We got the chance to connect with rising electronic music star Codes via phone call where he gave us the scoop on his musical influences, his connection with Craze and Slow Roast Records, and which festivals he would love to play someday.
EPIC: What was your first thought when you saw that you’d be playing a show in Chico, Calif.?
I honestly did not know where Chico was, and I was like cool, I like going places I’ve never before, so I was stoked for it. We’re doing a lot of other cities I have need been to, like Eugene, Oregon, and St. Louis, so like places I’ve never been. I’m all about it.
EPIC: You're known for your very diverse sounding house productions, what sets your music apart from the rest of the producers in the game? That is, how do you define yourself and your music?
I think you nailed it. I try to do a pretty diverse – and even, not just house music – I try not to be too genre specific anymore. I started out being very housey, and now I’ve done some moombahton and trap. The younger the kids are too, I’ve realized, they don’t really care about genres – as long as it’s good music. But I guess I pretty much just take pieces of styles of stuff that I like and they influence me, and like weld them together into something fresh. It just sounds like some Codes shit.
EPIC: Which genres inspired you to start experimenting with making your own music? Or, looking back, which artists/musicians influenced you to want to start producing?
I guess a little bit of everything. Definitely a lot of hip-hop and house music; but even drum n bass, I when I started DJing on turntables I played mostly drum n bass and hip-hop. That was kinda the first music I actually started writing a while ago too. Drum n bass is definitely what I started producing before I ventured into house music and other genres.
EPIC: When in regards to what makes a great artist, what would you say to those who don’t know the difference between being a disk jockey and producing original music?
I mean, they go hand in hand. But technically a disk jockey pretty much plays the music a producer makes. So a producer is in the studio making it, and one of the main purposes for them making it is so a disk jockey can play their records out at clubs and parties and stuff. But nowadays, it’s the only way to get ahead, and it’s almost like if you’re a DJ, why wouldn’t you wanna make music – is how I look at it. There’s nothing better than playing your own music, in front of thousands people and everybody like, you know, enjoying it. So I’m a DJ first, producer second, and like I was talking about this in another interview, but they’re like really close now. I definitely started as a DJ, I DJ’d for a long time before I started producing. I mean, why wouldn’t you wanna produce, if you’re already a DJ? And it’s so easy now days, all you need is a computer. It’s not like it used to be where you would need like a $50,000 studio or something. A disk jockey plays music, and a producer makes music. But now most disk jockeys are producers, and most producers are DJs.
EPIC: If you could do a b2b set with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Ummm, that one’s kinda tough. If you asked me that three years ago, I woulda said Craze, but like, I’ve done that so I can’t say that now. I guess I would say, Duck Sauce. Which is with A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, which is like one of my favorite DJs and one of my favorite producers, so I think that would be cool to play, and just go real funky with those guys.
EPIC: What’s a festival or popular event that you’ve never played, but would really love to play at someday?
Well I still haven’t played Holy Ship yet, and that looks like a hell of a lot of fun. I would like to play Holy Ship. What’s another one…I still haven’t done EDC yet either, so, those two I think would be dope to do.
EPIC: Any new artist discoveries lately you’d like to share with us?
I’m really feelin’ that 'Jack' tune that Breach just put out. I didn’t know him before that, I don’t even know much about him, but he just did this track called 'Jack' that I really, really dig.
EPIC: Tell us a little about how you got hooked up with Slow Roast Recs, and what’s been your most memorable moment spent with the fam there?
So pretty much since I started producing music, I’ve been sending my tracks to Kill The Noise, and I’ve known him for a while so every time I finished something I would send stuff to him for feedback. And he fell in love with the title record off my debut EP, 'Dying', and he sent that to Craze and Craze was like 'yo, let’s sign this shit'. I was going under a different name then and definitely had a different direction and then I decided to simplify everything. My names Cody, so I decided to go by Codes, which is an old nickname from when I was a kid. So ya know, I was like I’m gonna do Codes, I’m just gonna start fresh, start as a fresh artist off Slow Roast, and like build a completely new brand and they were all about it. It kinda helped kick my career in gear with putting out an EP for them. And Craze was just like 'yo this is dope, gimme four more of these and let’s do an EP'. So I just went in the studio for a couple months and finished that up – so that’s how I got linked up with Slow Roast. And then, uh, I guess my most memorable moment would have to be – I did the Slow Roast Tour last year, with Craze, in Australia, and we did like all the major cities. I had never been to Australia before or done like a proper tour like that. All those shows were awesome so that was probably definitely my most memorable moment spent with them.
EPIC: Do you think EDM, as a growing music movement, will die off eventually? Or do you think it’s only going to get bigger?
It still has a long way to go before it slows down at all. Which is exciting, it’s like an awesome time to be in quote-on-quote EDM. But dance music has been around for like – ya know, disco was dance music, and still a lot of that was electronic music, but no one called it EDM until recently. For the younger generation, it kinda was like oh shit what’s this crazy new shit called EDM, but really it’s been around for years, even just like house music has been around for like 30 years now. And now, there’s like a new term for it, even if it slows down, or plateaus or whatever, I think that, ya know someone will probably just call it like dance music electric, and call it like DME and all of sudden a bunch of people will think that it’s cool again. But I don’t think it’s ever gonna die, most music is made electronically now, so electronic dance music is here – it’s not going anywhere.
EPIC: What’s coming up for you? Any new productions or collabs?
Yeah after this Black Magic Tour, I’m finishing up an EP for a pretty big label, they have access to these old disco records, like a classic disco label from the 70s and 80s, and uh, I picked a handful of those to do, and so, that’s pretty much done, I just kinda have to wrap it up when I get home. And then if anything, I’m just working on original stuff, gonna do another EP for Slow Roast, um ya know, a bunch of new free stuff. Starting to work on this side project with Craze that we haven’t completely decided yet, but it might be like a new alias kinda thing, but mainly I’m just working on my own original stuff. Between SXSW and Miami and then this tour, I haven’t really had much time to be in the studio, so I’m actually excited to kinda just go home, sleep in my own bed and hang out with my dog, and work on new music.
Author Credit: Caroline Cantrall | Chico, Calif. | PR Major, Music Minor