But Porter Robinson, the Chapel Hill, N.C., DJ who has been scorching festivals and clubs supporting the likes of Tiesto, David Guetta and Deadmau5 may be the freshest-faced producer out there.
The fact that Robinson is 19 and just weeks out of high school may be the least interesting thing about him. His rapid ascent to the top of Beatport charts (with bangers like 'Say My Name' and 'The Wildcat') and commissioned remixes of the likes of Lady Gaga ('The Edge of Glory') make the party-starter one of the most striking talents in the ever-expanding field of house music. Spinner caught up with Robinson to talk about his beginnings, his relationship with Skrillex and what he has planned next.
What type of sound are you most interested currently? You've been incorporating a fatter, more dubstep-like sound into a lot of your work now. Is that something you want to expand on?
I'm passionate about all kinds of energetic dance music. When I heard dubstep coming up in the scene, I figured I'd be doing myself a disservice not to at least give it a shot. I'm happy with the results, but to me, four-on-the-floor type stuff -- 128 BPM house-influenced s--- -- that's what I like to play when I DJ. I think four on the floor stuff will remain a central focus for me. But then again, a few months ago, I predicted I'd shy away from 128 and do variable-tempo stuff exclusively. You never know. You have to stay fluid and dynamic to continue having fun with music, so I'll just keep making what I like.
You've said you got into electronic music through video game soundtracks. When did you first start experimenting with EDM? What were your earliest experiences making music like?
I first started experimenting with EDM when I was about 12 years old or so. I used the Sony program "Acid" to arrange loops. Naturally, the music I made then was really bad, but it was stimulating and I knew it was something I'd want to continue with.
It's interesting to me how video game-inspired dance music has pulled me away from video games. Music production is vastly more fun to me than games now -- I recall trying to play a few of my old favorites and finding it utterly impossible. I was too distracted by music.
What artists inspire you the most?
Wolfgang Gartner and Noisia are the big two.
If there was one song of yours that you'd want new fans to hear, which would it be and why?
It has to be 'Unison.' That melody, I'm told, is infectious, so I'd want to lock in the fans who were on the fence right away with supreme catchiness.
A lot of people may wonder what effect touring the country when you were 18 or 19 has had on you. What has it been like hitting the road so soon after high school, and do you have any plans other than continuing to do so?
My integration into the world of touring was at least somewhat more gradual than most people know. I did a few one-off gigs during my last year of high school and learned the ropes. It's important to me to keep my schedule and hours reasonable. I don't want to incapacitate myself, burn out and lose all the hunger for music. There's a bit of self-regulation that I have to master.
How has touring and working with Skrillex informed your own music?
Sonny is a f---ing brilliant musician and his expertise regarding the music industry has been invaluable. Sonny is the one who taught me artistic integrity outside of the realm of music. He taught me to take charge of how I'm presented outside of my tunes, with album art, videos and all the other non-musical aesthetic stuff. It was a crucial lesson.
What are you looking forward to after the album's release?
The next album/single/EP! More music. That's all I think about.
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