“What Is That” Interview with Muzique Magazine
How did you come by your stage name?
What is That represents the drive for experimentation, character, and a certain creative edge present in all of my art. It originated from that drive, in a way. It’s simple, abstract, and unique, especially in the way that when I was starting out, the alias was not taken by anyone else on Spotify and other streaming platforms. That was definitely the deciding factor in going with my chosen name.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I was raised with a lot of good music as a kid and subsequently have carried interest for as long as I can remember. It’s a very fulfilling creative outlet for me, and I’ve met a lot of good people through it.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
My current sound character feels most inspired by a few artists. I try to utilize new technologies and push the medium forward like Aphex Twin, my vocal style is similarly abstract to Lil Soda Boi’s, and I’ve enjoyed juxtaposing textures and incorporating movement into my work ever since first listening to Oneohtrix Point Never’s album “Magic” from a couple of years ago.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
My next release is an EP titled “iwka_” containing two tracks which I believe create both cohesion and juxtaposition together. Both are abstract yet direct in their meanings. The project definitely has a political coding to it, too, which is not common in my work. “iwka_” releases on all platforms on September 7th.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
It took me a long time to find an artistic identity and sound I could be proud of and even longer to gain the confidence to express that identity purely without letting my head get in the way. My greatest attribute work ethic-wise might be that I’m comfortable handling every part of the artistic process myself; production, vocals, engineering, visuals, etc. I can always respect other artists who do the same.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
In my opinion, Aphex Twin and OPN are the current greats in experimental electronics. I just try to express myself and push the medium forward where possible.
What are your plans for the near future?
I plan on dropping a solo EP and album before the end of 2022. A collaborative project with newcomer electronic artist KEWMOO is also in progress.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shoutouts?
I would like to shout out my friend xo purp. They are a good person, and I respect them as an artist as well. Shout out to Shoop; a rising star in the smash melee scene and former experimental artist.
How can fans find you?
Anyone interested in my work or getting in touch can find streaming and social links at (http://playwhatisthat.com/).
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
I would advise leaving any judgmental or business-related thoughts outside of the artistic process; express yourself purely, then move from there. If you’re not creatively fulfilled, nothing else matters. The internet is vast, and no matter what you put out, there will be an audience.
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