ve also got a really great band, singers like Taja Devi and Tula Ben-Ari, Budgie from Siouxsie and the Banshees on drums and the amazing guitarists Amir Haddad who now also plays with Hanz Zimmer as his solo guitarist. This combination of performance and devilish musical ability really excites me as we can improvise, shut down the computers and just make things up on the spot, these moments are my favorite because it can all go so wrong…

What styles of dance influence the troupes of The Mutant Theatre?

The dancers have a wide range of dance from contemporary to ballet, hip-hop, and a lot more that I don’t know. Russian country dancing and robots on acid, I think…

What art inspires the set design and costumes for the performance?

Futurism mixed with nostalgia, at the same time it could only be made now with the help of modern day technology. The robot costumes have over 3000 led lights in each costume controlled via Wi-Fi or SD card. Sasha loves his 3-D printer and is always coming up with new costume ideas. Then, we have Erik Steijvers the lighting designer who is totally off this planet and brings it all together.

Sonically can we expect you see influences remnant from your days scoring The Matrix?

We do perform some Matrix tracks like Mona Lisa Overdrive and Navras, which work great in this show because they’ve been remixed specifically. I have almost forgotten how the originals sound.

How has collaborating with the Wachowski sisters affected your practice of art-making? Do you share their passion for the science fiction genre?

Working with the Wachowski’s was the best thing I have ever been involved in. It was as unique as they are, they didn’t intend to teach me anything, but they did  –they gave me a whole new vision and breath of life. Yeah I have total respect for them. Outside of The Matrix the film of theirs I watch the most is Cloud Atlasbrilliant.

[From the Voight-Kampff Test]
You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?

I shoot the director so he can never make another Blade Runner film again.

The Mutant Theatre will stage a live performance at the hacking conference DEF CON 26 in Las Vegas on August 11 2018. 


When and how did you start making music?

I would say I started writing first. Most people don’t know anything about this, but rapping is a major passion for me. I’m working on a full-length album “Total Trash” that I also produced. It’s really different than the beat tape, and it’s also almost done. So I would say I started writing at like 10, some raps, some poetry. Then I mostly just rapped after high school. Like 3 or 4 years ago I started to produce on Ableton. I do everything manually on my laptop, and then just tweak kits to my liking to catch a sound that works for me. I don’t actually use an extension of a device, which is weird, but I also feel like it’s worked til this point.

Who are some artists you’d like to produce for?

I got a track with KC Ortiz on the album I’m working on, but ideally, I would love to make more beats for her. She has a really awesome sound and her raps challenge me to make beats that are more…modern. Aside from her, it would be like a dream come true to make a beat that the Alchemist would rap on, or like, Roc Marciano. Al does it all. He is an amazing producer and a sick rapper, so if he rapped on a track, it’d be like, ‘damn, this dude I idolize vibes with me’.

Given your background in music journalism I think it would be interesting to hear you describe your music to us. 

I would say at this point it’s like a split personality type deal. “The Sample Vandal” is like, heavily influenced by 9th Wonder and The Alchemist. Those guys have done the best job staying relevant with a classic sound. All my stuff on that tape samples old soul and jazz mostly, and I did my best to put a more modern twist on them, specifically with heavy 808s, because I don’t wanna be boxed in with a nostalgic sound. The other side, the rap side, is all over the place. That’s also very sample-based, but it’s really bizarre and eccentric samples. Like Throbbing Gristle, or even just sheer noise on some of it. So that’s a bit more experimental. I listen to a lot of music so I like to take what I listen to and utilize my knowledge behind that the best I can.

How do you feel about the rap renaissance that seems to be taking place in Chicago?

That’s a killer question. I think it has been very good and very bad at the same time. From one perspective, it is amazing that Chicago is on the map the way it is now. This is the city to be in if you are trying to make it in rap. The problem arises when every single person is a rapper or producer, and not everyone is talented. That’s just reality. I think it has become a ‘trendy’ thing to be a rapper now, and like that sucks. Also, I feel this vibe that a lot of low-key rappers who rule, such as those Pivot Gang guys, they would blow up if they were in a different big city. It’s just so competitive here right now, it’s tough to break out of Chicago without a GOOD Music deal, or a cosign from a major name. And that sucks too. Lastly, I think Chicago has been boxed into a limited amount of sub-genre, so if you’re not making soulful hip-hop in the Chance lane or drill in the Louie/Keef lane, no one cares and that’s awful. There is so much more out here. It’s just over saturated. But don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled Chicago is on the map. That’s amazing.

Aside from the pivot gang folks who else in Chicago do you think is flying under the radar? 

I mentioned KC Ortiz earlier, definitely her. My boy Saint Icky. My guy Zip aka Lil Flame for sure. David Ashley, although I am not sure he is still local. That dude means business. He is rare talent.

Are there any songs that make you want to quit making and critiquing music because they’re so good (or so bad)?

This is so cliche but when I hear a Kendrick verse for the first time, I am generally blown away. I think he is the best rapper alive at a time when it is insignificant, but a part of me is still a major old head so I think the competitive aspect of rap should exist. Even if it doesn’t. But when I hear Kendrick spit, I’m kinda in awe, like, I will NEVER be able to do that. With production, also cliche, but kanye is revolutionizing music every time he drops something. 808s was 5 years ahead of its’ time and still is in some ways. And I didn’t even love that album when it came out. With music I hate, I listen to so much music that at a certain point, if I listen to it enough I’ll probably end up liking it which is a trait that I love about myself.

OK, so hypothetically a major label signs you after hearing your next project and you go on to have an illustrious career, what do you think your biopic would be like?

That’s something to process, no doubt! I think if I had a biopic–depending on when it was made, the first part of my life would be significant. I had a tough time in high school and struggled alot with depression and bipolar disorder. I’ve definitely learned to live my life and am extremely comfortable with who I am at this point, but there were a few years where I was really struggling mentally that I think define me at this point. Like, overcoming that stuff and getting to this point where I can thrive creatively and live life as optimistically as possible. So that would be interesting but hopefully after that and from this point forward, it would be inspiring and happy ideally. Who knows what the future looks like.

What advice would you give to kids going through similar struggles?

I would say to just try your best to get through adolescence. Growing up is hard man. Everyone is hormonal and going through new sets of experiences and emotions, but those experiences and emotions mold who you are, and once you get beyond that point of high drama, people grow up and grow into themselves. Everyone has something in their life that makes them struggle. But once you grow up, you can pick and choose who and what you deal with way more and that makes things way easier. One of the reasons I don’t go through it as much is because I just learned that this is who I am. Having mental setbacks from time to time is a big part of me, but it’s also not the only part or even the biggest part. So find an outlet that allows you to let go of some of those feelings and just be mindful that it really does improve, and that the idea of ‘it gets better’ is not just cliche bullshit.


tchan is an artist and DJ that I have been following for quite some time, we first worked together when I debuted a guest mix from tchan on local Chicago radio station, WLUW. I have been closely following her career ever since. Her latest project is full of old school vibes that are guaranteed to make listener’s move their feet and bounce their hips.

How long did you spend crafting this latest project? 

It’s been overall 3 years! fast track was the first tchan track  -it made me really come to grips with what I should do in music and it made it easier; quick fast one takes with as little flare as possible. The rest of the EP developed over the course of the last year and a half but the idea behind this release is that it’s a collection of tracks that have been shrouded in a lot of self doubt and finally have been given the light they deserve.

Tell us more about this “fast one take, no flare” approach to club tracks?

So, I don’t have a gripe with modern music, I love a lot of what’s coming out but because people are given digital software with no limits anything is possible which is amazing but there’s been less love in modern day for bare bones trax. I came to footwork because it was bare bones, no glitz, no glamour -just complete drum machine brutality. A lot of the dance music I grew up with only had a couple of elements total and people really had to make it work. My idea isn’t a reaction to the big room techno or NXC glitter or high quality club trax rather it comes from a longing for a time that was much simpler. fast Track in total was 4 different elements and 12 loops total, and on top of that I did it in one take. The feeling I got from the process really made me feel a certain kind of special, it reminded of the stuff I grew up with but it was made with my hands. So, from that day I kept the process in mind and have kept tryna one up myself. I don’t mind spending a lot of time on tracks but I love the complexity of simplicity, and a lot of people have lost the idea and feel for it. Hopefully others will get my process and try it in their own unique ways.

So on that note, where did you tend to find inspiration, especially in terms of this album?

Most of the inspiration for this album was drawn from ghetto tech, ghetto house, dis-associative experiences and DOS games. A lot of the sounds I used were ripped from 90’s games. tailwhip is almost all done with “Star Wars Force Commander” samples, the track door creek I swear uses Half Life samples, I don’t remember for sure though -lol. All the rhythms used are from modern Midwest dance music fosho but the glue of all these sounds and how the tracks work out are from the dark period of my life when I was on drugs all the time and transitioning. I don’t really do drugs anymore but 2015 – 2017 I was really into research chemicals and other weird shit. It really fucked w my psyche and how I thought about stuff but it also really made everything much easier to handle. When I put on music during that time it was life saving and even silence or Lowercase felt like music to me. I’d play a video game and hear music and overall my whole idea of music and non-music was blurred for a very long time. I still have that feeling, it’s been a while since I’ve been in that place but how I interpreted reality at that time really gave me the ability to say fuck it to conventional structure and pandering to what others want to hear. That’s why this took so long, because no one makes stuff close to me. I still don’t know how I ended up with a lot of these ideas but I love where I’m going and what’s happened, even though parts of my life have been very detrimental and awful.

I’d like to know more about how video gaming has influenced your music.

I’d be down to do music for a video game, I feel like I’d be good at it -but I’m not a gamer! I wasn’t allowed to play many games when I was a kid and it always was a point of contention for me -and I’m still bitter about it, lol! But I love the abstract nature of the sounds in video games especially during the 90’s. That’s all I could ever play I had a shitty computer for years and was left w 90’s DOS box games.

What would you want your biopic to be like?

I’d like my biopic to be like “Arrested Development” but instead of everyone being a deplorable mess just have everyone act off of emotions and showing (most everyone’s) good side. Everything up to this point in my life has been a hilarious train-wreck and I’d really love to highlight the experience that no one is even close to perfect and none of us knows what’s we’re doing really. I really don’t know who’d play me not many people look like me,  they’d need to b really short, lol. I’d love to get someone who does tongue-in-cheek horror to do it, like Lloyd Kaufman or even someone like Larry David to do it. The reason why is because even at the worst moments in my life there’s always a bit of humor added into it. Also miscommunication is a big part of my life, so I’d really love to highlight that. The plot would definitely be along those themes with added surreal and dis-associative horror in it, along with a general theme of never giving up no matter how heavy the punch is.

Can you make us a short 5 track playlist?

Ray Ray – Tell Em (DJ Rashad Remix)

Karen Dwyer – The Workers Are On Strike

Cue-tek – Frogger

If you need info on any of these lemmie know.

(Editors notes: these are some rare tracks, but maybe tchan would be kind enough to share the rest with you) 

So Jubilee recently spun one of your tunes on BBC, how do you feel?

I’m fucking stunned I didn’t know I’d be on the BBC ever especially with that track…… If you told me 3 years ago fast track would be liked by anyone enough to be played on the BBC I seriously would think you’re fuckin whatever. God bless Jubilee though, she’s always been mega inspirational to me. Never thought I’d ever get a message back from her.

Anyway, tell the kids to eat their vegetables and make a thing a day and tell them “Lost Data” is out on usb and soon floppy.


Nelward’s latest EP Alive in Screen just dropped through Deskpop Records. So we had a chat.

I have to start off basic, when did you get started with music?

I started out on guitar and my favorite style of music at the time was pop punk. It took a couple of years before I realized my formative musical influence was video game music from Super Nintendo and N64 games. In 2013 I got Ableton Live and have been producing heavily since then.

Alright and if someone gave you 14 million dollars to make a movie what would you make it about?

It would be a documentary about me being given $14 million to make a movie and keeping the money to spend it on something else but if that’s a bad answer, I’d do a reboot of one of the 90’s movies with talking babies in it. the talking baby genre had a lot of potential. It didn’t have to be strictly under the “comedy” genre and with our new CGI capabilities who knows what we could do.

What’s your favorite dance move?

my favorite dance move is the “pumpers” dance from Tim and Eric.

Does pop punk have any influence on the music you make now?

Definitely when I make stuff that’s closer to the rock genre, which I haven’t in recent years… I was lucky to be exposed to a wide array of styles growing up so all of that has informed my material. My music is definitely driven by melody and I try to stay as concise as possible, I suppose it has that in common with most of the pop punk I liked. I was also in a nu metal band very early on so that definitely has informed the rhythms I use. Also my sense of humor, nu metal is very silly.

What visual pieces of art inspire your music?

Primarily old Nickelodeon cartoons like Rugrats, Doug, and Ren and Stimpy. Also the Memphis Group aesthetics.

Is there anything you want to tell us about the EP?

It’s my first real “EP”. Everything on my Bandcamp is a compilation of works I did over a period of time. So that’s exciting. Also, it’s my return to singing after not doing it for a while. Most people know me for my original work. Its a good combination of all the styles I’ve been exploring in recent years in one package.

What else do you want to talk about?


Ok, what’s the best, what’s the worst? 

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a strong revulsion to orange cheese. Like orange cheddar or those weird “American cheese” things that come stuck to a film. I would have to wash my hands if any of it got on me. the best kind … I’m no cheese connoisseur but I like brie, I guess.

Brie tastes weird as fuck, can you make a 5 song playlist for the readers?


Got any new projects in the works?

I’m working on a new one called Infinite Spite that’s going to be mostly metal.

Is there a story behind the title?

The last one was about creation and destruction and I thought my life was gonna be more positive after the album dropped but it turned out being one of the most self destructive periods of my life where I lost all of my friends, social media presence, and almost lost my fiancée so this one is gonna be a lot about dealing with that. It’s gonna be ugly, to be honest.

Do you think metal lends itself to that type of song writing?

It’s what I’ve been leading up to for a minute but yeah it really does help me express what I’ve been going through a lot better like I don’t have to worry about “having bars” or flexing like rap demands I do, I can just talk bluntly. But I also just want to be part of the queer black representation in the genre you know?

(talking about blogs) Fuck Adam22, I wish Kreayshawn would start a podcast.

Every party that I’ve been to where I see Kreayshawn at, we talk for a second, then a fight breaks out and it’s more violent each time. I’m convinced she’s an omen and literal harbinger of chaos. My homeboy Tristan got stabbed last time I seen her lol that was actually a rough night I got a knife tattooed on me and made a song about it after, did too and it got played on broad city the other day so shoutout to ka5sh.

Is your friend that got stabbed ok?

Oh yeah he’s straight now, but it was rough like we were at a girl pusher show and these racist punks jumped him in front of kas5h and me it was wild Tristan is pretty tiny to begin with so it was fucked that they were trying to pack him out I honestly never seen that much blood before, but sometimes I’ll mention him getting stabbed to him and he’ll be like, “when??” so I guess he’s good now.

When and how did you originate the term “trenchcore”? 

Actually from living in Omaha, after I graduated from high school, my whole family moved to LA and it was just me and my older brother in this big ass house alone. He would work all day and we didn’t have a tv or internet and all my friends from high school had just stopped talking to me (cause they were high school friends you know?) so I was in there in silence all day if I wasn’t working on music and it was rough. My brother eventually moved in these homeless meth addicts (no shade to addicts) and they overran our house and basically moved their other homeless friends in and it turned into a squatter house. I slept in the basement and our heat for like the whole house didn’t work so I would be in the basement wearing multiple jackets, multiple blankets, and it’d be so cold that I could still see my own breath, we ended up getting huge rats that I could hear in the walls at night and had dreams of them eating me in my sleep constantly. It reminded me of trenches soldiers in wars would make and how they were being eaten by rats. I wanted my music to sound the way I felt for the two years I was living there I even had a studio set up in that basement but that shit really changed me man like I seen this dude nearly get beat to death with a can of yams in my kitchen you don’t unsee some shit like that.

Oh, my God. That would stick with a person, I would think. 

It was terrifying, I didn’t even have anything to do with it but a few weeks later they kicked down my door screaming my name saying they were gonna shoot me, it was then I knew like “this point of my life is FUCKED” Omaha gets REALLY cold during the winter you feel me. I think that’s what makes being in LA weird for me because I moved right after and now I’m in this city where everything is a turn up and like I can’t talk about some hard shit that happened to me candidly, I had to turn my trauma into a turn up so that people didn’t look at me weird for talking about it, they think its “being depressed ironically” or however the fuck the internet likes to phrase it. People still look at me weird but that’s really what trenchcore is to me.

I hear you have an art show coming up November 17th at

I’ve been trying more ways to express myself other than these songs, I asked my girl if she really listens to my songs and she said “yeah they just depress me though” I literally forgot this shit I’m talking about is depressing cause I got so tied up making it sound turnt up. I’ve really been on illustration lately like I’m making a coloring book right now.



How did your latest album “LW17” all come together?

Well I started working on this project right after my EP “indigo2“, so you can probably guess the first track I made for it was “no prob”. I didn’t really have a clue on what direction I wanted this to go in so I just went off whatever sounded good put together and catchy. After I made  “LMK” I knew exactly how I wanted to shape this album. It’s dark/experimental but you definitely won’t expect anything specific.

How did you start working with people like Judge, Dylan Brady, and Lil Aaron?

Me and Dylan had a show and studio sesh wit Night Lovell so that’s how we met. Me and Aaron used to FaceTime a while back and Judge and I met thru Aaron on Twitter.

What producers and performing artists are you really messing with right now? 

Production-wise Yug Gud, Dylan Brady, Diplo. My musical inspirations are M.I.A , yung lean, Robb Bank$.

What kind of messages are you trying to convey with your art?

A negative message<img src=, because everyone wants to be the good guy and act like they sending a positive message. Smh so I’ma be the bad guy and do the opposite.

What is the negative message?

Just hating everything errbody loves, promoting all the evil shit instead of the good, you feel me? Like being a bad role model.

What type of music did your family listen to when you were growing up?

They was into 90’s and 2000’s hip hop and r&b, but I didn’t like that shit. I was listening to heavy metal, Dipset, and OJ da Juiceman.

What’s the first album you remember buying?

Louder Now by Taking Back Sunday.

If you had to pick one song to be your ringtone for the rest of your life what would it be?

If they make a movie about your life what is it going to be like and who is going to play you and your friends?

Toro y Moi would be me, my friends would be played by like the niggas from Sad Boys and we would just be traveling and learning about different cultures and shit like a documentary.

You can find where to stream or purchase “LW17” using this link

Ella Rae

What prompted you to start making music?

I was eighteen years old and moved to London from the southwest of England to further my music career. I performed at Ronnie Scott’s on my first night which was incredibly inspiring. I took my guitar in and asked if I could be a guest singer for the show they had on that night. To my surprise, they let me. It was a great start. From then on, I continued to play shows and write music.

The year is 2050 and you’ve had a storied career as a musician. Who plays you in your biopic and what ideally is the plot arc of the movie?

Ideally, I would like the plot to be that I’ve had lots of albums, sold out shows etc. Then later on in life, I would marry Bryan Ferry, move to the countryside and write music with him every day. If I could direct the film too, I would set it in Iceland or somewhere magical like that.

In this movie, Will you be a tragic figure or comedic?


Are there any particular non-musical inspirations at play in your music?

I would like to say I write loads of happy songs about love and stuff but I don’t. Someone asked me recently why that is and I just said I have no control over what I write. They just happen. Right now, I’m inspired by other things. I go through phases.

If you had to choose one song to be your alarm clock for the rest of your life, what would that one song be?

I’m on fire – Bruce Springsteen

Who’s your mom’s favorite musician?

My mums favourite is Ed Sheeran.
My Dads favourite is The Beatles.

How do you create meaningful experiences in your life?

I travel a lot. I have come to realise that I’m most settled when I’m on the move. I like living that way and I experience a lot more which inspires my writing.

I also try to spend time at home back in England. These times are important to me as I feel I have most of my happiest times there when I’m with my family/friends.

Lastly, can you tell us your favorite joke?

Yeah I made it up actually when I was 12 years old and it got published in the London papers. They even sent me 5 pounds for it. I remember I was really proud of it.

What day should you cook bacon?
Fry-day ( I was 12 when I made this up)


Thanks for taking time to speak with us, to start I’ll ask a softball question — when did you start making music?

I started getting serious about 3 years ago. Music has always been a part of who I am so I was just thinking of my ways to contribute to the world.

How do you think art contributes to the world, how does it function?

Well art for everyone is different, for me, it is a form expression. Art can generate conversations that we as people are afraid to have. I feel like it’s just a forum to express yourself or to view the world through someone else’s eyes and just relate to the parts of yourself you didn’t even know existed.

Ok let’s pretend it’s 2050, you’ve had this wild storied career as a musician, what contemporary actors would play you in your biopic and what would the general plot arc be?

Yara Shahidi? She’s the oldest daughter in Blackish. I feel like a lot of her values mesh with my own and I feel like it would be easy to delve into me as a character.

What would the movie be about?

Well if it’s about me I assume it’s going to be about me. It would probably explore how one female artist single-handedly eliminated systematic oppression.

Oh wow, what would the title of the movie be?

I don’t know… “Damn Right” that’s what it would be called.

If you could choose one song to be your alarm clock for the rest of your life what would it be?

Who is your mom’s favorite musician?

Definitely Chaka Khan. We’ve had every album that she’s ever made and I know that I’ve definitely heard every song she’s ever made. Especially on the weekends, because that was my mom’s go-to cleaning music — Chaka Khan and Patti Labelle.

What do you consider a meaningful experience?

Something that has me thinking, something that you think about days to come or years later. For example, a meaningful experience that I didn’t even know was a meaningful experience was when I was living with my Uncle and Aunt in Alabama and every morning we would wake up and the routine was to feed the fish that were in his pond and put food in the bird feeders for the birds and I see that time as meaningful because now whenever I find myself needing a moment of serenity I end up outside, feeding the birds.

Lastly, can you tell us what your favorite joke is?

I don’t really have a favorite joke but there is a skit by the late great Bernie Mac that always has me cracking up no matter how many times I watch it. He does this skit where he just goes on and on about the versatility of the word “mother fucker”

Check out Cipherella’s whole Soundcloud as she prepares for the release of her first studio album “Interfunkalacticfied Vibes” produced by AfterThem Music group, James Lion, and P.Torres and is scheduled to be released in 2017.


Thanks for talking with us Phoelix, firstly I’ll ask what prompted you to start making music?

I don’t think anything necessarily ‘prompted’ me into making music. It’s just something I’ve always been around. As a kid I remember my brother Dax & I making arrangements to church songs, and putting our own spin on everything. In 4th grade, myself, Dax & my cousin Blake (Davis) were making acapella (3 part harmony) arrangements to hymns & stuff like that. As a teenager, movies played a big role in my obsession with production, but making music has always been something I’ve been into.

What do you think are the functions of art (good and bad) in our contemporary society?

INFLUENCE! All artists reach a point in their career where people love your music to the point that they’ll believe in the things you say outside of the music. We have that power to change and impact our world by the things (outside of the studio and the stage) we do and say. That goes both ways though, but to me that’s big.

Alright the year is 2050 and you’ve had a storied career as a musician. Who plays you in your biopic and what ideally is the plot arc of the movie?

Lmao who plays me in my biopic…. I would have to say a young version of Yasiin Bey would play me or a young version of Dr. Lee from Drumline <laughs>. Damn near my son though by 2050. <laughs> Plot arc? I feel like a common theme would have something to do with falling and getting back up. There’s been a lot of that in this lil 25 years. I can’t even imagine what the next 30 is going to look like. 

In this movie will you be a tragic figure or comedic?

If you know me you know I look at most things as comedy. But I also take my work very seriously. If I’m alive to oversee this biopic I would definitely be more of a tragic figure than comedic.

Are there any particular non-musical inspirations at play in your music?

Both sides of love are inspiring. I think film and visual art are also key. I’ve been blessed to be able to see most of the country and other parts of the world in the last year, and I think the conversations I’ve had with people, and different cultures I’ve experienced have influenced me heavily.

If you had to choose one song to be your alarm clock for the rest of your life, what would that one song be?

Red beans & Rice. <laughs>

Who’s your mom’s favorite musician (besides you of course)?

Tamela Mann for sure. Y’all gotta hear my mom sing “Take Me To The King” … my mom is my favorite singer too. <laughs> If you know you know.

How do you create meaningful experiences in your life?

I don’t think you do. I think when you try to make something meaningful it becomes a forced thing. You’ll find yourself in a moment, and you can miss it trying to catch it. That’s a reason I don’t take a lot of pictures or videos when I’m out. Something Brian Sanborn always says is you have to learn to live and exist within those “moments”.

Lastly, can you tell us your favorite joke?

Anything Michael Scott from The Office says… I was just watching this show last night.

“I’m an early bird and I’m a night owl. So I’m wise and I have worms…”

My kinda humor.


Don’t miss him on Thursday, August 17th at SubT! Get tickets here 


Abbi Press

So tell us a little about the new project? 

‘Double Eye Rascal’ is a compilation of previously released songs, remastered. It’s a collection of tracks that I wanted to revisit as a project because they mean a lot to me as self-produced works and the messages within each song are very tender/close to my heart. It was also a chance for me to distribute them onto platforms that don’t currently have them listed in their music libraries i.e. Apple Music, Spotify, etc.

Can you tell us a little about the messages presented on this project?

I guess you could say the entire project is centered around the concept of love – whether it be self-love, love for another person, or the purity of love as an isolated idea. If I had to pair it down per track I’d say ‘Lavender’ is about the love of friendship, ‘Kaleidoscope’ is about self-love/picking up broken pieces of self to grow and rebuild, ‘What A Thing’ is about the purity of love as an ideal and how important it is to love no matter what, ‘Polaroid’ is about the love of family and the bonds we build from childhood, and ‘Vantage Point’ is about love lost and looking ahead.

Are you a self-taught producer? Can you take us through your learning process?

Ya, when I was in high school I started teaching myself after I heard the Imogen Heap song, ‘Hide And Seek’. I wanted to know how she was creating those sounds so I started messing around in GarageBand. But, it wasn’t until college that I really started investing time into music production. They offered an electronic music course at Lewis and Clark College my Sophomore year and we used Reason as our DAW. I used Reason for a couple years until my friend in Chicago gifted me Ableton and I’ve been using it ever since.

I will say – I wouldn’t have the skills I have today if it weren’t for my friends, the internet, and other producers who have given me tips along the way. I’m always looking for ways to improve and different methods to try. Recently, it’s been fun to mix live instruments (drums, harp, guitar) in with more electronic based downtempo rhythms and synths. My initial incentive to learning how to produce was always focused around my vocals i.e. creating instrumentals to sing on because I was too impatient to wait for male producers to send me beats. Over time though, it’s blossomed into a separate and distinct passion that I enjoy just as much as singing.

And I hear you’ve got a new single coming out in August? My ears are burning. 

It’s called ‘Butterfly Effect’! It’s the first song I’m releasing that features me on guitar and the first time I’ve recorded and mixed my drummer, Robby Bowen, into a track. We recently started working with a harpist named Anna Bikales, so she’ll be featured as well. And to accompany the single, I also wrote, directed, and produced a music video which was shot and edited by my friend Jeff Mertz ( Definitely, keep your eyes peeled for that one.



Space Candy

Ok, we’ll keep it cute to start, who was your first celebrity crush?

I think it was probably Hayley Williams, but my tru awakening was Micheal Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs the world lmao, I still kinda have a thing for him. I don’t really believe in “types” much, at least for myself, like everyone has their own preferences and stuff but Micheal Cera just totally awoke something in me about shy ppl who have probably recorded albums in their bedrooms.

Ok, serious question. Why did you start producing music?

It all started when I heard Skrillex for the first time lmao. like I didn’t like it at first cause I was a hella edgy 16-year-old metal head but then I started to love it a bunch. it was really important for me cause it showed me that you can like aggressive music that also is really positive and it’s like instead of there being hella angry guitars and vocals where it would just reinforce me being angry, I could just dance to these heavy bass sounds and it helped me have a more positive outlook on the world and people in general, it helped mellow me as a person and I’m really grateful for that. Also, I hadn’t heard any sounds like that before it totally blew my mind. But yea so I got into more brostep and other kinds of dance music and I got FL Studio 10 and started trying to make things!

K, philosophical question: What do you think are the functions of art (good and bad) in our contemporary society?

Oooooh, I think art has so many different roles today. If we’re talking about art as in something which you do to express yourself, I’d say its pretty fundamental to everyone’s life, even if you don’t consider yourself an artsy person. Someone getting home from work, sitting down and watching something on Netflix or Youtube or cooking food is totally art cause that’s how they choose to express themselves. Art doesn’t need an audience for it to be art, I think Molly Soda is really good at showing how people’s private lives can very easily become art if they showed it to the world. That being said it doesn’t have to be that deep, sometimes watching stuff on Youtube is just watching stuff on Youtube but there’s always POTENTIAL for it to become something else. But yea to like summarise I think art today is basically what people do to be happy or at least contented, even if it’s in a really subtle, every day kinda way.

Alright now it’s 2050 and you’ve had a storied career as a music producer. Who plays you in your biopic and what ideally is the general plot arc of the movie?

So I’d probably try and make it serious at first and get a proper cast where a seasoned actor would play me and it would be like some intense, dramatic biopic like that film with the drummer guy with the teacher who’s like “that’s not my tempo”  (wait it’s whiplash omg). But yeah so I would try and make it like that at first but then after like a month I’d be like “Nah actually we gotta stop”. Then I’d just go really goofy with it and cast Zac Effron as me (also a huge crush on him lol) and make like this wild, mutated version of that other EDM movie w Zac Effron in it. But yea it would start out kinda accurate to how I started out and then it would just get more elaborate and absurd as it went on and like, Zac Effron would be playing this club and a dragon would come and attack the club but then Zac would do something and the midi controllers would turn into a huge af mech and it would basically end up being Zac Effron fighting people in a mech with Tim & Eric style jokes sometimes. Also, the film would pass the Bechdel test and all the money made from the film would go to LGBTQA+ homeless shelters. Also, all my friends get to ride in the mech. Also, me and my friends make cameos in the film as people who say shit like “OH NO A DRAGON !!!” or “Za-i mean space candy you messed up my sandwich order, you’re never gonna make it as a DJ!”

you run into Michael Cera at the premiere of your Gundam-EDM-sandwich movie and he says he’s developed a little crush. You text a bit and it’s going really well so you decide to send him a mix cassette. what songs are on this cassette?

7. probably some sonic youth or something to really seal the deal w him

8. every Henrik the artist song

Do you think people are in a state of lacking? 

I think the idea of humans being “complete” is kind of a lie, but that’s not to say a person can’t live a happy, fulfilling life. I think we gotta just learn as we go, learn about what makes us happy, what makes people we care about happy and base our lives on that. I think once the workforce is 100% automated, everyone will hopefully re-evaluate the fundamentals of western society and we can create a more empathetic system that will serve the needs of everyone. I don’t really know how to run a post-workforce-society but it would be cool to live in a world that respects the needs of every person – like we need to make society SO much better for disabled people for a start and just marginalized people in general. I digress though, people should do what makes them happy as long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s human rights. (Also we should treat robots with the same respect we treat humans, I got a ton of thoughts on robots tbh).

Any last words?

Shout out to DESKPOP, Galen Tipton, Notlikethat and also bees, flowers, and nature in general, nature is so good and SAVE THE BEES, GO TO UR LOCAL PARK, DONT LITTER IN PARKS !!! also treat the robots in your life well, treat your phone with empathy, also other people. <3