Having only taken up the art of spinning after making it to Beatport’s top spot with his track, Say My Name, Porter Robinson is a force to be reckoned with. TOM KITSON chats with him about his creative drives ahead of his appearance with The M Machine in October.
As we begin the interview, Robinson says he’s been at home working on a new tune all week, a process it seems I’ve interrupted. Despite this, he’s forthcoming and open; keen to let people in on why and how he creates music.
He’s had some recent success, touring globally with his instrumental and emotively capturing single, Language, followed up with Easy, but having just celebrated his 21st birthday and now being legal in the States, he’s a producer with much more to create.
“The music I’m writing today is a bit different to what I’m known for,” he says. “I’m writing an album, which I’ve been on for the last year, so I’ve only been taking weekend tours for the most part.
“The core focus of this record for me is to be emotional, sentimental, beautiful and personal,” he says. “I’m not writing it for festivals or DJ sets, I’m writing it to make something important and to be something that touches my heart. The number one thing I’ve taken away from whatever success I’ve had is that the songs that tend to be the best are the most personal and honest,” he says. “Language and Easy were the two I cared most about when I was writing them.”
Robinson says he loves Australia, as many artists do, currently preparing for a mammoth four month touring schedule through the southern spring, with many shows already sold out. Having previously toured the country as an underground artist with a smaller, club focused set he says he can’t wait to do headliners and add to the experience of his sets at Stereosonic and Future Music.
“Me and my friends are beyond excited to come back to Australia,” he says. “This time it will be cool to do headline stuff because you’re not competing with other artists on other stages. It’s great to play one hour festival sets with like 80,000 people there, but I also love playing a three and a half hour set in a club where I can let everything ride out a little longer. That’s something I’m looking forward to on this tour.”
Starting out at the age of 12 and drawing musical influence from the soundtracks of the Japanese video games he used to play, Robinson is a wise head on young shoulders. He learned to DJ only after releasing his first tunes. “For me it’s always been listening music first, dance music second,” he says. “When I started releasing music under my own name three years ago, it was different because people were requesting me to come play at their venues and I hadn’t learned to DJ – it wasn’t even in my headspace.”