buzz sat down with Denis Jasarevic, better known as Gramatik, as he passed through Urbana last Saturday as apart of the ILLRock Block Party presented by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment and Prime Social Group. Gramatik played along side artists such as Klevah, Exmag, KYLE, and hip-hop giant Big Sean. The daylong event made for a great celebration with the end of the semester quickly approaching.
The electronic producer has matured tremendously since his earlier releases. From sampling other music to mixing and mastering his own beats, Gramatik has become a world-renowned artist, proficient in the art of combining dupstep, hip-hop, and glitch. Now, with his own label and a calendar jam packed with tour dates, Gramatik is at a point with his music where he’s always dreamed of being.
»buzz: What are your inspirations for your music?
»Denis Jasarevic: Trying to understand life and universe!
»buzz: What projects do you have coming up within the next year? For yourself? The label?
»DJ: My next release is coming out in June, an 8 track EP called Epigram. The first single Native Son Feat. Raekwon and Orlando Napier is already out and downloadable for free on my SoundCloud page. We just released a short movie The Condor on May 4th, which features my second single Corporate Demons that I did with my friend from back home Luxas. We did the soundtrack too, The Condor and soundtrack are coming out on BitTorrent and the Bundle will be downloadable for free. We’ll present new songs on Red Rocks and then finally the release in June. As far as Lowtemp goes we have Beat Fatigue releasing his EP on May 5th. We have Temu’s EP coming out later in May, Ben Negative’s new release, K+Lab from New Zealand and so on. There’s going to be a lot of new interesting things coming out in the next couple of months!
»buzz: You left Pretty Lights Label to form your own, Lowtemp Music. What prompted that decision?
»DJ: Derek and I had an agreement that I release two albums or EPs on PLM. After that I decided it was time to create an outlet that would allow me release my music when I want and how I want. Lowtemp is based on the same idea. We release music for free and promote it through all of our channels, helping artists from different states and countries reach audiences that would be interested in their music. I got my chance this way so I’d like to help others get their music to the fans.
»buzz: What is your philosophy on free music?
»DJ: I always knew that pirating music was a reality; I was doing it myself. So when the industry started to threaten people with jail I didn’t think my music should get anyone into trouble. I offered it for free on Pirate Bay and then released one LP and one EP on PLM and finally went solo. I established my own label, which allows me to continue giving away my music for free. Because of that, more people get to know my music and they come see me play live. I make my living mostly by touring.
»buzz: How has your style and musical production developed since Street Bangerz?
»DJ: Street Bangerz was cut and paste, sample-based production. Since then, I started to produce my own original music and instead of samples I have live instrumentalists playing on my tracks. Street Bangerz was always just one of my sounds. At the same time I also produced Expedition 44 that was a completely electronic album. I was always trying to mix and compliment different genres and will continue to do so in the future.
»buzz: You’ve had a lot of opportunities to go on tour, who would you like to tour with who you haven’t already, or would like to tour with again?
»DJ: Right now we’re a perfect crew, Gibbz singing and playing guitar and Russ Liquid on trumpet, keys and saxophone. Definitely would be happy to tour with Haywire again, Cherub tour was fun… I really don’t know, we’ll see as we go along.