Andrew Bayer Discusses Mentors Above & Beyond And His Kanye West Fascination
After the global launch of his sophomore album, If It Were You, We’d Never Leave, on Anjunabeats in April, rising progressive house-trance producer-DJ Andrew Bayer sits down with VIBE to discuss his journey through electronic dance music. It began in his preteens when Bayer first left his hometown, Washington D.C. for a trip overseas that would forever change his fate and continues to evolving and diversify by the day.
VIBE: Describe your sound at this very moment compared to six months ago?
Andrew Bayer: I’m currently promoting my sophomore full-length album titled If It Were You, We’d Never Leave. Since it is a concept record, it’s intended to be the soundtrack to your day, as opposed to my clubbier offerings in the past. I like to focus on one thing for a bit of time, then move on to explore other pastures to keep things interesting, and to keep learning.
What or who influences evolution in your sound?
Entertainment, films, TV shows, other music, art: anything can be an influence. As I said earlier, I will definitely delve into a certain thing for a few months and really dig my heels in to learn as much as possible about something before jumping in headfirst elsewhere. The same goes for inspiration. Sometimes I’ll draw a lot of inspiration from films I watched while I was growing up, and sometimes I’ll just listen to a bunch of music from a different genre and try to fuse it with my sound to create a new style.
We’ve read you first got into electronic music during a trip to Germany when you were 12. Which artists made the most impact on you at that time and why?
I was super into trance when it got pretty big back in late ’90s, early 2000’s. I was absolutely enamored with everything Ferry Corsten, and Ranked number 1 at the time. I still love those “old school” classics!
How did your parents react when you came back from Europe and wanted to be a producer?
They were very supportive, but just wanted to make sure I was well rounded, and not just putting all my eggs in one basket, which was great advice and smart.
What makes Anjunabeats stand out as a label?
Their willingness to branch out, try new things, and the diversity on their roster. Also, internally they’re the best people I’ve ever worked with in the industry, and we are all like a big (ridiculous) family. That is really important to me.
What has been the greatest lesson you have learned working with the label and Above & Beyond?
Communication is king. Collaborating is so fulfilling, and especially working with Above & Beyond is amazing. We are constantly teaching each other things, which really makes for a healthy and creative environment.
As a producer who is finally starting to get his name across the “EDM” community, what is some advice you have to offer to today’s struggling DJs-producers?
Never stop trying new things. Doing new things teaches you how to do the things you already know how to do better, and will give you a unique identity in the sea of new producers that have emerged over the past few years since the EDM boom.
I’ve read that your dream collaboration would include Chris Martin, Tom Yorke and Bon Iver. Are there any hip-hop or R&B artists you would want to collaborate with as well?
I think Kanye West is a really interesting person and I love reading about how he’s collaborated with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). I am super into Hudson Mohawke as well – I think he is phenomenal. I love a lot of the artists on Ghostly International’s roster, which includes left field hip-hop like Mux Mool, and Dabrye.
You dropped your second album in back April. Have you had time since then vacation, or is it straight back into the studio producing new tracks?
Vacation? What’s that???!