TAPES Finding Album Preview Interview T4PES

Ahead of the August 15 release of his stunning debut album, Finding, the elusive electronic producer TAPES, whose tracks “Waiting” and “Find Y.O.U.” each premiered on Okayplayer and XLR8R, respectively, shares with us an exclusive full album preview and reveals some intimate details about the release, making music and the Drake fanboy lurking behind the shadows.

While you may never get to see his face, you can get to know him by the artistically striking, lush beats and sounds of TAPES’ Finding album.  Stream it all here exclusively on Okayfuture, and check out our interview with the talented and impressively incognito upstart below.

Why are you so mysterious?

I noticed a lot of my friends on Facebook were spamming their shit.  I thought that was lame, spamming your own shit.  So I just put some stuff out anonymously and some people enjoyed it, which was really cool.  It’s been kind of slowly snowballing since then.  Also, where I’m from, a lot of people don’t listen to the type of music that I make so … I was almost embarrassed to show people like “hey, I make this weird music that none of you will like.”  So it was like an embarrassment thing.  I guess the fact that I wasn’t seeking approval from my own group of friends.

Now that this sort of experimental music is becoming popular, will you come out of the shadows?

There’s a lot of advantages and disadvantages.  With work [his day job], it might be best if I stayed anonymous.  They would see I was this producer by night and it wouldn’t fly… It’s a possibility in the future, but it’s kind of nice. I enjoy the mysteriousness of it.

Where are you from?

Originally from Knoxville.  I’ve been in Ohio for about two months.  I rep Knoxville for sure, but the music scene there is so stagnant.  Columbus is a pretty progressive city.  There’s like one festival in Knoxville, it’s called Big Ears and they bring in a lot of different acts that are experimental.  Aside from that, the scene is very commercialized.  A lot of country music.

I’ve performed a few different times.  I opened for Shlohmo and XXYYXX in Nashville.  Other shows were small ones in Knoxville.  As far as performing goes, I haven’t had a lot of experience yet.

Coming from a place like Knoxville, how did you end up being inspired musically?

This is going to sound cheesy.  I was really into Edward Maya‘s “Stereo Love” – that was like my jam.  That summer, I finished school and I wanted to start playing with producing.  So I started making dance music essentially – for myself, just for fun.  I started finding artists like Skrillex and dubstep.  Just from discovering new music, I was able to find this incredible experimental scene and hip hop.  Through listening to and making music, I discovered some new genres and that kind of inspired me.

Album inspirations for Finding

I was listening to a lot of the artists on the Soulection roster. I always listen to them.  They always come up. I follow a few blogs on Hypem and they’re always in my ears.  Machinedrum‘s album Vapor City is sick.  I usually always listen to a little bit of Star Slinger here and there.  Childish Gambino’s album was sick – I don’t know if that influenced at all though.  Bearcubs – his shit is amazing and I feel like he doesn’t get nearly enough exposure.  His shit is unreal. I was listening to a lot of him.

Favorite track on Finding

Probably “Voicemail.”  It incorporates a lot of different elements.  There’s this one part that I really fuck with. Give it ’til like 2 minutes.  It’s kinda slow at first, but at like 2:00 you’re like oh okay… But all the tracks are really different, but similar in a kind of way.

Dream collaborations

I love Drake‘s shit.  Drake is amazing.  It would be an accomplishment if I could do just one beat for Drake.

Digging In The Clouds New Remixes

Favorite Drake song

Over My Dead Body.”  But the whole Nothing Was The Same album was sick.

If Drake was going to rap on one song from Finding, which would it be?

It might be “Voicemail” just cause that’s like sensual. I feel like Drake and sensual go together really well.  I feel like it would be dope to have anyone rap over “DREAMS” – it’s just a weird beat, it’s abstract.

I think it would be amazing to work with a vocalist.  Disclosure‘s Settle album is awesome.  I would love to do something like that.  Or Bondax.  Something more dancey with vocalists.

Top artists to watch right now…

I really like Ryan Hemsworth. I like what he’s doing with music right now and curating obscure stuff.  His music is fantastic.  There’s this guy ANDRU and he has this song “Not This Way” and it’s really good.  I really like GoldLink.  Holy shit, he’s going to blow up.  I think his shit is on another level.  I listened to his EP on repeat the whole first month it came out.  ODESZA is sick. (They performed at our SummerStage show!) Gosh, I’m jealous.  Literally the only show I’d scene before I played the one with Shlohmo and XXYYXX was like… *NSYNC in the 6th grade, no shit.

Guilty Pleasures

No one knows who I am anyway so it doesn’t matter that much, but I love Dragon Ball Z.

Which Dragon Ball Z character do you identify with?

Vegeta.  He’s hard.

Vegeta in the rain

What else should we know about the Finding album?

Writing this album, I was kind of skeptical because a lot of this stuff sounds different.  “DREAMS” and “PARALLEL” are really different.  I was unsure of myself as an artist, but I think a lot of times it’s easy to get lost in the creative process and get lost in your thoughts, instead of enjoying the actual making of the music.

I think the whole album title came into play when I realized that it’s what life is about.  Finding is like finding yourself, finding your sound.  But I think it’ll be an evolution.  I won’t have a particular sound.  Every release will sound different.

Is that you hiding on the album cover?

Yes, it’s my face.  The hands are some friends from back home.  One of my closest friends from back home, who told me I should put music out and that I used to play in a band with.  Him and our bandmates all participated in the photo shoot.  It was a math rock band, so like Tangled Hair, Colour….

So I played in that band, and then when I moved I wasn’t able to play music.  So that’s when I picked up Ableton and started making music that sounded like Edward Maya.

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