This week we’re pleased to have LA based, world-traveling DJ and producer Color on our series. Over the course of her life Color has had the fortune of exploring many corners of our beautiful planet and collected her experiences along the way translating them into her performances and music. Now firmly planted in Southern California you can find her DJing at many of the area’s top venues and events.
Her own productions are beginning to permeate including a new release on Berlin based imprint My Techno Weighs a Ton. With a host of new music on the horizon we’re looking forward to hearing much more from her soon!
Check out her interview with MR PUZL below to learn more about this budding producer.
MP: Congrats on your new release ‘Joy & Pain’! We remember when you were ﬁrst working on the title track; the whole EP came together nicely. Tell us a bit about the process behind making EP. What were some inspirations for the sounds and style you were going for?
Color: Thanks! Some inspiration for these tracks.. well, I love a good bassline, I love percussion that makes me feel like I’m in the jungle, I love vocals. I want to make music that moves people, opens people’s minds, something different and at the same time something funky. With Joy and Pain I made that beat and that vocal just came to mind when listening to it and it worked.
MP: Thanks again for putting this mixtape together for us. What have you prepared for our listeners? Did you have a particular audience or emotion you were trying to convey?
C: This mixtape displays a lot of my favorite artists, most of which use live instruments and create super original stuff. Nadastrom, Soul Clap, Sabota and Detroit Swindle to name a few. I also included a few classic remixes and a track of my own called Come Around. This is a very colorful mix tape 😉
MP: In your bio you mention that when you were 18 you went on a 10 year journey spanning 30 countries. I’m sure you could write a book on it, but we’d love to hear some of the highlights of that journey. What was motivation behind taking this epic trip?
C: Yes, I am pretty obsessed with traveling and fascinated with different cultures of this beautiful, artistic world. Having been born in New Zealand, growing up in Canada and my mom being from LA, exploring the world is in my blood. My parents started to take me traveling from when I was about 6 months old, and after high school I went on my ﬁrst trip by myself, stayed 2 years longer than planned, and I will continue to explore for as long as I can! I call traveling the world my university.
MP: You continue to travel and have been fortunate to live in some amazing places over the years, and why you state that your, “music is anything but typical.” What specifically about those places or the overall notion of being a world traveler deﬁnes your music? Do you have any places that you continue to return to for inspiration?
C: Anything african! I would say that most of my sets and tracks that I make include some kind of tribal element. I love Latin culture as well, the people really know how to enjoy life every day and not take things too seriously. I believe that life is for living and having fun, rather than being straight-edge and serious all the time. So when I create I like to be playful, colorful and fun.
Asia is a place I can’t stay away from. Thailand in particular holds a special place in my heart and I will continue to return there annually to DJ their amazing hidden beach parties and live the jungle life.
Mexico as well, I can’t stay away. I’ve toured there 3 times, played cities coast to coast, and I absolutely love how much they love to party there and appreciate good house music!
MP: Your analogy of painting with color as a means to describe your work resonates with us. What are some of your favorite “colors” of music? If you had to pick a famous visual artist to associate yourself to creatively who would it be?
C: This is a good question my dear! When I’m not bumping house beats I’m listening to jazz, blues, reggae and world music, so in my tracks I like to incorporate jazz brushes, blues notes, and percussion. Bells and melody with an uplifting vibe make me feel happy and I want people to feel the music as much as I do. I want to help facilitate some kind of positive emotion. And when playing sets my goal is to make listeners happy to be alive.
I love Banksy, I also really dig this Mexican artist named Soltero – super cool, edgy colorful stuff.
MP: As a producer you’ve spent time learning from music schools, teaching yourself and gleaning from others. What would you say were some early hurdles that you had to overcome when producing your own music versus, say a remix or edit?
C: Time management! The possibilities are endless! I learned so much in the ﬁrst 6 months of making music that it was hard to focus on the real goal of the track rather than just playing around with all my new toys.
MP: I’m a big fan of Stanton Warriors, and some of their Basement Jaxx remixes are still my favorites to date. What other records from that era were you digging for? Speaking of, do you still spin vinyl these days? What would you say you prefer when your DJ’ing?
C: Spending a lot of time in New Zealand, drum and bass is the thing there, so I grew up listening to a lot of that – I loved Aphrodite and DJ Hype and also the more chilled out liquid type like Calibre I still listen to a lot. Break beats, reggae, and 90s hip hop. I have a lot of Tribe Called Quest records! I definitely still spin vinyl and prefer spinning vinyl. When I was 22 I traveled around the whole perimeter of Australia with 2 record bags on wheels, all by myself. Committed 😉
MP: As we look to the end of another amazing summer what have you got in store to close out these ﬁnal months? Any shows or releases we can look forward to?
C: Yes! At this point I don’t plan on taking a break from making music for a very long time. I’m almost ﬁnished a really sexy cover of “Special Affair” by The Internet, which features one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard – a cool Cali chick named Bambu. I also made a fun track when I was in Thailand over Christmas and it’s being released within the next couple weeks. I’ve been practicing using my voice over live DJ sets too, with a TC Helicon Voicelive Touch looper and effects pedal, very fun stuff! Also working on a handful of new tracks which are far from ordinary 😉
1. Thrillseekers – Andy Toth, Billy Love (Chuck Daniels Remix)
2. Midnight – Justin Martin, Christian Martin (Soul Clap Remix)
3. My Carion – Sammy Yon
4. I Feel Your Voice – Dave Baron, Andrey Exx, Sharapov (Nopopstart Remix)
5. Pursuit – Detroit Swindle
6. They Talk – Ant LaRock & Devon James
7. Go Back – Nadastrom
8. Don’t Ask – Sabota
9. Muti Muti – Dandara
10. Psychic Life Coach – Dusky
11. Down – Marian Hill (Franky Rizardo Extended Remix)
12. Firebox – Emery Warman (Stefano Noferini Remix)
13. Work It Out – Karizma
14. Get Freaky – Dennis Cruz
15. La La Land – Green Velvet (Prok & Fitch Sweet Sixteen Remix)
16. Terra – Paul Darey
17. Africa – Digitaline
18. Royal Mint – Mannequin
19. Circuits – Burnski
20. Recourse – MANIK feat. Cari Golden
21. Get Your Hate On – Pedro Agular
22. Get It Right – Catz ‘N Dogz feat. Tanika
23. Keep It Simple – Elternhouse
24. Burn With Me – Whilk & Misky (Dead-Tones & Michael Hooker Remix)
25. Iwigo – Tini Garcia
26. Newspeak – Kovaxx
27. Next Time – Sabota (Grenier Remix)
28. Come Around – Color
29. I Am – An-Beat