The idea of idolization and worship of a fabricated image couldn’t be farther from Idoru’s anti social media mentality and repellant attitude towards human brain-drain. Raised in Detroit and a born traveler who has lived across the US, Idoru’s music has a driving pulse with a toughness that pulls inspiration from the euphoria of a free mind and the depths of the bubbling subconscious void. After gathering a lifetime of experience by means of raw curiosity and experimentation, Idoru is ready to declare her presence and make her sound known as an up-and-coming artist. Following the worldwide release of Maximum Love’s Sometiemes EP (including a remix from Grammy Award-winning producer Latroit) we caught up with the Manta Recordings label boss to find out more.
Hi Idoru, please tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you for having me on today. Let’s take it from the beginning – I was raised in the Detroit area, and, after moving around quite a lot in my early 20’s, I finally settled in LA about 7 years ago. I wasn’t always a music producer, but music has always been the biggest part of my life. I grew up playing instruments, but more importantly, music has always been my inspiration, my place of solace, my place of escape and a means of connection to whatever it is we humans are a part of. I only started producing music a couple years ago, and I finally signed up to Twitch to learn how to DJ during the pandemic. I’m pretty green in industry, one might say, but I feel like I’ve been living my whole life to finally emerge as an artist.
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I was exposed to Ableton Live, the production software, a few years ago but I was totally bug eyed looking at all of the tiny buttons. A little while later, I revisited the tiny buttons and started to mess around with them, and it totally clicked. I spent hours on end watching YouTube videos, messing with plugins, samples, and different analogue gear, etc. I did this every day for a few months and finally started finishing tracks. I definitely had a sound emerge right away, which is pretty cool. A lot of people spend a long time trying to find their sound. Mine just started coming out in every track I made. As far as DJing goes, I am learning on Twitch! It’s been super fun to push myself into something new. It excites me every time I get behind the decks.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Energetic, raw, edgy
Tell us about your label Manta Recordings.
It started as a place where I could launch my own music, which doesn’t exactly fit on other labels. I like the freedom to break the rules where I want to, whether it’s genre, production styles or techniques, and take what inspires me from my favorite music to create something new. Manta’s creative vision very much involves that kind of freedom. I have a small group of artists that I am working with now, so it’s a very intimate and rewarding place for the label to be as we begin to make our presence known.
You have a new release from Maximum Love and Latroit, is that correct?
Yes, we are really excited about it. Maximum Love’s release “Sometimes” is an airy dreamscape into a vaporwave realm. Maximum Love has a true talent for writing ethereal melodies, and when you put that together with their fizzy vocals, it’s no wonder I’ll keep their records looping all day long. Grammy-award winning artist Latroit remixed the track and we are just as excited for his punchy, upbeat take on the song.
Have you worked with these artists before?
This is our first time working with Maximum Love, but they are a long time favorite duo. We have a couple huge releases with Latroit out on Manta already, so we knew he’d be a perfect fit to remix Maximum Love.
Which artists and styles have inspired and influenced you over the course of your career?
Anthony Rother, NIN, Oliver, Daft Punk, Arca, Marylin Manson, to name a few. These artists particularly inspire my production techniques and always grow my appreciation for sound engineering. I have so much respect and admiration for Miss Kittin and obviously am a big fan of her work. Artists like Cardopusher inspire me to keep doing what I do and to stick with it. So often people feel the need to imitate already successful artists or genres, but what inspires me is that artist who finds their unique thing and sticks true to themselves. Aside from industrial and EBM, I grew up listening to metal music – Opeth are rock gods to me. Portishead comes to mind every time I think about who inspires me, as well George Clinton and Curtis Mayfield. 80’s music is an entire decade of the best music ever made, in my opinion. INXS, Hall & Oates, George Michael, Foreigner, I could go on and on. So my inspiration comes from all over the place, but something all of these styles or artists have in common is that the music takes you to a place. It transports you to a realm beyond which language can describe.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
I’m a total bookworm, to be honest. I used to go to bookstores as often as record shops, but now I like to keep a couple audiobooks in rotation. I have a pretty amazing rooftop where I live with a killer 360 view of LA. I spend a lot of time working and decompressing up there. As an introvert, I really don’t party too much. I am much more at peace when I am at home or getting outside, rather than being around a lot of people.
Best stage you have ever played on?
I have yet to play on a stage! Like I said, I just started learning how to DJ during the pandemic. I’m working on making some successful releases for myself and the label before I can get booked at my ideal stages. I can’t wait to play my own tracks and Manta releases on a big sound system, so I look forward to that day to come!
Funniest / craziest thing that’s ever happened at an event?
Let me just say, some things are better left a mystery!
Did you have plans/gigs planned and cancelled because of COVID? If so have you done any online events or interaction with your fans?
My life as a musician has solely been online so far. I started DJing on Twitch in February 2021, and I feel so thankful that the internet has afforded musicians and other artists an opportunity to thrive in a virtual world during these times of uncertainty in the physical world. Unusual as it may be for some seasoned musicians, it has been an amazing chance for new artists like me to learn how to DJ and start a community, and for more established artists to pivot a little and further grow their audience. I think it’s a very futuristic concept that will stick around in the long run as we, creators and fans, propel ourselves in this digital era.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
It doesn’t matter how terrible a day I might be having, as soon as I get behind the decks and play some of my favorite tracks, I literally cannot be bothered. But writing music is by far the most rewarding thing for me and it is also the most mind-fucking annoyance that makes me want to scream and destroy everything in the room. When I push myself through that frustration and finally create something that works, that is the greatest pleasure. It is worth every bit of rage before that moment of release.
What’s next for Idoru in 2021?
I have a couple more EP’s nearly ready, and I just started working on my first album. There is a lot more visual creativity that I’m exploring for the album which is super rewarding to experiment with. I honestly enjoy that aspect as much as creating the music.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” I think it’s a Thomas Edison quote but it was said to me in the context of not only creating music but making it as an artist. The mind-trap that you have to be inspired in order to create or even write good music is false. 99% of doing what you love is forcing yourself to do it everyday, because most of the time you are not having these perpetual moments of huge, otherworldly inspiration. You have to work exceptionally hard day in and day out, despite frustrations, anger, sacrifice, etc, and against a lot of odds. That’s just not how it is. I find that to be encouraging because it’s realistic, it pulls me out of any irrational moments of self-doubt.
Name one your strengths?
I am super stubborn to do things the way that I want, even if no one else gets it. I never settle for “good enough”. But I am also good at knowing when to let things go, or smash the delete button, if it’s simply not working. I guess that’s some small form of wisdom.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Starts with a cold brew at my favorite coffee shop, and either going to my super secret hideaway beach in Malibu or being lazy on the rooftop by the pool looking at comic books and inspirational blogs. I wouldn’t mind sneaking in my favorite video games and blockbuster movies in the evening, plus a piping hot bowl of fries from Laurel Hardware. Simple pleasures.
What is your favorite healthy food?
The perfect avocado or CA cherries fresh off the farm, depending on if I’m in the mood for salty or sweet.
And your favorite cheat food?
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Well, I’ve met Ozzy Ozbourne already so I suppose I’d have to say Coco Chanel. I feel like a lifetime of inspiration would seep into me just from smoking a cigarette with her.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to be playing shows around the world, continuing to make music and evolving my sound. I see myself far more mature as a label head for Manta, and hopefully will have developed a reputation that I’m proud of, that Manta artists are proud of, for both the label and for the artists. I also have a list of artists that would be a dream to collaborate with, so hopefully in 5 years I’ll have the honor of doing so!
How would you describe your fashion style?
I wear all black everyday, so simple but sophisticated. I know exactly what I like.
What do you think of Social Media?
Well, I don’t have social media and I haven’t for a very long time. Someone wise called social media a game-theoretic race to the bottom, and I couldn’t agree more. I see the current form of social media disintegrating and eventually being replaced by something better, something more humane. Facebook, etc does not have a place in the future. It’s just not sustainable for human health or human agency.
Where we can follow you?
I do have a small Twitch community (idoruofficial), as well as Spotify and SoundCloud, where I’ll post mixes and released music. You can buy my tracks and check out charts on Beatport or head to my website, idoruofficial.com. I’m a big fan of crypto, so of course I am on the lookout for budding decentralized social media apps!
Quote: “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed” – Albert Einstein
Movie: Blade Runner, the original and 2049
Travel Destination: Tokyo, Japan
Sports Team: I don’t watch sports but if I had to choose it would be the Jamaican bobsled team.
Maximum Love – Sometimes (including Remix from Latroit) is out now via Manta Recordings.