5 Things We Learned from A-Trak’s Billboard Interview

A-Trak recently sat down with Billboard to discuss his new single “Push” (which has over 500,000 SoundCloud plays) and a host of other topics. It’s always interesting to hear from the Fool’s Gold leader, as he’s known for giving honest and insightful responses.
Below are a few things we learned from the interview, which can be read in its entirety here.
He prefers recording music in person:
“Right now in EDM, there’s a bit of a gold rush: people trying to make these vocal pop songs who aren’t from the world of songwriting, so they’re trying to crack the code of how to make more traditional kinds of songs … There’s a lot of songs that are done by distance, with middlemen and managers and A&R. It’s cool, it’s modern, it’s technology, and all this stuff is interesting — but at the end of the day, for the feeling of music, you can’t replace linking up with someone.”
He thinks DJs shouldn’t worry about making club anthems:
“What I like about [‘Push’] is I’m not trying to do one thing in particular. That’s what’s cool about being a DJ. DJs really need to shake off this idea that you need to make bangers and club anthems. In our sets we can throw in as many curveballs as we want because our selection is trusted, which is rare. We should take those same liberties with the music that we choose to make. Ever since Avicii came out with a country song, it gave a seal of approval for so many possibilities. It’s so awesome he did that. I’ve done so many things — Duck Sauce, remixes, and Low Pros most recently — so for the stuff I want to put under my name there’s less of a direct reference.”
His EP with Cam’ron is still in the works:
Federal Reserve will come when it’s right. We’re still working on it. The opportunity to work with Cam’ron is so special and so few people have access to him. We put out ‘Dipsh#ts’ [with Juelz Santana and Dame Dash] when that felt right, and everyone was super receptive to the video, so I thought ‘Cool, the bar is set, we’re not going to put anything out that’s not as good or better.’ We’re going to finish these songs. There’s an EP that’s relatively close to being done, but they’ll come out when the quality is right.”
He posts tracklists for his DJ sets to prove a point:
“That’s what’s interesting with social networks: there’s such an opportunity to communicate a message. Sometimes I don’t even necessarily think of communicating those things because it seems so obvious and clear to me, and then I remind myself like, ‘Hey, some things are different at every show, and I’ll prove it to you, here’s a picture of the set list.’ It’s been cool to see how much it’s been connected with the scene. There used to be this whole culture of secrecy of DJing, how they used to cover up the labels on records so no one would know what they were playing. I’m way into sharing.”
He sees great value in surrounding himself with the younger generation:
“The Day Off concert series is essentially a festival at this point. It’s really cool to see some people gravitate to the shows and seeing people hanging out there, so many dope artists that aren’t on the bill that will just go there to hang. We have a series of more DJ-centric releases called Clubhouse that we’re going to relaunch and rebrand in January with some new concepts that we’re going to reveal soon. A label whose whole purpose is to find new talent is such an asset for me as a DJ and producer. I’m more excited to be around the youth on the come-up than the greats. There’s a spark that you feel in the air, you know?”

Related: A-Trak Shares His Opinions on Celebrity DJs