From now until both Birdhouse Festival in Chicago and Dirtybird Campout in Modesto, I will be featuring a select artist playing on one of these lineups to take over the guest mix and give you a preview of what is to come. This week, for our first Dirtybird Campout feature, we have our newest Dirtybird artist, Black V Neck, on guest mix duty. This duo recently caught my attention after having their first release on birdfeed on Last year with their track “Stop ‘n Go.” This year they sent me their newest track “Mouth Music,” and I was blown away. The production quality was top notch and they were able to create something fresh and unique in an extremely effective way. After I heard the B-side “Sex, Drugs Alcohol,” I knew it was time to welcome these two to Dirtybird with an official EP.
Although relatively new and upcoming producers, Black V Neck have already had a string of releases on labels such as Bunny Tiger, Audiophile XXL, Shanghaied and more. They have also received huge support from Shiba San and released a number of tracks on his imprint, Basement Leak. Make sure to catch Black V Neck kicking things off at Dirtybird Campout on Friday, October 4th at 12pm at The Birdhouse stages and check out their BIRDHOUSE questionnaire and guest mix below.
How did your music career get started in earnest?
Julian: We both met the first day of band camp in college seven years ago, coincidentally we both played the french horn and realized soon enough that we both loved making electronic music. I showed Ian Abelton and the rest is history.
Ian: Yeah and I loved it so much, I got the logo tattooed on my arm. When we started, we were working off two laptops in our school’s practice rooms. Then three years ago, we converted an office space into our shared studio where we produce all of our tracks.
Where are you from and does it have an influence on your music?
Julian: We are from Miami born and raised, Ian being of Jamaican/Cuban descent and I have a French/Cuban background.
Ian: The city has an influence on my attitude and my driving, which reflects in my music.
How many times did you want to quit trying to make this your career?
Ian: Square root of negative two.
What was one piece of equipment that helped define your sound early on?
Julian & Ian in unison: A Subwoofer.
When you were getting started, which artists did you try to emulate (both musically and careerwise)?
Julian: I always try to emulate the vibe of house music artists from the 90’s such as Thomas Bangalter and Armand van Helden.
Ian: Chris Lake and KSHMR, their sound is versatile and top-notch. They set the bar for us when it comes to production, challenging us to put out only quality tracks.
When you have a tough week or a rough tour, how do you get yourself back on track?
Julian: I like to go for long runs by the water on the boardwalk, it always helps me relax. If I can’t do a run, I go to the gym or head to the pool and try to soak in the Miami sun. Ian: I find that learning something new keeps me on my toes and motivates me to look at things from a different perspective.
Where and when are you at your most content/happiest?
Julian: When I’m in the studio working on a new song that I’m proud of. Playing shows also reminds me why I continue to make music my career.
Ian: What he said!
Do you have any secret hobbies or hidden talents?
Ian: We both actually play the french horn and drums. I also like building computers and PC gaming. #PCMR
Favorite and least favorite colors?
Julian & Ian: Our favorite color is black, our least is white. Are you surprised?
Favorite and least favorite words?
Julian: Least, Moist
Ian: Fave, Moist
Ian: I literally don’t know. I like turtles?
Favorite board game?
Julian: The Game of Life
Ian: Cyberpunk 2020
Favorite guilty pleasure food?
Julian: Pastellitos from La Careta
Ian: Batido de Mamey
Favorite guilty pleasure song?
Julian: *NSYNC – Tearin' Up My Heart
Ian: Attack Attack! – Smokahontas
German or Detroit techno?
Festival, club or illegal warehouse?
Julian: Club BED, feat. DJ Pillow
Ian: Warehouse, the 90’s were lit.
Biggie or Tupac?
Julian & Ian: Biggie
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Julian & Ian: Spaceballs
Exercise or Netflix?
Julian: Netflix, a new show every week.
Ian: Exercise, it’s never not bulking season.