Spencer Brown discusses latest EP, inspiration + new mix album

23 November 2017 - - - The DJ List


San Francisco-based producer and DJ, SPENCER BROWN, has been making massive waves. The man behind the music has always been creating forward-thinking records that fuses the best of techno and house together with tasteful melodies. Spencer Brown was discovered through his debut EP 'Chalice', released on Avicii's LE7ELS imprint. Shortly after, the producer was signed to Anjunabeats with his follow up EP called 'Vernal, also having been a previous guest selector on ABOVE & BEYOND's Group Therapy radio show.

Whether he is playing festivals, concerts and clubs worldwide or creating his next biggest hit in the studio, Spencer consistently strives to further perfect his craft. He is one of the best breakthrough artists we have seen, and we got a chance to chat with him following his set at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco- where he had the sold-out crowd of 8,500 people wrapped around his finger.

How did you get into music in the beginning?

I actually started when I was a year old. I was banging on my parents' pots and pans, but they got really pissed and got me a drum set for my second birthday. So I started playing drums every day since I was two. I just kept on playing the drums and took up bass guitar and piano when I was about 5 or 6. I started recording when I was 8 or 9 and then began mixing my own tracks. After that, I discovered electronic music when I was 13 and been at it ever since.

Describe your sound to us.

It's techno grooves with very melodic arrangement. It's somewhere between a techno and house groove, but the elements of my tracks are very melodic with synths and guitars. I really like the groove of techno, I've fallen in love with it since 2011 and really got into it. I feel like a lot of people don't really understand it because it's very dark a lot of the time, but once I bring in a lot of melody with the groove, they can dance and enjoy the music.

Who or what would you say inspires you?

I get very inspired by my surroundings, which is why I live in San Francisco rather than Los Angeles. Most of my friends in the industry live in LA, but I prefer to live in SF because I'm feel more inspired there. I try to paint the landscape into my music because I want to create picturesque music.

What would you say is your favorite place in San Francisco?

What I like to do on my days off is turn off my phone and Uber somewhere random in the city, where I end up wandering for hours. That gives me the best inspiration. I would end up finding things I necessarily wouldn't have found. I end up capturing these moments where the sun is perfect and I'm like "wow, this is kind of a spontaneous thing." And I pick up really heavy inspiration from that.

Talk to us about your latest EP 'Downpour'.

The first two tracks were written shortly after a hike in the Tassajara Parks in the Contra Costa County. It was pouring rain and I got really inspired from seeing a beautiful fog on Mount Diablo. I just had to accept it at that point because it was super wet. I went home and wrote those two tracks in just a couple days. "Will I Ever Find Love" was released 6 months later which is first track on the EP. It was shortly after I really liked someone and there were some issues and I didn't work out...but the outcome was a great track.

How has your touring been so far?

It's been amazing. I really enjoy touring because I get to test all the records I produce. Tonight, I got to test out a couple records and it looked like it went really well! While I mostly play unreleased music, I also play a few of the songs I have already released. But I'm constantly testing my own records. I spend a week working on my records and spend the weekend playing clubs, and testing out the tracks. I return the next week, change whatever didn't work, come back that weekend and it's ready to go again.

As we wrap up this year, what is one thing you are most proud of?

I'm working on something big that I am happy to announce. For me, a personal achievement that I haven't released yet is my first album. It's a mix album where it's a continuous journey from start to finish. It's going to be about 14 unreleased tracks on a continuous flow. When I was studying at Duke University for 4 years, I would always look for mixes that keep me focused. With the album, it's super groovy and vibe-y, while keeping you super focused at the same time. It's really good for working out, working on something, studying at school, flying on a plane, etc.

It's not where you just listen to a single record. It's the whole hour and 15 minutes that makes it a journey. It's going to be called the 'Illusion of Perfection'. There are also a couple of collaborations on there with people you probably haven't heard before, who are my extremely talented college friends. One of them is someone who is very, very big, but I can't announce it yet. We've struck up a friendship over the past few months and he's on top of the game. So I'm really excited to finish a track with him.

What's one thing you are currently obsessed with?

It's gotten to the point where I am so obsessed with my craft, writing music and playing shows. Everyone asks if I have hobbies and stuff... but honestly, I love doing this so much this is basically what I'm doing on my free time. Either I'm with friends, family or working on my music. That's all that matters for me. I'm happy doing what I do, happy doing my job, making sure to keep up with my friends and family, etc. I'm just making my music. I'm really obsessed with it. I wake up, answer emails and just work on music until I go to sleep.

Follow Spencer Brown online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

About the Author

Caleb Lau
above & beyond spencer brown

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