When SIMshows last sat down with Alex Amann, the Minneapolis native was steady finding a balance between school and music production. Flavors and styles were only beginning to emerge in CFANS’s work; a TJR remix here, a dash of booty there, and maybe some house for good measure. Now months down the road, Alex Amann has been lying low- but with good reason. CFANS has finally found a unique sound; it’s redefined booty, and it’s name is summertime. Adding into the excitement, partner-in-crime Palladium is looking to make his musical re-appearance as well; but not necessarily in the way one may expect. SIMshows recently caught up with this on-the-radar local, and let us tell you -CFANS’ flashed cards are looking good.
SIM: The last time we talked in the fall, you said you were beginning to produce. Have you still been producing since then?
CFANS: Big time. I haven’t really been putting anything out.
SIM: Oh, we know you haven’t; what you been up to? Because usually when it’s quiet, it’s good.
CFANS: I got stuff 🙂 . I’m starting to explore different sounds; I’m starting to explore different genres, and I’m still learning like crazy. But right now I’m able to create something that I feel is, “me”, that I really enjoy, or something I could play out… this Saturday.
SIM: So, there are some CFANS originals on the way?
CFANS: There are, yeah.
SIM: And what style would you say [CFANS] is? Trap… twerk? Housy-trap-twerk..?
CFANS: Housy-trap-twerk. That’s exactly what it is; it’s like 120, 128 bpm, twerky-trap… bass *chuckles* It’s super cool; I feel personally that I have come a long way since [the fall]… [my production] is way better [now than my TJR remix].
SIM: I’ve also been talking to Anant Patel (Palladium), and I’ve heard you two are going to collaborate. How is that going to work out?
*Editor’s note: Anant Patel (Palladium) is a Minneapolis local that moved away to Austin, Texas last fall
CFANS: The plan is to go under the same entity [this summer], like a joint name. Whenever he plays in Austin, Texas, he’ll go by that name. Wherever I get booked up here, I’ll go by that name, and whenever we get booked together, we’ll play as that name. Any kind of music that [is] released will go under that name. [Our collaboration is] sort of like a spider web, which is what a lot of artists do; that’s how Project 46 got started. We already get along really well, and we already have [some connections in place to further the project along].
As for an official duo name? A few ideas were dropped; summertime will prove itself to be the coordinated debut. However, CFANS did tease SIMshows with a few upcoming remix releases; a Dada Life track, as well as a Boombox Cartel original, are set to wreak booty havoc sometime soon. In the meantime, Alex Amann walks the tightrope of graduate school and music production. CFANS does admit that, “It’s definitely difficult. I’m in the lab forty to fifty hours a week doing research; I’m in the lab a lot, weekends too. [But producing] is fun… [I put in] about an hour a night; it’s how I wind down. My hour is [spent] learning [how to produce better]. I have the ideas in my head, but it is so difficult to produce. I [originally] learned the software by producing beats for rappers in high school. [But] I didn’t know electronic production [than]; it’s a whole different world. You have to learn the ins and outs, [and] the shortcuts.”
SIM: You’ll be testing a few singles this weekend. When do you think “CFANS” and Palladium will release some music?
CFANS: It’ll be on the summer EP…there’s no telling how many [tracks] will be on there, but there will be a few. I’m not really worried about [the EP yet] because it’s so early right now.
SIM: REALLY, there’s an EP? Is there a name yet for it?
CFANS: I want to call it the, “Stank Face EP”; but, like I said, we need to get these tracks out there first.
SIM: And how are you and Anant Patel going to make the “spider web” transition from “CFANS” and “Palladium”, to a duo name?
CFANS: Good question. It’s hard; you literally have to drop and start anew. But what we are doing is having substance behind the “new”. In terms of Facebook, Twitter [and] Instagram, [Anant’s] got Twitter. I don’t have Twitter followers, [but] I’ve got Facebook followers. We’re going to combine profiles and change our names. We’re not going to lose any followers, but we’ll also have [some people] backing us.
SIM: And all of this has been going on amidst school. The hardest factor to deal with sounds like time management, but what’s been driving you this hard so far?
CFANS: Commitment. It’s big commitment. It’s not like you can just say, “I’m going to do this for the fun of it”; you need to sit down. You can’t rush everything, like, “Oh, I just finished a track” and send it out. You need to get it in the right people’s hands first, before [others] hear it, so that they can test it [on a crowd]. It’s like a spider web; you give [your music] to the right people, and it’ll go from there without having to be really [pushed]. And then hopefully it lands in the hands of people [higher up in the industry]. That’s what happened with my Mambo remix a year ago; I gave it to someone, who gave it to someone, who gave it to [the] TFM (Total Frat Music) website. They just posted it, and I went, “Oh, I get it”. It’s not just [about] “making music” and hoping to get famous; that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to have fun. My favorite part about [working with music] is the people around me. After a set, I want to hug people. I want to shake everybody’s hands and talk to [them] about [my set]. It’s lonely when you just DJ by yourself. Feeling the love and appreciation from people off the stage is something I really value. I feel really humbled when someone is like, “Hey, that’s really good” because I don’t think [my work] is really that good… It’s all about staying humble and understanding that [audience members] are there to have a good time.
SIM: It sounds like your goal is staying true to what you know. What’s been one of the more rewarding parts about growing and expanding as an act?
CFANS: Honestly, it’s the friends you make. The more you understand what’s going on, the more you appreciate what’s going on. It’s kind of cool to me that I don’t have the fear of not being booked anymore; you get really appreciative of what gigs you get, and you directly get the benefits. You feel like you’re actually doing something that people enjoy. This past year has been my first time experiencing fans. I’m at a LOFT after show, and someone comes up to me like, “Hey man, it’s my second time seeing you, I go to every fucking show that you’re at; you’re going to be big someday” and I really don’t know how to take that. It’s fucking humbling; people like what you do. I enjoy what I’m doing, and I’m really thankful for that [local love]. [It’s the] reason I’m playing direct support for LooKas Saturday, and I’ll be playing my heart out.
The LOFT is about to become a trap and booty playground this Saturday night. Make sure you don’t miss out on a soon-to-be night for the books; grab your tickets here.
Interviewed and Written by: Annette Lucero