The San Franciscan producer Charlie Yin, aka Giraffage, debuted a year ago with his self-released Comfort LP and quickly gained attention due to his heady blend of homespun garage embellished with intricate percussion and drifting, drifted vocals. He recently finished a 30-plus date European tour along with his friend Marcel Everett of XXYYXX. Giraffage is currently preparing his new LP, due to come out early next year.
Your most memorable show?
It was in Dublin, Ireland. It was really cool because I was as really drunk, so purely dancing. And it was crazy because people were actually singing along to my songs, which is weird because I sample, like, gibberish.
Raging or chilling out?
Definitely chilling out. I think it’s reflected in my music a little bit; I just like keep things chill.
Are you interested in politics?
Actually, I studied politics in college. I graduated with a degree in Political Economy and I have to say that what I took from studying politics is that I really don’t like it. I guess I’m not interested in politics after studying it so much and seeing how corrupt everything is.
An album that changed the way you thought.
From Here We Go Sublime by The Field. It’s a very different album from what I usually listen to. It’s very repetitive and it has definitely changed how I make music too.
One thing you can’t live without?
Internet. We were travelling for 17 days and everywhere we go is a fifty-fifty chance that we won’t have internet. If we don’t have internet I just shut down—I’m scared or shaking! I’m addicted. [laughs]
What defines your creative process?
I draw influences from my life and what’s going around me. When I make music or make a song, I like to think that in a year I’ll look back on a song and it will be a specific snapshot in time and what I was going to do in life. So I like that aspect of making music for sure. It’s definitely the process merging with memories a little bit, like nostalgia. So many times I just listen to a song and I get teleported back to that time.
Together or alone?
It depends on what it is but I think generally I’m a pretty introverted person so I like to be alone, generally, when I make music. I work way better alone than with a collaborative effort. I only have one successful collaboration which is with Marcel of XXYYXX. Yet, I’ve tried many times.
Should music be free?
Yeah, I think music should totally be free. I have my own music for free, I mean, I probably wouldn’t have been making music if I wasn’t able to access for free. I guess I grew up with the internet and Napster, so getting free music is definitely a major part of my making music.
Current favorite song?
“Heaven or Las Vegas” by Cocteau Twins.
I like wearing all black, really. Or dark colors, so gray or black.
Published December 05, 2012. Words by Andras G. Varga.