Digital Farm Animals
Adore You Feat. Ofei
Part of the driving force behind The Music Ninja is the ability to discover and break artists before most other mainstream music publications have a chance. While literally boatloads of music are unloaded upon the TMN offices every day, it is more than a treat when a piece of music stops its listener firmly in their tracks. Such was the case with London based, multi-faceted and uber-talented producer Digital Farm Animals. A few weeks back we had the opportunity to debut DFA’s new single “Adore You” along with his lush brand of electronicism; which employs instrumentation elements from 80′s Nu-Wave and Synth-Pop, to House and Future to good old fashioned Pop structuring. We had the chance to sit down and shoot the… stuff with DFA, talking about everything from future releases, what a live Digital Farm Animals show will look like, to Hanson’s “MMMBop” and Haagen-Dazs. Read the full transcript of our lovely time together below.
The Music Ninja: A lot of people have been referring to Digital Farm Animals as a “they”, “group” or “band” when in reality, you’re just a single producer, can you set the record straight and give us the rundown as to how you began producing, and how you were led to your artist name?
Digital Farm Animals: Ha…Well I get asked this quite a lot and yeah Digital Farm Animals is just me when it comes to writing and producing music. But there’s also a DJ / live programmer who is part of DFA when we perform . So I guess it’s okay to keep calling us ‘they’? Confused yet?!
As it happens the main reason I got into producing music is because the DJ in Digital Farm Animals handed me a copy of FL Studio when I was about 12… I just became obsessed with it.
TMN: On that note; as a relatively new artist without libraries of published music, are your live shows right now mainly DJ sets, or is there a complete live setup? If so, what kind of equipment do you play on?
DFA: We’ve played at some really cool gigs over the last year which have been DJ sets. It’s a huge buzz when you drop a big track and you feel the energy from the dance-floor but we’d always planned for something much bigger and more creative and it feels like the right time now to start working towards that. It’s an ongoing creative process and we don’t know how it will end up exactly but what we do know is that it will involve pigs, lots of pigs.
As for equipment, we’ve been using Ableton packed with a load of synths, samples and drum racks alongside NI’s Maschine, a Midi Fighter, iPads and an Akai MPK49. We’re also going to bring live vocals into the mix.
TMN: You have a new EP coming our way on August 26 and just dropped another single “Adore You”, which we assume is also a part of said EP. Can you tell us a little about what the process has been like for recording Bugged Out? Have you collaborated with anyone, or has it been mostly a solo effort?
DFA: Yeah, “Adore You” is the first track from Bugged Out. Its actually been a bit of a strange one. I went away last year for about 4 months and spent quite a bit of time in Australia —where I produced most of the EP and a bunch of other tracks. The scene over there is amazing…they are really ahead of the game when it comes to synth driven music and I definitely gained a lot of influence. When I got back I was on the case to find the right singer for each track and we just got really lucky. Working with Ofei was awesome – he’s a really talented guy and we just threw out loads ideas in the studio, almost like a jamming session, and then went with what felt best. It’s been really great fun working with real musicians too – I’m a big advocate of combining electronic music with live elements. There are two more tracks to come, both with features from UK artists.
TMN: There is not a ton of information about your music out there in the blogosphere. Can you enlighten The Music Ninja readers on any impending releases from Digital Farm Animals scheduled besides Bugged Out, and the easiest place to listen to Digital Farm Animals music?
DFA: This will be the first official thing from Digital Farm Animals but there are a bunch of tracks we’ve put online over the last year or so. We actually did a track called ‘Home’ quite a while back that was basically just us mucking around with some pretty dark /2-steppy sounds and it got quite a big buzz. We then got approached by an artist from the states called Khat – who did his own edit of that track called ‘Homeless’ and that got a really great response. It massively opened my eyes to the power of the Internet and collaborations.
Musically we’re in a very different place now – I think all that was a great part of our learning process but our sound has really evolved, and im sure it will continue to do so. I’m just really enjoying experimenting in this synth-pop/80’s kind of space. As for other releases at the moment…I’m working on the follow up EP now and also have another really exciting collaboration that will go out as a single following that EP.
The best place to listen to our music is on Soundcloud. (Check it out here!)
TMN: Digital Farm Animals’ sound seems to draw on a number of varying influences from Radiohead to Nicolas Jaar to more poppy electronic like the Future Classic sounds coming out of Australia. What was your musical background and upbringing which led to the creation of such sonically textured music?
DFA: I’ve been really fortunate to have grown up listening to a really diverse selection of music – and most of that was originally not out of choice. My father has always been a massive music lover and was into a lot of progressive music, electronic/synth music and generally just abstract, alternative stuff- so I grew up listening to a lot of bands like Porcupine Tree, Genesis, Pink Floyd on the one hand, but then also guys like Art Of Noise, Duran Duran and a lot of Depeche Mode’s earlier stuff. As I started to discover more music for myself I got really into electronic music & there are just too many influential artists to mention really. I would definitely say guys like Thom Yorke, Four-tet, Fly-lo have really inspired me. Recently i’ve been revisiting a load of old 80’s records.
I think one of the hardest things for me has been trying to find my own sound. I’ve spent lots of different periods of my life trying to re-create music from all of those genre’s mentioned above, but I think that’s also been one of the most beneficial things for me as a producer. I think now its about reaching into all of those different sounds and putting them together in new ways.
TMN: What label will you be releasing on, or do you think for now DFA will be a self released project?
DFA: At the moment it’s planned to be self released.
TMN: Alright, let’s change the pace up a little bit. What is one song or record that you love, but are perhaps embarrassed to share with other people?
DFA: That’s easy: Hanson – “MMMBOP”
TMN: What are three things in your life that you simply cannot live without right now?
1. Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
2. My Razor – I can grow a beard in like 2 hours.
3. Iphone Voice Recorder.
TMN: If your music was one Digital Farm Animal, what would it be and why?
DFA: A gigantic electric Wild male hog – I like my pigs big and manly.
TMN: Well, thank you for taking some time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Digital Farm Animals.
Big thanks for having us! Appreciated.