Five Minutes With Slow Magic
We catch up with Slow Magic on his So Cute! Tour with Giraffage.
It’s been one year since How To Run Away, Slow Magic’s follow up to his debut album was released, and the masked electronic producer definitely hasn’t stopped for a second. From hitting up all the major music festivals this year including Squamish Valley, Osheaga, Electric Forest, and Sasquatch (to name a few), to playing shows all around the world and now currently on a North American tour with Giraffage, Daktyl, and Lindsay Lowend, Slow Magic is killing it. Euphoric, repetitive, light, cosmic... Slow Magic has a fresh take on electronic music that is approachable, and easy to love.
Often referred to as our ‘unknown imaginary friend,’ Slow Magic may keep his identity hidden behind a mask but brings a new perspective to an industry based solely on sound, as the way it should be. Don’t let that, even for a second, fool you. The anonymous electronic producer connects better with his fans than most. Known for his pairing of electronic beats to live drumming at his shows, Slow Magic isn’t afraid to get in the crowd and literally get on the same level as the fans in experiencing the music, including letting some of the audience members hit a few strokes on his keypad and take the stage. Music should be inclusive, and that’s the way Slow Magic creates his. Pilerats caught up with Slow Magic on the So Cute! tour and chatted tour life, Justin Bieber, and the music industry.
I actually caught your set in the tent at Sasquatch Music Festival last May, I didn’t know your music as well as I do now, but I was just blown away at all of it.
Thank you! That was actually one of my favourite music festivals. I’ve gone for a few years now.
You mainly refer to yourself as “our unknown imaginary friend.” In terms of you, Slow Magic, being an electronic producer, why has anonymity been so important to you?
For me, it’s simply a way to put the focus on the music itself instead of what the musician looks like, or where they’re from. But also, it’s mainly fun for me to have a mask and an unknown identity.
Do you think that it has impacted your career in anyway? Versus having your identity be known?
I don’t know. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I didn’t approach it this way. It helped establish me, especially in the beginning. It’s the imagery, I see it as kind of a character which may be part of why people like it….but I don’t know. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about people taking a lot of pictures of my face!
Is the mask a specific animal?
It is and it isn’t, necessarily. It’s up for interpretation. It’s an imaginary animal. I’ve gotten anything from a fox, wolf, zebra, cat, really anything. It’s really for anyone to decide.
In your live performances, you seem to break down any sort of non-physical barrier that exists between the audience and yourself, the performer…. is that something you are consciously aware of?
Yeah, it’s definitely something I’ve always been interested in and another thing I really focus on. Exactly like what you said, it’s breaking down a wall between me and the crowd. I’ll get in the crowd at shows with my drums. In a way, it goes against me hiding my identity, wanting to be as close to the crowd as possible and wanting to make everyone feel apart of the show and the music. It’s definitely something that, growing up and going to shows all the time, whether it be punk or hardcore shows, and weirder shows later on in life, it’s something that I’ve always felt any really good band has-that connection. It’s something I’ve always admired.
Agreed. I find it really disheartening at shows, as an audience member, when the performer never acknowledges you. I find that this breaks the rules of your mask, which should make the audience feel less connected but instead, feels more connected through the music even if they don’t know what you look like.
Yeah, I think that it also makes me feel less shy. I’d be much more nervous if it was just me up there, and more afraid to look up at people.
Have you always been a performer?
I grew up playing music and making music with whoever would want to start a band. I started Slow Magic a few years ago and it was the first thing that gave me the opportunity to play so many shows and the ability to travel, but, I’ve always played shows, for most of my life.
Do you find that Slow Magic is just starting to take off? Or has it been a long time coming?
When I started Slow Magic, I think in a matter of months, I started doing things I’d never been able to do such as playing shows in Europe and getting picked up by blogs and things like that. It just sort of happened. Everything that has happened up to then has created opportunities for me.
Any musical inspirations?
It’s all over, including electronic to more weirder stuff. From The Postal Service to my favourite thing I’ve heard recently, Tennyson, from Canada. I mean, there’s a lot out there.
Besides music, what else do you like to do with your time?
I like taking photos and things like that, especially while travelling. But this has been my first time on a tour bus so that’s been really fun. We have a Wii set up, which is awesome. We play six player Super Smash Bros, which is pretty cool. It’s fun being on tour because there’s never any down time. It’s been really exciting getting to focus on all aspects of playing music.
How did you and Giraffage connect?
It’s our first tour in the US together but we actually did a tour in Europe together about two years ago with some other people including XXYXX, Beat Culture, and Black Bird Black Bird. Yeah, it was super fun. Maybe even three years ago now. It was really cool 'cause we had all kind of started in a way, together, going on that tour. We are all electronic people who started in our bedrooms.
Electronic music is blowing up right now, which is so exciting for you.
Yeah, I mean I’m always focused on electronic music but there’s so many new young producers.
I find, though, that people like Justin Bieber take music like Kygo’s and have been injecting it into mainstream music, which is good and bad.
I like Justin Bieber’s new album, but I also feel like that’s true, that there is potential for it to be copied. I do feel like he put in a lot of work and stuff. I really like that Sorry song. That’s probably my favourite.
As a musical producer, you talk about breaking down those barriers between yourself and the audience and your anonymity. Do you have any other big goals as musical influence?
I hope that my shows and my music inspires people to make their own. That would probably be the best compliment, if someone was influenced to make their own music. Whenever that happens, I’m really excited.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I’ve worn the same pair of shoes everyday for, like, three years. I’ve switched them out for a new pair of the same shoes once or twice, but they’re black Doc Martens. I mean, they don’t smell bad.
Catch Slow Magic on tour through the U.S & Canada HERE