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Interview: Le Youth

Jun 11 2015

Wes James aka Le Youth first came on our radar when we stumbled upon his remix of Goldroom’s “Angeles” back in 2012, his mix classic house and r&b was something that had yet to find it’s footing within the dance music community. Flash forward three years and Le Youth’s style of deep 90’s era house music has exploded and the Los Angeles based producer shows no signs of slowing down. Set to play Splash House this weekend, Wes answered some of our burning questions before heading out to the desert.

What are your essentials in the studio?
Keyboard, laptop, caffeine, iPhone, white wine, my dog

I first remember hearing the name Le Youth because of amazing remixes. Has your process in picking songs to remix remained the same throughout the years?
I’m definitely more open to remixing things I wouldn’t have wanted to remix before. I was super neurotic about the whole thing. I’ve relaxed a bit these days.

You use a lot of vocal sampling in your tracks but we’ve heard you’ve been in the studio with the likes of MNEK and some other vocalists, does this mean you’re going to experiment more with lyrics and songwriting?
I’ve been a songwriter for years, so it’s not exactly experimenting when I’m in the studio writing vocals. That said, vocal sampling is very experimental for me

You’re launching your own label this summer, can you tell us a bit about it and what can we expect in terms of releases?
I’m excited to be able to release music by my friends that inspires me. It won’t necessarily all sound like my music, but I feel it all gels together regardless of what micro­genre it falls under. There’s a pretty great group of artists producing right now that I think just make fun music. And that’s what this label will be about. There’s a lot of these artists at Splash House this summer that fall within realm. And that’s all I can say for now ;)

Are there any other labels or artists that have inspired you in this process of starting your own imprint?
French Express, Blasé Boys Club, Hot Creations

When you’re not producing, what kind of music do you listen to?
A lot of indie rock, some folk, though I’ve been rinsing the new Clean Bandit record over the last couple weeks

Your sound is heavily influenced my 90’s pop and r&b, does stem from your childhood or is it a more recent inspiration for you?
Definitely from my childhood. I grew up on 90s pop radio.

Splash House is an unique concept that’s drawing 20­somethings out to Palm Springs. In contrast, there’s been heavy debate about the dying down of festivals. Do you see this festival as being a part of a new era in the way people see live music/DJ sets?
It can definitely be easier to cultivate a specific vibe at a smaller festival like Splash House which I think is really cool, and it allows for festivals in some awesome and unique locations. That being said, I don’t think huge festivals like Coachella will ever go away, they’re too big to fail.

What can we expect from you in the 2nd Half of 2015?
I’ll be finally releasing some new music that I’m really excited about.

Make sure to check out Le Youth’s upcoming tour dates below, and catch him at Splash House this Saturday (psst you can get your tickets here).

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