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A Conversation with Blockhead

During the course of his career, Blockhead has made a name for himself through a steady stream of psychedelic, sample-based hip hop production. He’s spent much of the last decade touring and collaborating with the likes of Aesop Rock and Billy Woods, while also working on a bevy of acclaimed solo projects including last years ‘Funeral Balloons.’ Blockhead will be supported by fellow producer and Ninja Tune signee Yppah and ambient trip hop duo Arms and Sleepers whose most recent album ‘Find the Right Place’ dropped earlier this year. The trio of musical projects recently released a collaborative remix EP out now via Future Archive Recordings.

Ahead of his show in Zone One at Elsewhere on 10/20, Blockhead took the time to answer a few of our questions.

Being a producer with a very distinct sound, what’s your creative process like? Is it typically the same every time?

nowadays I pretty much just sit down on my computer and starts mining through samples. I have all my samples very well organized so it’s basically me scrolling through I tuned and looking for something that catches my ear. And building off that. I’d say that’s pretty much my process lately.

What other artists, old and contemporary alike, inspire you the most to create new music?

I can’t really say I take direct inspiration from any one artists. It’s more eras. My production is an ode to the hip hop I grew up on in the 80’s and 90’s. Tonally, though, my sound tends to emote from the same place some of the older soul music i love does.

Do you have a track that stands out to you as the best you’ve ever made? If so which one?

oooff…tough question. That changes all the time to me but I tend to always comes back to “farewell spaceman” for some reason.

As a producer who has worked with a multitude of heads in the hip hop community, who are your favorite artists to work with?

well my two longest working relationships have been with aesop rock and billy woods. I would definitely say those two have been the most fulfilling.

Where is your favorite place to perform, both in and outside of the U.S.A?

tough question. There are some cities that are just guaranteed fun like Austin, San Francisco and Denver but then there are low key spots like Albuquerque and Burlington that go off out of nowhere. Out of the country, Moscow, london, Berlin and Kiev have always treated me well.

Interview by Joseph Gershony

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