Producer and video game geek Blood Diamonds hearts all things electronica-pop, and we do too. We caught up with the Canadian wunderkind after his incredible show last week at Birthdays to talk Grimes, Dance Dance Revolution and the revenge of the nerds.
You’re only 22, but you’ve already done some immense things like collaborate with Grimes. How did you get into producing music so young?
Ha! I don’t really view myself as young, I forget this a lot. I’ve always wanted to make things I love, whether it’s art or music, I would always look at something and wish I could make that myself since childhood. This era of music is so good and diverse its hard not want to make music when you hear the music going on around you.
You studied game design at film school. Has that fed into your music in any way?
Yeah, mostly work ethic, and sitting at computers for long periods of time. Before I went to that school I couldn’t really focus on one thing for too long, I had to learn a manageable work ethic before I could actually make a tangible song.
If you could design your idea of a perfect video game, what would it be like?
Probably something that has no characters, that’s hyper focused on the player’s experience and has a guest artist art directing the whole game. Something that tells a story about the player instead of a scripted story. I have trouble identifying with the narratives in a lot of current games, the perfect game would be immediately identifiable as your favorite album.
How did you end up meeting Grimes and collaborating with her? What’s the best thing about Claire?
We both played one of our first shows together in Vancouver, BC while I was in school. Claire is a true-hearted earth saver, you know sometimes you see people drinking biodegradable water bottles and recycling in public because they find it trendy or some shit? Claire doesn’t because she’s legitimately concerned for the Earth, like she’s super genuine.
Why the name Blood Diamonds? It doesn’t exactly conjure up feel-good images…
Blood is a “necessity” and diamonds are a “luxury”. It’s just sometimes like living in North America you forget your priorities and you need to think before you decide what’s important in life.
We hear that Dance Dance Revolution was a big influence on you – can you explain how?
It was one of my first real exposures to electronic music, I felt so energized and alive I can’t even explain it. Also the aesthetic really kicked off video games to me as an art. DDR is just such a posi headspace.
You said once in an interview that the most successful people are the nerdiest. Do you still stand by that?
Nerdiness is just an excessive love for something, and if that excessive love is for your career there is no way you can fail, I promise you this.
What’s next for you?
Working on a full length and a live show. Will be done early next year. Also producing other artists when I can.
Words: Zing Tsjeng