Daily Discovery is a feature that highlights a new or recently discovered artist who we’re excited about. See the rest of our Daily Discoveries here.
In today’s popular music, Los Angeles has a split persona. On one hand, pop stars sing ad nauseum about the sun, surf, and glamour of the Golden Coast. The Hollywood dream is kept alive by these manufactured hits, and though their lyrics can be vapid, their charm is undeniable.
On the other hand, rappers and other artists from the city’s less ritzy neighborhoods report on the drugs, violence, and poverty that plague the city. These tracks trade pop for politics and remind out-of-state listeners that everything isn’t always so peachy in southern California.
Perhaps the most exciting part about L.A. newcomer Autumn in June is his uncanny ability to fuse these two distinct styles. The first time you listen, you’ll be entranced by his soothing voice, fresh melodies, and dark synths that sound like Pet Shop Boys at their best.
If you turn your attention to his lyrics, the influence that South Central LA has had on his life will begin to crystalize. Autumn blends these elements to create an intoxicating synth-pop tincture that will leave you yearning for more.
Check out his newest single “Pretty Wicked” and read more about his history, creative process, and artistic goals below.
What does it mean for you to get the positive kind of response that your music has gotten? Is success a concern of yours or are you more focused on making music that you yourself are proud of?
It’s always great to get positive feedback, but I don’t let that drive the kind of music I make or who I am as a person. I used to worry about making the kind of music I thought other people would like, but that became very draining and it fucked with my mind. Then I started not to worry about the reaction I’d get and focused on making the kind of music that I really love.
I’m definitely just focused on making a body of work that I am proud of. I really fuck with the music that I release—if success comes along the way then it’ll be dope as hell, but I’m ultimately just chasing the art of it all.
When did you begin making music? Who were your primary influences when you first started out, and how have those influenced changed today?
I grew up in a Crip neighborhood in South Central LA so most of my friends growing up were Crips. They first got me into making music because they all used to rap, and I actually started out doing rap music first. I was about 14 and I was fresh into high school when I recorded my first song at a friend’s house. Before that I would just write stuff on the lowkey at home.
I didn’t take it seriously until I was about 17 years old though, that’s when I really started playing instruments and working on my sound. My first influences came from 2 Pac, Dr.Dre and that whole West Coast sound like Nate Dogg and West Side Connection.
My influences completely changed as I got older and started meeting new people that would put me on to other types of music. For a while I really got into Phil Collins, ELO, Prince, Giorgio Moroder and that type of sound that ultimately shaped the type of music I make today.
Your lyrics are pretty unique—how do you approach writing them? Are the drug references indicative of your lifestyle, or maybe metaphors for other forces in your life
I usually freestyle most of my lyrics, so they are the things I have on my mind at that time. I’ve been through a lot of drug-fueled times in my life and I’m still around them so often that it all pours into the music that I make. It’s not like I sit down and be like “Yo, I’m about to write a song about drugs,” the lyrics just kinda come out.
I allow myself to be free with my music. I don’t overthink it. If a song comes out with darker lyrics or just pop lyrics, it’s all good with me as long as the song is dope.
To be honest some people don’t like the fact that I talk about drugs on some of my songs, because its synth pop its meant to be clean and fun. But I’m not out here trying to be a role model, I’m just doing me and as long as I fuck with me, I’m cool.
What is your current goal (musically speaking)?
My goal is to put out dope music and start playing some sick festivals. Hopefully by doing the former I get to do the latter.
Besides Alice Glass, who is your dream collaborator?
I love Alice but my dream collaborator has to be Phil Collins. Let’s make some music my man.
What would you like new listeners to know about you?
I’m just doing music that I love and being real to myself. Don’t overthink my lyrics.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Fam, stay true to yourself. Don’t let any of the judgmental cunts out there shape your life. Strive to be your truest self and never care about what anybody has to say about it. Live your life.