Minnesota Talks About His Idols In iEDM Exclusive Interview
During his busy 2017 tour, EDM producer Minnesota stopped in Atlanta to throw it down for Atlanta at Imagine Music Festival. I've caught his shows each time he's come through Georgia this year, and his performance at Imagine was just as amazing. He exceeds my expectations each time with his talent, and leaves me looking forward to the next show.
iEDM had the pleasure of talking to him at Imagine. Check out what he had to say.
iEDM: What are you looking forward to the most here at Imagine?
Minnesota: I was here last year and I didn't really get to walk around much. So, the plan is to stay tomorrow just to hang out and see some of the artists. Probably going to walk around and actually get to see some of the stuff this year. Tonight I’m playing at the Disco Inferno Stage. That'll be interesting, like seeing the explosives out there. So, I can only imagine how it's going to be on stage.
iEDM: How would you describe your style?
Minnesota: I guess melodic and bass-y. I like to do a good amount of different things. I like to do the more pop-y melodic stuff, but also the weirder heavier stuff. I guess when people ask I say bass music and iterations of that.
iEDM: This year you released a track with Karra, “Another night”. Can you tell us about that?
Minnesota: We started that one a year and a half before it got released. I went down to LA, met up with her and her producer and recorded the vocals over a completely different track. We went through many different versions. The track took a while and I was thankful to complete it.
iEDM: What inspired you for your feature bass track “Subterranean?”
Minnesota: It was a remix from an artist called Sampha, and I couldn't really figure out what needed to be done. I just started working on something new, and wanted to make something chill, like 128 tempo. That track came together in like a week. Usually the ones that take a week or so are the ones that I'm more stoked about. They are a little more natural.
iEDM: Would you say that those turn out to be the best?
Minnesota: They always do. The ones that take a few hours or days are always my more recognizable tracks. They're all simple and the first idea.
iEDM: When did your music career begin?
Minnesota: I started DJing in 2009 and was able to quit my job in like 2010 or 2011. That's when I started touring and doing this full time as a career.
iEDM: We did an interview with ill. Gates earlier, and he said that you took one of his workshops. Tell us about that.
Minnesota: I went to college in Santa Cruz in 2009. His music is similar stuff as MartyParty Mimosa were like, that's kind of what I got hooked on. He came around and did one of his workshops. At the time he was one of my favorite producers. Yeah, I took it in like 2009, 2010, I forgot about that. Now he's a good friend, which is funny to think that we knew each other, however long it is, like five or six years ago now.
iEDM: Who are your biggest inspirations?
Minnesota: It always changes. The guys that initially got me into music I do are guys like Bassnectar and Mimosa. Just kind of the West Coast bass scene artists. It always changes throughout the years though.
iEDM: Have you been able to meet all of them?
Minnesota: Yeah. It's cool to develop relationships with them. The guys that were once just your idols are now also your friends.
iEDM: Where did you get the name Minnesota from?
Minnesota: I grew up in Minnesota, moved out to Santa Cruz when I was 18, and started working at Jamba Juice. Everyone their called me Minnesota as a nickname. So, then when I started DJing and producing, I couldn't think of a cool name. I always planned to change the name eventually, but that never happened.
iEDM: It looks like you're always touring. Do you ever take a break?
Minnesota: I think this year, again, hopefully we'll do January and February. A few years ago I was getting burnt out on going out and playing shows, but at this point I'm really stoked to be home during the week and then go out Friday and Saturday, party and play music. It's fun.
iEDM: Where's home?
Minnesota: Right now I live in Petaluma, California, which is like an hour and a half north of San Francisco.
iEDM: You play so many shows, how do you change it up for each of them?
Minnesota: It's very time consuming. Usually for a weekend, if I'm doing a run of shows, they're all going to be similar shows, similar crowds. So, I will play a very similar set, maybe with a few small modifications. For festivals, I like to change up the set as much as possible. It just takes a lot of time to sit down and work out the different tracks, how they mix, and also work them with the crowd you're playing for. Like playing Imagine versus playing Electric Forest versus playing a west coast festival.
iEDM: When on tour do you have any time to work on production?
Minnesota: Not really. My production computer is at home, which has everything I need. I really want to try to start doing that, because I lose a lot of time being on the road so much. It's hard to make time for it. Mostly, when I'm on the road, before the show, I'm working on the set rather than production.
iEDM: What are you working on now?
Minnesota: Actually, in the last few weeks I've taken off. I've been on vacation. I just put out a mix and a new track in October. We have a new track coming out on Liquid Strangers label, called “High Low.” It's a heavy, trippy kind of track.
iEDM: Are you working with any other artists on collabs?
Minnesota: No, not right now. I'm pretty limited on collabs, because I found that I only work well with a few people. Otherwise, it's kind of hard for me. Mostly just solo stuff.