Charlie Yin, better know as Giraffage, is already a runaway sensation in the states. Known for his dreamlike, Pitchfork approved strand of electronica and energetic hiphop influenced sets, Charlie released his most personal album to date at the end of last year, ‘Too Real’. We caught up with the producer at a sushi making class (he’s a self professed sushi and foodie fanatic) at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen‘s The Green Room during the London leg of his Europe wide tour to discuss growing up in San Francisco, the process of writing an album, and Creme Eggs.
You recently released your first full length album in a while, ‘Too Real’. How does it feel to have got this release out in the open?
it feels good to have the ideas and songs I’ve been working on over the last 2 years finally out into the ether.
How was the process of creating this album different from past releases?
I was listening to a lot of older music and also music from my childhood. stylistically speaking, I wanted to incorporate sounds from the past recontextualized with sounds of the present. I also relied on some older hardware synthesizers which I think contributed to the overall sound.
And how does it feel to headline a European tour off the back of it? Has it differed a lot from past experiences touring?
There’s more of a focus this time around, I’m playing only original material + remixes that I’ve done and I’m not sure if I could have done that had it not been on the heels of a new album.
At your show at the Jazz Café we noticed you played a lot of hip-hop and RnB mash ups. Where does your love for this genre stem from?
Nearly everyday during my formative years, I would rush back home and immediately watch music videos for 4-5 hours. the popular music at the time was 90s R&B and hip-hop, so I think those influences subconsciously make their way into my music and subsequently my live show.
Do you think you could / would ever switch things up and produce hiphop beats?
I could definitely be into that. I listen to a good amount of hip-hop and would love to make stuff for that world.
What was it like growing up in San Francisco, what was the music scene like there?
I actually grew up in a city 45 minutes south of San francisco called San Jose. the suburb that I lived in was pretty cookie cutter and as a result I wasn’t really surrounded by too much cool art and music growing up. I had to rely heavily on the internet, and so I think the lack of stimulation that I had growing up had an impact on the way I write and perceive music.
Do you think moving to Texas will influence your music in any way? We have a few negative stereotypes of Texas in the UK, but what do you like about it there?
I like the people there a lot. geographically, it’s a lot more spread out and empty than San Francisco, which I think will allow me to cut out more distractions and focus on just being in the studio undisturbed.
Now that you’ve released the album, will you be having a break when you finish this tour? What are your plans for the next year?
I’m planning on playing a few festivals and doing a small tour in Australia. other than that, I’d love to just spend time working on new music at home!
Which was your favourite sushi creation you made at our sushi lesson? Will you be impressing your girlfriend with your new found skills when you get home?
I’m proud of how my salmon handroll turned out. I’m definitely going to try surprising her with one of those sometime.
Speaking of food, did you have any negative assumptions of the food in the UK or Europe? What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten here?
I feel like the food is much better in europe/UK than in the US. the best meal I’ve eaten in Europe was probably in Rome, at a Michelin rated restaurant called metamorfosi.
And lastly, we asked you to try a Creme Egg when we last saw you. Have you managed to find one or figure out what they are yet? And has anything beaten the Dairy Milk chocolate you tried since we last spoke
haha, unfortunately I have not tried one yet. I’m still on the lookout though. diary milk chocolate still reigns supreme for me.