By March of 2015, Claude VonStroke had already been rinsing Sage Armstrong’s “What’s Yo Tempetcha” for a few months. But what the Dirtybird boss didn’t realize at the time was that the track’s silky-smooth bars weren’t just some random rap sample, but actually the hot-and-heavy vocals of Sage himself. He learned this to be true once Sage tracked him down after a show in Miami and filled him in on the project. With this newfound knowledge, VonStroke knew he had to snatch up the record for his label and kick him down a spot on the crew.
Sage becoming one of the Dirtybird players was definitely a turning point for the Florida native, but that was far from his first rodeo. Sage was well versed in the art of DJing vinyl, thanks to his family members showing him the ropes at a young age. His love for hip-hop also meant countless hours laying down freestyles—another advantage he has in his arsenal. And growing up in such a multicultural place like Florida, he was blessed with a multitude of influences, which would help inspire his raw and edgy house sound. All these factors feed into what Sage is all about these days: romping basslines and heavy steeze on the mic.
He’s taking a quick break from the birdhouse to show up on IN / ROTATION, alongside fellow Dirtybird homie Bruno Furlan. “GOTDAMN” wastes no time slappin’ you right on dat ass with his signature brand of no-shame booty bass. On the collab, Bruno and Sage tweak and mutilate distorted 808s, percussive riffs, and space-age synths for a five-minute sesh, anchored by a hook that worms its way into your head.
With the single landing on the label today, we caught up with Sage Armstrong to chat about his potential move into hip-hop, dabbling in yoga, and what he misses most about Florida.
Sage Armstrong and Bruno Furlan’s “Gotdamn” is available here.
As someone who was brought into the DJ world through family members, do you feel like that family vibe of being surrounded by mentors has stuck with you?
Yes, I feel like my mentors continue to evolve and change throughout my life, as I evolve as an artist.
How do those family members that brought you up feel about the level of success you’ve achieved?
I know they are happy for me and proud. 🙂
Your tour photo from earlier this year features you in a pretty legit tree pose. Do you practice yoga often?
Haha, I dabble with it. Friends have showed me yoga stretches that I do regularly… I’ve never actually been to a yoga class, though.
Hip-hop is clearly a thread that runs through all of your music. How long till we see some full-on Sage Armstrong hip-hop, or even a collab with Barclay Crenshaw?
There’s been a lot of thought going into whether my rap music should be a separate alias or not. But I think since I’m already rapping and my music is hip-hop-inspired… why not? I will definitely put some rap music on my album; I just want to make sure it’s really good before introducing something new. A Barclay collab would be a dream come true.
You moved to L.A. from Florida. How much of your sound was influenced by your home?
I’d say a lot of my sound comes from what I grew up listening to, in combination with what I dig now.
You’ve been living in L.A. for a while now. What’s still the most difficult thing about being away from Florida?
Not being around family and day-one supporters—only being around people I work with. A lot of good comes with being here, though. I feel blessed.