In just a few short days the masses will descend upon New Orleans for a two-day extravaganza culminating what is sure to be exceptional performances by Derek Vincent Smith and the Pretty Lights live band as well as the talents of Curren$y & Soul Rebels, Manic Focus, Emancipator, Chris Karns, and Maddy O’Neal. However, the main event at Mardi Gras World Ballroom is not the only set that should be warranting your attention this New Years weekend.
Robbie Beck aka “Robbie Dude” is a talented producer out of Athens, GA who will be kicking off day two of the NYE Day Parties the Hi-Ho Lounge. We caught up with this fellow diehard Pretty Lights fan to learn more about his style, involvement in the PL community, and what we can expect from his set this New Years Eve.
Tell us a little bit about your style and musical inspirations?
“First, I want to thank you for taking the time to chat with me and give the listeners who have found interest in what I’m doing a chance to get a closer look at me as a normal “Dude”. I grew up playing guitar and drums in the school band. I did so without actually learning to sight-read music. In fact, I took piano lessons as a child until my instructor realized I was playing only by ear and not learning to read the actual notation.
It wasn’t until I was 22 that I started stumbling onto the music that is helping me find a “style” or lane, as I like to think of it. I don’t necessarily want to stick to one genre/sub-genre of electronic music when it comes to my original work. I listen to everything from Michal Menert to Jack’s Mannequin, Pink Floyd and Outkast. My favorite band to see live is hands down, The String Cheese Incident. I intend to create a musical library that is equally as eclectic.”
How do you see the inspiration from these artists reflected in your own music?
“I honestly don’t think I would be aspiring to do anything with my musical “talents” if I had never been shown the first Pretty Lights album, “Taking Up Your Precious Time.” That album, in particular, was the first time I heard the music I didn’t know I had been missing my whole life. That album is still the best way to describe/categorize most of the music that I end up banging out in the lab (aka my bedroom). One day I really want to produce for a rap group like the ones for the 90s such as De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5, so hopefully I can start collaborating with more, like-minded MCs.”
One day I really want to produce for a rap group like the ones for the 90s such as De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Jurassic 5, so hopefully, I can start collaborating with more like-minded MCs.”
As such an active member of the Athens music scene, what do you think it is that makes the vibe so special?
“There are countless variables that make Athens such a unique place to be, both as a musician and a listener. The biggest of them for me is best put in two words. Georgia Theater. Something about that room and the performances I’ve seen so many of my favorite musical acts put on there, make Athens so special for me. On a different (but equally as important) level, the community and network that the local musicians and venue owners have make the city of 220k people feel more like the 40k that are enrolled at UGA. Everyone is down to play shows with anyone they can, whenever the time is right. And even when there’s not much in it for you but a few beers and the chance to play some music with some friends.”
Have you spent a lot of time in New Orleans? Any particular spots you’re excited to check out?
“This will be my third trip to New Orleans and I am so ready to explore more. I was there for one day of Jazz Fest 2014 to see The String Cheese Incident, and I attended Buku earlier this year to catch the Analog Future Band in action. Last time I was in NOLA, I found myself under a bridge with 70 other people catching a pop-up Pretty Lights set, so I can only imagine what kind of adventures await us here next week.”
December 31st is shaping up to be a pretty epic day in NOLA. How is preparation going for your NYE day set?
I’m particularly excited about the Day party set because it gives me a chance to “keep it casual”. From what I understand, these parties are supposed to be a “Happy Hour” kind of vibe. That means I get to take it back to my days of playing house parties before STS9 shows at the Georgia Theater and give everyone a good soundtrack to mingle to.
Any New Year’s resolutions for 2017?
“My New Year’s resolution is to increase my productivity as a producer. Last year I released my first EP on my birthday,“Finding My Way,” and I would like to see myself releasing a full LP if not more music in 2017. I’m also saving to start building a modular synthesis rack. I’m trying to expand discography, build my studio and totally nerd out on music this year. The single off my 2016 release, “Love Like That”, is a love song that is actually about my relationship and rekindled passion for music. It’s time to take this whole thing a little more seriously.”
Robbie Dude hits the stage from 4 pm to 5 pm Saturday, December 31st. Secure your tickets now for what is sure to be the start of a truly epic “adios” to 2016.
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