A lesson many artists learn is that there is no such thing as complete mastery over their craft, and evolution is a continuing process. Thus, it’s important to remain grounded; confident enough to release music out to the world, but fully aware there’s always something to be improved upon.
Robot Love has had this idea ingrained in him from the start. A Berklee grad, he’s clearly got a prodigious level of knowledge. But that doesn’t stop him from keeping himself on his toes. Instead, in his quiet studio space, he’s been working for years at finding his sound and honing his experimental sound. The work has paid off; Claude VonStroke discovered the young producer on a SoundCloud dive, instantly becoming enamored with his music and signing him promptly onto DIRTYBIRD.
The resulting ‘Wallflower’ EP brought a breath of fresh air to the label while showing off a producer ready to assume his spot at the top of the next wave of dance talent. We wouldn’t be surprised if a signing to Ninja Tune or Domino awaited him in the future. In the meantime, we tapped his brain for some nuggets of wisdom as a growing artist, and for more on his music journey thus far.
Hi Steve! Really appreciate you taking the time to sit with us
To start, we’ve noticed that you maintain a modest persona and really let your music speak for itself (it’s incredible, by the way). As a creative, do you ever feel impostor syndrome about your work, and do you feel this can be a blessing in that it keeps you on your toes and keen to be your at your best when creating? Why or why not is it a benefit or a curse to one’s artistry?
How far do you want to take it? Everyone who wants to make something in earnest is going to have doubts all the time. I try and keep everything simple. Make music and enjoy the process as much as possible. Beyond that I don’t really think much about it. People have really sharp ears and good taste… nothing gets past them. But what is it I’m trying to be exactly? It’s just kind of fun to write. I have a companion who I send music to. How could I be an imposter to them? I don’t think in terms of career. You hear these producers who have transcended that- their music is beyond any career. To put it in terms that are more relevant to your questions here, you could jump start a “career” with every sound they put out. It’s work, digging it all out of the ground- and the bar is set so high. Just enjoy the harvest and you’ll eat. They do it effortlessly.
Your music is very reminiscent of Four Tet, Jons Hopkins, etc – can you tell us about the path that led you to this aesthetic? What brings you the most inspiration these days?
I mostly rely on my friends to send me music. There. are definitely some names that have popped up for me over the years. When I hear something that has so much care and skill behind it it’s immediately obvious. I don’t need the name of the artist or the gear, or whatever. Some productions are so genuine to the personality of the artist and you can instantly tell. Genre doesn’t really matter. Bonobo, Four Tet, Jon Hopkins, these are artists functioning on another level in terms of production. Bonobo, in particular goes so far back for me.
You wrote the your whole ‘Wallflower’ EP on modular, correct? Describe to us your preference for a hands-on approach to musicmaking vs an “in-the-box” approach.
It’s got to hit the DAW at some point right? I try and make sounds and record them. I record everything I can, in daily life and in the studio. Ableton handles anything you throw at it. It’s miraculous. Can you imagine the house sized modular that would have gone into a production like that, out of the box? Everything is so organic and wild outside the box. Bring it in, try and tame it.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far as you embark in your career in music?
At this point it should be obvious that the real magic happens with the people supporting me behind the scenes. My favorite people.
Any final words for our readers?
Make something, just anything really. It’s beautiful.