Grown Folk Interview

Originally Posted on Schitz Popinov

Attn class. Here we have one of my favourite interviews to date. Grown Folk.

These cats have been my main squeeze as far as new music goes for some time now. They’ve received hype from some of the best people on the web but remain relatively unknown. Too unknown for my liking. Somebody bring these guys to Vancouver!!!!!! Do it. Read on:

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Introductions first. Who is Grown Folk, where are you guys from and where do you live?

We are Drew and Brendan. We both currently living in Montreal and going to University here (Drew is actually currently in London, UK for the moment) Drew grew up in Hawaii and Brendan grew up in Vermont.

When and where did you guys come together to produce under one name?

We met at University in Montreal in 2009 and both became interested in electronic music as neither of us had much exposure to it in the US. We began as resident DJs for a promotion company putting on events with all the big electro artists of that time (I say “that time” even though it was only 3 years ago). By 2010 we were dabbling in production under solo projects. After a few months of sending music back and forth we realized we were into similar things and decided to collaborate on some tracks. It was just going to be a one off thing, but it went so well we decided to stick together.

What was the final ingredient on the decision to run with the name Grown Folk?

This name actually came from Markus from LOL Boys. I was sending him some tracks and he kept telling me that it was some “grown folks house music.” That kind of stuck with me and when we were thinking of a name that’s what stuck.

What were you doing before this project?

We were both working on solo projects and getting our feet wet in the whole production thing as neither of us really started until late 2009. Drew was putting out tunes under Kid Aloha and Brendan under Roladex.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

We havent really had jobs we didn’t like!

How long have you been into making music be it DJing, producing or formal education and what got you started?

We have really only been into DJing and making music for about 3 years at this point. Both of us are life long music fans of many different genres, but we didn’t start becoming very active until we arrived in Montreal and were exposed to clubs and DJing in general. Initially I (Brendan) didn’t really have much interest in producing because I had no past musical experience and was worried I couldn’t do it. In the Winter of 2010 I saw Renaissance Man play at a big festival in Montreal and something changed. I decided that I could make music too and dove right in. Drew started producing a little bit before that, but for both of us it was really a natural progression from DJing.

What are you working with? Both software and hardware?

Right now we are working with Ableton and a MIDI keyboard. That is about it. We have plans to get hardware eventually, I think the goal is to eventually produce completely on analog gear. But that will take time and money. This summer we will probably get a 707 and hopefully if all works out some sort of synth, maybe an SH-101 or something.

Droptop is what turned me onto your music initially. What can you tell us about this particular track, how much time was spent on it, what got the track started initially and what finally brought it together?

This is actually a pretty funny story. This track started out as a hip hop beat that was being made for a friend. Before the vocal got put in and some of the synth lines we noticed the bassline had a really nice groove. So we sped it up about 25 bpm and realized we could turn it into a summer house tune. We found the vocal and put that in and worked on the structure for 2 weeks or so before we were completely happy with it.

You guys have got the 90′s rave down, locked. I often am reminded of Technotronic when I listen to your music. Can you list some influences?

Thanks man! To be honest we are more into the 90s house stuff rather than the rave and hardcore producers although there was a minute when we were putting some more rave influences into our tunes. People like MK, Murk, Larry Heard, and Kerri Chandler have all had a big influence on our sound. We are still pretty new and discovering so much new music every day that we are constantly influenced by producers from the past 20 years.

How has Montreal responded to your sound?

Montreal has had a great response to everything we have done so far. Local producers like Jacques Greene, Prince Club, and LOL Boys have all been big supporters and have become good friends. We are being booked for nights in the city pretty regularly now so things are going great!

XLR8R, Silverback Recording, Sword Artists, Templar Sound and Hush House have all been sending hype your way. Who else is out there promoting you? From here you seem relatively low key.

Yea we are slowly getting our name out there. DJ Mag did a nice review on the City Wind EP and Fact Mag has shown us some love as well.

Do you have any of your own parties going?

As of now we aren’t doing any parties of our own but we have lots of friends putting on parties every week so we are playing those mostly.

Title’s, there ALL so, “G” ,for lack of a better word. Rap influence on your titles?

Haha, absolutely. We listen to a lot of rap and usually even sneak a little into our sets when we play out.

What kind of music do you relax to or listen to on your own time?

I (Brendan) basically listen to house or electronic music all the time. I also listen to some hip hop, but unlike a lot of people, I enjoy listening to mixes or Rinse FM when I’m just relaxing. Drew is much more into rap than I am so he is definitely listening to a lot of hip hop when relaxing.

How’d you hook up with LOL Boys to remix each other?

We met Markus because he lives in Montreal as well and became good friends. The remixes were just a natural extension of that.

Do you guys have any kind of process or particular section of a song that you begin with when starting something new?

I would say we basically always start with drums. We are both into trying to make interesting rhythms combing classic drum sounds with more experimental ones. So usually we will create a skeleton with that and a bassline and move forward from there.

As far as new go’s can you tell us about your new material? Release deets, title’s, ect.

We have an original track and a collab with Dro Carey coming our on February 20th on CD on the Templar Sound Compilation. This is CD only and Aidan from Templar did an incredible job on the packaging as well as getting great artwork for it so can’t wait for that. After that we have a 12” dropping on Templar. I have to keep the details a little secret on this, but its going to be a hip hop collaboration with two rappers who are really killing it right now. We also have 2 great remixes lined up for that. In the summer we will have another 12” coming out on a new label. It will be house, and I can’t say any more than that. We also have a collaboration with LOL Boys dropping sometime in the future on the Friends of Friends sub label called Young Adults.

When might Grown Folk make an appearance in Vancouver, I’ve had my eye out since Droptop came out. Please don’t tell me I missed you somehow :S

We haven’t been there yet but hope to get out there soon. Tell your friends to book us!

Thats all I’ve got for you guys. Anything you’d like to add?

Thanks to everyone who’s supported us and bought our music, 2012 is going to be a great year, so stay tuned!

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