Six years ago to this month, Le Youth unleashed his debut single, "Cool," a slice of feel-good dance that sampled Cassie's "Me & U," and everything changed for the then-budding producer. Fast forward to mid-2019 and it appears that he's in a different space in life — on creative, mental and emotional ends. After taking a brief break from releasing new music, the Los Angeles-based producer took some time for himself, while simultaneously reflecting on his artistry and discovering new inspiration along the way. Cue to the release of his latest single, "Selfish," a collaboration with Samama that was set to be part of his in-the-works side project, but has found its way to listeners via his home base of Le Youth.
With a newly-invigorated mindset (and some new equipment to pair), Le Youth is getting the wheels turning once again on the business with new shows, including a stop at Brooklyn's Elsewhere Rooftop on Friday night (July 26), his recent single and the groundwork for his upcoming side project. Scroll on below to read our catch up with the producer!
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. It’s been a minute since we’ve last touched base. Before we get into the music, how has 2019 treated you thus far?
2019 is turning out to be the year of change for me. I started a new project on the side and the style of music is pretty different than Le Youth, but I love it. It's influenced Le Youth in such an awesome way. My music is changing and I feel so confident about it. It's so refreshing. Looking back, it always felt like I was chasing something and I could never reach it. There is the expectation that every piece of music only has to be better than my last, but better than everyone else's too. It was super unhealthy and definitely not the reason I started making music years ago. I started for the discovery, and I finally found that again.
“Selfish” is a contrasting and welcome change from the signature Le Youth sound. Can you talk about the sonics of this record?
It's a huge contrast from the previous things I've released. It was actually intended to be for my side project, then one day my girlfriend was like, "This could be for Le Youth." It sounds so insignificant, but it was so monumental for me. I knew it was a little offbeat and not typical for Le Youth, but it felt so me. So I did it. Sonically, this record features some sounds from my synth collection at home. Over the last year, I started collecting synthesizers and getting more into hardware. My bank account is suffering, but my music got way better. I think the lead synth line in "Selfish" is from the Juno 106.
You sat on the track for a while. What made now the perfect time to release this one?
That's right. I was gearing up to release it via my side project for at least a year. I didn't even try pitching it to labels. I never thought it would get signed.
Talk to me a bit about your musical evolution in the last year.
Last year I moved to a new part of LA. I was living in Venice Beach and I needed a change of scenery and vibe. After the move, I got sober, started running at least 10 miles a week, meditating, becoming a minimalist, etc. I had all this space, energy, and mental clarity, so I started a new project. Starting the new project put me on this musical journey and I'm still on it. It's been a great year.
You’re scheduled to return to New York City at Elsewhere Rooftop. What kind of set are you planning for the evening?
I'm glad you asked! Expect a whole new set. We're all gonna learn some stuff.
You recently mentioned that you’re sitting on a lot of unreleased material. What are you most excited to drop?
I feel like I always say that. I'm always sitting on unreleased music. Some artists will have a few songs they're working on at any given moment. I have at least 20. It's depressing when I think about it. I'm going to start releasing EP's, then in 2020, I want to release an album. I think I'm most excited to start releasing instrumentals. Le Youth never really got to do that.
What’s inspiring you nowadays?
Photo: Lance Skundrich @shuttrskunk