Assembling a collection of great songs is tough work. Divining just one compelling melody or hook from the creative ether can present a steep challenge unto itself — but a whole EP or LP? That's asking a lot.
It's a challenge that has long beset electronic artists. Regardless of subgenre, the field is chock full of actively touring DJs and producers who have yet to assemble anything more durable than a handful of beloved singles and an odd collaboration or two. Although the hit single is a time-tested and proven path to success, history has shown that extended or long-plays ensure an, uh, longer artistic lifespan.
Branchez, the musical moniker of remixer and producer Sam Kopelman, seems all too aware of this fact. Having recently released his first EP, June's four-track 222 - EP, the New York-based artist has resumed crafting the trap-accented singles that enabled his initial descent above the SoundCloud masses. In the months since, Branchez has concentrated on applying the lessons learned from the production of 222 - EP to his newer material and, eventually, an LP.
"I'm more working on getting a bunch of singles that I'm really proud of together to release periodically over the next couple of months. I think an LP will find itself," Branchez muses. "It took me awhile to finish the EP, so... I want to focus on smaller projects right now. And labels and managers love singles right now — it's kind of the way to win — so I'm not mad at it. But I definitely want to put out a larger body of work soon as well. It's just about the timing."
It would seem the timing couldn't be better: Besides his forthcoming Friday-night set at Bardot, his headlining tour in support of 222 - EP has sent him across the country, allowing him to wrap his sonic branches (we know, we're sorry) around both new and old listeners. Friday night's show also represents something of an upgrade for the independent artist.
"This is only the second time I'll ever be playing a show there that is headlining," he says. "I coheadlined there with this act called Giraffage like a year and a half ago. This will be the first time where I am kind of my own show, which I'm very excited about."
Bardot patrons, or anyone who has listened to 222 - EP, have good reason to share Branchez's excitement. In both his music and interviews, he's quick to wear his diverse influences on his sleeve, all of which come together to form a greater, trappier whole. "IDRK," a 222 - EP track that readily flits between hip-hop, electronic, and a (sometimes) poppier middle ground, ably showcases the growth that characterizes this newest release, as well as what lies ahead for Branchez.
Even as he manages the demands of touring, producing a strong discography, and refining his process, he still finds time to wax poetic about the considerations that go into formulating a memorable live set.
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"I've experienced those kinds of nonstop, in-your-face shows, and it's exhausting, so I've learned from that. And it's never really been my style, so I try to have ups and downs throughout the night," he says. "I've enjoyed building my sets and seeing how crowds are acting. They're much more patient than we give them credit for. Seeing the hands in the air and screaming is addictive as a DJ, so people try to just go after that nonstop, when I think a lot of these fans are open to a more patient journey of a set."
Come Friday, we'll see just how patient Miami audiences can be.