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FLOOR BABA - Interview

DIRT BIRD is a big reason why PREHISTORY exists. The popularity of that record, and specifically of WIGGLECORE as a meme, has sort of been eating away at me over time...

Interviews
Interviews
FLOOR BABA - Interview
ETHEREAL.PRESS

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Date
September 10, 2022
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12 mins
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ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us about Floor Baba.

FLOOR BABA

FLOOR BABA is the primary name I’ve released music as since around 2014.

At that time I was getting tired of being in bands but also having tough luck breaking into the game music scene. Eventually I started remixing my own music from failed or abandoned game projects and uploading these Frankenstein creations to Soundcloud. These gained some attention, and it was more fun than begging developers for work, so I decided to see what would happen if I shifted focus.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Talk to us a bit about the Dirt Bird EP.

FLOOR BABA

I created DIRT BIRD over the course of a few months in 2017. With each release I usually try to do specific things that set them apart from even my own discography. For DIRT BIRD I tried to use sparser instrumentation and push songs into slightly uncomfortable tempos. I still use that tempo trick a lot ever since. I write some of the song and then grab the project tempo, close my eyes, move the mouse around, and let go once it feels slightly weird and new to me. Then I’ll continue writing.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you tell us a bit about the track WIGGLECORE?

FLOOR BABA

WIGGLECORE is probably my most popular track and it’s from DIRT BIRD. Even while I was writing it I knew it sounded funny and would probably make a great meme. After I released it that actually happened and I think it’s nearing 2 million streams on Spotify as of the time of this interview.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us about the origin of your stage name.

FLOOR BABA

I knew that I wanted a name that was surreal or even silly on the surface but which had significance to me. Something that would stop people for a second & they could read what they wanted in it. And after a lot of time searching and brainstorming I felt content when I arrived at FLOOR BABA.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Electronic music is a broad genre especially given the varied sounds underneath that umbrella of sounds.

How would you describe your music's place within this genre?

FLOOR BABA

Originally, with my debut album in 2015, I called it “gamewave” and “post-chiptune”. Occasionally I’d step into “vaportrap” territory. Then I’d be labeled “future bass” or “wonk” or “deskpop”, which is the name of my label but none of us really consider it a genre. I am sometimes affiliated with the vaporwave and hyperpop scenes since I was around when those were ramping up. In fact, last year there was a documentary series about hyperpop which was kind enough to refer to me as an early influence.

Lately, the term Digital Fusion has been floating around and I fully back that. The beauty of it is that it’s open enough for people to grow into. Room for exploration is built right into it. To me, it means something like “game music-informed & internet-savvy Progressive electronic music that blends genres”. Others may have a different way of visualizing it. That’s exciting. At this time that is definitely the term that sits right with me. The rest never fully connected.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Talk to us  about your most recent full-length release, 'PREHISTORY.'

FLOOR BABA

Funny enough, DIRT BIRD is a big reason why PREHISTORY exists. The popularity of that record, and specifically of WIGGLECORE as a meme, has sort of been eating away at me over time. If I stopped making music, or died, people would seem to remember me as being silly and entertaining. I think that’s a fine way to be remembered, and I’m privileged to even be ruminating on things like self-expression, creativity, and legacy… but memes are not really what I mean to be saying with my time here on Earth. So, it has sort of fueled me to push myself harder.

The title “PREHISTORY” I thought summed everything up. Now that I’m older and wiser I am reinventing myself. I’m thinking about how I can evolve, and maybe even stay relevant, album after album. I’m thinking about past versions of ourselves that we grow out of. I’m thinking about beloved things from childhood and making them a part of what I do today. I’m thinking about how world events of the past echo into generational trauma that becomes background noise in our modern lives. I’m thinking about the plants I grew up with in Florida and how something that looks ancient can be alive right in front of you. I’m thinking about how to make something personal that I will be proud of in 30 years.

I brought all of this to the table this time.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

The visuals for the track PREHISTORY are fantastic. Tell us a bit about what went into this music video creation.

FLOOR BABA

I’ve always wanted to make my own music videos and this felt very “now or never”. I felt that the videos would clue more people into the deeper themes I try to express in my music. Or, worst case, they would be cool to watch.

The video for “PREHISTORY” was written & directed by myself based on a fictionalized version of true events surrounding my grandfather. It was animated & co-directed by the animation team Sum Of The Pixels, whom I met while I was living and performing in Detroit. Because the video deals with themes of war I also sought direction from outside our bubble. One person we were fortunate to consult with thanks to Braz at DESKPOP was modern art history professor Katherine C Howlett Ebner. She gave us a crash course in how artists during the Surrealism movement of the early 1900s dealt with these same themes. It was reassuring to have a connection to something from 100 years ago. This felt very true to the other feelings I had wrapped up in the production.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

The description for the project on Bandcamp states, "This album used AI to produce all spoken word sections."

Why did you choose to incorporate artificial intelligence?

FLOOR BABA

I thought this would be a chance to learn about AI and see how it might enrich my creativity rather than be a threat. I know AI in art is a hot topic these days and I don’t pretend I have every answer or correct take on this. I feel it’s an exciting field that has immense potential for positive change. It will also become a terrifying and greedy monster in the hands of many morally bankrupt people. Soon we’ll probably need to come to terms with how little some people value human life. These are the sorts of things I felt while working with it.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

If listeners could take away one thing from your music, what would you want it to be?

FLOOR BABA

I’d like people to change their perspective on nostalgia. Part of what I try to accomplish for myself in my work (and I think many listeners/viewers get it) is to recontextualize nostalgic things. In my opinion, we should never resign to nostalgic pessimism. It isn’t "remember when things were cool," it’s "these things are still a part of me and I can find new ways to think about them." Or, “to feel about them.”

Nostalgia is being weaponized against many of us. It is being used to sell back a feeling we almost certainly cannot experience again. Almost every thing that you had “in the good old days” you can still have today. It's just that life is long and you work now. We can be constructive if there are things we miss, such as art, or community.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What's next for FLOOR BABA?

FLOOR BABA

I am going to throw my phone into outer space.

ARTIST LINKS: LINKTR.EE - BANDCAMP

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