San Francisco producer Charlie Yin, aka Giraffagepaints a radiant, colorful picture through his music. As a true student of R&B (seriously, he remixed The-Dream‘s Love/Hate album in its entirety), he has crafted an experimental electronic sound with the perfect sensibility towards the hits of the 2000s. His latest EP, No Reason, has a notable depth and cohesion that feels playful and supremely soothing, yet fully dance-floor ready. With its lush melodies and sonic plot twists, the project awakens an encompassing range of emotions and senses making for more than just an auditory experience. In a way, the music feels like a physical place with its ability to transport the listener to a whole new dimension–something we all need some times.

We were lucky enough to pick Charlie’s brain with a few questions about his new project, musical inspirations and dream collaborations among other topics. Enjoy this fun conversation and stream his phenomenal EP below. No Reason is out now via the always on-point Fool’s Gold Records and is available for purchase via iTunes. Giraffage is also in the midst of an international tour–check his upcoming dates here

’Giraffage – Hello’

TMN: When did you first start making music? And was there a particular album, song or artist who really inspired you at that time? 

Giraffage: I started making music near the beginning of high school. At the time, I was really into pop-punk and technical math rock stuff.

TMN: One of your original monikers was Robot Science. Do you see that as an alter-ego (like Caribou v. Daphni) or was that just the original iteration of Giraffage? 

Giraffage: I saw that as a learning experience more than an alter-ego, a lot of songs were just so unpolished and poorly mixed. However it did help me learn the ins and outs of releasing songs to an audience. Robot Science still has a special place in my heart.
’Giraffage – Tell Me’

TMN: The prevalence of soul & 90s-early 2000s R&B in the current electronic music landscape across sub-genres is hard to ignore. Both more broadly and for yourself, what is it about those eras of music that you think has brought them back to the forefront?

Giraffage: I think a lot of big producers nowadays were growing up listening to that era of 2000s r&b. As a result, the influence definitely carried through. For me personally, even though I love pop music nowadays, I think pop music back then had a lot more catchy hooks and overall more clever songwriting and technicality to it. People are starting to appreciate musicianship and that kind of stuff more than ever these days.

TMN: Are there any contemporary R&B, or hip-hop, artists you’d like to work with?

Giraffage: Drake, Kanye, R. Kelly for sure.

’Giraffage – Chocolate’

TMN: The whole EP has a real playful, yet danceable, vibe to it. “Chocolate” really stood out to me as a track that could be in a video game in the best way possible. If you could soundtrack any video game, past or present, what would it be? 

Giraffage: I’ve always wanted to score an RPG. One of my favorite game soundtracks ever is the Chrono Trigger soundtrack and I feel like a lot of those melodies and harmonies have subconsciously made their way into my music.

’Giraffage – Anxiety’

TMN: Although it is a really bright project as a whole, No Reason also has some notable moments of tension that help bring some contrast with “Be With You” closing out on a high note. When you were putting together the project, were you consciously thinking about the cohesion or did it all come more naturally?

Giraffage: There were probably around 8 or 9 songs that I wrote while working on No Reason, however I ended up whittling it all down to a 5 track EP. The other 4 tracks that didn’t make the cut didn’t really fit the vibe of the EP as a whole and so I’ll most likely be saving those for something else or scrapping them altogether. I definitely was conscious about cohesion, since it’s something that I’d want someone to put on and be able to listen to from start to finish. 

’Giraffage – Be With You’
TMN: Something I’ve noticed on No Reason, and in your music in general, is some of the really unique sounds employed. What is the most far-out noise or sample that you’ve used in your music?

Giraffage: I’ve used a butt slap as a snare once.

TMN: You recently had a pair of sold out shows here in the Bay and have a bunch of tour dates coming up. What’s it like to sell out venues in your hometown/area? What kind of set up do you have during your performances and what vibes can people expect from your sets?

Giraffage: It’s a great feeling and validates that what I’m doing is something that people genuinely enjoy. I have kind of a half live half DJ set when I play these days, but for the upcoming north american tour with Spazzkid, I’m planning on revamping my whole setup and doing a pure live set, with really cool stage production. It’s still all in planning :-).

TMN: We’ve heard you are a big fan of Lil B the Based God! As a cat lover, I’m assuming you’ve heard about his rapping cat, Keke, as well. If you had the chance to collaborate with Lil B and Keke, what would be the name of the song?

Giraffage: Keke is the shit and the name of our song would be “pet dat pussy.”

TMN: What’s your favorite restaurant in the bay? 

Giraffage: There’s too many!!! But if I had to pick, Sushi Sam’s in San Mateo or Tselogs in Daly City.

TMN: Right now, what is your favorite song or album? 

Giraffage: Usher – I Don’t Mind (ft. Juicy J)

’The Dream – Falsetto (Giraffage Remix)’

TMN: If an extraterrestrial species made its way to earth and asked you what music is, what song would you play for them?

Giraffage: Maybe my remix of The-Dream – Falsetto so they can see how crazily humans can manipulate their vocal chords.

Special thanks to Giraffage to taking the time to answer our question and, more importantly, for the fantastic tunes! 

P.S. You can learn more about Giraffage in his recent Reddit AMA.

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