Here we are with Viceroy AKA Austen Afridi AKA sun-kissed magician and panty soaker extraordinaire. He took some time to sit down with us and discuss the creative process behind “Viceroy” and give away his smashing new EP “Sunburn” for free. Needless to say, it’s incredible, sure to teleport you to your own island paradise. Drink it in, and clean out those ears, because we’re about to fill you up!
READ THE INTERVIEW + DOWNLOAD THE FULL EP AFTER THE JUMP!
GDD: In popular and in GDD tradition, what do you drink?
VR: When a bar has the materials, I love to order a Dark ‘N’ Stormy. There’s nothing like a refreshing summer drink.
GDD: That doesn’t sound refreshing no summery; more like a new flavor of Mountain Dew. Anyway, ever since “Sunny Daze” we’ve been left itching for more. What do you feel like this song did for you as an artist? Was it your “breakout?”
VR: I’d say it was definitely a breakthrough song for me. It wasn’t my most popular release to date, but it defines Viceroy you know? It’s a feel good summer jam.
GDD: Where do you live and how does that influence your productions / style? Does this change as you travel through different venues? How do your sets vary over tour?
VR: I live in San Francisco, although I’d love to live in LA at some point. I think the relaxed culture of San Fran influences my production for sure. The people are super friendly and chill here. The nice thing about playing in other cities for me is promoters know what to expect, so I play to a pretty similar crowd everywhere. You always have to read the crowd though. If they seem a little ravey then throw something a bit heavier in your set, but keep the same theme going.
GDD: What are your favorite cities you’ve played so far? ‘Mind describing a rather awesome experience?
VR: There is no question that playing in LA is sweet. NYC is also a really energetic crowd, but LA caters to my style so much more. I’d have to say No Shirt/ No Shoes was a rather awesome experience. It was my first show as Viceroy and there couldn’t have been a better setting/ crowd to play for. It was packed! Can’t beat a rooftop pool. Besides the actual event, I met some awesome people like the GDD crew, Dub Frequency crew, Ampal Creative, the whole No Shirt/ No Shoes crew. They have probably been my biggest supports so far.
GDD: What studio and production equipment do you use when your spin/produce?
VR: I just got back from a great studio in Boston called the Bridge Studio. I finished my Sunburn Ep there. At home I have a pretty basic set up: a few midi controllers/keyboards, some audio interfaces, big ass monitors and my beloved Ableton live. I have been using Komplete 8 recently as my main vst. It’s my favorite VST I’ve ever owned. It has so many incredible instruments.
GDD: Speaking of your EP, It’s out today! Tell us a little about it. It’s very different than your past work.
VR: Yeah, I kind of grew tired of just doing filter house. I know my fans love my music for that reason, but it gets old and it limits you as an artist. I really like the concept of complextro except it’s a bit hard for my production style. Why not funk it out? Funkplextro eh? I’m known for saying fuck genres, which is true. I’d rather set a mood than be labeled as a genre. That’s why I call my music “Summer music”. It allows me to explore all kinds of “genres”, but keep true to my motto “Summertime, all the time”. That way I can keep up expectations, but remix Wiz Khalifa or explore funkplextro at the same time.
GDD: *spawn the birth of summertime-funkplextro* Where does your name come from?
VR: To be honest, I have no idea. People ask if it’s from Star Wars and I know it’s not from that. I must have heard it in a history class and thought it was a dope word. Not really too much to it, but I really like the name and I’m glad I picked it.
GDD: How do you go about finding new music? Who are some of the artists we should definitely keep an eye/ear out for?
VR: I get so much promo music it’s retarded. I try to weed through that, but Hypem is great. Obviously the guys at GDD and some other blogs I follow. Keep an eye out for my boy Lenno, obviously Madeon is killing it and Eumig and Chinon.
GDD: What are your first memories of music from childhood? How do these influences affect your post, past and current music?
VR: I remember when I was 7 my babysitter snuck me a copy of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”. My cousin did the same with “Dookie”. I guess you could say I’ve been ahead of the curve on upcoming music since a young age (laughs). Dookie specifically has always stuck with me. My influences now range from A Tribe Called Quest to the Jazz trio, The Bad Plus. As far as electronic music, I really look up to Treasure Fingers, Kill the Noise, and SebastiAn. They were some of the first electronic artists that I listened to. I did manage to get my hands on Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land” CD when I was pretty young.
GDD: Whats your perfect/fantasy show? Intimate setting or large stage?
VR: I am playing a festival in December and I’m really looking forward to that. I do enjoy a crowd of 600 really pumped up people, but there is nothing like a crowd of thousands. I am hoping to headline some major pool parties during WMC week in Miami.
GDD: How do you pick songs that you want to remix? How do you go about picking your samples?
VR: A lot of producers want to remix a top 10 billboard song before anyone else so they have the first playable remix. This generally correlates into a lot of plays, downloads, and press for your remix despite how good it actually is. I don’t think this is a terrible route, but I look for a popular track, new or old and try to put a new spin on it like my Katy Perry remix or my Wiz Khalifa remix. As far as samples, I don’t have specific method. I usually just come upon something and it clicks with me. It’s a very organic process and I don’t try to force it.
GDD: If you had to wear a permanent life jacket or permanent helmet for the rest of your life, which would it be?
VR: Definitely a permanent life jacket. Going full retard by wearing a helmet is inexcusable. I can get away with wearing a permanent life jacket by telling girls I own a massive yacht.
GDD: What are your favorite 5 songs to play at this moment?
VR: This isn’t in any order:
1) Kaskade & Skrillex – Lick it
2) Viceroy – Sunburn
3) Bingo Players – Cry Just a Little
4) Yelle- Que Veux Tu (Madeon Remix)
5) Quakers vs. Mormons – New York Town (Lenno Remix)
GDD: What does the future hold for Viceroy?
VR: Expanding my brand. You know why guys like Atrak, Deadmau5, and Diplo are so popular and successful? Besides being great producers they have branded themselves so well. Record labels, clothing, public image, etc. are all apart of that. I’m young in the game (been around since February 2011), but I think I’ve so far done a great job branding myself with the summer theme. My manager Justin who runs Vitalic Noise understands the importance of this.
GDD: Thanks Austin, you’ve got a bright future bud. We love you!
VR: Love you more than a fat kid loves cake!
The Sunburn EP:
Viceroy – Sunburn (Original Mix) by VICEROY
Viceroy – Paradise (Original Mix) by VICEROY
Viceroy – Mirage (Original Mix) by VICEROY
Viceroy – Beach Bum (Original Mix) by VICEROY
^our personal favorite^
LA – Don’t forget to catch Viceroy next Friday, Nov 18th @ CONTROL in the Honey Lounge!