Classixx: From Remix Artists to Songwriters

We cornered the rising electronic artists as they rehearsed in the Red Bull Studio LA for FYF Fest.
Classixx in the Red Bull Studio LA
Classixx in the Red Bull Studio LA © Marv Watson
By Nicole Pajer

Tyler Blake and Michael David, who perform as Classixx, make electronic dance music, but don’t attempt to shove them into any of the subgenres that are used to describe the various offshoots of EDM these days.

“We never want to make music so specific that it puts us in a corner or boxes us in,” says Blake. “I feel like still at this point, the people that listen to our music could be accepting of anything that we do genre-wise or stylistically. We want to make music like Michael Jackson’s music. We want to make timeless music.”

The group was in the Red Bull Studio LA this week with vocalist Sarah Chernoff of the band Superhumanoids, rehearsing their set for FYF Fest this weekend. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Classixx, who have spent much of the year on the road. David and Blake grew up as childhood friends in the LA suburbs. They picked up the guitar together and eventually began remixing songs together under the name Young Americans. When they were sued by “an entity” with the same name, they became Classixx. “It kind of worked out,” says Blake, “because our very early stuff was just very primitive sounding in a bad way.”

As Classixx, David and Blake created remixes for Mayer Hawthorne, Major Lazer, Phoenix and other pretty big acts, before feeling the urge to create their own album of originals. ‘Hanging Gardens’ was recorded this year and came out in May to wide acclaim, earning the Classixx recognition for their songwriting, as well as their production quality.

Venturing into an album also allowed Classixx to diversify their songwriting range. "When you’re making dance music and putting out singles, people expect you to put things out that you can play in the club,” says Blake. “We wanted to be able to put some songs out that aren’t club music necessarily and that works in the format of a full length album.”

To support ‘Hanging Gardens,’ Classixx has been on the road since May. Before headlining into the studio to rehearse they left us with one road story. In Iowa, their bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. “Everywhere we looked, there was nothing for miles,” says Blake. “We got a beer in this really small bar where everybody was 70 or 80 and drinking in the middle of the afternoon. They were just dropping wisdom.”

The best piece of advice they received from the locals? “There was this 80-year-old guy talking about how he had been married for like 50 years and he told us his secret to staying on his partner’s good side: ‘Always be honest with each other.’ I was just really blown away by that. Tyler and I glanced over at each from our barstools and we had a moment.”

Check out Classixx at FYF Fest in Los Angeles on Saturday at 6:40 p.m. in Samantha’s Tent.

Follow Nicole Pajer and Red Bull Studio LA on Twitter for more updates.

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