Interview x Premiere: You need to hear Chelsea Grimm’s ‘From Above’ now

We’ve had our eye on Chelsea Grimm for a solid minute now, and to say the growth we’ve seen in his production style over the last few months is impressive would be underselling the potential of the Canadian artist. Owake Records, the label on which he is on, has been a great incubator for the artists on their roster, and Grimm is no exception.

‘From Above’ is much more complex than his previous endeavor ‘Busshead,’ and indicates the complexity in which Grimm can dive into to make his tracks so subtlety intricate and deep.

We also managed to sit down with the talented artist to catch up with his day.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Hey, Doing well thanks. Just got home from work. Getting ready to wind down, was a long night of Karaoke for a birthday last night.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

For the most part its probably a mix of earlier UK Bass, little bit of Garage and 2Step but trying to incorporate a bit more jazz and live instrumentation as well.

What are the 5 most influential albums that have influenced you the most?

Most obvious choices would be James Blake – James Blake, and Mount Kimbie – Crooks and Lovers but a few others that are less direct would be King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah, and LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

4.At the moment been listening to a lot of Car seat Headrest, Floating Points, Devendra Banhart, and Rival Consoles… actually pretty much everything on Erased Tapes.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?

My main go to on pretty much everything is the Prophet 12, I can get essentially anything out of it. Also starting to get a lot more use out of some modular synths (Intellijel Atlantis), Fender Telecaster, and running most through an old Fostex 4 track and Akai reel to reel.

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?

I find it takes a lot of work to make music that people want to listen two in more then one particular way. Making songs that are fun in a club to dance too but also something you can put on if you’re just sitting around home relaxing. As well one of the biggest challenges that I don’t think enough musician’s consider is being patient. You don’t need to be the first person remix every new single or jump on the hot new song. Taking time to really know what your doing and being able to hold back takes a lot of work… If that makes sense?

Where do you gather song writing inspiration?

I try to stick away from the obvious choices of listening to similar music and pull inspiration from other creative outlets. I’m a huge movie person so sitting down and watching a really good film or even just talking to people about their passions gets me really into the writing mode. I find it’s easier to be creative when you aren’t pigeon-holing yourself by only looking for inspiration in obvious places.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?

I tend to base projects around a similar writing style, or technique. for the EP I started a lot of songs playing around with sampling old breaks to give it a more organic feel and let the groove dictate the track as apposed to melody writing. The new stuff I’ve been working on is kind of the opposite where I’m trying to sit down and play my instruments more. I do tend to fall into similar habits regardless though with things like chopping up little bits of synths and making new melodic grooves that I couldn’t program. Pretty much ripping off the Four Tet – Sing technique. Leaves room for a lot of happy accidents.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why? And the worst?

Well I’ve basically only played 1 show and that was last month for this EP so that one is probably the best and worst in this case. Best being it was really exciting to rework the songs for a live set but also worse because I think I stared at the floor the entire time so not the most engaging show in the world… unless you count 16 year old me playing terrible acoustic open mic nights. So many Jack Johnson and Dirty Heads covers…

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Definitely would want something to do with film. I still want to get more involved in that, Directing, cinematography, writing whatever it is I just love movie magic. Realistically probably something more industrial design based though.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?

Not a huge crowd person so honestly playing smaller events like boiler room would be pretty ideal. MOMA is definitely up there though as well.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?

I would say LCD Soundsystem would probably be the top of the top. Probably would pass out if James Murphy spoke to me though in all honesty.

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

Yeah I have my EP BussHead releasing this Friday on Owake Records and then a show coming up later in October sometime I believe. Other then that working on the next EP right now as well as a Duo I’ve started with a good friend of mine which will be much different but really cool stuff I think.

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