Cover photo by Salamander Photography
I’m here in the Sunshine State with Georgia native Andy Bruh hot off the Incendia Stage with a wonky performance. If you’ve seen his set, you’ll know the bass heavy artist has been moving the crowd for years. He has an EP coming out soon Dark Side of the Dunes. I’m glad to be speaking with the man behind the fire. So what’s up Andy Bruh?
Andy Bruh: Hey man, how’s it going?
Festival Squad: I’m doing alright man, enjoyed your performance by the way. Did an awesome job (AB: Thank you. Thank you very much.) Like the new tracks you had playing. Well we will get started here. I lived in Athens for a few years so I can understand why you reside in the city. How long have you been an active artist in Athens? Have you considered relocating? If so where to and why?
Andy Bruh: Well I started, I kind of got into the scene in 2013. That’s when I picked it up as kind of a hobby doing it in my bedroom. And slowly just, you know got better and better to the point where I had enough confidence to do a show and a buddy of mine that was promoting at a venue in Athens hooked me up with an opening gig and it all just kind of started snowballing from there. I was out there for school actually and it just kind of eventually overlapped and school became, you know put on the back burner. I mean I finished, graduated and got my degree in Landscape Architecture, but by the fourth year I knew that once I graduated it’s going to be all music. I’m still out there right now (Athens) where I’m waiting for my girlfriend to finish college herself then we’re gonna move back to Atlanta. The scene in Atlanta is just untouchable. (FS: It’s growing dude.) And everybody cares, that’s the thing. In Athens, you know you get people that like the music. A lot of times they’re new because they’re college kids and you don’t have a huge scene of people that live in Athens that like electronic music. And every four years people graduate so I always call it a revolving door. Cause it’s like people come, by the time they like you they’re seniors and then they’re gone. (FS: Either that or they might not even stay the whole four years.) Exactly. (FS: Like you said it’s a revolving door.) It’s been an uphill battle trying to live out there and keep it going but you know I consider myself an Atlantan at heart. I grew up there, I spent the first eighteen years of my life there. So I’m really excited about getting back to Atlanta.
FS: I noticed an Athens reference, a Rack Em Willy snippet in your mix last year. Immediately I started laughing. Of all the Athens things to implement into your mix, what inspired you to use Rack Em Willie?
AB: Oh man. I don’t know I mean I feel like it’s a lot of fun to incorporate humor and like off the wall random samples and stuff like that. I haven’t been corny enough to use any UGA related stuff yet. So that’ll probably come one day playing some big gig after a football game or something. (FS: Go Dawgs.) Praying that they win a national championship and there’s like a celebration on the rooftop of Georgia Theatre or something. (FS: That’d be sick.) That would be tight. Nah I just thought it might be kind of funny to throw that in there. Apparently it worked out!
FS: The three times I’ve seen you perform have all been at the Incendia Stage here twice and at Hulaween. Is that by choice or request? If so what draws you to Incendia? Are you secretly a pyromainac?
AB: (Laughs) Well I do love fire. I think my red hair naturally attracts me to it. (FS: True true.) It’s my favorite element. But, I would say you know the main reason why I’m so close with Incendia is because I know the guys that founded it from the very beginning. The guy I was talking about that gave me my first gig is actually one of the brothers that started Incendia. (FS: Oh cool.) So we’ve been connected since the beginning, he’s seen you know the effort I’ve put into it. You know I’ll go to these events like you said Hulaween for example, I wasn’t even booked for that. They said bring your equipment and we’ll work it out. I didn’t know until Saturday. Halfway thru Cheese’s (String Cheese) first set a buddy of mine that works for Incendia came and tapped me on the shoulder and said “2 o’clock” and so you know we got over there and my buddy Robbie Dude played before me. We got to go one two and it’s awesome opportunities to get to play in front of people that never seen you before in an amazing atmosphere like the Spirit of Suwannee. It’s the best place on Earth to play music. It was my birthday that weekend. (FS: My birthday is the 26th!) That’s my birthday too! (FS: (Cheesing so hard) Psh. Gold joint approved! Hell yeah dude. Oh my fuckin gosh that just got awesome!) Yeah that was the best birthday present of all time getting to play Incendia. (FS: Hell yeah dude!) Any time Incendia is playing somewhere, or you know going down on a stage somewhere it’s automatically I’m attracted to it. Because I know my homies are going there, putting in a lot of work and the stuff they do is amazing. (FS: The fire in the Geodome, I love it.) It’s got recognition all over the country and I’m so excited about what they have in the future you know and it’s really cool to be incorporated in that. One of the people that works for them, after Hulaween he said, “You know you’re an Incendia resident now.” It’s amazing to be incorporated with stuff like that.
FS: To date, what has been your most breathtaking performance opportunity? Do you have a dream collaboration with any particular artists? If so, who and why?
AB: That Hulaween one was awesome, it was so unexpected. It was the first time I got to play a lot of that new music you were just talking about in front of a good crowd. Bunch of people that I don’t get to see very often that moved out to Colorado or various parts of the country all come together for Hulaween, specifically so that one was really really special. You know the first time I played Imagine was amazing because that was like the first like “whoa big crowd” like this is what it’s about. At the Old Fourth Ward when they did it, not at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, there was a lake there and there’s an amphitheater like grassy amphitheater facing the lake and it was just so cool to be below everybody. Almost like a mini Red Rocks. And me having the Landscape Architecture background I’m like in the back of my head like taking notes on how awesome all this is. It’s my dream goal one day to have enough financial backing and enough musical success that I have the opportunities to design natural amphitheaters and perform in them. (FS: That’d be tight. I like those amphitheater stages! Those are pretty sick.) You know there’s places all over the world that require minimal construction you know just like move some things out the way (FS: Like naturally.) move some things here and yeah it’s like the Gorge you know (FS: I’ve never been) I’ve never been either, but if you’ve seen pictures you know. Red Rocks. (FS: Red Rocks I hear is amazing.) Took a couple sticks of dynamite and it turned into stones and they turned those into steps. (FS: I’ve got to make it out there. I hear if you want to see like your favorite artist at their top, see them at Red Rocks.) My first time or my only time going out there made the drive to go see Bassnectar back in 2013. And to touch on the end of your question, it would probably be Bassnectar. I mean he’s my biggest inspiration. Stumbled into a Bassnectar set by myself at Bonnaroo back in 2010 and had no idea what I was getting into and it changed my life forever. (FS: Life changing.) That guy just, he knows what he’s doing. And I mean yeah people have their opinions of it, it’s this or that or whatever. At the end of the day when you go to a Bassnectar show that shit’s tight. (FS: Love that shit.) You can tell he’s like DJing and putting energy into it, and that’s lost in today’s scene. You see people hitting play on the CDJ and putting their hands in the air. And like you know it is what it is, that comes with everything. You can’t have a million people that are good at being quarterback or everybody would be in the NFL. His production and his DJing is just untouched in my opinion. I feel like a lot of people tell me they kinda hear that in my music so that’s inspiration in there. (FS: The wubs. I can hear it in there.) I’ll take that as a compliment any day. To even be considered close to, maybe being compared to that is awesome. Maybe one day if we keep working at it. Baby steps.
FS: As the year winds down, you must have plans for next year. What are some goals for you to accomplish with your music?
AB: Well every time, like every time I sit down and work on music I think it gets better. I’d say my main goal is to just keep pushing myself to make music. Faster and more fluent. Get myself in a cycle of creating and pushing myself. Not in an aggressive way, but just to try to bring this out of the me. Just from working on this last project I discovered all this stuff just from playing around and it took me seven months to write that song I want to be able to do that in half that time. So really the goal for me is just to take everything I’ve learned over the past year and like try to get it going. Aside from that, playing in new cities, playing in front of new people, and meeting people and just having fun with it. Hopefully the Atlanta move will be big. My manager Jonathan is also the founder of Heartwood Entertainment and we’re gonna start kicking up some dust in Atlanta real big with some shows starting next year. So that’s definitely something to keep on your radar but I think it’s gonna be a good 2018 for Andy Bruh.
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