Glamcult was lucky enough to catch up with salute—the 20-year-old producer currently making a big wave in electronic music. With an eclectic mix of influences—ranging from (vintage) hip-hop and synth-pop to drum ‘n bass and dubstep—it’s easy to see why the Vienna-raised artist is one of the most exciting up-and-coming producer names. Hoping to break out of this refined title as a DJ, salute is transitioning into a live sound artist—dreaming of performing in a live band alongside 15 other members. Aspiring to reinvent himself and “remain relevant by constantly coming back with something different,” we are excited to follow salute’s growing success, and highly recommend him as one to watch. You heard it here first.
Where does the name salute come from and why is it all lowercase?
The lowercase is literally there because it looks better; the capital S can take away from logos and stuff. There’s no deep-rooted meaning behind it. As for the artist name, I just liked the sound of the word.
You grew up in Vienna. Could you maybe elaborate on that a bit—where you come from and also how you grew up musically?
My family wasn’t extremely musical or anything. We were just a regular family but my older brother played me loads of hip-hop, R&B and even rock—he sort of shaped my taste in music. Growing up in Vienna was quite sheltered, there’s not much alternative music going on, and it’s not as big as Paris, Amsterdam or London. So as you are quite sheltered, you have to find all the music you listen to yourself. Then eventually at the age of 14, I decided I needed to find out how people make music and I needed to make it myself. I did enjoy growing up in Vienna, I think my music sounds the way it does because I grew up there; it had a huge impact on how I make my music.
We were checking out your Facebook page, and noticed your parents leave a lot of comments. What would you post if your parents wouldn’t read your posts?
[Laughs] I would be way more aggressive in my wording. I have strong views on things like politics and music, but obviously on social media you can’t just swear at people, that’s not how you go about it. I think that is something I learnt from my parents, they taught me to be nice about things. People will rather listen to you if you say something nice.
Do you think it’s a good thing that they read your posts?
Yeah, it’s like a filter. My mum literally checks my fan page everyday…
For Colourblind you collaborated with ABRA. How did that come about?
It’s crazy how the Internet works. I had heard of her before but my manager, who is amazing at picking out upcoming artists, suggested her. So we got in contact and just sent loads of instrumentals. I didn’t hear back from them for ages because they were very busy—ABRA was getting quite big at this point. Then one day she just sent back the first version of Colourblind and then it went from there. They are in the same circle as D.R.A.M, which is how that collaboration came about. It’s a good connection, I think. It’s also an honour to work with someone who is so eclectic and who’s getting quite big at the moment.
You’re often compared to artists like Kaytranada and Hudson Mohawke. How do you feel you would distinguish yourself as an artist?
As much as those comparisons are fair, I come from a completely different background in music. I used to produce drum ‘n base as a teenager, that’s all I made. I don’t come from a traditional hip-hop background. The dubstep and drum ‘n bass influence sort of shows in my music. I try to revive an old sound a lot more. My influences come from people who made music ages ago, I think that’s one of the main differences. The whole live thing as well; I play with a band and don’t really DJ anymore. I want to move away from the whole producer/DJ thing and become an artist. I’m not massively unique; I don’t think anyone is nowadays. [Laughs]
The artists from the past that you mentioned, could you give some examples?
There is this female producer called Patrice Rushen who made some really popular songs, she’s one of my biggest inspirations. Her as a musician and her as a person as well—being a black woman in the seventies or the eighties, and not only being a vocalist but an instrumentalist and a producer is really incredible. I love eighties synth-pop, artists like Kraftwerk. Anything that is really synthy, bright and from that sort of era. Even though I live in the UK, I did still grow up in Europe and Europe is known for that synthy sort of techno and house music. I grew up in the middle of all of that, so I love it.
We noticed you interact really well with your fans and other people commenting on your social accounts. How important is it for you to be in touch with people?
It’s the most important thing. I’m not better than anyone else just because a group of people know who I am. That doesn’t make me any better or make me unapproachable. I will talk to people if they want to talk to me, I just want to be friends with everyone, and I’ve always found it really important to just talk to people. There’s no reason I shouldn’t reply, if people want to know something they have the right to know.
It’s surprising because we are used to artists not doing that.
It’s an ego thing. It’s a shame that people don’t, but it’s up to them really. I want to be the sort of person that people can come up to after my set and chat to me and get drunk with me. One of the reasons I do music is so I can meet new people.