Artist Spotlight: Saint [Interview]
Saint has been making lots of noise in the last year with big tunes, twerk anthems, and just changing the game with original and innovative music that follows no formula. Saint carries a very mysterious aesthetic that forces you to wonder and focus solely on the music. We were able to catch up with Saint and ask a few questions. So lets see what the Bass Shaman Saint has to say.
What is your name, favorite food, and what city you from?
My name is Virgil. I’m based in Los Angeles, and my food of choice is water.
Describe your sound in three words?
Hip-hop. Club. Aggressive.
What three songs you have been into lately?
‘2 On’ by Tinashe, ‘Run These Streets’ by K. Michelle, and ‘Melba’s Call’ by Bok Bok and Kelela. That and everything DJ Mustard and Young Thug are putting out- I know you said only three though. And Nicki Minaj too, sorry.
What audience do you have in mind when you DJ and produce?
I never really had an audience in mind, I kind of just go for stuff I like and would want to hear when out.
You have collaborated with a good amount of artists, how has the process been? Do you feel you have developed your sound with these collaborations?
It’s always fun. I try to bring them into my sonic world and find some type of middle ground. Some people I work with i’ll bang it out (G-Buck, Jesse Slayer), and others i’ll really dive and make something deep and more art based (AGLORY). You pick up something from everyone, really.
You have received a lot of cosigns, and your tracks have been played at festivals by some of the biggest names. How does it feel to have your tracks being heard by thousands of people?
It doesn’t feel real some times. I’ve been in crowds when Major Lazer has played me, and seeing something you made in basically isolation do that to people is insane. Then there’s stuff like DJ Shadow, who is someone I listened to and admired growing up, doing scratch routines to my track with G-Buck that is, like, unbelievable. Hearing yourself on the radio too, out driving, is something i’ll never get used to. It’s really hard to wrap your head around the fact that your music is reaching that many people. Even looking at Soundcloud plays and trying to wrap your head around each number being a actual person sitting somewhere in the world, listening to you… it’s a blessing. And crazy as fuck.
You are working with Aglory on a new track, how has the process been? the track called Cordoba?
Yes, Cordoba. It originally started as a rap beat I was doing just for fun- which is what I do when I get irritated with club/dance music. I posted a video on Facebook of it just cause, and Anthony (1/2 of AGLORY) immediately messaged me asking what it was. I explained it was just me having fun, and he insisted we make it a full track. We went back and forth a few times, and the end result was an R&B sequel to our last EP.
Is it true you have a crush on Angelina Jolie and when did it start?
Not a crush at all- she’s my hero, my life inspiration. I don’t even know in all honesty, I feel like i’ve always admired and looked up to her even when I was a child. She’s poised, intelligent, worldly, but still maintains this amazing aura of cool and edgy. There absolutely no one like her. I want to be her, honestly. One day i’ll be that poppin’… hopefully.
How did the Gijibae collab come about with G Buck?
We had just did Mata Hari and really enjoyed the process. We actually sought out to make another club track- Gijibae was originally 145 BPM instead of 100. It had an entirely different lead instrument as well. We slowed it down to twerk-BPM. The song was finished but we happened on another track that had a synth like the one we were using. I wasn’t having it, so we scrapped it. I came up with the bells, we revamped the track, and that’s basically it. I think G-Buck has actually played the original out once or twice, and people were just like, wait what the hell?
You have released Twerk, moombahton, and trap style songs. What has been the most fun to produce?
Twerk, easily. Rap and hip-hop beats come the easiest to me- making dance music can get very tedious. With rap you can just go right into things- club music you have to build the tension. There are rules. It’s so nerdy. When the whole twerk thing came about it was literally perfect. It caters to both sides of my musical interests. I’m obsessed with rap in general, but the fact that twerk is so heavily based in NOLA bounce music, Bay hyphy, and Atlanta snap music made it a given for me. I have the most fun making it, hands down.
What is War House?
War House is an offshoot of Baltimore/Jersey/Philly club music I created that follows the typical house/big room structure, only with club type vocals/kicks/leads. I don’t really make it anymore, though.
You have produced a bunch of tracks for Chapman, an upcoming rapper.
Chapman is a really good friend of mine, one of my best friends. I originally just did one track for his debut EP. He ended up flying to LA for a string of shows early January. We hung out a lot during that time and ended up working really well together. There’s definitely a lot more music coming with him.
Any future releases planned?
Many. My main focus is a full-length rap album, IMMACULATE. It’s my take on The Neptunes Clones and Timbaland’s Shock Value. Th entire thing was produced by me, and features a lot of friends and amazing vocal talent from all over the country. I have an EP coming out with Stezus Christ for our new collective NO. I have tracks with G-Buck, AGLORY, Fei-Fei, and tons of others that’ll be dropping soon. There’s also a few official remixes for both vocal artists and other dj/producers I have coming out. I got an EP of all club/twerk music too, which is untitled right now. Really excited for that one though. There’s two tracks, Naomi Campbell and Zoloft, that are really fun and probably some of my favorite things i’ve ever done. And then there’s beats for a bunch of really amazing rappers.
Have you ever thought of including face veils as part of your merchandise?
Never. The veil is more so commentary on the modern artist in the social media era- not a way of keeping a secret identity. I think a lot of the magic is gone because artists share themselves so freely on the internet. You always know where they’re at, what they’re thinking, wearing, eating. Music, at least for me, has always been an escape, so I like to keep some air of intrigue around me.
What do you carry in your DJ Bag?
Just my laptop, a selection of cables, and an Akai APC.
What three Producers should we be listening to?
Jesse Slayter, G-Buck, and Cratesz.
Anything you want to tell your fans?
Thank you for supporting me and listening! I’m working so hard to bring everyone the best, most fun stuff I can come up with. And i’m working extra hard to get out and play for you all. I see every message and i’m trying to get out to these places, just know that. I hope IMMACULATE is something you all enjoy. Keep it classy, drink a ton of water, and love yourself.