Celebrate Goldroom’s Upcoming FYF Performance With His New Mix, ‘Verano’
After a year long hiatus, DJ and musician Goldroom will perform his first live show in Los Angeles at this weekend’s FYF Festival. And, with the upcoming end-of-summer concert comes another seasonal celebration—he’s dropped a new mix, aptly titled Verano. Goldroom, who recently made waves as the first artist to release a music video on Snapchat’s digital platform, makes work that poses a multitude of dualities; he plays pure electro and pop, and alternates between live music performances and DJ sets. He said: “l wanted to make Goldroom something special so playing one big show a year is kind of something that it’s come to. I love doing the big festivals like FYF and Coachella, but in between those, I only doing a couple of secret, small shows.”
Before this year’s upcoming special show, preview Verano below.
Did you grow up in Los Angeles? Is there a difference playing a show where you feel particularly connected to the place/people versus somewhere you’ve never been?
I grew up in Boston, came to Los Angeles for school and never left. But yes, completely. It’s a little more stressful in that way but definitely more exciting as well. Like, getting to play L.A’s biggest festival, is really amazing—I know we have Coachella but FYF is really L.A.’s thing. And getting to do that is something I always wanted to do with my career. Especially playing in Exposition park, which is right across from USC—where I went to school—there’s something cool about coming back to where I went to school, seeing the campus and feeling really good about where I’m at right now.
Do you have any friends coming to the festival?
Friends and probably some frenemies, I’m sure. It’ll be like a huge class reunion—I feel like everyone I’ve ever interacted with will be there.
“I love to be a fan pleaser. DJs are really obsessed with playing unreleased material, even more than any other kind of performer. But I love playing what people know and want to hear.”
Of course, it’s such a well-curated line up this year! There are no acts I think that aren’t cool. I’m obviously really excited to see Frank Ocean, and I can’t wait to see D’Angelo and Neon Indians. Alan is such a talented guy and I haven’t seen them play in years, so I’m anxious to see what they bring to the table now.
Your EP It’s Like You Never Went Away came out a couple months ago. Are you more excited to play newer content (like this), or do you prefer playing the originals that everybody knows?
I’ve performed some of the new stuff already, but only in a festival setting, so I am excited to play some of those older songs. No matter what, I love to be a fan pleaser. DJs are really obsessed with playing unreleased material, even more than any other kind of performer I think, but I also love playing what people know and want to hear. The first shows I ever went to were classic rock shows, and I think that really shaped how I wanted to be as a performer.
Everything on the EP sounds very personal, especially “Fifteen”. I feel people are sometimes believe that you can’t have that emotional connection with electronic or pop music. Toughts on that?
The stereotype is based on facts, so yes. A lot of artists want to party and just want to make party music or dance music. But you really have to dig deep to write a real song. My heroes are all classic song writers so that’s kind of where it starts for me. Three of the songs on the EP started as me singing with just the acoustic guitar. And then I brought in the electronics. There’s nothing wrong with making just electronic or pop music.
It seems like you even put a lot of thought and personal involvement into a mix, which some people dismiss as an easy DJ task. What was the thought process behind the Verano Mix?
I usually do a seasonal mix, so I put them out four times a year. This is the first time I have put one out this year and I was trying to figure out why it was so hard for me to buckle down this time. The process takes a while cause you’re pulling like, 100 songs together. DJs make mixes to impress their DJ friends, but I also want to introduce people to cooler music who aren’t as up on it as my DJ friends are. There were also no remixes in this mix, which is strange, I realize. I’m still processing it, because I made it only a few days ago. I just wanted to make something, that in three years people can be going to the beach and be like “Oh, let’s put that one mix on!”
I hear you have a six-part band prepared for FYF. Is there a certain energy you feel when preparing for something like this versus a solo DJ set?
When I’ve performed live before, it’s always been with a four-piece band and now for FYF we have six, which is really amazing. I started this project so I could DJ and 3/4 of my gigs are DJ gigs. But I love performing live.
Does your name come from the infamous Los Angeles bar [Goldroom]?
[Laughing] It totally is. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t to be honest. Me and my friends used to go there when we were starting this record label, and every time we had to make a tough decision on a new artist or project and we absolutely couldn’t come to a conclusion, we’d go to Goldroom, get drunk, and always come out with the right answer. So one time I went to Goldroom, got drunk and decided I needed to start a solo project and it was going to be called Goldroom. I’ll never tell them though [at Goldroom]. Although if I did, I’d probably get some cool stuff, because the staff always has these awesome shirts. But no, I’d rather be just be treated like a normal dude in there.