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Porter Robinson

Porter Robinson

Biography

“Two years ago,” remembers Porter Robinson, “I only had the inkling of the idea that I wanted to do something different. I needed to do something that was honest and real,” Porter explains. So he turned down countless DJ offers in 2013 to spend the entire year devoting himself to a process of introspection and reinvention. “I figured that one way to develop a unique identity as an artist would be to combine all my favorite things in music — it would result in something that is really personal, a collective expression of my taste and experience. Something nobody else has.” At age 12, the autodidact started futzing around with cuts and beats on his mom’s computer using pirated software. (He’s since paid for and repped everything he nicked, as an act of voluntary reparation.) He came into his own in 2010, when he scored a No.1 Beatport hit with his crunchy, twitchy single “Say My Name,” which lead to his first gig at a tiny club in Santa Cruz, Calif. “It was very much baptism by fire because I had never seen a DJ,” Porter says of the lack of any discernible scene in Chapel Hill. “I had to more or less do it based on what I had learned on the Internet.” Needless to say, he was a quick study. His grassroots following exploded through the release of a successful EP and series of high profile DJ gigs. Then, in 2012, Porter scored an iTunes No.1 with the shimmering “Language.” Porter found himself touring five days a week, crashing at his parents’ house when he was in town. “It took me to a place where I wasn’t writing music. And I was DJing a lot of other people’s music,” he says. “I think that helped speed up how sick I got of dance music and all of its tropes.” Making worlds was an intriguing artistic challenge for him. “A huge part of my work has always been this effortful, expedited self-discovery,” Porter says. For worlds, “I would pick three things and say, ‘This song is going to have these three traits.’ And then I would start writing, and halfway through the song it would become something that I’d never heard before,” he says, citing the first track he recorded for worlds, “Divinity Made.”
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