Washington DC-born and raised producer Andrew Bayer has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. Signed to Above & Beyond's coveted Anjunabeats label, the now-Brooklyn-based DJ is approaching the release date of his most poignant and personal full-length artist album entitled If It Were You, We'd Never Leave that's set for release next week. Its first single, "Lose Sight", is an absolute masterpiece to say the least. It's been picked up as a favorite track by many of Bayer's peers because of its chill electronic appeal, flanked by minimal and smartly-placed vocals by Ane Brun.
During the Winter Music Conference, it's hard to catch any artist for any longer than a hello and goodbye on their way to their next performance. But we were lucky to get a chance to sit down with Bayer during the Anjunabeats Pool Party at the pool of The National Hotel in South Beach. Along with Bayer himself, the afternoon and evening were filled with performances by other Anjunabeats heavyweights like Norin & Rad and Mat Zo, all playing in an area that was both a beach and a pool. What could be better?
At first glance, the Brooklyn-based producer looks like someone with a lot of musical knowledge. Tall, thin and pensive, Andrew Bayer looks like a guy who has studied music for a lifetime, and has got a lot to say. So we can judge a book by its cover sometimes, right?
EARMILK: How did you get into electronic music and decide that that was what you wanted to do for a living?
Andrew Bayer: I was 12 years old, and I graduated from the eighth grade (it was middle school), and as a graduation present, my parents sent me to Germany with one of my best friends. I was kind of dabbling with electronic music at that time, and was into really commercial, cheesy dance music, stuff that was on the radio and stuff: and when I went to Germany, they were playing legit trance records. They had this one TV channel called Viva, and I remember seeing the video for Gouryella at the time, which was Ferry Corsten and Tiesto. And, I mean, I heard that, and was just like "Oh my god." It blew me away. I didn't realize that there was a level of depth to electronic music that that kind of stuff had, and I just loved it. So I literally went home and started producing right after that trip, and teaching myself how to produce.
Bayer continued to build a lifetime of love for music beyond middle school graduation. Through his education at the esteemed Berklee College of Music, he accrued the tools necessary to make the decisions he needed to make easy in order to get to where he wanted to go in his career. He would eventually realize that that place is beyond just producing electronic music, but producing for the Anjunabeats label.
EM: That's awesome, and so you've since developed your own sound that kind of works with the Anjunabeats family sound. How did you get to that point?
AB: I actually wanted to be signed to Anjunabeats for years and years when I was a kid. So I tried so hard, and I absolutely badgered them with demos. Every other week I'd just send them demo after demo and they were like, "You know, it's really good but, it's not there yet," "It's not there yet," and again "It's not there yet." Three years of that, and then finally I did "Aria Epica" and they were finally like, "Okay, we're going to sign this tune." And I thought to myself, "Oh my God," it just totally blew my me away that they were going to sign something of mine. So, it really was a long process.
Through Bayer's quest to become a member of the Anjunabeats club, he paired up with Scottish producer Alan Nimmo to form Signalrunners, which ended up landing the duo their first single on the label.
EM: That sounds like a dream come true. So is this your first time in Miami with Anjunabeats?
AB: This is actually my third time in Miami as a producer. My first time in Miami I was still with Signalrunners back in the day, and I played with them at the Ice Palace: that was my first real gig, and I closed out the night. It was basically a graveyard slot, but it was so much fun. And right as I finished my set, I literally went on the dance floor and lied down because I was just so blown away, and I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm doing this, I can't believe they're paying me to do this, this is just crazy."
EM: I have to wish you congratulations on being featured on Above & Beyond's latest compilation CD, Anjunabeats Volume 10! You also performed at the launch party at Roseland Ballroom in New York City as well. How was that show?
AB: Oh it was just amazing. It was actually super nerve-wracking, because I live in New York now so I had 20 or 25 of my friends there, just everyone I knew. And it's really scary to play your music in front of your friends. It's different in front of your friends than in front of a huge crowd that you don't know. So they were all there and I was so nervous that I was going to fuck up, but it actually went pretty well and everyone was great and I really had such a blast.
EM: Seems like it's been a huge year for you.
AB: Yeah, it's really all over the place right now. I just finished this tour in Australia, and I was just in England for three months writing with Above & Beyond.
EM: So what else is coming down the pipeline for this year?
AB: Well, I've got my album coming out! My second artist album is coming out in April, which I'm super amped about. I've got a load of dance singles, and I'll play a bunch of them today. I mean, I just have so much material in the pipeline that we almost have no idea what to do with it at this point!
EM: Do you have a dream collaboration?
AB: My dream collaboration? That's an easy one: it's Thom Yorke. I'd just absolutely die to work with him, and I'm really also into Bon Iver. And if I could say one more I would say actually, probably Chris Martin from Coldplay.
EM: He seems to be quite a favorite among electronic producers!
AB: Yeah, I love him. I love Coldplay too, I will happily admit it. It's not a guilty pleasure.
EM: And this is my favorite question to ask during Miami Music Week, but who are you most excited to see down here in Miami?
AB: I love seeing my friends play. It's really just amazing and you get to kind of bro-out afterward, and everyone gets together and drinks together. It's just so great to see all of these people that you communicate with on a daily basis and that you work with that live around the world and this week everyone is here in the same place.
Soon after our interview, Bayer took the decks on the beach and wowed partygoers with his entrancing mix of chill and club friendly sounds. It really was so perfect for the beach and pool setting in Miami, that you could literally see people who were new to Bayer's unique sound heading over to the DJ booth to give him a thumbs up. Gearing up for the release of If It Were You, We'd Never Leave, Bayer delivered a moving performance that only previewed the unbelievable artistry of his next artist album. Coming out May 6th, it's a memorable work of time and passion that is transportive to a place of specific dreamlike emotion.
Lose Sight EP