A sense of vibrancy and positivity is strongly present in your whole aesthetic. From your colourful record artwork, video accompaniments and press shots to the messages printed on your records. How important do you think the link between music and its visual accompaniments is?
I think it's pretty huge. If you give a little piece of you into everything that you touch then people feel that, and that resonates with people. It's really important so that people can see a thread going through all the elements. Through the tracks, through the artwork, even with other people that I'm playing with, they're seeing the trend and getting elements and vibes of what is actually me.
You’re an environmental toxicologist, and you post photos of natural beauty on your artist Facebook page. How does your appreciation of nature feed into your music?
Pretty strongly I would say. I go home to Grand Forks a lot, that's my home town, a very small town in British Columbia, just a bit far away from Vancouver. It's very immersed in nature; my parents live on top of a mountain surrounded by forests. When I'm there around that nature I feel the most centred. It's a very calming experience. I find when you are aligned with yourself that's when the best music comes out.
Would you say you channel certain moods that you feel from natural settings into music?
For sure. I definitely notice a really big difference between the tracks that I make when I'm in Vancouver versus tracks that I make when I'm in Berlin. I basically have two homes now! It's really interesting: Vancouver is a beautiful place and there's a real serenity about it, and it brings that out in the music. With Berlin I feel like there's so much energy in the city, and that definitely comes out in the music.
Vancouver is widely perceived as this carefree utopia which people think feeds into this blissful house sound, but it’s less publicised that it’s a city that struggles with issues like addiction and mental illness, as well as a distinct wealth gap. How would you say the outsider perception of the city compares to the reality?
I have so many people come up to me now who have been hearing about Vancouver. They say, "Wow, it must be this huge, amazing city with this crazy culture centre!" But Vancouver's actually really small, just over half a million people live there. It's funny in that sense. There’s people who have been putting a lot of energy into the art and underground scene in Vancouver, they've put a lot of heart into it, they've really had to work at it, because it's not something that Vancouver is very receptive to as a city. Similar to how London is dealing with residential people, they don't want to hear parties at night.
How do you think the reality of the city impacts upon the music scene?
I guess it’s a mixture. There is this vibey, beautiful element, because the city's really immersed in nature. You can drive half an hour and go hiking into the mountains or the forest, and that definitely for me feeds into my music and I think it does for other people too. But then there's other areas where a lot of our parties happen, usually in the centre of the downtown east-side, where there's a huge homeless issue. That's where a lot of peoples' studios are because it's the cheapest, so that definitely has to feed into it. How can it not? Hearing some person who's having some serious mental issues screaming on the side of the street is definitely going to impact things.
I think there's this funny dichotomy of the two that blends in together, and you hear that in the sounds of Vancouver. You do have this kind of blissful, utopia feeling, but then you do have people whose productions are a bit harder and edgier, there's a roughness to it as well. Like anything, there's a lot of diversity to it, and the city would lend to that.
Flying between residences in separate continents and maintaining a relentless tour schedule sounds exhausting.
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