By Rachel Toole
Chaz Bundick has had an interesting career through five studio albums as both Toro Y Moi and Les Sins, navigating in and out of different genres fluidly. It’s been an especially interesting year for him musically: his What For? – a guitar-based left turn from his previous, more electronic experiments – became the first of his albums to crack the Billboard 200 album charts, and just last week he released a surprise album with hip-hop influences, Samantha, via his Instagram. Before Samantha dropped, we grabbed Chaz for four very quick questions, minutes before his performance at last weekend’s FYF Fest.
You began as a “bedroom producer” and now you’re playing festivals regularly. How has that transition to playing in a full band been?
It’s going really well. It’s going according to plan I think.
Your music is all over the map. When you play live, do you lean toward specific areas of your discography because it’s better suited for the setting? Do you think about environments and how to perform songs live into consideration when you’re making music?
Sometimes, but usually I don’t. I write whatever comes out and let the song go where it wants. It’s fun to have some upbeat tracks and some downbeat tracks for different situations.
What are your feelings on the state of the music industry today from the artist’s perspective, as streaming and alternate distribution methods develop?
I don’t use any streaming services; I just buy music on iTunes and download music off the internet all the time. I’m all for free music. It’s just that I don’t think artists should complain about getting paid because it’s kind of ridiculous considering what their careers are. The money made from streaming is not that much, unless you’re Jay Z and Beyoncé. For artists like me it doesn’t really matter, it’s like $1,000 a year.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’ll collaborate with anyone, from any genre, or any size or status as long as the music’s good. I just saw Taylor Swift in concert the other day – I’d work with her – or something off Burger Records. I don’t really have a preference as to who it is as long as the music’s good.