With his eclectic and charming style, Namesake. is one of the most exciting names in the current wave of electronic music. The Kansas City producer draws inspiration from the likes of Timbaland and Monte Booker, weaving together a wide array of sounds to craft his “happy bop” music. A truly infectious and refreshing energy permeates throughout tracks like “Vroom Vroom” with pinkcaravan! and Sam Stan, as well as “show goes on” with patches.
While he adds the finishing touches to his new EP, I had the chance to chat with Namesake. about his musical roots, touring with Xavier Omär, and his plans for the future. Press play on the guest mix and read our conversation below.
For those that may or may not be familiar, who is Namesake.?
I’m a producer from Kansas City, Missouri who wants to share his perspective on music with as many people as possible.
What’s the story behind your name?
I came up with Namesake. as homage to my father, who I’m named after, and his influence on convincing me to give production a try when I was a teenager. He would refer to me as “his namesake” from time to time growing up, but I never adopted that moniker until just over a year ago.
How did you get into music? Is it something that runs in your family?
I was really into beats opposed to the lyrics as a kid. I think my dad noticed that. My family isn’t really that musically inclined, but my father DJ’d for a couple years in college. I became interested in these old records he kept from that time in his life. My siblings and I all were in school band at one point, too.
Was there a moment when you realized music was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
Music production was a career I always wanted to pursue. I didn’t think was very practical, so I just kept it as a sometimes money making hobby for a really long time. Going on tour with pinkcaravan! and opening for Xavier Omär gave me the opportunity to give it a real shot.
In three words, how would you describe your sound?
The sound that has been breaking through for me is this happy bop sound right now. Really that came about by experimenting with synths and trying to do something unique with hip-hop production.
From her a very sad birthday EP a while back to your debut single “Vroom Vroom” (one of my favorite tracks by the way!!) you’ve done a lot of work with pinkcaravan!—when did you two link up?
pinkcaravan! and I linked up in early 2017. She was looking for a producer to work on a very sad happy birthday. She already had the title and concept down. I sent her a rough draft of something I thought would fit the same night. We finished the project in a month and developed a strong working relationship from there.
You both had the opportunity to tour Xavier Omär. Can you talk about how that came together? What was the experience like and do you have a favorite memory from the tour?
The internet is cool cause you can have friends you’ve never met but will look out for you. Xavier and I connected like 6 years ago after I remixed one of his songs for fun. We loosely stayed in touch over that time and he became a fan of my work with pinkcaravan!. That led to the opportunity for us to open for him on tour. It was great to perform with pinkcaravan! consistently for the first time and learn to interact with the crowd as a DJ during my own sets. My favorite tour memory is actually our day off in San Diego. It’s simply a beautiful place and I just fell in love with the scenery.
What do you want fans to take away from your music?
I want fans to enjoy the music above all, but also appreciate what makes the music I produce unique from something else they might also enjoy.
Any dream collaborations?
I want to work with every artist I think is dope and could be a star one day. My EP I’m working on is the start of that process. I really enjoying cultivating a sound with an artist, so I’m looking for more opportunities to do that soon.
What advice do you have for the aspiring artists out there?
Your dreams are worth a shot. Even if it’s not practical at one point. Your path might not be laid out for you as if you were pursuing something else, but if you’re intentional about your goals you’ll see progress.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been working hard on pinkcaravan!’s project and my own project, both coming soon. Outside of that I’ve produced for a couple other artists’ albums coming this summer. I want to DJ more as well. I’m falling in love with that side of the craft more and more.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would show a friend of mine a lot of dope remixes on SoundCloud of popular songs I enjoyed and he would say “Why don’t you make the original sound as cool as the remix?” I try to approach my production with that unique perspective in mind now. This mix highlights a ton of cool edits and remixes that inspire my original productions.