Blake Robin, a.k.a. LUXXURY is an Los Angeles-based producer/songwriter/DJ whose sound has been described as “classic West Coast sunshine vintage disco.” He is LCD Soundsystem with a dash of the Bee Gees and remixed by Todd Terje. His first official releases made it in Pontiac commercials and MTV’s The Hills. 2014 was when LUXXURY’s career really started to take shape. He released a series of dubby edits that illuminated various sections of old disco multi-tracks that had not received the spotlight before. The edits quickly support from Greg Wilson, Psychemagik, Junior Sanchez, Goldroom and hundreds more. His Hotel California edit gained press from Wall Street Journal, LA Times and Vice.
In 2016, Luxxury released a series of original singles on Eskimo, Deep & Disco, and Plant and Robin’s own label Nolita; gaining support from Majestic Casual, Spin, Complex and more. He performed NBC‘s Last Call with Carson Daly, opening for the godfather of synths, Giorgio Moroder. For now, he’s only toured in the US and Mexico, but this summer, he will be playing in the UK, France and Germany on this summer tour. Click here to see his tour schedule.
We had the pleasure of interviewing LUXXURY below. You know the drill, press play and read his interview below to get the FULL LUXXURY experience.
Where does the name LUXXURY come from and why did you pick it (specifically the two Xs)?
When I started making music I always felt guilty stealing time from my job to make those first beats and songs so finding the time to make music was (tongue in cheek) a “luxury.” I’m very grateful that I am able to be an artist, so continuing to use the name is a daily reminder how fortunate I feel.
Re: the spelling, the URL for the single x spelling was already taken; and 3 x’s seemed too exxxtreme.
Where are you from and how has that shaped the musician you are today?
I grew up in San Francisco in the late disco era. My parents would take me out to the park or a restaurant or whatever and dance music would be coming from cars, stores, the open windows of the Victorian houses; it was just the background to the city, and therefore my childhood. So I think I’m trying to perfect the sound I hear deep within the recesses of my earliest memories. Disco is my Rosebud.
What instruments did you play when you were younger?
I took, and loathed, piano lessons from age 5-10. Until one day announced I quit, and that was the end of that. But I’m really grateful for the experience for it having taught me the basics of scales, harmony and so on (thanks Betty Woo!) In high school I played drums in the jazz band, and at lunch time sometimes I’d pick up the bass and pluck out some simple Ramones style basslines while jamming with my friends. In college I got my first guitar, which is the same one I use to this day.
Are there an instruments that you currently wish you COULD play?
Not really, but I am always trying to improve and grow, and there’s always something new to learn and be better at: instruments, singing, mixing, engineering, being a better DJ, being a better live performer…truly endless! If I can learn one new thing every week I’m happy.
Tell us the story of how you started creating music on your computer?
I’d been recording riffs and song ideas on 4 track for years but could never finish a song. There were just, like, 30 tapes of 30 second snippets lying around that never moved forward. One day someone helped me transter all my tapes into to Pro Tools and suddenly the doors opened up. Being able to cut and paste different ideas and try them together was the “aha” moment I needed. Then, when I discovered Ableton Live and the ability to mix samples with original content (and easily match tempos and keys) that was REALLY when things got cooking for me creatively.
What was your favorite studio moment when producing your newest single, I Need You?
“I Need You” and “Feel the Night”, the previous single, were originally the same song – the chords for “Need” were the verse and “Night” were the chorus. When Billy Caruso and I first started writing together we were consciously trying to write somewhat complex songs with lots of parts and chord changes. I gotta give Josh “Goldroom” Legg credit for suggesting we simplify things, like what I do in my LUXXURY edits, which use only part of the originals, not the whole thing. So I put the instrumental in Ableton Live, separated it into two separate songs and wrote lyrics and melodies for both. They’re two of my favorite songs so I’m pretty glad they’ve got their own identities now!
Who is one of your favorite artists to collab with and why?
Solange, call me!
What is your favorite genre to produce right now and why?
Who are your musical influences?
ABBA, ELO, Bee Gees, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, Lee “Scratch” Perry.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Waking up today and it being my job to work on music. Hashtag grateful.
Do you have a typical music production process? If yes, can you explain it?
I’ve been chopping beats for years and have my own personal library. I generally start with one of those, chop it up, combine with other beats and samples, and then grab my bass and jam on it til I find something that smacks me upside the head. These days that will usually be followed by my finding parts for Rhodes, Wurli, Clav and/or Piano. I’ll live with that for a while and avoid writing lyrics until I have a live gig coming up, which always motivates me to write something, sing it and get it sounding good enough to perform live. Without live gigs on the calendar I’d never finish a topline!
What is next for LUXXURY?
I’m off on a European tour starting in Berlin June 23, followed by three more singles and an EP at the end of this year; hopefully a full length in 2018.