Re: What inspired YOU to start producing? and when did you start doing it?
Excellent question, and probably the best question to prompt me into engaging here.
I think the inspiration to produce never stops. Pinpointing that first eureka or spark is often difficult. For me, I think it began far before I ever even began producing music. In childhood, for sure. The memories are vague now, of course, but I remember that state of mind I would enter into when playing outside with my trucks or really with whatever. What I do remember clearly is how fluid the activity felt, how natural it was to be free there, exploring the world with my body. I know it probably sounds trite, but it is this state that I was always hearkening back to when I was making music.
Inevitably, it's somewhat of a lost state. I was drawn to artists that expressed this melancholy and nostalgia. Obviously, Boards of Canada are champions in this field, but many have touched upon it. It's a dead-end street, though, to try to stay within this framework. Especially, to model your sound off the discoveries of another.
I began in college, and as soon as I started, I knew I would drop out. What I was learning alone in my room with my headphones on was far more than I could ever find in a classroom, let alone a career built upon academia. I sought refuge in psychedelic drugs and travel, which did help to open my mind up to other possible ways of living. Music was always a way for me to know myself. From the beginning, it was a transformative tool, and the process was alchemical. By the end of a project, I always felt flushed, cleared of some blockage that was in the way. Producing music was something very spiritual to me, always, and still is.
It's a nebulous thing, though. I never know what it is I'll be working on next. I shift genres quite dramatically. It seems each project is so exhausting and time-consuming that I have to move on to something totally different, if only so that I can still hope to be original. But that's always a dicey concept, originality.