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Future Innovators: Get to know the guys of Autograf [Interview]

InterviewRebecca PotznerComment

“It's about leaving your mark on the world. It's about leaving your Autograf.”

And that is exactly what the Chicago trio Autograf is doing. From the timeless remixes they're releasing left and right to the launch of their new tour, Autograf is quickly making an impact on electronic music. It comes at an opportune time where electronic music is in need of creativity and has began branching into strong sub-genres that are taking it down a notch, but in a good way. Autograf contributes to the smooth change and almost hypnotizes listeners with their 'chill future vibe'.

Type their name into Google and you wont find much on them except their music on SoundCloud, where some  tracks have racked up a staggering 500K+ plays. All the reasons above are why we couldn't help but want to know more about the mysterious trio from Chi-town who had been placing on the Hype Machine charts and taking over our headphones.

This past week we were lucky enough to talk with the guys smack dab in the middle of their new tour to talk early influences, the new tour, and the future. Here's what they had to say

How did you come together to form Autograf?

We started the project initially to make art. Jake went to college for sculpture and painting, Mikul did street art and I just wanted to learn how to screen print and build some rad stuff. Autograf essentially was started as our creative outlet. At some point the music came and it was so well received, it kind of just took over. Sometimes you just take what life gives you. - Louis

Were any of you involved with any other music projects before Autograf?

Does high school band count?

Tropical and Future House give off a very chill vibe. Do you think this is where electronic music is headed?

I’m not sure but this is where we’re headed. I guess you could say people are getting tired of all the overly aggressive heavy music being played at clubs and festivals with the same builds and the same drops where everyone loses their shit and jumps up and down to the same formula over and over for hours. So yeah, I think people are looking for something different. And what we’re doing happens to be one of things. We just want to bring a dance floor back.

Do you feed off of each others energy and inspiration when creating or performing? Does three ever seem like a crowd?

Three gives us more choice, more possibilities, more room to experiment especially in a more live setting. First we added a marimba to the performance, then added a djembe. Now we want to build our own electric djembe and electric steel drum with lights we can control ourselves. Once you add the visual to the audio, the possibilities double.

You guys just Kicked off your tour just a few weeks ago, how’s it going so far?

We’ve been so sleep deprived for a lot of it, so it all seems like a blur, but the crowds have been great and it’s really awesome to see crowds get down to this music. And I’ve even noticed when you do play something heavier, they don’t get down as much. So they really do want these chill future vibes. That’s a great sign.

How would you describe the environment at a Future/ Tropical House show compared to say, a Progressive House show? How do you keep the energy up?

I’d say it’s more about taking the crowd on a journey with intricate ebbs and flows while all maintaining good feeling vibes and energy. Everything is much more subtle. You have to really watch the crowd to make sure they’re having a good time because it’s not as evident as a Progressive House show as you mention where you just need to see people jumping and going crazy. Dance moves are much more subtle, so everyone can be dancing and having a good time, but if you’re only used to gauging people having fun by a mosh pit of flailing hands then you might loose sight of that.

I imagine a Progressive House show goes something like this.. play a mainstream pop vocal, crowd goes crazy, layer it with a massive build, everyone gets their hands in the air, insert Lil Jon vocal sample, drop hits and everyone starts jumping up and down like pogo sticks. Rinse. Repeat.

Your recent Dirty South remix took a bit of a different approach than most of your work.

Yeah that was the first song in our “Future Nites” series which is our darker, perhaps more serious club music. It uses more organic instrumentation and is in contrast to our “Future Tropical” series, which is the more daytime summer feeling, chillin by the pool, jammin on some tropical instruments thing. One of our upcoming debut originals actually has 2 versions along these lines.

Who have been the top 3 artists to influence your ‘future/tropical’ sound?

Flume because he was doing some pretty revolutionary stuff at the time, Odesza, and I have to mention Satin Jackets because we were listening to them a lot when we wanted to start doing this music.

In the past you guys have remixed some pretty unconventional tracks (i.e. Stevie Wonder - Superstition, and Marvin Gaye - Grapevine’) - What motivates you to remix these type of songs?

Sometimes you just hear a classic vocal and completely new take on it starts playing in your head. Then the challenge is to get it from your head onto your computer.

This was originally posted on Throwed Magazine.