Interview: RL Grime
Posted in Interviews
"When I first started getting into James Blake, the way I was looking at and approaching music started to change."
Here it is people: our first official LFTF guest mix. We've been wanting to put this together for a extremely long time now and things have finally fallen in place. For our first ever guest mix, we've recruited none other than RL Grime--the brand new future-bass project from 20-year-old wunderkid Henry Steinway. Having already a number of different projects under his belt (most namely being his electro/house moniker Clockwork), Steinway has branched out once again with RL Grime--staying true to himself while remaining innovative in the ever so changing musical landscape of today. And with his absolutely stellar debut EP Clipz just releasing, RL Grime looks poised to make waves in the future-bass scene for many years to come.
What's going on Henry, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Where are you coming at us from today?
Currently posted up in my apartment in the East Village of New York.
I know you're originally out of Los Angeles. How would you compare the music scene in New York to LA's?
Both scenes are obviously very thriving, but I feel like there is more diversity in NYC. So many acts that don’t get the love they should be getting start out here, and are based (#based) here. Also, the assortment of the shows in NYC is something I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of too.(ie Odd Future’s first NYC show back in November, James Blake’s first US show, Joy Orbison’s 2nd US show).
I'm also aware that you have some major musical roots in your blood. When did you first start creating music and how has your taste evolved over the years?
I started making my own music back in around 9th grade with a buddy’s
torrented purchased version of Reason. I’ve feel like I’ve touched on just about every genre of music that has interested me since I started. In high school, House/Techno/Electro started to intrigue me, and I’ve been into that for a long time, but recently I’ve been really discouraged by the how the scene played out, bringing forth a lot of really wack, uninspired music. There are obviously still a lot of artists I’m into within that scene, and I’m sure I will get back into it eventually. Since the beginning though, I’ve always been into anything hip-hop oriented, so I’ve continued to hold those structures and ideas close to me no matter what I’m working on.
We've been fan's of your music forever, so you have to explain to us...what the hell is RL Grime?
RL Grime is a project I started near the end of February, and is something I’ve wanted to branch out and do for a long time now. It is sort of a culmination of all the different sounds, ideas, genres, and cultures I’ve been influenced by over the last year or so.
You've had some major successes under your other moniker Clockwork, so where does the inspiration come from to create a brand new artist and basically start over? I feel like there had to have been something--a song, artist, whatever--that made you want to start creating this sort of music. It's just so different than anything else you’ve ever done.
I think when I first started getting into James Blake, the way I was looking at and approaching music started to change. From there I started getting really into the UK scene, subscribing to Boiler Room shows, reading new forums, etc. I found a lot of inspiration from the scene in the UK and have been riding that out. Aside from the UK scene, I’ve been obsessed with all of the super-hype-Lex-Luger-70ish-bpm rap that’s been blowing up, so I wanted to try combine both of these worlds I’m interested in.
It’s also been fun starting a new project and being able to apply what has and hasn’t worked for me in the past with other music projects. I think in that sense I have an advantage because I’ve been creating and releasing music for a while now and learning so much along the way. I’ve had a lot of fun working with the artwork too and trying to figure out a brand or memorable visual aspect that goes along with the name.
So what is it you are trying to accomplish with RL Grime?
I’m trying to make music that I am proud of, enjoy listening to, and happy to share with other people. I'm also trying to make music that will impress Kaya Scodelario and ultimately lead to marriage.
Who are some of your influences behind the creation of RL Grime?
James Blake, Lex Luger, Lunice, Young L, Boards of Canada
You just released your first EP under RL Grime called Clipz. Tell us a little about that.
This first EP is really just the first 5 tracks I made as RL Grime. I completed most of it over my spring break in March, when I had time off of school to focus on it. I had about 10 tracks to pick from in the end, so these are the 5 I liked the most, plus I was lucky enough to get an amazing remix from my mans D33J.
Tell us about the mix you did for us.
This is basically an amalgamation of all the music I’ve been really into over the past couple months. It includes the majority of the material I’ve made under RL Grime, along with a whole bunch of other tunes from genres all across the board.
All time favorite rap song that never gets old?
"Whose That Girl" by Eve
First album ever purchased on your own?
Willennium- Will Smith
Best show you've ever seen?
James Blake @ Music Hall in Williamsburg
MF Doom @ El Rey in Hollywood circa 2006. He played like 4 songs and walked off the stage. There was also speculation that it wasn’t even him that was performing during that tour. The songs he played were phenomenal though, so I can’t be that mad. I’ll always be a fan
Lil B or Tyler, The Creator?
Lil B > everything
Frank Ocean or The Weeknd?
And lastly, If you could coordinate a concert to bring together 4 of your favorite artists/groups (alive), who would they be?
Earl Sweatshirt, Koreless, Lunice, and Dipset