Big Data, Filous, Pink Feathers
Tue, November 10
Doors: 7:00 pm
RAC - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
RAC is taking things one song at a time. Recently finished his last album cycle with a pair of tri-umphant appearances at Coachella Valley Music Festival in April, the multi instrumentalist will continue to give fans new music. André Allen Anjos will kick off the single series with ”Back of the Car," his euphoric guitar driven collaboration with long time friend, Nate Henricks. Anjos is not only looking forward to releasing new music more frequently, but he is also using the series as an opportunity to work with vocalists he has never worked with before, and to work in genres he has yet to explore.
RAC first gained attention for smart remixes of songs by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (“Zero”) and the Shins (“Sleeping Lessons”), but Anjos quickly proved himself as a songwriter in his own right with hit singles like “Hollywood”and "Let Go," and this single series stands to be his most ambi-tious undertaking yet.
What gave you the idea to start a single series?
I had toyed with it, in a way, while working on remixes. I had the experience of releasing remix after remix after remix, which is traditionally not really what you do. A lot of people tend to focus on the album cycle. You do a big album, and then you lay low for a couple years. I accidentally fell into this rhythm with remixes of just putting stuff out back to back. It feels more normal.
So in a sense, it’s like going back to your roots?
Yeah, it is. It’s taking what I learned from the remixing world and applying it to the standard way that you release original music.
You’ve released albums and EPs before. Is there something freeing about taking songs
one at a time?
Absolutely. I think it will eventually become part of a more cohesive group of music. But right now, it’s really nice to just think about each song on its own. Whereas, on the last album, I spent a tremendous amount of time making sure the tracks work together and the flow was right on a larger scale. So it’s nice to just focus on the song and just worry about that.
Do you find, as an artist, it helps to have a firm schedule? As in, you must commit to do-ing something once a month, to make you get out there and create? Do you really like
having a pattern?
Absolutely. It’s definitely something I crave quite a bit, especially being a touring musician, which is the complete opposite of that. Music is something that you need to practice, not just wait for inspiration.
What else can people look forward to?
I’m following the same format as the last album, where I collaborate with different vocalists. I’m getting to try a lot of stuff that I haven’t before. It's the freedom of not having to think about it in the context of an album.
What made you decide to lead with "Back of the Car"?
It was one of the first songs that I finished because it feels like something I want to say right now and have people hear right now. I started it maybe about a year ago. It just feels right. It’s also
a lot of fun to play live. I liked the idea of the live side informing the production side, where for me, that’s never really been the case. I always work on stuff in the studio forever, and then try and do it live.
How did you come to work with Nate Henricks?
Nate is a really good college friend. We met at Greenville College. His band was actually one of the first bands that I ever recorded. So we have a history going back to 2005/2006.
The band broke up soon after but we kept in touch. I think he’s a really talented singer and songwriter so I’ve always wanted to work with him at some point, and it just happened to be this song. Most of the time artists go with a bigger name but I thought it would be cool to go with someone who is lesser known but has a lot of talent.
What does the line “Living out of the back of the car,”mean to you? Is that something
that resonates with your life?
Yeah, it has a broader meaning about living freely and just doing your own thing and carving your own path. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s really what the song is about. It’s not literally about living out of the back of your car. It’s about getting out there and living your own life.
Now, you get called an electronic music artist a lot, but you play a lot of instruments, as well. How did you approach making this track?
It started as a little guitar riff. It was just something I was playing and I recorded it. I think the ini-tial demo wasn’t really that far off from what the final version was. It was just guitar riffs and a kick and snare. So it was very simple, and Nate wrote his vocal idea, and he recorded some guitar as well.
We went back and forth from there, and tried a couple different things, and changed the ar-rangement, and beefed it up at certain sections and made it big. But that’s where it started. Very non-electronic. The song itself only has maybe one synthesizer –or maybe two to three synthe-sizers in there. So it’s much more of a guitar-based song even though I get lumped into the EDM world. Which I think is pretty funny.
How did you first come to make music? Is that something you did when you came to America, or were you making music in Portugal, where you were born?
I was born and raised in Portugal, and my parents made me take piano lessons when I was kid, and I did not like that. It was really not my thing. A couple years later, I was like, 12 or 13 –
pretty normal age for a kid to get into this kind of stuff –but I was big into Nirvana. My friend had a guitar, and he showed me how to play some of the very basic guitar riffs.
When I was younger, I made it a point to write a lot of my own music. I was self-taught in that way, but it was always with this urge to create. I was 15 or 16 when I started recording my own music. That was the beginning of a home studio world where you can really create a full track on your own.
When did you move to America?
I moved to the US when I was 20 in January 2005. So I’ve been here for 10 years. I came to Illi-nois to get a college degree and then see what would happen. I first came for music, and then within the first year, I switched to music business. Part of it was to please my parents and get a degree, the other part was to get out of an environment that didn’t take me very seriously. Notjust me, but music as a profession. People were very supportive, but there’s this unspoken pres-sure to “get a real job”.
How did you go from that to eventually forming RAC?
I formed it at Greenvile when I was a sophomore. A lot of people were getting internships and I felt I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere. So I was e-mailing people, record labels, or stu-dios. I was just ready to take whatever.
Nothing was coming up because the music industry is incredibly hard to get into. That’s when I realized I needed to do my own thing. I had been doing remixes as a joke, so I knew my way around the studio and knew how to finish a track on the computer. I was capable of doing it, and I figured, oh, why don’t I try to do this professionally?
So how did you start remixing professionally?The first six months of doing RAC, technically, was me annoying people and e-mailing constantly, and just being kind of obnoxious. Just trying to get somebody to give me a chance. And the ones that actually gave me a shot were the Shins. I just called up their manager out of no-where, and they were willing to give me a shot, even though I had really nothing to do my name, or anything. That was the first official remix as RAC.
How did learning how to remix inform the way you approach making original tracks?
It certainly taught me a lot about picking genres. I feel like I learned how to be kind of malleable to other people’s music and learn the tricks. I feel like I had a very public musical upbringing. If anybody would ever want to go through 11 hours of music that I put out, they would see a pro-gression, hopefully. That’s something that I liked, that it’s just out in the open.
Do you have any favorite remixes you ever did, or any favorite memories of interacting
with artists that you remixed?
The Shins were the big one. It was a big deal for me at the time. First client, really, and they paid me. I was working with Sub Pop. Suddenly, it was like I was in way in over my head in this world.
They were playing St. Louis, so I went to see this show at the Pageant, and ended up meeting them and hanging out for a brief second. And James Mercer, the singer of The Shins, told me that he liked my version better than his. He may have just been being nice to me, but it was a big moment for me, and it gave me a confidence that really forged this path.
Big Data - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Big Data is a paranoid electronic music project from the Internet, formed out of a general distrust for technology and The Cloud (despite a growing dependence on them). Helmed by producer, Alan Wilkis, Big Data aims to explore the relationship between man and machine, and how the internet has reshaped the human experience.
Filous - (Set time: 8:15 PM)
Filous. 17-year-old Viennese based producer and musician. With a vast start in production, only a few months shortly after his first releases, Filous has attracted a large variety of international fans that contributed to millions of plays on numerous social media sites. Remixes for "Damien Juarado – Ohio" and "Kodaline – High Hopes" have opened some career changing doors to the largest music blogs and most important YouTube channels. hoever industry-leading records labels have to chose to license and release Filous' music contributing to the exciting output. Nevertheless live performances stand right in line with the studio experience, placing Filous' debut Festival performance in the international lineup for the 2014 "Urban Art Forms Festival". Expect a fascination musical journey as this 17 year old has some great visions!
Pink Feathers - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Delicate and divine, Pink Feathers (aka Liz Anjos) is the Hepburn of indie pop. A penchant for songwriting and performing throughout her life has finally taken full form as Liz prepares her solo endeavor Pink Feathers and her debut EP.
The past has seen Liz collaborating with Andre Anjos of RAC on a series of saccharine covers, including the 90s woefully pop favorite “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, followed by her first original single “In A Spell,” an inspired blend of pop and songwriting whose free release brought the first colors to Pink Feathers.
Close to a year later, Pink Feathers follows up with her EP (produced by RAC) that introduces indie electronic elements to cohesive four-track collection, Invisible Lines. Dipping in and out of tempo and melody, Invisible Lines acts to accelerate the momentum gained from “In A Spell” with a handful of singles that brandish vocal prowess as gracefully as technical dexterity. -Nancy Lu
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