Those tunes that start at one point, spin you round, take you to places you didn’t expect, then take you even further before dropping you back off at the starting point with a knowing, cheeky nod? BeauDamian makes those.
A dizzying WTF factor coded deep into their DNA, BeauDamian’s tunes comprise three, four or even five track ideas, compress them into tightly wrapped fireworks which combust with drama and the dark art of surprise. Tunes like this…
IWALYF is the lead track from Utrecht-based Beau’s new EP Endorfine. His first self-released EP, it’s backed up with two more equally sprightly, vital pixelated head-turners and comes complete with his own game, too. An RPG as cute as his anime-addled elements, complete with musical puzzles, the game/EP combo marks the start of new ambitious level for the 24-year-old who hopes to release a game with his next EP, too.
With a discog that dates back to 2014 with releases on respected bass brands Doggtown and Terrorhythm, and an ever-growing trove of high voltage steppers on bitbird, BeauDamian is no new name. But you get the feeling he’s only just warming up. Read on, find out more, check out some of his most innovative, rule-bending tracks and prepare to lose a substantial chunk of your time on the Endorfine game.
Let’s talk about your style… You’re creating whole worlds in each tune.
I never think about works or not, I just kinda do it. Video games are my biggest inspirations. I love the idea of impulses and wanting to know about what’s around the corner. I’m always trying to find new dimensions in music. You can listen to it. You can vibe on it. It’s not just to dance to. I love it when music challenges me. Sometimes it’s very easy going; you listen to soul or R&B which you can vibe on but I also love jazz because it goes freestyle. Experimental bass does the same thing.
Not everything has to be handed to you on a plate instantly. Have a little faith in the listener, right?
Definitely. If you listen to Hudson Mohawks albums or Rustie’s Glass Swords or Cashmere Cat’s 9, it’s the perfect balance. It’s challenging but also has a commercial accessibility. That’s the balance of your own personal weirdness and experimentalism but being mainstream enough for people to actually listen to you in the first place.
We spoke to your mate San Holo about this! The idea of being able to infiltrate the mainstream and challenge its conventions.
Yes. The difference between him and I is he’s a real musician and instrumentalist but I’m this geeky weird glitchy guy. We challenge each other; I challenge him to do weird stuff, he’s like ‘woah okay Beau, reel it in a bit’
Tell us about the game
It’s designed by my friend Silver Huber. We were roommates and just love to play games so we thought we would bring what we both do together into a release and a game. We thought about how we could make it interesting and developed these musical puzzles based around the EP. It’s been really cool and I’m planning on a new game around my next bitbird EP. I want to continue the saga.
A game per release!
Why not? I want to immerse and engage everyone. In my live show, too. So right now, for example, I’m trying to make a live performance concept and I’m thinking of how I can interact with the audience, how they can interact between each other and me and help take the music in the direction or mood they want to hear.
Yes, it’s very very early days, but it’s about getting more immersion and making that connection. There are so many DJs and producers it’s difficult to stand out. I’d also like to take the music to the theatre or museum. I want to do more than just ‘music’. I want to give people more and I think that’s what games do, too. There are the dimensions and layers I mentioned.
Tell me the point where games came into your life
It started with a Gameboy then after that Legends Of Zelda. I’m a Nintendo type of guy – it’s all about the storyline. Trying to accomplish something or save someone.
Composers such as Koji Kondo must have had an influence on your music. Game music has influenced us all since very early days but it’s such a subtle art.
It certainly is. It’s all based on Latin and South American music. The jazz and bossa nova, those happy feelings and the Japanese take on that. It’s not just game composers, my favourite composer is Ryuichi Sakamoto. He does a lot of jazz and film music and he also works with Brazilian artists. There’s a strong connection between Japan and Brazil.
It sounds like you’d like to see yourself develop in a similar direction with scoring?
Yeah I’d like to explore as many options as possible. I’ve also composed music for the Dutch Asian music film festival and I love working with any type of visuals. Some day when I’m getting older I would love to do more with films, theatre, even commercials.
This new EP is your first self-release, right?
Yes. These tracks used to have samples I couldn’t clear. I’ve actually cleared them so I can put the tracks on Spotify but bitbird is always full of releases and I have so much stuff I want to release so why don’t I release some myself. I also have a bitbird EP coming in August so there’s room to release my own stuff, too.
Will you release other people’s music?
I’ve thought about it! Friends send me music and I’m really inspired but right now I’m building my own environment and a following but if I get it to a certain stage that I can support friends and help them develop too then definitely. bitbird does that for me and I want to do that for other people when I can. It’s the cycle isn’t it? A bit like life.
Passing it on!
Yes, you have to do it. Just within production, it’s important. I can tell someone how I make a sound but it doesn’t mean they’ll produce the same sound as me. They have their own interpretation and creation. Inspiration is everywhere.
I know you’re studying psychology as part of your music tech studies in university. Have you learnt any tricks to get out of writers block?
Do you know the pyramid of Maslow? It’s the hierarchy of needs. When I realise I have no inspiration I think that something below the self-actualisation stage, which is the very top of the pyramid is weak. For instance I need to go to my grandma and she needs my help. Or I need to eat a bit healthier. When I try to make music and I’m asking myself is my room clean? Is my mind clean?
It’s a very Japanese way to live – it’s the yin / yang balance. You need balance to see positive things come around. Not just professionally but with family, friends and the future. I think inspiration is excitement. If you’re excited about a sound or genre or feeling then you will make good music. I had a time when I was depressed and I wasn’t happy with that I was doing so I made music in a depressed mindset. That was under the name Celaeno. Maybe I’ll do more with that alias one day. BeauDamian is more about world music and happy vibes, Celaeno is music that happens when things aren’t so happy. But in the meantime, I’m just trying to be human and accept everything happens for a reason. You need to go all places in life, don’t you?