May 04 2017

When Yaeji and Baltra Met

New York-Le Bain
Super-talented NY artists Yaeji and Baltra interview each other before they play Le Bain on Saturday, May 13th.
YAEJI: How did we meet, Michael?
BALTRA: I think we met in the virtual realm through a DM/mutual appreciation for one another's music. I more than likely hit you up for a track to play in a mix/radio show. That's normally how it goes down, right? [Laughs.] It just so happened that we shared mutual friends and were billed to play together shortly thereafter for a Distant Signal party.
Photos by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/kraejiyaeji/">Yaeji</a> &amp; <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/baltra/">Baltra</a>.
Photos by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/kraejiyaeji/">Yaeji</a> &amp; <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/baltra/">Baltra</a>.
Photos by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/kraejiyaeji/">Yaeji</a> &amp; <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/baltra/">Baltra</a>.
Photos by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/kraejiyaeji/">Yaeji</a> &amp; <a target="_blank" href="https://www.instagram.com/baltra/">Baltra</a>.
Photos by Yaeji & Baltra.
"Wow, this guy is just as weird as me." –Yaeji
I recently cried to your set at that house party we played. Would you consider your music emotional bangers?
How sweet! I would consider myself a pretty emotional person, and while it may not be visible from the outside, I guess it definitely shows in the audio capacity. As humans, we experience emotions in many forms and certainly in great depth. I like to think my music is a fair representation of such.

You totally could pass for a rock star based on your gear. Can you tell me what's going on with the way you dress vs. the music you make?
What do you meaaannn? [Wink, wink.] If you couldn't tell, I'm pretty interested in fashion. I think it goes hand-in-hand with fine art and music. Each relies upon the other in some shape or form, and in doing so pushes everything forward in unison. Fashion-wise, I prefer classic looks that express who I am and not something I'm striving to be. I think the same could be said of my music, hence the classic drum sounds (808/909) and synths (JX-3P, Juno, etc.) that you'll find. I keep a few staples in my wardrobe rotation, as I also do in my studio. This simplicity allows me to focus more on the meaning behind the output and the ingenuity of it all.
Baltra's "Untitled (B)"

BALTRA: In addition to yourself, the Godmode crew has put together a super diverse and amazingly talented roster with the likes of Malory and Shamir. Can you tell us a little bit about how your relationship began?

YAEJI: Shortly after I moved to New York, I got a Soundcloud message [Laughs.] from Nick of Godmode. He asked if I wanted to talk over coffee, so we met in real life and talked for hours about all kinds of crazy stuff. I remember seeing how interested he was in my conceptual art projects and thinking, "Wow, this guy is just as weird as me." [Laughs.] I feel like this speaks to how diverse the label is. 

When you're "in [your] German whip, counting all [your] guap," what's your German whip of choice? 
[Laughs.] I would have to say an old vintage Beemer. I had a friend who was really into cars who hooked me onto Top Gear, and when he got an old BMW to fix it up, I fell in love. 
Yaeji's "Guap (Mall Grab Cover)"

You recently toured South Korea and played a set on Seoul Community Radio. After a gig there, what's your favorite late-night meal move? Any breakfast recommendations to cure the "headache" from the night before?
Oh, yes, so Koreans have a very different idea of what a "hangover cure" is. I was surprised when I first got back to America, because here we eat greasy food the next morning. In Korea, it's common knowledge to eat really spicy food the next day. The spicier the better. There's actually a dish called "soup that chases hangovers," so I guess I'd recommend that one. For late nights, it's all about the convenience store runs. You can compare it to NY bodegas, except these stores are super clean and often have tables outside where you can drink.