But do you ever stop and wonder, what exactly was the creator/composer of that song you love thinking? What was there past influences that brought this sound into being? I had the privilege to probe the mind of an electronic musician (someone's work whom I also currently have been obsessing about) and find out what exactly makes him tick.
Meet JA Mixter, electronic composer, and your new obsession.
Boymeetsboyblog: Tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you originally from? Or, did you grow up in San Francisco?
JA: I'm originally from Michigan where my first appreciation of music came when I played trumpet in band. Later I joined a drum & bugle corps and started to travel around the country. This led me to want to move to California and I've been here since I was 19.
BMBB: As a kid, what style of music did you listen to? Who was your favorite band?
JA: As a kid there was Motown because I lived near Detroit and that was the sound we listened to. When I moved to San Francisco I started listening to The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, the Cure, and that whole British invasion.
BMBB: What got you into electronic music?
JA: I first came upon electronic music in Amsterdam. I was traveling and started to hear these compilations from Cafe del Mare and then I started to follow the musicians on these CDs. When I had gotten a new iMac it had this program, "Garageband" on it and I started to play with it. I hadn't touched on playing with music in years and here was this program that let me mix loops, create tracks and explore a side of me that I hadn't thought of doing without a studio. Brian Eno's ambient albums like "Music For Airports" is probably my earliest influence in electronic music.
BMBB: How long have you been creating electronic music? Has your past musical likings influenced the way you create music today?
JA: I've been creating electronic music for about 8 years now. I can see some of my past understanding of music structure influence me on how I approach a new track. I've been into "house" music since the 90's and that has had an influence. I like downtempo, lounge, drum & bass, deep house, ambient, and chill soundz.
BMBB: The music scene is always changing, new genres popping up, or old genres recreated and becoming popular. It has only been a few years, that electronic and dance became popular/mainstream. What are your feelings about this?
JA: There are too many genres happening, I can't keep up with them but I understand musicians want to distinguish themselves and so a new genre is born. It's not really important what it's called to me. I'm surprised it's taken so long for electronic/dance to become more mainstream and I don't think it's really become something top 40 yet. At least not the music I listen to.
BMBB: Who is your favorite electronic musician?
JA: Early on it has to be Brian Eno. Lately some of my favorite musicians have been Gold Panda, Washed Out, Lone, Darius, Morgan Packard, Paul Kalkbrenner, Teams, and Scuba.
BMBB: What influences you to write and make music?
JA: It can start with a single loop. After that I just build on it. I never have a plan when I put together a track. It just starts to direct me and I become the editor. I look back some times on my tracks and I ask myself "where did that come from?" It just happens.
BMBB: What is your one piece of advice to the budding musician out there?
JA: I'm not one to give advice on the business of music. I make music because I love it and it's something I do without any expectations of financial gain. It's an art form that's mine and I love to share it with anyone who wants to listen.
Feel free to share and dowload JA Mixter's work over at Soundcloud.