We chatted with North Carolina’s Porter Robinson over Labor Day weekend to find out more about this teenage prodigy who has been ruling Beatport’s Electro House chart with his hit record, “Say My Name”. Check out the rest of the interview, “Say My Name”, and two previews (one exclusive) of upcoming Porter Robinson tracks after the jump.
Gotta Dance Dirty: First, thanks for taking time out of your day to give us an interview. Traditionally here at Gotta Dance Dirty™, we would ask what your alcoholic beverage of choice is if the first round were on us, but since you’re only 18, would you like your Shirley Temple with one cherry or two?
Porter Robinson: Hey, I’m headed out to Germany not too long from now. But while I’m here, get me a coffee or something. Also, you guys are throwing me a free GDD t-shirt, right? I’m going to make sure you spend at least a little on me.
GDD: One coffee and one tee. As one of electro house’s youngest stars, you must have been producing from a very young age. Tell us about how you got your start.
PR: Yeah! I got started at age 13 just sort of playing with a program called ACID. My experience as a producer actually predates my discovery of ‘real’ electronic music. What inspired me back then was the music I knew from videogames and weird Japanese shit I downloaded from Limewire. So it’s not like I started off trying to emulate the most successful producers out there. I found out about electro like three years after I started producing.
GDD: You’ve taken electro, progressive, and dubstep and crafted them together to top the Beatport Electro House chart with your single, “Say My Name”. Would you mind sharing your influences and tell us how you started experimenting with your current sound?
PR: The iconic dubstep wobble. Damn, I love it so much. The wobble is an incredible bass sound and real electro house is driven by its basses, so it seemed completely natural to me to incorporate it. And I think the combination of soft, unthreatening progressive breakdowns with super aggressive-sounding hooks creates an awesome contrast. Those sounds just clicked and it worked, in my opinion, really well. As far as my influences go, there’s like 50 artists whose names I want to drop who are clearly putting enormous amounts of effort and detail into their productions. Wolfgang Gartner, Dirtyloud, and Noisia are the first producers that come to mind, though. Their priorities seem to be the same as mine: they emphasize power and complexity.
GDD: With that being said, any plans to experiment with dubstep?
PR: I’m open to the possibility, but right now I don’t plan to. Entirely different production skills are required of an artist for that genre. Plus, with all the collaborations and remixes I’m doing right now in electro house, it would be hard to fit in an experimental project. I have thought about giving breaks a try, though. That’s not too different from what I’m doing today.
GDD: Porter, it’s obvious to anyone who is paying attention that your future is very bright. With which artists are you looking forward to collaborating?
PR: It’s been mind-blowing – several of my collaboration fantasies are actually coming true. I just finished a song with Lazy Rich, a long-time favorite of mine, and also Dirtyloud, and I plan to do a song together since we both really dig each other’s music. But if I could really have it my way, I’d do a track with Wolfgang Gartner. I’ve come to idealize him as some kind of music production deity.
GDD: Looking forward to hearing that collaboration with Lazy Rich! What else can we look forward to from you in the near future?
PR: I work on music a lot, so I have just an enormous amount of singles that are awaiting release. I’m remixing Tim Berg’s tune “Bromance”. Today, I just wrapped up a remix for German deejays Heiko und Maiko, and I think that it really, really rocks. I’d say I have about ten completed songs that nobody’s heard yet, and I’ve put an enormous amount of effort into each of them.
GDD: Care to share some wisdom with any budding producers out there reading this?
PR: Yeah, I’d love to! The best advice that I ever got was just to make your music ultra-detailed to make it clear to my listeners that you’re working hard. Polish is what will set you apart. No section of your song should be easy to make – if it was, add a crazy fill to it. Set absurd standards for yourself.
GDD: Anything else you want to say?
PR: Shout out to Lil Jon. I’m obsessed with the guy. Two of my unreleased songs make references to him. I knew I was in love with the act Pance Party when I saw they had him as their Twitter background.
GDD: Last but not least, will you be dancing dirty at senior prom?
PR: I gotta!
Without further ado, check out “Say My Name”, Porter’s collaboration with Lazy Rich entitled “Hello”, and an exclusive peek at his latest remix of Heiko und Maiko.