This is the next in YES/NO's ongoing Lazy Interview series – a set of questions, all the same every single time, sent out to various artists that YES/NO particularly digs. It may be small-time, but it's still a chance to peek behind the curtain, crack the shell, or otherwise reveal something previously unrevealed about an artist. Basically: it's a Q&A.
Here for the twenty-fifth in the series is Tropes, an American beatcrafter who salvages hip hop and rap, new and old, flipping these already existing things into things that have never existed before, resulting in abstract, often mind-bending, chill-inducing, sun-laden beats that shine as bright – if not brighter – than the original source material. In this sense, he is not dissimilar to – but distinct from – vaporwave artists: our URL punks who take anybody's music, slow it down, speed it up, chop it up, make collages in homage of music they love, inadvertently (or ad…vertently…?) creating a whole ill-defined genre at the same time. It's great.
Recently, Tropes had the pleasure of playing a set at Boiler Room NYC, as part of their collaboration with cassette-only label, Dirty Tapes, officially known in this capacity as Dirty Tapes Radio 002. 26 minutes of beats that illustrate some alternative reality – you'd better check it out (you can also watch it with your eyes).
Without further whatevers though, please prepare to meet the jolly nice and down-to-earth man behind the moniker.
Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
I'm Keaton. I grew up in Iowa. I work as a graphic designer and enjoy making music.
Why did you decide to start creating music?
I've always had an interest, it started with percussion as a kid and moved to melody after that. Now I find myself doing both. I really just enjoy the act of creating and sharing music.
How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
Soulful, slightly smoke-infused, organic, maybe circular.
Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
I'm not sure really, I think it can go with different moods or times of day depending on the feel of the track.
What inspires you most when writing a song?
I'm always following my ear so I get inspired by the melodies that are created by whittling away at an idea for a while. If I'm working with some samples, the majority of the time the end result will sound pretty far from the sample source, so I'm inspired by the whole process from the beginning to the end result.
What is your most memorable musical experience?
Definitely last July, visiting Brooklyn and meeting some really awesome people while getting to play some music.
What are your three favourite songs at the moment?
[omitted; hey – it's a tough choice!]
Who do you most admire in the music world?
People who are doing their thing whenever they can, without connects or an audience.
In your opinion, what is the future of music?
More and more music is becoming a mixture of the past, present and interpretations of what the future is and will/can be, with fuller sound and all. I think the future of music is going to be really diverse because of our urge to partake and draw inspiration from culture, and the internet makes sharing it simple.
What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
I really just hope to keep doing what I've been doing. I feel blessed and I hope to keep enjoying it and hopefully play out.
What, aside from music, is most important to you?
Staying grounded by friends, family and the outdoors whenever possible.
- Also, DO check out Tropes's Boiler Room set. Big thumbs up; double, if anything.
- Check out a load of other artists answering questions in the Lazy Interview series.
Tropes on • Facebook • SoundCloud • Bandcamp • Twitter • Tumblr