Gamechanger Series #6: Tiga


Whether Tiga’s just popped up on your radar with this year’s unanimous sing-along acid jacker Bugatti, you’ve been dancing to his unique styles since Pleasure From The Bass or you’ve followed him since his debut track Sunglasses At Night, you will know this: Tiga has never conformed, kowtowed, followed convention or jumped on any bandwagon.

There’s an argument to say he plays his own game, rather than changes existing games. But we definitely know the Montreal artist definitely enjoys a big fat zero on the ‘give a fuck’ counter.

“I don’t know if gamechanger and someone who doesn’t give a fuck are the same thing?” he ponders. “They’re both nice things to say about someone, though. I certainly agree with the zero fucks description. More now than ever. When you first start out you’re aware of your peers more and want to fit in but over the years that fades. I just don’t care what other people are doing!”

Fortunately many people care what he’s doing. Including us. Here’s why…

Let’s get this straight: he doesn’t actually drive or own a Bugatti…

“I do love cars. But I’m not a Bugatti guy. I don’t know where the vocal came from. For me the rhythm informs an idea or personality. I had the drums, melody and bass idea and this just came up. I put it down as quickly as it came to mind. One take. It’s cliché to say it comes from nowhere but it really does.

I can imagine where its inspiration came from, though. I follow all these rich Saudi princes on Instagram. I found them through my interest in watches and it’s a bizarre, strangely addictive phenomenon. You’ve got this league of super-rich, insanely confident but not particularly intelligent people showing off and spouting their armchair philosophy on things. It’s so funny, everyone is obsessed with seeing what’s on the other side of the wall – what’s in the castle – and now these people are opening that window with ludicrous, surreal and crazy posts and asinine banal hashtag slogans like ‘live the way you want to live!’

These characters would really say the Bugatti stuff.”

He never forgets why we love this music in the first place…

“You have to remind yourself that dance music is not meant to be complicated. People are going out to party and dance. That’s it. It’s like a stand-up comedian writes a joke. The end result is people laughing. So it’s important to stay a little silly and have fun. If I’m having fun then I know I’m being myself. It’s not contrived. And if I’m genuine amused then I know other people will experience that amusement.

The first track I made was Sunglasses At Night. We wrote it in an hour. Doing such a weird offbeat record in such a short space of time and getting credit for the quirky irreverence of it definitely informed everything that followed. I was lucky with that. If you gain success from repetition and making big utilitarian tracks that’s going to make you less likely to try something weird. So to have props for something that was off the cuff and strange and person was a great way to start.”

You ever see kids dance? That’s some crazy raw shit! It’s not governed or tempered. It’s original.

… And strives to starve that nasty self-conscious voice we all experience

“The best creative work comes from a less conscious place. Your conscious place is full of references and expectations and projections of the future. If you can put all that stuff out of your head it’s the only chance you can get close to something original. That’s all we have!

There are a million people doing all this stuff so your only chance of making anything original is tapping into something that’s actually YOU. Something that the guy next to you couldn’t possibly think because it’s 100 per cent you. No one else.

It’s a bit like dancing. You ever see kids dance? That’s some crazy raw shit! It’s not governed or tempered. It’s original.”

He enjoys isolation…

“Being based in Montreal has been very important for me. Even when everyone and everything was screaming to move to Berlin, I always stayed here. My cocoon lets me maintain a sense of isolation. It’s helped me stay separate which is especially important now with how information finds you.

The more information you get from the outside about yourself, the harder it is to stay to true to yourself. We’re all being pushed to be strategic and savvy. But what about the idea of isolation? No one even wants to be isolated, everyone wants to share and connect. The best things come from solitude and incubation of an idea. It’s you. It’s not tainted.”

… And loves techno

“My whole life has been musically split down the middle. I love the flamboyance and shine of pop music I grew up listening to. But I also love the techno I first I discovered in the early 90s. The texture and repetition and the psychedelic properties. It’s functional. There are situations where that music is the ultimate soundtrack.

It’s serious. There’s nothing funny about techno. There’s nothing ‘ha ha’ about it. It’s very mechanical and everything is focussed on the groove. And that groove has to be good enough to exist on its own. It’s a bit like hip hop in that way; the beat has to survive on its own. Bugatti, for example, would still have that same power to make you dance without the vocal.

Another thing I love about techno is the simplicity – it’s so difficult to make something that has so few changes and is so repetitious but is made out of so few elements is genius! It’s a major accomplishment. Some people are great at it. It’s like the best bowl of pasta you ever ate; there’s nothing going on, it’s just cooked right.”

Paris Hilton can get paid $10million a second for all I care. Bitching about it is like bitching about a banker who’s had a bonus of $400million. Don’t be fooled by the fact we all wear headphones… Those guys are in a totally different world!”

Unlike some of his peers, he has no beef with the EDM headliners…

“I can’t figure out a real reason to hate on any fellow artist. Unless they’re interfering with their world; and you’re losing work and all the good spots are being taken up by people you think are shit then okay, I get it. But if you’re having a good life and a good career and have you’re own place in this world then it’s mad to hate on anyone. Maybe if everything was going shitty I would hate? But I don’t feel that.

Plus why would you care what other people are doing? You should have your head down doing your own stuff!

I think people would be a lot more forgiving if they knew just how much work went into some of these careers. You just don’t know the millions of decisions they’ve made and commitments they’ve made along the way. Look at Diplo. I love Diplo. He was making and selling mix cassettes for 10 years before anything happened. You never know the hard work that’s gone in before these guys blow up. There’s more to it than you think. With everyone.

It’s all relative. When you have a lot of history behind you and you’ve developed your tastes and you have your references and you have this amazing music collection then of course things are going to sound derivative or a hash of something you feel was done better years ago. But that’s not what makes the world go round. What makes the world go round is kids getting excited about things. And the kids who get into the big EDM acts now will be in the same position you’re in 10 years later. It’s how it goes.

A lot of my inspiration comes from The Prodigy and Altern 8. I remember whenever everyone was hating on them back in the day. The Prodigy is the same as Skrillex now – a really smart creative producer taking his shit to the highest level possible. It’s insane to pick on these people.

My suspicion is that at the bottom of everyone who bitches about EDM is jealousy of the money. If you really search what’s wrong then I suspect it’s all about the money. Paris Hilton can get paid $10million a second for all I care. Bitching about it is like bitching about a banker who’s had a bonus of $400million. Don’t be fooled by the fact we all wear headphones… Those guys are in a totally different world!”

Amen to that. Follow Tiga: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud