NYC-based producer Child Of creates melodic house and techno with real sonic character, influenced by his myriad musical passions. After touring the world in some hugely influential bands as a young, (formerly) straight-edge guitarist from Long Island, he gradually shifted his love from mosh pits to dance floors and Child Of was born. Infused with a sense of real, raw emotion: music that seeks to explore the idea that, ultimately, we’re all children of the same life source.
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Recently Child Of was one of the artists invited to remix a track from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s final album. His reinterpretation of Life In An Experiment is a nine-minute electronic epic. Commencing with crisp, delicate breakbeats which are soon joined by Perry’s inimitable vocal and increasingly intense synth lines and melodies, by its final third it has evolved into a stone-cold techno thumper without sacrificing any of the emotion or atmosphere it so patiently built. Child Of speaks to SIX AM about his journey from rock guitarist to melodic house and techno artist.
Hi there Child Of, welcome to SIX AM! How’s it going?
Hi there SIX AM! Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me. I’m doing great! Having a very New York Sunday spring evening. I haven’t been in town for a bit and I just took a beautiful stroll next to the east river and it felt fantastic.
You originally started off in the music industry playing in rock bands as a guitarist, how did you make the shift from live music to electronic music? How do you think your rock band roots influence your career as an electronic artist?
I actually started “open format” Djing in NY while I was still in bands and I realized I could get some of the same energy exchanges from the crowd that I got from playing shows. Simultaneously electronic music was beginning to inspire me more and rock music less. I also discovered that I could do whatever I wanted without having to answer to anyone and It was liberating to not have to “fight” over a riff or a business decision (for example). Rock music was starting to feel formulaic and electronic felt just the opposite. I gradually made the shift and it’s really felt like a whole new world has opened up before me. I already play guitar sometimes during my DJ sets actually and the goal in the near future is to keep expanding and merging the “live” and “electronic” elements.
I think my rock band roots gave me a really different perspective on songwriting. Just innately because I created music for such a long time in one way, that part of my brain kicks in and inevitably influences how I make a Child Of track. My musical brain developed in garage band practices and at hardcore/punk shows when I was young so it will always have that foundation.
On the surface, house and techno seem to be pretty different from rock music. As someone who’s lived in both worlds, what do you feel like is something they both have in common that not many people may realize? And what’s a key difference that led you to focus on the house + techno path?
I think a big thing they both have in common is subculture. I grew up in the hardcore scene (an evolution of punk) in NYC and Long Island and there was a sense of massive community. Many life long friends were made in this scene and I’m so grateful for that. I feel that same connection in house and techno. They both bond “outsider” groups together.
It’s just a theory, but I have a little bit of hearing loss in the high end range kinda where guitars and cymbals live. A long time of saying “I can’t feel the music with earplugs!” and blowing my ears out at close range. The low end in house and techno music hits the same chords in me that I think rock music used to hit in those higher frequencies, right deep in the core of my being. I discovered club systems could reach out and touch that place and maybe if I hadn’t had that high frequency dip I would have never understood deep sub bass. Now I think I’ve actually improved my hearing (some would say this is impossible but I believe in the impossible) through mind/body techniques so now I have the best of both worlds!
As someone who produces melodic electronic music, what inspires you to make a track? What emotions do you feel when making music, and what emotions do you wish to evoke in those listening?
My first way I knew of real true catharsis was through creating and listening to music. Really this is a huge motivating factor in inspiring me to make a track. I say sometimes I make “emo” house and techno in jest because of the emotion I kind of have to put into my music to create it. Sometimes this is even to my detriment as it takes a lot out of me but I know it’s a gift (even the lows). In recent years I’ve become very into breath work and this has really helped me focus this emotional energy even further.
It’s a loaded question for me actually to ask what emotions I feel when making music because I think it’s the whole spectrum. This is what I also hope to evoke in those listening. There’s a polarity that even when I’m creating an uplifting track there’s a darkness in between the lines and when i’m creating a dark track there’s a sense of lightness in the space.
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You were recently invited to remix a track from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s final album, how does it feel to have been in collaboration with such a legend? How do you think this particular accomplishment will affect the trajectory of your career?
Honestly, Lee is such an icon and his contribution to music in general is just mind bending. It is definitely one of the greatest musical privileges of my life so far. Not to mention his how he’s impacted electronic music in particular. His production techniques were really one of the building blocks what became the “remix”.
I really don’t know how this will affect the trajectory of my career but it’s one of those moments/ stories that is just priceless and serendipitous.
We are a quarter into 2023 already, but we still have so much time left in this year to go. What else do you have in store for the rest of the calendar that we should keep our eyes and ears open for?
I think I’ve entered a new portal in life this year and that will inevitably translate to my creation. It might sound like a bit of a cliche answer but it’s true. I will just be out here trying to push my music and live experience to new heights.
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you Child Of! Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to end this with a quote I’ve been feeling lately. “Nothing worth knowing can be taught” – Oscar Wilde
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