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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Falcons on the Influence of Southern Rap and the New Wave of L.A. Electronic Music

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Falcons (left) and Hoodboi play a back-to-back set this Friday at 1015 Folsom.
  • Falcons (left) and Hoodboi play a back-to-back set this Friday at 1015 Folsom.
When Falcons first started producing electronic music with his Southern rap-influenced bounce sound, he didn’t anticipate that DJing would follow so shortly after. “I started getting booked of the strength of tracks I was putting out, and I was like, ‘Oh shit, I better get some kind of live show together,’” he laughs. Since then, he’s been touring continuously through North America, releasing music like his latest EP, Birdcall, and putting his remix talent to work on tracks like M.I.A.’s “Yala.” Recently he’s been focusing on his DJ crew Athletixx, comprised of Hoodboi, Kittens, and Promnite, with a much-anticipated release coming August 12. We spoke with Falcons about his Southern rap roots, Athletixx, and where the Oakland portion of his name comes from. He plays a back-to-back set with Hoodboi this Friday, July 25, at 1015 Folsom with Kastle, Lindsay Lowend, and more.
Since your style is heavily influenced by Southern rap, do you remember the first time you heard it?
I grew up in the South as a kid, so it was pretty much all I listened to. I think Juvenile’s 400 Degrees was my first CD.

As a Bay Area column, we must ask, where did the Oakland portion of your Soundcloud make it into your name?
Falcons was a duo in its early days, and it started in Oakland. I was there visiting and the other member lived there. Not long after that it became a solo project, and I ended up in L.A.

We heard you used to be a freestyle/break dancer. Do you ever use your dance skills to test out your newest tracks or remixes?
(Laughs). I mean yeah, always. If I make a track I have to make sure it has that bounce to it; I can't really put stuff out with out at least a body roll-ready rhythm.

There's really tons of up and coming DJ crews coming out of LA lately. Tell us a little about newly formed crew, Athletixx.
We're just doing something a little different for L.A. There’s been amazing electronic music coming out of here for the last decade-plus. We're just trying to add a new wave to that. It’s like electronic music with a club twist, a lot of more smoothed-out vibes, R&B and that kind of stuff.

Was there an initiation?
We formed the crew on New Year's Eve 2014 and we just been building the project since then.

How fun was it making "Riddim #1" with Promnite?

Anytime I work with that fool it’s fun; he's a joker and there’s just nonstop laughs. But at the same time, he’s a super versatile and talented producer. Our whole crew has a different style individually, but we all vibe and learn from each other.

You also have a summer tour with Hoodboi. When and where did you first meet?
Hoodboi used to throw shows in L.A. a year or two ago, before I lived here. He booked me for his night at Los Globos during my first California tour, and when we met we just clicked. He's a super-focused dude, and I loved his music. When I moved to L.A., him and a few other homies basically became the squad.

What are three words that describe your relationship with Hoodboi?
Really chill bro.

What can we expect for your guys' back-to-back set on Friday?
A lot of unreleased new music, originals, remixes, the classic stuff you’re expecting. I'm probably going to play some dancehall, too, cause it’s summer and we're feelin’ in tropical.

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Christina Li


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