The lineup for this year’s UpNorth Music & Arts Festival is loaded with talented producers riding on the next big wave in electronic music. Before making the trip to Copemish, Michigan for his first scheduled music festival performance, we got a chance to speak with Francesco about how he got started producing music, collaborating with Pluto and more in this Mother of All Bass exclusive interview.
When in life did you realize producing music was something you wanted to do?
I actually started making electronic music because at my high school instead of finals, we had a week where we just did a hands on project that proved we’d learned something. I had this teacher who was like, “I’m gonna host a project where you can learn how to make electronic music through Ableton” and I thought that sounded sick, so I tried that out and I didn’t learn a whole lot, but I learned what Ableton was and I loved it.
The next year, my third year of high school, this kid came to my school who went by the producer name Lidsky. He was a pretty well-known glitch-hop producer and he just blew my mind. There was so much more that could be done with Ableton and meeting this kid was when I realized I wanted to become better a producing electronic music.
Where did the inspiration for your name come from?
It’s funny because it’s not really a name that means a whole lot to me. I used to make like silly EDM trap before I started making future bass and I was talking with my girlfriend saying that I should hop on the bandwagon and start making future bass. So we were trying to come up with ideas for what a good future bass name had and we said, “all lower case letters and some sort of a punctuation.” Then I came up with ye. and it just stuck.
Is it pronounced like, “yeah” or “yay”?
So that’s another funny thing, recently me and my manager haven’t figured out what to do. “Yay” seems to stick with people a lot more than “yeah” does, so what we’ve been doing is rolling with “yay” for now because more people remember it.
What was it like collaborating with Pluto on the track “Breath”?
It was really awesome. We met through this guy named Tommy Pax, he was the guy who basically taught me about marketing and promotion stuff. He connected me with Sam (Pluto) because I had this track that I was working on, I had the whole first half down, but I couldn’t finish the track. I felt like it had so much potential, but my mixing was bad and I didn’t know what to do with it. So Tommy was like, “you have to send this to Sam” because he had just started releasing some really good tracks. So I sent it to him and he finishes up the track, the arrangement and it sounded great. Then we just did some mixing back and forth until it was finished, but I had a lot of fun working with him.
So UpNorth will be your first official festival performance?
Yes, Camp Bisco was actually a surprise. I didn’t know I was playing there until two weeks before, but with UpNorth they let us know in advance and I freaked out. They were like the first festival to ever reach out. I saw my name up there next to whereisalex and I was like, these are all my heroes in one place and they want me to perform, holy shit.
What kind of preparation goes into your sets?
So for bigger sets I actually plan out what I want to play, but I’ll have two playlists. I have one that has everything and one that is focused. The focused playlist is like, if nothing changes during the festival, if people are vibing the whole way through it, I stick with the focus playlist. If people aren’t vibing with it, then I have the backup one. That’s kinda what I do for smaller shows, I’ll have just a big playlist filled with everything that I like and then I just kind of wing it, but for UpNorth I’m definitely gonna plan it out, it’s gonna be intense.
Last question, where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s so funny because when I was telling one of my friends that I had to do this interview tonight, he was like, “let me prep you” and the first question he asked was, “where do you see yourself in five years?” But that is such a tough question, I guess some of my goals would be to make money and be able to travel the world. That’s the ultimate goal for everyone, be sustainable, but I think another goal that I have is to make music that not only other people like, but that I also like. Sometimes I have released songs in the past that I haven’t liked by the time of release and that’s just something I’m not really into. Sometimes you have to do that, but hopefully in the next five years I can release music that everyone loves and brings positivity.
Exclusive Guest Mix
With UpNorth Music & Arts Festival just around the corner, ye. gives us a taste of what you can expect to hear from him during his debut music festival performance.
To read our full interview with ye., click here.
Article Author: Sean Billisitz
Lift Spirits, Drop Bass.