It’s in his name: YUNG BAE. Since Los Angeles producer Dallas Cotton assumed that new incarnation, he’s emerged as one of the Internet’s most enigmatic figures this side of music. Informed by the sacred thump of funk and disco – the foundation stones of all dance music – his musicality spans the lengths and breath of the maximal, tidal force that has become as inextricable from our lives as oxygen and sustenance, and includes arcana like Japanese city pop. You’ll hear his touch in showcases like this one. Tomorrow, he’ll deck the halls for his first ever show here via Moonbeats Asia. We thought it fitting to share a chat with him before.
How has 2018 been for you so far?
2018 is off to a great start! I’ve been working non-stop on new music and getting ready to release it all soon enough. On top of that I’ve started my first tour of the year and I still have a couple to announce.
It’s your first time in Singapore and you already have a crowd following here who adore your music.
I’m feeling beyond blessed! Couldn’t be more excited to travel to such a great place and share my music with people there!
“My workflow is typically very simple and straightforward. I like to work with the mentality that ‘less is more'”.
Let’s rewind a little bit. What got you into sampling?
I’d always grown up listening to a lot of sampled hip-hop records and was a huge vinyl collector myself, so one day I decided to take a crack at it myself and haven’t stopped since then.
And why Japanese disco or “City Pop”?
I wasn’t introduced to city pop or Japanese disco until around 4 years ago when I really started getting serious producing. I had picked up a Tatsuro Yamashita record for super cheap at a local record store and I remember going home and playing that and just falling in love immediately. There’s something truly special about the ‘70s and ‘80s wave of Japanese funk and disco that can’t be replicated.
How does a YUNG BAE production typically start?
My workflow is typically very simple and straightforward. I like to work with the mentality that ‘less is more’. I usually start with a sample and set aside chops that I like and then begin forming different parts of the arrangement and just treat it like a puzzle, essentially. I like to work as fast as I can too, just so I can really knock out the core idea for a track without spending too much time worrying about perfecting the track until later on.
Congrats on more than half a million hits on your remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.”. How was the process of working the remix?
Many thanks! The process for that track was actually quite simple, and very quick. I usually like to dig on YouTube for samples while I’m driving around and I had heard that specific sample and immediately knew how I wanted to flip it. So I messed with it for about a half an hour when I got home and had the arrangement done for the most part, but I knew it would be too boring on its own. This resulted in me digging through a folder of acapellas I had sitting on my hard drive and when I threw the Kendrick one on, it fit perfectly.
You’ve got a huge number of remixes but “Aint Nobody Like You” featuring Josh Pan stands as its own composition. How did that track come about?
That was one of my favorite tracks to work on. Josh Pan and I had been Skype-ing late at night and he said something like “Dude, let’s see what kind of track we can make in 30 minutes and then post it on SoundCloud”. And we did just that. I worked on it for 30 minutes, sent him the beat and he added the cover of Shaggy and we posted it right after he sent it back!
You also have a new track coming up with Flamingosis. What can you tell us about it?
That track I’m super excited about. I think it’s going to be THE summer banger. Expect upbeat and funky stuff coming from us soon.
Do you have any dream collabs?
Donald Fagen, Thundercat and/or Huey Lewis
Your name reflects Internet culture fittingly and so does your music. Let’s talk vapourwave.
I don’t keep up with the vapourwave scene as much as I used to, but it definitely has evolved into a meme. It’s a bit of a shame that it comes off as a meme to newcomers but it’s really cool to see that there’s still a very loyal following.
What can we expect from your live set?
Expect me dancing around to my own music, some of my favorite future funk/disco tracks, and a bit of unreleased tunes. I’ll be playing some unreleased tunes from my upcoming mixtape/new singles at the show that no one else has heard yet!
Also, have you started on the disco remix of that yodeling Wal-Mart kid?
I have! Been messing around with it on this tour so hopefully I can get that finished and put it up sooner than later 😉
Happening on Saturday, April 21, at Gallery & Co.. Get your tickets here.