Jason Chung, aka Nosaj Thing, worked at TTL LA several years back. He was a very soft-spoken fellow but I could tell there was something bubbling beneath. I caught his live show for the first time when he came to perform at the Brooklyn leg of our Stussy Secret Hangout project several years back. Sure enough, all sorts of energy radiated from this guy when he performed – smashing the controller and turning into someone unrecognizable from his usual self. – PH
On the tail of his much lauded album, Drift, Jason is bringing his all new Audio-Visual show to The Music Hall of Williamsburg this friday (flyer after the interview).
tip: listen to the album while reading
i remember one of the reasons why you came to work at TTL LA was that you wanted to get more focused on your music career. is it kind of daunting becoming a fulltime musician?
I think about almost every time I come back from tour. I feel really blessed that I’m able to do this right full-time. It just makes me work harder.
you’re korean… what do your parents think about your music career?
They are really supportive and happy that I’m doing what I love to do. It’s dope to be able to help out my parents now.
when i think of you, i think controllers. what are your all-time favorite controllers?
I went through a lot of controllers but as of now, I’ve been sticking with the MPD-32. I like the simplicity of it. I also been using TouchOSC on the iPad but it’s just a little tough for me to pay too much attention to a touch screen.
what equipment do you use in the studio?
I like to keep it minimal and know the ins and outs of every piece I work with. I have a handful of hardware synths and just use one compressor right now. Software plug ins are big for me because I like the convenience.
what’s the best thing to come out of having a “hit” album?
I’m not sure if ‘Drift’ was a “hit” but I’m very happy with how it did.
your tour integrates video this time round, what can we expect?
It’s a full synced visual show. I worked on it with a design from LA called Fair Enough for the past 2.5 years. Animations were created for every part of each song. You can check out the test shoot here: http://www.vimeo.com/5817444
what is the inspiration for “Light #1″? how did you come up with that melody?
I made that song in 2005. It was a song I wrote from pure experimentation and the main melody was ran through a handful of plug ins to create the random skipping effect. I would say that is the only song on the album that doesn’t have a consistent groove.
What were you like in high school?
I didn’t really enjoy my time in high school. All my homies were older than me so when they left I just stayed at home and made music everyday until 5-6am.
Top 5 Favorite DJ Records
Alan Braxe – Addicted
Boards of Canada – Roygbiv
Wu-Tang – Triumph
Snoop Dogg – Gin and Juice
Kings of Convenience – The Weight Of My Words (Four Tet Remix)
Top 5 Listening Albums
Animal Collective – Sung Tongs
Cornelius – Point
Erik Satie – Piano Works
Radiohead – Kid A
Simon and Garfunkel – Greatest Hits
5 Favorite Places to Eat
Saigon Flavor – San Gabriel, CA
Built to Grill – Portland, OR
Bulan Thai – Los Angeles, CA
Hodori – Los Angeles, CA
Daikoku – Los Angeles, CA
what do you like to do, non-music related
Hang out with friends and fam.
Word on the street, is that you like asian girls… true?
I went out with Lucy Liu one time.