Deffie talks soul music, touring in China with Evil Needle, beatboxing and more

PRIME: Give us a quick Deffie 101 for the newcomers.

DEFFIE: Hey yo! I'm Mike, I'm 22, from Orange County, CA, and I got into the production game after I realized I could make music through GarageBand in the computer lab in 6th grade.

PRIME: Your "Conjurer" and "FR FR" EP's are both insanely unique and I love that you have a really interesting mix of jazz and worldly sounds packed into each track. Tell us about some of the artists and albums that have influenced you.

DEFFIE: Ahhh, I have no idea where to start. I came out of the womb listening to old school hip-hop, but the base of my influence comes from Pharrell Williams and Kanye West (pre-Yeezus). The rest probably comes from my favorite producers & labels, Kaytranada, Mr. Carmack, Abjo, HW&W, LuckyMe and some others who I learned about after I started uploading beats to SoundCloud. Honestly though, on the day to day, musical influence can be found anywhere and everywhere, it's wild.

PRIME: Your most recent stops have been in China while touring with Evil Needle! What have been your favorite experiences there so far, on stage or off?

DEFFIE: Yeah! I'm writing this from my room in Shanghai, and I'm about to go meet up with Evil for some drinks. The craziest experience so far has been going to a traditional Chinese bathhouse and getting the most punishing massage of my life. I'm still sore two days later but my body feels, like, actually good now. Also I've never been so naked around other dudes before, just chatting about Chinese philosophers and what not with my thang just out.

PRIME: Do you like to identify with any particular genre or do you just make what you personally dig?

DEFFIE: I hate identifying with a genre, but when people ask what type of stuff I make, I usually just say "soul music" - because that's really what it is that I make - it just so happens that I involve concepts from other genres to make that "soul" more accessible to the average listener.

PRIME: What do you enjoy doing when you aren't making music?

DEFFIE: That's literally all I do! If I'm not making beats, I'm headed somewhere else to make more beats... Oh! I got it! Sometimes my friends and I buy fully ridiculous outfits at thrift shops and roll up to bougie ass Hollywood parties just to confuse people of status. A few weeks ago we showed up to an OWSLA event wearing khaki shorts, button-ups and neckties. We looked like a failed 2002 startup company.

PRIME: What's a really obscure hidden talent you have that not many people know about?

DEFFIE: Haha I'm actually pretty good at beatboxing! Catch me at your local party doing the acapella production for the freestylers.

PRIME: What can we look forward to from you in 2018? Will there be a Deffie album in the works?

DEFFIE: Hooo, a lot of things are changing with my career right now with some of the projects I've got in the works, so I'm really just winging it at this point. I'll be doing more international shows in 2018 for sure and maybe...JUST album.

PRIME: Lastly, what would you like to say to your listeners?

DEFFIE: To anybody who cares about my art, all I can do is show the greatest gratitude for helping me to make my dreams possible. Love!


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contributed by: Claire Carlson