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This weekend, for forty five minutes, Los Angeles producer Josh Legg will paint the town gold. As Goldroom, he creates airy, tropical nu-disco fit for an epic island party soaked in a golden hour glow. Although he recently released his fall mixtape, Otoño, his music is still evokes idyllic summer vibes. Summer is in this dude’s fingerprints.
Over the past three years, the producer has hit his stride making dreamy electro music as well as releasing exuberant remixes of his peers’ work. Remixing indie dance acts like Niki & The Dove and Poolside, he takes feel-good tunes and steeps them in his own brand of cheerful energy, sugaring the rim of an already tasty cocktail.
Goldroom’s quintessential California jams have taken him out of the golden state on global tours, and even to Sacramento earlier this summer. He moved the Midtown Sacramento crowd with a DJ set at THIS Midtown, the summer concert series that brought some of the most popular dance acts to Low Brau’s doorstep. Donning a tropical shirt and a smile, it was clear the producer was enjoying himself.
We caught up with the globetrotter between shows in Bali and Mexico City, and talked to him about everything from his unexpected music influences to his love of John Hughes films.
Thanks so much for chatting with me tonight. Where are you at the moment?
I’m in LA sitting in my apartment downtown, looking out at 7th st. I was just recently in Southeast Asia for a festival in Bali, and a festival Jacarta.
Amazing! Your music is known for having a lush, shimmering sound. Where does that come from and what are your influences?
I have a hard time understanding my influences on the production side; it feels like it comes from inside. Instead I use what’s pleasing to my ears. I’ve always liked sounds that wrapped you up in a blanket. I’ve liked instrumental music from a young age, and music has been an escape for me. I want to write songs that could work twenty years ago and could work twenty years from now. I”m trying to write songs that are meaningful and can last.
The music I grew up with is Al Green and Tom Petty. I got into dance music only within the last five years, really. I fell in love with the sounds and what’s possible with electronic production. As for modern influences, I’d have to say Ryan Adams. He’s one of the bigger songwriters of our time. I’m a big Americana fan.
The Embrace EP has legs, no pun intended. When does your full-length come out?
This is the question everyone wants to know! Me too. If you had asked me for a full length a year ago, or six months ago, or today, I could have it. My iTunes playlist has been growing with all the songs I’ve written. But I recently hit that point of having 13-14 songs I couldn’t live without. That’s really exciting to me to be working on finishing touches. Now I just have to find a good home for it. I’ve been trying to figure that stuff out. The record will come out some point next year, next summer hopefully.
Where and when does inspiration strike for you to write your music?
I wish there was consistency so I could plan for it more. I’m sort of always inspired to write music, but I can’t plan for how well it’s going to go. There are times where I try to write something and nothing will happen. It’s like trudging through mud. But I know it happens. Fifteen is a good example of a song I wrote in an hour. Of course I went back and produced it to what it is now.
I find inspiration around me all the time. It’s a little bit of everything. That’s what’s great with technology. I’ll be driving home and record a snippet on my phone, or make a note on my phone of what makes something so good. Mostly I’ve been inspired by my collaborators. The energy they bring inspires me and hopefully vice versa. Hopefully we elevate each other’s game and hopefully that leads to something special.
A lot of your songs have a cinematic feel. What genre of movie do you think your music would fall under? In other words, is there a movie equivalent to your music?
What a great question. No one’s every asked me that. I’m not a huge Terrance Malik fan, but to me, it would be something big and sweeping and romantic [like his films]. It would be a coming of age story. And I love John Hughes, movies from the ’80s where emotions were sort of pure and true. Music and art as a whole is to get back to purity and true feelings. Moving forward, I hope to continue to write stuff like that.
Music was always a soundtrack to my life, or the life I wish I had. If I’m soundtracking my own life, I wish I was having a cinematic, epic life. I’ve always said I’m writing music to the 15 year old me that’s somewhere out there right now.
Does “Fifteen” have to do with that?
(Laughs) Not specifically. That’s more of a direct time during my life than looking back. It’s a very nostalgic song; it’s not me escaping, it’s a little more truth, I guess.
Probably a festival I performed on the beach in the Dominican. The stage was sideways towards the beach so I could see the beach while I played and I could play without shoes on. It’s all about the people for me, and a few cities seem to really understand the music. Paris [for instance], and the same is true for San Francisco, Toronto, L.A. and new York.
How is the experience of a DJ set different from playing your original Goldroom tracks?
Playing live and playing DJing is so different. I love both of them in different ways. DJ sets are so fun, you’re building that party, you’re the master of ceremonies. [When I’m DJing], it’s important to me to include as many original Goldroom songs as possible. It’s important to be able to look people in the eyes when performing a song you wrote. Anyway, I love both, and take both super seriously. I don’t ever want people to think DJing is something I just doing on the side. I care about doing it as well as possible.
Now that you’ve been here for THIS Midtown, you’ve felt Sacramento out a little bit. Are there any spots you’re looking forward to revisiting?
I like Sacramento a lot, I’ve got some friends there. The street THIS Midtown is on is super fun. I played a back-to-back set with Shaun Slaughter. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Sacramento for the festival. There’s something special about the town to be honest.
I don’t always like to play random after parties [like the one after THIS], but there was a really good vibe. And things seem to be vibing really well with the art community there. Even THIS Midtown even happening is really cool. A lot of us cities don’t have that kind of thing.
Judging from your DJ set at THIS, you seem really happy when you perform. Has DJing and producing always been a happy, positive outlet for you?
I love doing it. I like putting out positive energy with music. There’s plenty of DJs who wear leather and look down, but that’s just not me.
Are you stoked to see or hang out with any particular acts during TBD?
I’ve got a lot of friends playing there, RAC and Viceroy. I’ve not seen Justice play in years and years, so I’m excited to see that. I think the lineup is pretty remarkable. I’ve had a lot of L.A. and San Francisco friends comment to me how good it is.
Photos | Tiger Tiger
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