The word “future” gets thrown around a lot. “Future house”, “future bass”, “future garage” etc. To me, for something to be actually considered “future” it has to be taking risks; breaking new styles; sharing sounds no one has heard yet; sounds which will eventually begin to take shape in a bigger way months later. This new Nest HQ mix from North Carolina’s GRRL is actually future.
For those not familiar, GRRL got his start as a curator — an elite SoundCloud taste maker. He’s always been the first to repost and show love to the best music out there. His twitter feed, where he routinely shouts out his favorite tracks of the day, paired with corresponding emojis, has been described as better than most blogs out there.
This year the sounds and styles he’s been repping under the GRRL alias are also starting to take shape in his own originals, like the percussive heavy “Bad Bitch”, the bouncy video game house strut, “OPN2” and the more recent Sinjin-y anthemic club banger, “Jungle Level”.
Check our chat with GRRL below and dig into his excellent new Nest HQ MiniMix.
Yoo, what’s good bud?
I’m good. Just working on music and stuff, and this mix.
For those who aren’t familiar, can you tell us a little bit about when you started the project?
It’s weird because when I started it a year and a half ago I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to do with it. I started making mixes and then I moved to mash ups and then I wanted to get more into original stuff to mostly put into mixes as tools or edits, and then I learned more about production and got more into that, while also reposting and curating to show people what I liked.
Has music always been a big part of your life?
I dunno, I just like it a lot. I’ve listened to music for forever I guess. For my entire life. I just really like curating it. I always used to make playlists for friends and make things for parties but I was never actually DJing anything, or putting my name on it. This is a more interesting way of doing it I guess.
How did becoming a tastemaker turn into production?
It was all youtube tutorials. Because I don’t really know anybody around here, or didn’t that do stuff like this.
How do you feel about the success of “Bad Bitch” and hearing other people playing it out?
It’s exciting to see the responses because it’s a change in sound. Sometimes I make stuff that I want to hear but not stuff that works in a club or something. It’s cool to see that when I try to do something in the style of something I like, that people actually like it too, or like playing it out.
What’s your routine for the day and how do you always stay on top of everything? Are you always glued to SoundCloud?
Yaa, I’m on SoundCloud all the time. That’s the thing I listen to music on the most. I’m always streaming music on my phone from SoundCloud, and just refreshing it constantly. I don’t know how I find a lot of people, I just look for stuff.
Have you started becoming familiar with some of these people that you repost or become fans of?
Yeah, that’s how I’ve met a lot of people I know. I guess if you’re nice or whatever and not just going up to people and asking for tracks, people are responsive and want to talk.
I feel like you’re sitting on a lot of unreleased material. Do you ask for tracks or do people just send them to you and look for feedback?
A lot of the time I follow them and people will send me tracks and ask for feedback and I try to give it as best I can. They usually follow up and send me stuff; the song they were working on or more unreleased stuff.
Could you see what you’re doing eventually becoming your own label?
It’s something I’ve thought about a lot, but I want to make sure I have the time and money to put into it if I was gonna do it right, and I don’t really have all that much time do that right now. It’s definitely something I’m interested in in the future.
So your main focus right now is making music?
Can you tell us about some of the shows you’ve played out?
They go well most of the time. The Anamanaguchi one was really fun because I got to meet them and Lazerdisk, who are two artists I’ve really liked for a long time. It was also exciting because they like my stuff as well.
I’ll see you reposting stuff from jersey to full EDM. You’re not really discriminant of other styles, which is really cool. What makes a track stand out for you?
A really good idea I guess? Like there’s a reason for it to exists other than just putting it on SoundCloud for people to like. Or something in the track that I really like.
Which artists do you think deserve to get bigger throughout the year?
There are a looot of people. At the top of my list are Rytmeklubben, and everyone in it, like Hi Tom, Torjus, Henrik the Artist; Lou Kessler as well is a person who does really interesting stuff. Her Records, who aren’t small but aren’t really super big I guess. I really love their sound. It’s super polished. There are a lot people… Dehousy, Lewis Cancut… I’d really have to look. I could make a book of people I really like.
How did you get involved with the One Eight Hundred label?
I know them through Lemur, who asked me if I wanted to release a remix for Endless Cosmos, and then he asked if I wanted to release “Money Emoji”, and that kinda got a lot of plays. That’s really it, they’re just friends of mine.
Have you ever met Lemur in person?
No, I haven’t been to LA yet. I really wanna go sometime though. I have so many friends out there.
Anything else that’s coming up?
I have a bunch of new songs coming up. Things I’m working on with Vices and Fluke Nukes, and I have a song coming out with Car Crash Set sometime in the Summer, and I’m gonna put it in this mix.
Are there any other specific scenes or styles that are popping up that you think are interesting?
Yeah, I guess TREKKIE TRAX, because they don’t really have a specific style. They just put out a lot of different or interesting kinds of bass music. Like Masayoshi Iimori. He does very interesting and different stuff within the box of EDM trap, like stuff that would fit on Mad Decent but it’s also really far ahead in the future sounding. Kind of like the way TNGHT sounded different doing that style, but very original and good. That’s the same way I feel about Masayoshi.
Where do you think music is headed in the second half of the year?
I think right now in 2015 people are more open to really different and weird sounds, and not being so stuck on thinking about a specific genre, like ‘this has to be like this’, and a lot of crossover stuff from different countries. It sounds kind of cliche to say, but grime, I feel like that’s gonna happen in a big way in 2015 and 2016. I hear a lot of influence of that on SoundCloud, like on the more club stuff, and it’s just really exciting. It’s not like earlier when people were trying to jump on American stuff, it’s like people going over to the UK and wanting that sound. It’s interesting.
And the whole thing Drippin is backing with the warehouse sound is kinda merging with grime.
It’s cool because even this year Drippin has done stuff with Sicko Mob and Sinjin Hawke, and that was a really interesting track under the two styles, like southern rap and more grime-like club stuff.
What are some other labels that you think have been interesting this year?
Activia Benz, Her Records, Raw Juice (putting out all the Rytmeklubben stuff). Resources and Liminal Sounds are two of my favorite things. One of them is in Paris, one is out of the UK. They put out really great stuff. A lot of the tracks I’m gonna put in this mix are from that label.
Awesome, thanks for the chat bud.
Thanks for interviewing me.
Check GRRL’s Nest HQ MiniMix and tracklist below (free download here).
Nest HQ MiniMix: GRRL Tracklist
Seiho – Collapse
TOXE – offence
Samename – IJC 2015
YNGN & Korma – Ascension (Sans Bells)
Glot – Avarice V1
Copout – Further
Remixed by Victoria Kim for Vivid Live 2015, at Sydney Opera House
Masters at Work – Work (MM Refixxx)
GRRL – Go Up [Forthcoming Car Crash Set, August 7th ]
Headstone – Gun Club
Nobel – Club Bandit
P.O.L. Style – Saw (Neana Remix)
Ducky – I’m Not A Player I Just… (Margaret Antwood Remix)
Eloq x Torjus x Hi Tom – Princess Riddim
Fluke Nukes – Touch
GRRL – Arrows (Instrumental)
GRRL – Jungle Level
words: fan fiction