Hometown: Smalltown, GA
Currently living: Fort Collins, CO
Origin of name: The “Moon Frog” can be seen throughout Asia, depicted as a toad or frog holding a coin in its mouth. It is meant to be a symbol of longevity, prosperity, and a ward against evil. However, when the name came to me in early 2014, I wasn’t aware of this mythology or symbolism!
Weapon of choice: Tech: Native Instruments Kontakt, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, U-He Diva, Waves Complete.
Source of power: Grateful Dead, Ott, Random Rab, Beach House, Tycho, Deftones, etc.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Craft your mixes to hit an audience in the heart and feet!
As an artist in different media, music in particular has always been a strong form of communication for me. Taking an idea or experience and forming that into a musical thought and feeling is how I step into the studio as Moon Frog. I have crafted multifaceted works that reach a far deeper and expressive well of inspiration than ever before and am learning with each new sonic sketch how to better tickle your ears and prickle the skin.
Are there any dots that connect where/how you grew up with your musical output?
I grew up in a very eccentric and artistic family, with my mother being a writer and father being a sculptor as primary means of income. This environment definitely guided me onto my musical path and taught me many important lessons at an early age about what it means to truly be an artist.
What’s the strangest part of your job? What makes you shake your head in wonderment about being a DJ and producer?
Every day, I shake my head (in a good way) at something new. Expect the extraordinary.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ? What would people be surprised to find out about the profession?
The biggest misconception I’ve observed is [about] the subtle differences between a DJ and producer. It seems a DJ typically plays other people’s music, and when done properly, it’s an art form not to be taken lightly. A producer typically will DJ (a verb in this sense) mostly, if not all, original music and often doesn’t even consider themselves to be a DJ in the traditional definition. The beauty of these two separations is when a producer who makes great music hones their skill as a DJ and creates a truly unique and transformational sonic journey for an audience.
Tell me about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
Electric Forest 2015 was hands-down the most memorable and exceptional festival I’ve attended yet. Playing three sets over the weekend was a dream come true, and experiencing the event as a fan was remarkable. There are too many standout nights to name one, but Saturday night got incredibly weird! When playing in the Illuminarium, I could feel people moving in step and vividly sensed the deeper connection that some were experiencing internally with the music. Well done—hope to see you next year!
Do you have any memorable moments from past EDCs or any other Insomniac party?
Electric Forest 2015 was my first and only Insomniac event and was an amazing production to behold. Many serendipitous happenings and magic unwound over those four days! I’m looking forward to experiencing more Insomniac events, including EDC.
What is your ultimate career dream?
To have my music sent into space on a Voyager-type spacecraft as a heartfelt message from Earth.
Are you impulsive with your work (in the studio and/or DJing), or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
I have a balanced approach of being methodical while taking risks and acting on impulse when I write. The whole process is ultimately a chance to develop techniques based off of prior knowledge in order to find new ways to communicate and refine a larger idea or composition. There is a consistent thread and sound throughout my work, as every few months I find myself developing smaller bodies of work (several songs) that fit into a larger, overarching theme. It’s all about finding a balance and allowing the pendulum of creativity to swing.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
My Panart Hang. The Hang is such a rare and unique instrument. I love using it in my songs and finding new ways to incorporate its healing sound.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Making art and music is all about taking risks and finding out what works to communicate your ideas and intentions. Without exploring your unknown potential, one cannot progress. It is very important to take risks!
Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with (from musicians to lighting and visual artists) in the future?
I am most interested in participating in events and collaborating with producers who see festival culture as a way to promote and grow positive transformation in society at large. This niche scene has been termed “transformational festival culture,” and I am excited to contribute and watch it continue to grow and evolve.
If we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers—incredible modern country/folk music!
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
Close your eyes, and imagine floating on your back in a calm ocean under warm moonlight while a thunderstorm lights the sky in the distance and lowers vibrations down to the moving waters.