LA artist and producer GOLDROOM blew us all away earlier this year with his banging tune ‘Fifteen’. In a rare spare moment, the man otherwise known as Josh Legg talks to us about gaining exposure, inspirations and his upcoming visit to Australia.
You have only been around for a couple of years now as Goldroom andhave accomplished so much – has there been a moment that
sticks out for you so far?
I think seeing people respond well to Fifteen was the best for me. This was a song that had sat around for a while. I had some friends that never really particularly liked the song, while I really loved it. It was a bit of a departure from my more dancey remixes, but I felt really strongly about the song. Seeing so many people get emotional about the song just felt great and has given me a lot of confidence to take my writing wherever it needs to go, even if thats far from the dance world.
What do you feel has been the greatest help in gaining exposure?
I think word of mouth to be honest. Many of the doors that felt closed off in the late 2000s have seemed to open, and I think thats because a lot of bigger corporate blogs and websites don’t control the music discovery process anymore. Soundcloud and Spotify, along with Twitter and Facebook, have made passing music from friend to friend so much easier than was previously possible. I feel like more than anything that’s how my music gets passed around, and its really cool to see.
What is the electronic music scene like in LA?
For the past ten or so years, I think LA has been quite on top of picking up the latest and greatest in electronic music. There’s such a diversity of people and places here that you can always find shows going on that cater to all sorts of different genres and styles. Obviously as dance music in particular has exploded over the past couple of years, the scene in LA has concurrently gotten much bigger. What I’ve found to be great, is the willingness that a lot of the promoters have to explore different genres that aren’t necessarily massively popular. The support that myself and others in my scene have received has been amazing. Event promoters don’t get nearly enough credit for molding and shaping the public’s tastes. Whether its a rooftop pool party during the summer, or the great upstart Friday night ‘Private Label’ parties that just started, there is a great scene for uplifting, melodic dance music here.
What inspirations do you take into your music?
Thematically, my songs tend to take inspiration from my life and others around me. When I write its always coming from some specific emotion that I’m trying to put into words that anyone can relate to. I’m not big on being odd or masking what I’m trying to talk about. Musically, I’m constantly inspired by sounds and textures. I think I love recorded music because a good production can paint an emotional picture without saying a word. Sometimes I can hear an arpeggiated synth and it just brings an entire world to light in my head. I can’t get enough of it.
How do your originals come about? Take us through the writing process.
Every song seems to happen differently. There have been times when I’ve written songs on my guitar, and then built a production around that skeleton. Other times I’m working with a 4 bar loop that I’ve created on my laptop. I’ll just sing nonsense over it until that moment happens when you know that you’re singing the words the song is supposed to have. Most of the time the music happens first and the words happen last though. For me personally, I care more about melody and harmony than I do about the words. Basically at the end, I do my best to tell my story without compromising the phrasings and pacing that I’ve laid out with nonsense syllables.
What can Australian fans expect from your sets?
Hopefully a journey. Much like my mixtapes, I like to try and make the sets start in one place and end in another. We’ll start at the bottom of a mountain and work our way to the top, hopefully coming down the other side to somewhere happy and sunny. I’m not going to blow your hair back right away, but we’ll get there. I think the best moments are the moments you have to work a bit for, don’t you think?
What have you got planned for the rest of the 2012?
Well, once I get back from Australia, I’m taking a couple months off from touring to focus on finishing my album. I recently had a solid week in the studio in LA, and material was just pouring out of me. It felt great. I’m very much looking forward to getting back into the studio and just living there. Hopefully I’ll have the album done by the end of the year, which will hopefully see the light of day sometime next year!
Besides that, I’ll also be putting together a live band for Goldroom so I can perform these songs the way they were meant to be performed. I’ve always been in bands, so I’ve just been itching to take the stage in a live capacity.
Words by Tom Hutchins