O BOY! Interview: St. Gold On Music, Memes, & DIY To The Extreme

St. Gold, where do we even start.

Imagine yourself scrolling and jumping from place to place on the internet, the glow of the computer is making your eyes tired and you’re going into a deep rabbit hole of music. Music that you’ve been missing your whole life right there in front of you in your sleepy delirious state of mind. You find the music of St. Gold, not only do you wake up instantly, but you actually FEEL the soundscape that’s thriving in your headphones.

That’s the experience you’ll have when you listen to the work of this artist.

In this interview we wanted to touch on a little bit of everything, from the DIY scene he’s curated with his fellow creators and friends, to the ups and downs of his influences, even the details that make his workplace complete.

Could you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m St. Gold and I’m a musician/producer of Sudanese origin living in the middle east currently. I’m 2 and I like to spend my days and nights working on a lot of music and share a lot of memes. I co-founded the seapunk collective K+ with my woadies Tee and Morad and several of us still operate it putting up different types of music.

Tell us one fact about you that the world should know!

I literally work day and night to make things happen for my friends and I so we don’t ever have to owe anyone else anything for our success.

We've been listening to your new album and we've been digging it! What can you tell us about "Suicide Doors III: Haha Yeah Okay"?

Other than the fact that it comes from my love for hip hop culture both new and old. I’d say it’s sort of like a goodbye record to hip hop. It didn’t start out that way though, like, I had some of these tracks laying around before in the past but I never did anything with them. I think the oldest one being ‘Holding’, which is basically lofi/boom bap/Madlib type stuff from back in the day. And I wanted to go down that lofi and banger trap hip hop route but then like the internet in me kicked in and I was like ‘what if I add some disco and funky samples like in a cut chemist record or some serious trip hop strings like in an old DJ shadow record, some dub, some trap, me rapping like lil B’ etc. and towards the summer as I was working on other things, the tracks slowly started being like a playlist of really weird shit that didn’t necessarily belong together but it made sense to how I was feeling at the time. It was colorful and that’s that thing I value in surf rock. It’s that color and variety and unexpectedness. But that feeling of being exhausted with people, having feelings but not wanting to deal with people or the things that I have to deal with as I get older and grow..umm, more harsh and critical of the way I live my life, it started to take over as I got more into making the record. And I found an escape through the record, a way to just turn off the internet and make something that was really anti-the-internet but really caused by it. I didn’t wanna listen to people, I just wanted to put out music the way I like to hear it in hip hop. So yeah, it ended up being like the fun record rather than the modern record. I was just sick of people, of modern hip hop and I wanted that one hip hop record that no person but my friend Tee and I could enjoy from start to finish. Something that’s not so obvious but if you listen to it there’s like a lot of colorful detail and it’s all fully built up out of scraps and compositions straight out of my bedroom, mastering and everything and on old hi fi speakers. DIY to the extreme.

Is there a particular track on the album that stands out to you right this moment? Would you mind walking us through the process behind it?

Mm, the track ‘Holding’ is my favorite because it’s more along the lines of what I love the most in hip hop, that Madlib/Jdilla stripped down sampling style that relies more on cut and rhythm than placement. Like that’s what I wanted the tape to sound like when I dug it up from the crypts but obviously later on I wanted to add way more variety to it. All the tracks on the album are built very differently but the track ‘Holding’ is like a prototype to how I usually make hip hop. Chop samples that resonate with me, add extra percussions to make it sound full, recontextualise meaning. Keep it as simple as possible, resist the urge to be really cinematic and sentimental- though that’s quite a lot of what I do here. I sorta let go a bit with how I feel and let it spill into the record a tiny bit. I like repetition usually, getting a groove but I hate monotony at the same time. And that track to me is like a way of trying to find something. Haha, also on ‘Right’ I rap for the first time and nobody’s yet figured out what I’m rapping about but nevermind.

If you had to give a title to each "chapter" in your music career, what would they be in order?

Chapter 1: Awkward Burn

Chapter 2: Okay, Progress

Chapter 3: There but not really yet

Chapter 4: There but it’s kinda late

Chapter 5: TBH

We want to know what you surround yourself with to feel inspired! Can you give us a written tour of your work space?

My room is kinda big actually, bigger than my friends old apartment. I got a bed, a corner sofa, a coffee table, a computer desk, a TV and my dad’s old speakers. Idea wardrobe, a bookshelf, a corner where I keep my skateboards n stuff. Punching bag. If you look on top of my wardrobe you see all my DJ equipment. Actually there’s wires and DJ Equipment scattered all over my room. I try to keep it as clean as possible but to have like output and creativity I need a good workflow so I need to always feel comfortable. So I have instruments like guitars n stuff all over the place and my laptop’s on my coffee table facing the TV and if I come up with an idea or need to rush to do something I can just immediately do it. But that means I got wires n shit coming off the table and through to the mixing console near the TV so it can be quite messy but I try to keep it organized. I can’t work when it’s messy. So for creativity like I don’t have a problem with it. I see physical health more as a factor in how much I create things. So I just cycle as much as I can and eat as best as I can in order to stay as fit for work. Also my room is always perfectly lit, I don’t keep fluorescent lights and it’s never really dark or too lit. And my wall color is like a nice washed out creamy/beige color so it always feels comfortable. I keep skateboarding videos on my tv as I work so when I’m looking up from producing and I’m reflecting I’m usually watching dudes pull really neat tricks and for some reason that helps. If it doesn’t I switch to video games…like Wipeout or something.

If you could plan the perfect day that would spark your creativity, what would your schedule look like?

I like daytime activities that involve a lot of moving around. So for me personally I’d dig a very early morning skate/cycle out at this dried out water drainage next to my house with some friends. Then maybe like go out for some book and art shopping. I like seeing what’s new in the market and the ridiculous things people justify paying for. I also love weird hunting, so if there’s like a new place I hear of that sells weird shit I like to be there looking at it. Like when I found out we have a Daiso store here lol that was lit. Then I’d like for a late afternoon to early morning outside food fest, being around people, drinking, bumping tunes is hella fun and you can never go wrong when there’s hungry people and outside it’s always fun.

What makes you happy?

Really stupid little shit like being really healthy, being able to get good sleep, fresh lemonade, arcade games, learning new things, making someone in my family or friends circle happy, coconut flavored things, citrus scented things. Of course there’s achieving goals etc. I like feeling like I did what I set out to do. I also really love to think of natural environments that are clean and safe so when I think of a place that’s fucked up I get really sad so I guess that’s like the opposite of what makes me happy.

Any closing comments?

Yes, Donate to Yemen. Especially if you’re Arab or born Muslim, these are our people and like I know lots of gulf Arabs are full of shit they spend like 30 dollars on a meal but won’t skip that shit and send that money instead to people that are being bombed constantly and the professionals around them need that money for aid. So like at least do that shit for your people, fuck your cravings.

Shout out to Yo, Max, Ero, julien- my French familia. Shout to Reggie, Tee, Josh, Phylphyl (AKA Borg), Maha, Stan, that nigga Fahair. My international familia- always there for me through thick and thin.

Also bump my album dawg.

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