Meet Giraffage. He writes music, produces beats and gets down on pizza whenever he gets the chance. Ever since the San Francisco native remixed The-Dream’s 2007 album, “Love/Hate,” he’s been living, well, the dream. We caught up with him last week at What The Festival just before he left to open for Porter Robinson on a North American tour. Turns out he’s got some funny stories and good advice about the world of beats.
Give us a crazy tour story.
I got strip-searched at the Denmark/Sweden border. I was in a car with Xxyyxx and some other people on the way to a show, and the Swedish border patrol screamed at us to get out of the car. We had one little nug of weed out in the open and the border patrol decided we were all smugglers, I guess. Next thing I know I’m being yelled at by Swedish cops to strip off all of my clothes and turn around in circles and squat as they rummaged through Xxyyxx’s afro, looking for any sign of drugs. We tried explaining we were musicians on tour but because we make all our music on laptops, they didn’t believe us. None of us had any drugs on us though, so eventually the cops just let us go.
Are you mobbed with groupies after every show?
I try to hide from the groupies, but I do get to meet a lot of fans here and there. They like to give me cool, small gifts. One guy gave me a gold chain with a miniature MPC on it, that was pretty cool. Another girl gave me a Starbucks gift card, which I guess is pretty cool as well.
What do you do when you’re not on tour?
I like staying home, playing video games and hanging out with my cat. I love playing “Super Smash Bros.” I even entered a tournament one time but got my ass kicked.
Who would you more like to work with or write beats for?
After I remixed “Love/Hate,” I actually got invited to do some work with The-Dream himself in a studio in Miami, so that was pretty surreal. I’d love to work more with him in the future.
What advice do you have to guys who want to get into producing beats?
It sounds like a cliche, but hard work and perseverance is important. When I started, I was just a dude messing around with Ableton Live in his college dorm room. Everyone around me was either studying or pursuing internships and job openings, while I would just do the bare minimum to get by in school and spend the rest of my free time working on music. It definitely took a while but it paid off. Don’t give in to societal pressures and just do what you love.
Photo credit: Instagram