Eye of the eager

Ralph Mendoza (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - We all know the guy. Eyedress has been our go-to synth smith ever since he started and now he’s his own music man more than ever, releasing remixes left and right, producing beat after beat in the confines of his bedroom. Despite shedding the spotlight on 23-year-old Idris Vicuna several times in the past, there was no hesitation to do so again this week for reasons obvious to those who follow his music online.

In fact, his newest track No Competition was recently featured on SPIN.com as one of the exclusive tracks of South London DJ Oneman’s mixtape. “(The track) comes from the Manila producer Eyedress, a relative newcomer who recently appeared on New York rapper Le1f’s Tree House mixtape,” writes SPIN’s Philip Sherburne, who describes No Competition as “an evil, lumbering Frankenstein’s monster of a tune, with skittering hi-hats and booming 808 kicks grafted onto queasy arpeggios pitched somewhere between Rephlex ca. 1994 and present-day Zomby.” To be imagined that way by SPIN of all publications and as we later found out, tweeted by NME as well, had us curious. Needless to say, we had to see for ourselves how Eyedress is taking all of this in.

YOUNG STAR: Your last feature in Young STAR was over a year ago, where you told me you were going to record an album in a pet store. So much has happened since then. Can you fill us in on how the past year has been for you?

EYEDRESS: It’s been an amazing year. I recently got married. I got a record deal and a publishing deal. That all took a while, though, because I had to do so much paperwork, sending emails back and forth to my lawyer. It got pretty stressful and boring at one point because that’s all I did but once that was over with, things finally started to get fun again. I got paid a really nice advance so I spent some weeks just buying a bunch of things like clothes and equipment, things I could never afford before ‘cause I was so broke. That’s pretty much it. I’m working on a music video right now for my latest single Nature Trips and we’re currently trying to get a permit so we can film at this midget boxing place in the red light district so that should be interesting. Lolz.

Your new track No Competition was recently featured on SPIN as one of the exclusive tracks on Oneman’s mixtape. That’s amazing, man. Can you tell us more about how that went down? What’s the song about?

Well my buddy Joe who works over at my label is Oneman’s brother and he showed him my music and that’s how I got put on there. As for the SPIN feature I think Oneman had a little campaign going for him to promote his new mix tape with various music sites and magazines like Fact and Spin.

Looks like one thing always leads to another when you’re online. But how exactly does a young producer such as yourself gradually break into the foreign scene?

Well I was just really persistent with my stuff. Before I had gotten signed I was just sending my beats to all sorts of people but mainly to Lofty 305 of Metro Zu because we had some sort of connection going musically. I used to email all types of blogs. Whenever I would make a song I’d follow it up with a video. I wasn’t really doing it for attention I just wanted my art to be, like, the whole package so people could understand what I was all about.

 You’re pretty much living proof that 23-year-olds can make it in music on a global scale. You’re confident and everything’s looking bright. What are your thoughts on all this accelerated success?

I’m too busy to think about it. I’m always worried with what I’m doing next so yeah, I can’t really get caught up in all that. Success is a habit. I just work hard and hope to god that shit pays off.

I bet having cool parents to look up to has helped. What are your folks like and what do they think of your day to day music? I assume you do music and videos full time now.

They’re very proud of me always showing me off to their friends and introducing me as someone, like putting me on a pedestal and all that, which I hate, but it’s nice. I know their hearts are in the right place when they’re doing all that stuff.

What can we expect from you this year? I heard Bee Eyes is getting back and touring before the year ends.

My first official EP is dropping on Dec. 2 under XL Recordings’ new imprint Abeano. A new music video for Nature Trips is currently in the works, too, so you should see that popping up soon. Tons of press features also because that’s what we do. And my band Bee Eyes is opening for Mac DeMarco in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. If my booking agent pulls through I might be out in the UK but I don’t know yet since it’s hard to get a visa when you’ve got a Filipino passport, but it should be good.

With all this happening, how will you divide your time?

Hmm, I might get a time machine and just stop time.


Follow Eyedress on Twitter @eyedress for more updates. Photo by Ralph Mendoza







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