Feature photo: Helen Perez / GOTO Photography
I don’t know if it was his infectiously happy personality or his groovy set that drowned me in Booty-House at Dirtybird Campout but there was just something about Sacha Robotti that needed to be shared with the world and we were quick to settle on it. “LA is awesome and you are all so fucking fun out here. We’ll catch up when I move here in December man!” said Sacha to me euphorically after his set at the inaugural Dirtybird Campout last year. Fast forward a few months and here we are ready to grub at an American diner that’s part dive bar called Barney’s Beanery that serves hipster IPA beers flooded in Rock & Roll posters with an ambiance amidst nonsensical sports cheers and diner chatter in abundance. We were in true LA fashion.
My friend Helen and I walked in to meet with him and we could see him cheerily grinning from far as he chowed down the last of his pasta bowl. “Hey guys! How’s it going?” he says, clueless to the fact that it was a total downpour outside. His cheerfulness was quick to rub off on us and we all got to conversing like we have been House buddies for ages.
And what better way to get the Robotti vibes going than by bumping some funky synths backed by groovy four on the floor beats off of his latest release with Kevin Knapp, the Stay With It EP. Let the high hats roll and the rhythm take you away as you step into the wonderful world of the Sloth master himself.
But I’ll let him tell the story…
After a brief chat about bar food and how much of a shit show it is in California when it rains for 5 seconds, Sacha points at Helen’s tattoo (of a camera) and says “That is super rad! If I was a gangster – I would totally get a full body suit.”
So you say you are part gangster, does that mean there is some gangster in you?
“I’m not a gangster. I mean, I’ve done my fair share of illegal stuff as a teenager. But I couldn’t just walk into a shop and pay money to get a tattoo however. I wanna deserve it.”
Maybe something like Wiz Khalifa?
“Ha! My friend actually interviewed Wiz Khalifa on Saturday – he was just like puffing the whole time. I actually got to try some of Wiz Khalifa’s strain that is a Hybrid and I was like, wow. I was sitting down and my brain was like *makes explosive hand motion.*”
And on another note – Did you ever do anything else besides music?
“I studied architecture in Scotland for 2 years, then in Berlin for 5 years and I have an architecture degree. Music was always a part of my life though since I was born.”
So what was your moment when you said “Fuck architecture.” I’m Sacha Robotti and I’m making music?
“I had a few of those. One of those moments in 2005 I was doing an architecture internship in Afghanistan for the European Union. It was night time and I was just sitting at my computer making beats on my laptop that was running on battery because there was no electricity. I just had a feeling that this was right. That maybe I should just do that. There are some people who dream of concrete walls and I just knew that I loved to make music. If you wanna do music, you have to really love it and have a passion for it and I found mine. For anything you do, actually.”
And it just randomly happened that you moved to LA?
“16 years of living in Berlin was awesome, but it was also just too much of this city for me, for too many years. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this but I was just in the same situation for a really long time. It started to feel like it was just time for me to leave. It felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore. It was the same thing over and over again. I don’t even know how to describe it.”
It must be hard to be in a place that feels like you are stuck in a rut.
“I’ve DJ’ed and done my whole DJ thing for 10 years in Berlin. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone. *Stops to swoon over waitress and order a chili bowl* On a happier note, I found out today I’m playing Coachella! *High fives* I’m touring with Ardalan and that will be one of our stops.”
What’s it like for you to come here and have all these amazing shows lined up in such a short period of time?
“In a very short amount of time a lot has happened for me. I have been here since December only and already it feels like things are booming. I wouldn’t consider this a ‘break’ yet but it’s nice that things are happening faster than I was expecting, picking up momentum. CRSSD happened and so is Lightning In A Bottle. I’m also playing at EDC Vegas this summer. Fucking stoked!”
It seems like you are incredibly comfortable with change. Are you?
“I am actually due to my background, but according to my star sign I am not.”
And what would that be?
“Taurus. Whenever I read about the Taurus sign it says we love financing and living a sedentary lifestyle. I’m just like uhhhhh ok. Haha”
So why Los Angeles and not anywhere else?
“The ocean has been calling me for 36 years. I always felt like I had to be in Europe and lately in Berlin because it was my home base, but I know I can do this here too. I think the music I make works very well here. Or my personality. I don’t know what it is.”
It seems like you have a very chill way of existing. You just mesh well with the chill.
“Maybe that’s it. I feel good here, for the first time in years.”
Photo: Helen Perez / GOTO Photography
Its fucking great cause you’re totally not that hyped chill. You’re not anything in that EDM hype realm, or any realm at that. People can have this perception that artists who are big need to be and act like superstars but you have reached a certain level of success and you are not dwindled like a diva.
“I hate that shit. Like, why? I get it if you were at a level like Guetta or other huge pop stars, you need some kind of distance because everybody always wants something from you. Not bashing Guetta here, I don’t know the guy personally. Just saying it’s a social direction that is understandable as to why someone may become a diva but then again, they would be nothing without their fans. I would be nothing without my people.”
Your people. That is just great.
“I make it a policy to be nice to everyone, especially if you’re nice to me. I try to respond to everyone’s messages on Facebook and tweets and stuff. It might take me a week or two to get back to you but I always try to write back!”
Overall what has been your favorite event to play out here in LA?
“[Dirtybird] Campout. Number 1. I was just so happy there. That was my favorite.”
*Presidential debate comes on TV*
Sacha: “Do you think Trump is going to take it?”
Me: “No. Definitely not.”
Sacha: “I’m like – are you serious?! About Mexicans and Muslims? Is he fucking nuts? It’s not even that. He is an evil man. His followers are gullible and uneducated people. I have not heard one person here say ‘I’m voting for Trump’ so that makes me happy. I think he’s a dangerous person and he makes me so mad. *brief pause* Oh. this shit [chili] is good!”
Haha! Let’s talk about your Space Yacht show a while back. What even was all of that?
“You mean the spontaneous twerking contest haha? I was like what are you doing? These girls were shaking their butts in my face. Do you know I’m twice your age? I just thought it was all very funny.”
What do you think about the current state of Electronic Dance Music here in the States?
“I absolutely love that electronic dance music, and I don’t mean ‘EDM’ but rather house and techno, is becoming more popular. For me it carries a message of peace and love. I think nowadays many kids are in this for the wrong reasons though. The ones who don’t really love music just wanna have the fame and if the shortest way to the fame means only pushing buttons then they’ll do it. Or by buying songs from ghost producers. It’s a thing of the times, it’s so popular to be a DJ and produce music that many people try. *Funny cheesy voice* ‘If I’m not famous in 6 months then fuck this!’ ”
What about on the consumer end of music? The average person and not a producer.
“It’s an amazing time for ‘consuming’ music. There is so much of it out there, I discover new stuff every day. Plus I feel in the States there are tons of parties and festivals, something people go crazy for. I really loved how all the people at Dirtybird Campout were dressed up and extremely happy to show it. Just happy about life.”
Well there you have it folks. Sacha Robotti keeping it real. It was truly a pleasure chatting it up with him and if you are looking to catch him out at a show soon then get your ass out to Opulent Temple’s Sacred Dance ‘white party’ in LA. I promise you that you don’t want to miss his eclectic Booty-House set that will have you grooving like there is no tomorrow.
Special thanks to GOTO Photography for capturing these amazing moments in all of their glory and chatting it up with us.