“Arcus” has been in Trap fans’ speculation rotation for months now. RL Grime closed out his annual Halloween mix with his brand new collab with graves and we’ve been patiently awaiting it’s official release ever since.
graves was the first artist to join in on RL Grime’s new record label, Sable Valley, which he rolled out on Instagram the other night. On the eve of Sable Valley’s launch, we had the pleasure of chatting with graves about the new track, working with Grime over the years, his own origins, and his upcoming Far From Here Tour. Check out what graves had to say below!
H: Are you excited for your “Far From Here” tour? What can you tell us about it?
G: It’s my first headline tour so the energy is going to be crazy. I’ve toured a ton playing festivals, weekly club shows, supporting guys like RL Grime and What So Not, but this will be my first headline tour. There’s a shit ton of new/unreleased music in the set too that I’m excited for.
H: Who are your biggest influences within the electronic industry?
G: Skrillex changed the way I make music for sure. He’s the godfather of so many of these kids and the first (and probably only) real rockstar persona in dance music.
H: Outside the industry?
G: My career really got started working with Kanye and Cudi and their creative process and approach to making music is still something that’s stuck with me. I’m a massive fan of bands like Bring Me The Horizon and I feel like the graves project lives somewhere between those two things.
H: What’s your relationship with Hex Cougar (pictured on the right) like? You two just linked up with Lil Narnia (pictured center) for a new collab off your EP and now you’re bringing him along with you on your North American tour.
G: Hex is the homie. We’ve knows each other for a minute now, and have been collaborating on tracks for a while. He was on my debut EP, and now will be on my sophomore release as well. He’s just someone who makes records I identify with, and he’s someone who’s inspired by the same stuff I am so we get along really well.
H: There is an immense amount of hype surrounding “Arcus”, your collab with RL Grime. What was working with Henry like?
G: Henry and I have been working on music for YEARS. There’s a real chemistry there that I think is really hard to find. We like the same shit, we hate the same shit, we just have a bond that runs pretty deep. Arcus was a record that came together pretty quickly, to be honest, and it’s one I know we are both super excited about for a lot of reasons. The kids seem hyped on it, so I’m ready to get it out there.
H: How’d you originally get into audio engineering?
G: I worked at a studio in Honolulu my hometown as an engineer. It’s the best studio on the island and a lot of big names have recorded there. I got the call to engineer on some of the Kanye sessions and was basically his bitch for a few months. I did everything from running errands, to helping on records and he kept me around for a couple of albums. It was just a work ethic that I think he recognized.
H: You have engineering credits for the likes of Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and many more. How do you get linked up with these huge names?
G: You work your ass off and people will start to recognize it. I was lucky to be a part of the team at Island Sound and just took on every job like it might be my last if I didn’t leave a good impression. All of those artists have a work ethic that’s the reason they’re at the top. So I tried to match it as best I knew how.
H: Any funny/inspirational Kanye West anecdotes you could share? He’s one of our favorite artists ever.
G: I’d have to kill you. I will say, he was a respectful dude and the version of him that exists today doesn’t remind me at all of the one that I knew.
H: Where did you work on your “Far From Here” EP? Were you on the road or did you have a “Home-Base”?
G: 85% of the record got written in LA. I try to spend a week or so out of every month there working in sessions with other artists, etc. Most of the time I’ll get the bones of a song done in LA, and take it home to Hawaii and build it all out.
H: You just played Countdown Festival on New Years, what’s your favorite festival performance you’ve played thus far to this date?
G: Countdown was a good one. I think LIB in Vegas last year was a monster. Also, the Brownies and Lemonade NYE show, when I went b2b with QUIX, was pretty legendary.
H: What do you want your fans to know about your upcoming EP?
G: It’s an evolution of my project for sure. But it’s also a window into my mental and emotional psyche. These are records that are inspired by a ton of different places and I think it’s the record I’ve been wanting to make for a very long time.
H: Any words of wisdom for aspiring producers out there?
G: It’s ok to be inspired by the people around you, but don’t ever let it define you. The second you’re making music to try and sound like something else, or because some other song has a bunch of streams you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
H: Thanks so much to Christian aka Graves for sitting down with us! We can’t wait for your upcoming EP and we’ll definitely be at your Far From Here tour! Best of luck on the road!