Artist Insight: Eliot Lipp
by Kelly Kurdyukova
Eliot Lipp is a world renowned electronic music producer who has had seven albums released through various labels. His music has a fun, energetic vibe that can also be chill and introspective. His latest album, “Watch the Shadows”, was released on Pretty Light’s Music label about six months ago, and features well known artists such as Cherub and SuperVision. Since then, Eliot has been on tour nationwide, and will be performing in most major cities (so check the schedule for a venue near you!). He will be performing at New Mountain in Asheville, NC, on Saturday, April 25th and at the Tally Ho Theatre, in Leesburg, VA on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. In closing, it was a pleasure to interview the man behind the music and to gain some insight into the creative process.
1. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Eliot: I like how music brings people together. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the universal language of music, and that concept in itself is very inspiring.
2. What is your workflow like? Describe your creative process.
Eliot: I prefer to work in the mornings. I use to do most of my work at night, but I’ve switched my routine, and now I like getting started early. I feel like my best ideas are in the morning. I start with a single idea or a sample and slowly expand from that point.
3. Where are you from? What is your current home base?
Eliot: I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Takoma, Washington. I moved around a bit, and lived in Brooklyn, New York, for about ten years, but now I am back in the NW.
4. When do you find time to work on new material?
Eliot: I usually do shows on the weekends, so I am not out of the studio much. I work even when I’m on the road, and as long as I have a good workspace, I can create anywhere. On the road, I often work with my friend’s in their studios and plan my studio time based on where I’m traveling. I recently made an entire track during the cruise portion of my flight from Denver to Seattle. The track is called “SeaTac Arrival” and can be found on my SoundCloud.
5. How long have you been making music?
Eliot: I have been creating music since about third or fourth grade. I started with playing the piano, and would write songs based on melodies that came from my imagination. In high school I played the drums in a band. I plan to keep expanding on my musical skills, and maybe pick up a few more instruments.
6. When did you start producing electronic music? How would you categorize your musical style?
Eliot: Probably circa 2002, in my early twenties, this was shortly after I moved to San Francisco, CA. I moved around 1999, and the scene in San Francisco really expanded my understanding of electronic music. I had heard of electronic music previously, but not this extensively, and was really drawn to the more obscure artists, such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.
Eliot: I tend to refer to my music as “electro” or even just “electronic” to keep the label vague and allow myself more flexibility as far as what I choose to release.
7. When did you play your first show (under the alias “Eliot Lipp”)? How long, from that first show, was the process of reaching the success you have today?
Eliot: I played my first show while living in Chicago, IL, around 2003. It was at a Warehouse party where a few of my friends were playing as well. I remember being really nervous, almost feeling queasy, but it was a lot of fun.
Eliot: Since then, the process of constant promoting has been so ongoing, that I’m not sure when the music really took off. The process, in my opinion, is gradual and is still happening, and will continue to happen. I am creating all the time and I am also always finding ways to promote the music and get it to a larger audience.
8. How long did it take you to complete your latest album, ‘Watch the Shadows’?
Eliot: It took about a year of working on the music and then another year of working out the kinks. The label had to clear certain samples that I had used in my tracks, which took a long time. I ended up bringing some of my friends into the studio, and recording my own samples from live instruments and original vocals. I felt great to have so much creative input into the music and allowed me to play more of the composer role. I also did a song with Cherub on the new album, which had its own legal process, and took some time.
9. What is one tip you can give to aspiring artists?
Eliot: Getting out and playing shows can help you more than just pushing your music through online sources. Creating a solid fan base and really getting out into the music scene. Also, creating a solid correspondence with your fans by coming to their cities and doing live shows plays a big role. I find that some producers focus too much on other aspects of the music industry, but it’s really all about the fans. So whether you have 10 fans or 10 million, don’t lose focus.
10. Where do you see your music heading?
Eliot: I really want to find a way to create more of an experience with my music. Make the more interactive and to keep developing conceptually. Stylistically, I have quite a ways to go, but my music is becoming much more art driven. I would like to connect the dots between my artistic vision and my current show live experience.
More tour information and ticket links: http://eliotlipp.com/tour#.VTuzgeFCh9s