DS: What is the origin of the name Ageless?
Ageless: I started going by Ageless in 2005 when I began producing albums and playing shows. I was always intrigued by the notion that regardless of our physical age, the soul remains ageless. The name also represents my music, fusing the old and new to create something ageless.
DS: Your musical roots run deep, could you share a story of some of your first funk/soul/ inspirations.
Ageless: I have to credit a lot of 90's hip-hop for getting me into classic funk/soul music. Beat makers like The RZA, 4th Disciple and DJ Premiere first exposed me to that sound through their samples. I loved finding out which records they flipped and that led me to a whole world of music from before my time.
DS: Growing up in NY and now living in NYC you've been exposed to so much raw hip hop culture. How has that affected your creative influences as a producer?
Ageless: I produced hip-hop beats with analog gear for years before I ever made electronic music. I've also been writing rhymes since a kid, so hip-hop is definitely a big influence. Learning song structure and working with samplers and drum machines plays a big role in everything I do in music.
DS: What was the first and last live show you've attended?
Ageless: The first show I can remember going to was Wu-Tang Clan, and the most recent was Gramatik. Now that I think about it they were both in Times Square.
DS: What is your opinion on what is happening in mainstream music today vs when you were growing up?
Ageless: I think there will always be those acts who make formulaic pop hits with the sole intent of getting rich and famous, so not much has changed there, but it does seem like commercial radio gets worse every day. I'm hopeful for the future of music though, because for the first time an artist doesn't need any commercial success to thrive. There's tight knit communities all over the world who support unique talent, and it’s given way for so many new artists who share their music with the world without going through any mainstream channels like radio and TV.
DS: Tell me about your relationship with Philos? What are your ultimate musical/career goals?
Ageless: Philos Records has been a home for my music since 2013. I've worked with a few different labels but the majority of my solo work has been released through Philos. My LP "Broken Inventions" was the first official release on the label, and since then I've watched it grow into a collective of likeminded artists and friends, as well as a network of amazingly supportive fans.
I've always believed in music's ability to connect people from all walks of life, and I want to play whatever role I can in unifying ourselves to ensure a peaceful future. So my ultimate musical goal is to tour as much as I can and connect with people around the world.
DS: Let's talk collabs. Any favorites thus far, and hopes for the future?
Ageless: I've been lucky to have so many talented friends, and collaborating always leaves me with a new perspective on music. If I have to choose I'd say working with my homies SwAy stands out as a favorite collab. The process of writing songs with them has been smooth and effortless, and when three people from different backgrounds come together to make music it's always interesting. Keep an ear out for our follow up to 2014's “SwAygeless". There's definitely a list of artists I'd love to work with in the future, lately I've been seeing what I can do with soulful vocalists. If anyone knows Lee Fields or Sharon Jones hook it up!
DS: Alot of your work is heavy hitting soul that brings the nostalgic vibe front and center. Is there any particular track or album that brings you back more than others?
Ageless: When I first started getting into sampling soul music I was kinda obsessed with an artist named O.V. Wright. In my opinion he's one of the most underrated classic soul singers. All of his albums had this dark bluesy style that resonated with me. So much so that I sampled half his discography while learning the nuances of working with vinyl chops. Whenever I listen to artists like O.V., Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye I feel nostalgic about a time before I even existed. Very few things outside of music can have that effect.
DS: You have worked a lot with vinyl. Do you collect? When did you first start your record collection and what was your first record?
Ageless: I love Vinyl! There's no substitute for that warm, full sound of an old dusty record. I've been collecting records since 2004, and have about 1500 (which isn't easy when you live in a cramped NYC apartment). I think my first vinyl purchase was "The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Bold as Love". I also have a few gems that I don't touch like an unopened original press of Otis Redding's debut album, and a rare copy of "The Wizard of Oz" from the 1940's.
DS: How Important is the connection between artist and fans?
Ageless: I think it's everything. I never understood why some artists get a big ego and distance themselves from their fans. If anything, playing shows and connecting with people around the world should be a humbling experience. I'll always be grateful to connect with fans, and a lot of times we become friends.
DS: What is your personal mission to accomplish in 2015?
Ageless: I think a big challenge when working towards your dream is to achieve balance in your life. I work on music constantly but it’s important to go and experience other aspects of life too, and it actually helps me to be more creative in music. So I'd say my personal mission is to live full, no matter what I’m doing.