Caught the coat tails of Montreal fused Grown Folk half Drew, aka Druture. The incessant weight of a not small twenty four year old male was enough to slow him down and grant an interview to. The ideal outcome, seeing as how Grown Folk have long been a continuos blip on the Duracell battery powered radar of this ill lit, Red Bull can littered lair. Through the interview we discussed his own moniker, Druture, and the connection between the solo project and Grown Folk.
First and foremost, Druture is purely a side project correct? Last time I saw uploads from a group members new alias was when the LOL boys split.
Damn, RIP LOL Boys. Nah nothing like that at all, Brendan actually was the one who encouraged me to do a side project to get some of these tunes out there. Grown Folk is as strong, and busy as ever, expect to hear a lot of new stuff from us in 2013. Shout out to Jerome LOL and Heartbeat(s) btw, some amazing stuff coming from both of those dudes.
Elaborate on the branching.
With Grown Folk, Brendan and I have always taken a more calculated approach to what we put out there, and we’ve worked really hard to establish a signature sound, a sort of strand that ties together all of our material. Its something I’m really proud of creating, but I also have a lot of other impulses which might not fit perfectly under the Grown Folk umbrella.
How are you approaching solo productions differently?
Its actually not all that different than how I go about working on Grown Folk tunes. Brendan and I have actually spent a good deal of our time working together in different cities. Whether its due to the 4 month summer breaks when we weren’t in school, or the 8 months I spent in London 2 years ago. Because of this we’re often starting up projects, getting them to a certain point, and then uploading them to dropbox. I guess the biggest difference is that there is no one else to bounce ideas off of, and when I get stuck on a track there’s no one to help get things going again other than myself. There’s a really nice fluidity to being in a duo, since you’re not always going to be inspired or motivated to work on things 24/7. You also have another set of ears throughout the entire process, because anyone who’s produced will tell you that after a few hours, its easy to get lost in the loops, and doubt can definitely creep in. I think that working on a solo project will only strengthen myself as a producer, and I’ll have even more to bring to the table when Brendan and I work on a Grown Folk track together.
What genres are you looking to explore outside of the group? Hip Hop clearly. Also, I love that the only person your following is The Dream. The guy is too good, and he remixes so damn well.
Hip-Hop is the obvious jump off point, but there’s a whole world of sounds and regional strains that I’m into. The Houston sound has always been a huge influence for me, and its something that I bring to all my productions, be it Druture or Grown Folk. I’m living in Atlanta right now, soaking up a lot of the mixture circuit as I can, I’ve always been a fan of this city’s output growing up. It was always weird being a Hip-Hop fanatic, but really liking the snap music and “ringtone rap” that everyone was claiming was the death of the music I loved, that stuff just worked to me. Another major influence is the mid 2000s peak-era Roc-a-fella records stuff, particularly the Diplomats camp, anyone who knows me knows how big of a diehard dipset fan I am. I really love Hip-Hop, and to me it means a lot of things.
Outside of Hip-Hop, I’m definitely pulling from a few different places as well. To be perfectly honest RnB is something I’ve only really gotten into since becoming a producer, but yeah I can’t get enough of it. The-Dream really represents a lot of what I aspire to be as an artist. You can hear a ton of different influences in one of his LPs, but they are all distilled through these candy colored filters, and they come out sounding undeniably like Dream songs. I like to think that I’d be able to identify a lot of the songs he’s written as his, even if I wasn’t such a big nerd that reads every releases liner notes before I hear it.
Who are your biggest Hip Hop / Rap influences?
Right now for me the top 10 looks something like:
Kanye, Cam’ron, Max B, UGK, Soulja Boy, Future, Mike-Will-Made-it, Chief Keef, Hollywood Squadda & Denzel Curry
Here’s a big one. Is Druture a play off the rapper Future? I.E. how did the name come about?
Yeah absolutely. I think Future has one of the best names in music, its hard to believe that no one else has claimed the name until now. Regardless I don’t think any other human being embodies the name Future as well as he does, maybe Steve Jobs but those guys just use their real names. I wanted to use my real name, but I didn’t really want to go the Ryan Hemsworth route because I’m overwhelmed by Facebook as it is. Drew rhymes with a cool words, but I really wanted to just have one word. Druture just came to me on a wave out of nowhere, it was a very Future moment.
Do you feel as tough you’ve landed on your sound as a solo artists or is there more feeling to do?
You know that 10,000 hour theory that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in his book ‘Outliers?’ He basically says that to reach true mastery of something you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice to get there. I was getting kind of depressed about the fact that I probably wouldn’t be able to ever reach that number in anything I do. Then I realized that listening to music is my 10,000 thing. I listen to a lot of different genres, and my taste is all over the place, but there’s definitely a certain vibe that I usually gravitate towards. I don’t think I’ve landed on my sound, but I have a good idea of where I’d like to take things. We’ll see if I end up getting there though, I like taking detours and ending up in weird places.
What would some receive if they ordered a Druture cocktail?
Dirty Sprite mixed by Tommy Kruise.
So what is your next step? What is Druture’s future? Sorry, I’m all about lame jokes.
I’m working on the first Druture mix which I’m trying to record live on Technics. That’s actually how I learned to DJ, but its been a while, with Serato and CDs in the years since then. Helix and I are also working on a mixtape w/ Hollywood Squadda, but that’s still in the early stages. Helix and Squadda are going to be an amazing combination though, just based off of what I’ve heard so far…
The Grown Folk FB page and yourself have been quite a bit more active these days. Is schooling all wrapped up and is that why you’ve been so active online?
More or less yeah. I think a lot of it is also excitement about what our friends are doing, and what we have in store for everyone. 2013 is going to be a very exciting year for people who like good music.
Let’s finish this as charming as possible. What makes you want to throw up?
When people say, “just be realistic for a second.”
These two are sincerely on the come up these days. Multiple Radio BBC plays and now a direct shout from Skream to wo new listeners. In light of the mention it seemed a good time to up their latest freebie.
Grown Folk does not release ANYTHING, that has received less than 100% in the labour of love. Remember that when you see the name. It’s always worth a click and minutes.
YC really had me going with the hype level of Racks. Grown Folk firmed this up and gave it a nice ambient twist. The role of Main Attrakionz fits the duo perfectly, as this bootleg remix clearly indicates.
Drake – Trust Issues
Mount Kimbie – Carbonated
ASAP Rocky – Purple Swag (Jim-E Stack Bootleg)
Ango – Love Me (Dub)
Grown Folk – Cordelia
Sei A – Frozen Flower (Midland Remix)
Koreless – MTI
Joker – On My Mind (Ft. William Cartwright)
Grown Folk – The Come Up
Sinjin Hawke x Jimmy Astro – I’m On One (Grown Folk Mashup)
ASAP Rocky – Wassup
ARP 101 – U
Arkist – Fill Your Coffee
George FitzGerald – Fernweh
Appleblim – Moonlight
Grown Folk – Illyria
Floating Points – ARP3
“Grown Folk’s Droptop EP for Silverback Recordings shows the Canadian duo at their best as they craft some of the finest summer tracks of the year. ‘Droptop’ opens proceedings in style with sun bathed synths, seductive vocals and bass, carving out a house track of the highest order. The second track ‘Give It (To You)’ reigns supreme with its catchy hooks and powerful groove and last but not least, ‘Move On Through’ takes the deeper route, drawing upon the hypnotic and driving on with a wonderful bassline. ”
Video by Jason Voltaire aka Skunch.
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:
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!