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Exploring Le Youth’s Elemental Approach to Music (Interview)

Recently Wes James, more commonly known as Le Youth, made his way to Portland. Not only were we able to catch his set, but got the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about his music, shows and goals.

Last summer Wes played at What the Festival, and his set was one of our favorites. Once we saw that he would be stopping in Portland, we knew we needed to see him again. He was supported by local talent Vincent de France and Ali Alavi. Wes has an air of positivity that was obvious throughout both his set and the interview. With tracks that you can’t help but dance to, and a mesh of new sounds with classics, he was making us desperate for summer to return.

Wes has been playing music most of his life, so we asked: What does he look to for inspiration when it comes to creating the music that is described as sexy, cool and timeless?

“I don’t like to look for inspiration really. I just make the music that I feel inspired to make. I mean it would be cool to think that you could just find inspiration and just make a song. But I don’t know, I wake up in the morning, and have a coffee, and decide that I want to make music. So that’s what I do.”

As festival goers we notice differences between festivals like Paradiso and What the Fest. Both are amazing getaways, but each festival has something that makes it different, and DJs definitely help shape the experience. When it comes to different festivals Wes says he tries to keep it consistent. “I honestly don’t differentiate them. It’s just the nature of my job. I show up to wherever the festival is, I get carded back stage, I go on stage, and then I leave. I don’t get to experience the festival in the ways that the people that are there that go to the festival get to experience it.”

There are many different kind of DJs when it comes to creating an image for themselves. Some behavior you may agree with more than others. For Wes, he has learned a lot about himself being in an industry where some people build their careers off of making funny tweets, and jumping off DJ decks.

“…I have learned that there’s no amount of money to make me sacrifice what I love to do. At the end of the day I need to be happy with myself, and if I’m popular because I am jumping off DJ booths, or because I had the most retweeted fucking tweet, I am not going to be happy. I make music because I love to make music.”

There are many genres and sub-genres of electronic music, and as you continue to learn more about EDM you feel like it keeps going and going. Wes talked about what music he is drawn to and how he likes to find a balance between two ideas. “I am into underground music, underground sound. I am always drawn to that. I am also drawn to making big pop records, kind of like torn. I like to find a balance. So for me the ultimate goal is to create a pop song with ya know, underground sounds, not just typical things.”

Wes has been in the music industry for awhile now and we hope he continues to make great music while achieving his goals. We’re glad that the thing that makes him happy makes us happy as well.

“I want to be happy. I want to keep traveling. I want my career to last long, and I want to keep making music. I would love to have big records, obviously. Like be really successful. But I just want to be happy, keep doing what I am doing. If this is like the way I’m going to be for the rest of my life, I will be the happiest fucking dude.”

Have you had a chance to check out Le Youth? Do you see these these ideals reflected in his music?

Check out Le Youth’s brand new original, “Walk Away” which is out now via Homewerk.


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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!