Leading up until the Upstream Music Fest + Summit, a Northwest regionally focused festival with over 300 acts, KEXP will be featuring a new local artist from the lineup with an interview and suggested tracks for where to start. Today’s post features producer Luna God, performing Saturday, May 13 at 11:30 p.m on the Fish Take Friends stage.
If you've been following these Local Artist Spotlights, you've probably come across Luna God's name a couple times producing beats for artists like Cosmos, Guayaba, and ZELLi. That's just the beginning of his lengthy list of collaborators. He's a producer with exciting, eclectic taste — as evidenced in his LGEP series and his mix for KEXP's Midnight in a Perfect World. He sounds just as comfortable crafting lush beats from scratch as he does remixing mainstream hip-hop hits. We caught up with Luna God to hear about his wide ranging influences, collaborators, and how he exercises his skills as a DJ and a producer.Prior to producing tracks as Luna God, you were the band leader with Cold Water Theater which evolved from indie rock/shoegaze to soul and R&B. What draws you to trying to so many different styles and what do you think “clicked” with your Luna God material?
I love music! I'm always listening to music. I really would love to be doing many different projects all at once but I can only do so much. I miss playing in church. I miss playing in bands. I miss playing jazz. But I'm having a lot of fun making this music right now. And I'm always looking for new and exciting ways of creating. I really wanna do the music for a documentary.
You’ve become a presence over the past couple years producing for artists like Cosmos, ZELLi, Guayaba and others. How does that collaborative process work for you? Do you create beats specifically for artists or are you bringing them beats you already have?
Its always different. I try to figure out what feels natural and what works best for everyone. But I like to just flow with the music and see where it goes.
Alongside your original tracks, you pop in every now and then with remixes of heavy hitters like Beyoncé, Drake, and Chance the Rapper. A lot of times it seems like you tend to focus on a single line and build out it like “Better call Becky with the good hair” and “Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake?” What inspires you to reinterpreting tracks like this and what draws you to these lyrics you decide to focus on?
Its like when you really think about how a word sounds or is spelled and the more you think about it the weirder it feels to you and then kinda becomes its own thing.
You DJ as well. How do you feel your DJ sets defer from your original beats? If you had to say, what would you consider the “trademark” of a Luna God set?
They go hand in hand. A lot of what I'm creating is made to be played during my DJ sets. And a lot of what I'm playing in my dj sets is what inspires me to create. Trademark Luna God set is [that] people leave sweating a lot.
Last year you released LGEP and LGEP2: Day & Night. Is there a third installment in the works? What are you working on right now?
LGEP3 will be out this summer. Already mostly done with the beats and I'm excited!I'm working on a bunch of projects and songs with some really talented people. As well as my homie 1990's new project which I'm super excited about. I wanna do some more remixes as well. So be on the look out for those too.
Many of your collaborators are playing the festival. Any chance of some special guests showing up during your set? What can people expect from your performance?
Yeah! I wanna get some people on stage with me. Hopefully we can work it out with everyone's schedule.
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