5 Minutes With… Odesza

Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight met whilst at studying at Washington Western University where they would play at small bars and house parties. In 2012, Odesza put out their first release ‘Summer’s Gone‘ since then, their acclaim has spread worldwide.  The duo’s album ‘In Return‘, again garnered endless support and secured their title as one of the most exciting and intoxicating acts of 2014.

 Hi Odesza, where are you speaking to us from today?

Berlin, Germany!
You’ve been playing and are set to play festivals all over the world this summer. Which has been your best so far? 
Coachella was definitely a huge highlight. Sasquatch because it was a hometown audience and Buku festival because the crowd had such amazing energy.
Sea Dance festival in Montenegro (July 15 – 18) looks like it’s going to be a big one. How much time do you get to spend enjoying the festivals like this when you play them? Is it strictly business?
Usually we don’t have too much time but it looks like that festival is one run by friends and we have a lot of close friends playing the festival as well so I think we’ll be a bit more comfortable surrounded by familiar faces. Hopefully we have time to see all of them!
From what we’ve read, other music publications seem to have Odesza categorised as EDM or IDM. Tell us a bit about what IDM or ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ is to you? 
Honestly IDM isn’t a very common term outside of Europe so we often get categorized as EDM. We don’t believe we necessarily fit into that category (EDM) but it tends to be a vague term used for all electronic music nowadays. To us, IDM is less obvious build-ups and classic heavy electronic drops. We strive for a more dynamic and genre-less approach. Trying to incorporate all sorts of styles of music into what we do whether it be World music to classic hip hop to ambient to synth pop. We love all music and try to show that in our sound.

You released Summer’s Gone in 2012 and it gained a lot of support very quickly. What advice would you give to up and coming DJ’S/producers when it comes to getting their music in the right places?
Take the time to get to know the people who’s support you’d like to receive. Make a personal connection and be genuine.
Your tour schedule seems pretty intense. How much does being on the road effect you making music? Do you find time to produce even when travelling between countries? 
It’s incredibly difficult to make music on the road. We try and start ideas but everything is finished at home in the studio.
You’re playing in London next week (July 9). How do you think the crowd over here differs from that in somewhere like California?  
We tend to have a bigger audience on the west coast so we have a pretty educated (to our sound) audience there. I think sometimes when we play overseas it can take a bit of winning over a crowd but that pushes us to put on a better show and is actually quite fun.
As well as putting out your own productions, Odesza have remixed a lot. Do you feel like there’s an added pressure when putting your own spin on someone else’s work?
I think some people can come to expect you to do a certain spin to a song if you’re known for a particular remix but we try to experiment and try something new with every remix we approach.

Who have you been listening to in 2015? Any recommendations?
Leon Bridges, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Temples, Mura Masa, Rufus, Jamie XX.
What would you say are your top five most influential albums?
M83 – Before The Dawn Heals Us, Gorillaz – Gorillaz, Radiohead – OK Computer, Animal Collective – Merriwether Post Pavilion, DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
What do you think you guys would be doing now had Odesza not have become so successful?
Clay would go back to school. Harrison would be working in the graphic design world.
Finally, do you have any exciting projects/releases coming up that we should be keeping an eye (ear) out for?
Lots and lots of remixes and a new track with someone special 🙂

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