I seem to always confuse myself by saying 'Octa Octo' and for a while Im pretty sure I thought it was just 'Octo Octo'. Is 8 your lucky number, or is there another story behind your name?
The name actually came from an abbreviated old AIM screen name I was using at the time. Nothing too special about it. I should probably craft some mystical backstory attached to it!
Who or what specific movements would you consider gave way to the birth of 'House', a genre that you are commonly associated to?
I mean, it’s literally born from disco and soul. What we now consider ‘House’ took shape in Chicago (where I was born, but really did not live) and was moulded by many a young kids getting cheap synthesizer gear and producing stuff for the dance floor. I personally consider the Trax records as the place where it starts. Guys like Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard, Armando, Adonis, Phuture, etc.
Do you like being bracketed under labels, or is it something you don't take notice of and produce music that comes to you regardless?
I don’t mind being bracketed under labels so much, but I can only make what I make. I’m really not looking to make ‘house’ specifically, but if that’s how the track comes out then that’s what it is. If I wanted to make proper house songs, then I would probably strip more parts away and try to keep sounds cleaner than I eventually make them. I make what makes me dance and the house vibe is super conducive to what makes me move!
How does your background in Brooklyn inspire the music you make?
You know, I’m not really sure. Right before I moved to Brooklyn I had just started making more dance floor friendly songs and stopped producing IDM. So the majority of the material on my releases has been made while I’ve been here. The city definitely has a different vibe and I think doing dance music is a great way to deal with the stress of being here. Probably makes my songs more emotive than if I was still in New Hampshire.
What else motivates you - musically or otherwise?
I would be working on music regardless of having had releases out. Music is the art-form I can best express myself and I have an innate drive to create stuff. I don’t really need much motivation to work on stuff, I can’t much help it!
How did you meet Amanda Brown (LA Vampires) and subsequently, how did you feel joining the 100% Silk label?
I got in touch with Amanda after sending her demos one day. Silk had only had a few releases out and she has her email on the Silk page. I loved NNF and always wanted to send them something, but they hadn’t been putting out dance stuff at the time until they started Silk. She responded to me right away and it’s been great since then. I loved joining the label. It’s so hard to get people to listen to what you’re doing and Amanda was so open to hearing new people. It just worked out in my favor! I don’t think I’d be where I am right now without her support, it’s actually been life changing.
Were you pleased with the results?
I actually sent her the 5 songs we did together and didn’t get to hear what she did with them until we toured together in 2011. It was thrilling to have her Britt and Nick working on my songs. I loved how they came out.
You have a notable presence on the internet. How has this helped you make yourself heard? Are there any drawbacks?
Oh boy, I wouldn’t really say I have a notable presence, but what little press I do get now is fucking amazing. I don’t really see any drawbacks yet, it just makes me want to make sure I put out the highest quality work I can since people are listening now.
What is on the cards for Octo Octa in the future - plans for more collaborations, releases, creative projects?
In the future right now is an 8-track album coming out early April on Silk and right now I’m working on another EP, plus various remix projects that have been coming in. There are possible collabs in the future, but I gotta get more time before I can get stuff off the ground.
You recently posted on your facebook that you're cutting loose from the day job to get more tour dates, how does touring affect your music? and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am cutting loose soon! 6 more weeks and then I’m done for a bit from day jobs. I love playing shows and can’t wait to get back on tour. Touring effects my music greatly because I get to see what works and what doesn’t. I still have songs I don’t play live, but tracks I think are gonna kill, or parts that I think are gonna kill might not. So I get to see what I need to add or delete. I make what makes me dance, but sometimes it’s gotta get tailored a little bit so everyone will dance. Also just getting out and seeing people is so much fun. Doing dance music lets you party far more than a day job does.
Could you tell us a little about the mix and the artists that you've selected?
I just picked ten records that I love. It’s kind of put together like if you were hanging out at my place and I wanted to play you some new stuff I picked up. A little bit random!
You've recorded a straight up vinyl mix, do you have a big love for vinyl and collection of records? is it a format that you are attached to?
I’ve always collected stuff since I was little and I finally shed most of my collecting and now I just focus on records. I love physical objects, so record collecting is a lot of fun and really satisfying to me. I also like having my releases be physical releases. I don’t think I could put anything out that wouldn’t eventually be on some physical format.16:00 - 17:52