With years of DJ experience under his belt along with two side projects, Exmag and Grizmatik, Slovenian producer Denis Jasarevic, aka Gramatik, has left a permanent mark in the electronic music scene with his unique, funky and bassy sound. Starting off in the music scene as a hip hop MC, Gramatik realized that he was best suited to produce tracks and be behind the turntables at shows instead of hyping up the crowd at shows. With huge support from heavy-hitters such as Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Griz, and many more, plus a record label to maintain, Lowtemp, Gramatik is an unstoppable force that is always keeps himself busy. On April 23th, he made a small pit stop at the McDonald Theatre, a venue in the beautiful Eugene, Oregon. Read what Gramatik had to say about his Coachella experience, new EP in the works, and what his hidden talent is.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You just recently finished playing Coachella, what was your favorite part?
Definitely the premiering of our new collaboration "Native Son" with Raekwon and Orlando Napier. The Chef came out and on the 2nd weekend we played "C.R.E.A.M." by Wu Tang, that was definitely the highlight of the 2nd weekend.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What acts did you get to watch at Coachella?
Ratatat, Jack White, Odesza… They were all awesome.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Did any of them provide any ideas or inspiration for future tracks?
Seeing live acts always inspires me and opens up ideas for new collaborations.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Festival season has already started and you’ll be playing at Hangout Festival, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Sea Dance, just to name a few. If you had to choose, which one are you looking forward to the most and why?
I have to say that Electric Forest is one of my favorite festivals in US, the whole experience is just outstanding, the vibe, the forest, just everything… On the other hand I can’t wait to play Rock En Seine, the biggest festival in Paris, France. We have such a immense feedback in France, it’s unbelievable.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: No doubt, you have plenty of fanboys and fangirls. Who is someone you fanboy over?
All the artists that we release on Lowtemp. Luxas is my friend from back home and he produces some of the most amazing cinematic music ever. Gibbz and Russ Liquid, they play with me live. And especially Haywyre, he’s like the Mozart of EDM!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You’ve been working on a new EP called Epigram. "Native Son" is the first single and it’s super fresh and smooth. The track talks about a kid that grew up hard in the NYC streets, reflecting on his younger years. What was the inspiration behind this track?
"Native Son" was written by Orlando. He came by my place one day, played the rhodes and sang it for me casually, and I was like WOW, we have to make this tune! We ended up making it a two-part song, with "Native Son Prequel" being the second track, which will also be on Epigram. Both parts talk about a kid that grew up hard on the streets of NYC, each song addressing a different period in his life. "Native Son" is how he reflects on his younger years, while "Native Son Prequel" is him living the younger years. The reflective part felt perfect for a Raekwon verse to me, so I sent it to him, thinking nothing would come of it, but much to my surprise, he liked it and said yes :)
I wanted Raekwon on it so we thought getting him was going to be difficult but when he heard it he was quickly on board. It was pure pleasure working with these two artists on this track.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who or what are some inspirations behind the EP?
I’ve been inspired by great people in history, by comedians, by art in all forms, by science and technology, astronomy and humanity or the lack of it. Definition of Epigram is: a pithy saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever and amusing way. If you like the artwork that follows releases you’re in for a treat. We’ll reveal the whole concept when the EP comes out but there’s an awesome, very interactive DIY concept behind it.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Is a Grizmatik album a possibility in the future?
We’re both concentrating on our own careers right now. I’m also very busy with Epigram EP and touring US and EU this year and Griz is doing his own thing so maybe some day.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you have any hidden talents?
I can roll a joint inside-out, European style :)
AUTHOR & INTERVIEW CREDIT: ASHLEY MARRO PHOTO CREDIT: TYLER MOSS