Moving Castle cofounder AObeats has been one of our favorite rising producers from the moment we heard his magically timeless remix of Annabel Jones‘ “Magnetic”. After founding the collective turned label in 2014 with producers Manila Killa and Robokid and manager and A&R extraordinaire Brett Blackman, AObeats explored his talents as a creator, influencer, A&R, and curator through a variety of collaborations, appearances at Splash House Mija’s FK A Genre, and official remixes. AO truly proved he would have a bright and imaginative future when it came to originals was his 2015 collaborative hit “Helix 2.0” alongside Robokid, Manila Killa, and BLAISE. Since, he’s continued to mesmerize with his lush future pop singles “Strangers” with Annabel Jones,”Fuck Me Up” with Gnash, and his Big Beat Records debut “I’m OK” with Manila Killa and Shaylen. With his keen ear for talent and diverse, intricate production, he’s helped jumpstart the careers of some of our favorite burgeoning vocalists like SAKIMA, Madi, Satica.
Two months ago we heard the first piece of the mixtape “The Wave” featuring Satica and SAKIMA, a gushing future pop duet, followed by his Mark Johns and Robokid featured 2000s hip hop single “Peanut Butter”. Out now, AObeats brilliant debut Pilot mixtape is a inspired collection of collaborative songs AO has worked on over the past few years. Pilot illustrates the growth of AO’s production by drifting through an album of his favorite memories since focusing on his music career. The exceptional 11-track mixtape features longtime collaborators Madi, BLAISE, Annabel Jones, Manila Killa, and more across a variety of future pop, R&B, and hip hop inspired beats. Pilot is truly a pivotal moment in AObeats’ career and an impressive display of everything he’s capable of. Stream AObeats’ new Pilot mixtape and check out our exclusive interview below.
RTT: Hey AO, it’s an absolute pleasure! So tell me about your new Pilot mixtape. As a longtime fan, I’ve been on the edge of my seat!
A large portion of these songs were songs I wrote with friends not necessarily with the intention of putting it into a mixtape. In fact, a fair amount of them were written with the intention of being on other projects. Over time, I had built up this collection of songs on my hard drive that we would always joke or say we should put out, but then we wouldn’t. A huge part of this mixtape was me being like “These songs need to be heard!”. I think often with producer/artist projects in electronic music, especially from the Soundcloud world that I and many friends came up in, songwriters and singers have taken a backseat as features on songs to the production, and I really wanted to put together a project that highlighted the collaborators just as equally. Without them this project would be nonexistent, and I also just think all of them are really dope and deserve all the attention in the world.
This R&B / hip hop mixtape has a whole has a different vibe than your usual poppy future bass stuff. What was your inspiration for Pilot?
A majority of influences in my production choices and music tastes stem from hip hop and R&B. That was really the majority of music I listened to on my own growing up. When I first started messing around with producing and learning to, my own music and the motivation all came from me wanting to be like Pharrell or Timbaland. So when it came down to me putting out a debut project that was more than just a single, I really wanted to think back to the things that originally made me fall in love with music.
I’m stunned that you got Robokid and Mark Johns to do a hip hop song. How did that come about?
Both of them are some of my closest friends, and also some of the first people I met through making music and the Internet. We’ve all worked together in different ways in the past, but this past year I moved to LA and am now roommates with Robokid, and all of us being in the same city has allowed us to make so much more together actually in person. This was just the product of Naomie (Mark Johns) coming over to hang out and work on music. I just started making a beat and both of them began writing over an 8 bar loop and before we knew it there was a whole song. We had been listening to a lot of early 2000s rap and pop and just thought it would be really cool to make some stuff like that.
You also went all out for your release party! How was it getting to play all of these new tracks live?
It was awesome! I was really nervous going into it because I’m so used to DJing, that just playing an entire mixtape of songs and just having to stand there and watch people react to things without any real control or mixing to keep myself busy felt like it was going to be really intimidating. It actually turned out to be really fun and felt like a huge weight off my shoulders just letting everyone hear them and seeing people react well.
If you had to choose, what’s your favorite song off the tape?
That’s such a tough question because every song carries a different story with it for me, and a lot of them are also pretty different from each other in terms of what I wanted people get out of them and made at different times. But that’s what I love about it as well is that it holds a bunch of different memories from the past 2-3 years.
What’s next for AObeats?
Lots more music from me as AObeats but also in different forms. There’s more SWIMS (Me x SAKIMA) on the way, SATICA has some really cool stuff coming soon too, and me, Robokid, and Mark Johns have been making a shit load of songs, also with Manila Killa and Jailo! This years gonna be sick just stay tuned 🙂
1. Duress (feat. SAKIMA)
2. All Over The Map (feat. BLAISE)
3. Peanut Butter (feat. Mark Johns & Robokid)
4. No Fakin’
5. Unwind (feat. Marged)
6. The Wave (feat. SATICA & SAKIMA)
7. Stay (feat. Madi)
8. Butterscotch (feat. SATICA)
9. About You (feat. Annabel Jones)
10. Hell Yeah (feat. Yung Skrrt)
11. Epilogue (feat. Manila Killa)
AObeats – Pilot | Stream
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