Hailing from Philadelphia, DJ, producer, and multi-instrumentalist OddKidOut has carved a sonic niche, harmonizing raw darkness with underlying grit. Recently, OddKidOut took the mainstage at Electric Zoo Festival in New York City, where he delivered a standout performance and is slated to perform at HiJinx Festival in Philadelphia. More recently, he just finished up his tour alongside bitbird label head San Holo for his “EXISTENTIAL DANCE” tour. We had the chance to speak with Butch after his recent performance at Webster Hall on 10/26.
You started your musical journey behind a drum kit at a young age and transitioned to finger drumming and production. How has your background as a drummer influenced your approach to electronic music?
I was a studio drummer so I had to learn how to play every genre, and that gave me a good understanding of not only how to craft a song, I had to play them, but I also had to make different types of music. So now as a producer, I have all these different inspirations to pick and choose from, specifically more so hip hop and metal are two really big genres and punk music that have helped me shape my sound. As a producer, you don’t have to know an instrument to play or to be a producer, but if you know how to play one, it helps a lot.
Your music is often described as an unique blend of live melancholy bass music. How would you define your signature sound and what elements do you think sets your music apart in the dance music scene?
I think it’s hard to put a name on a genre, and I believe what sets me apart is that the OddKidOut brand is always kind of ever morphing. You’re always kind of getting a little bit different. It’s still me, but it’s on different spectrums. You might have a really aggressive track that comes out. You might have a more lighthearted track that comes out. You can all tell they’re made by me. But yeah, I like to touch different emotional spectrums. My music all comes from real feelings. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes upset, so I just end up making music that reflects that. And the whole point of being OddKidOut is to do shit that’s weird. So I try and give the people different shit all the time.
You played your first show seven months ago, and since then it’s been quite a meteoric rise. You played main stage at Electric Zoo, and you’ll be playing at Hijinx in your hometown Philadelphia. Can you share about the past seven months and how you’ve grown as an artist?
It’s been a whirlwind and I’ve put in a lot of hard work. I’m very grateful, I talk about it with my manager often. To go from in seven months from nothing to this is really special. And we definitely don’t take it for granted. Its put a lot of things into perspective for me as far as how much work goes into everything. It’s helped me be a better producer now. I see how people react to my music in a live sense. I can connect with fans now, and I’ve never really had that. I have trouble crying, and I almost well up sometimes when I play because I see these people and people stop me after a show and tell me that it’s helped with mental health and that shit is what it’s all about. And that shit really touches it deeply. It’s why I make music, and it’s also forced me to pretty much face every anxiety I’ve ever had in my life. Going on tours, I’ll never complain about it, but there’s some parts that are tough and there’s things that are scary, and it forces me to be the better version of myself all the time. So all in all, music is my whole life, and I’m very grateful to be able to grow.
Your live performances are known for their mesmerizing finger drumming and bass infused energy. Can you walk us through your live show setup?
I use the machine Mk3, which is my finger drumming pad. Then I use an Ableton Push, which is another finger drumming pad, but instead of 16 pads, its 64 also, it serves as my mixer. And then I route a lot of my vsts and my drums through Ableton on my computer into those two paths and basically just perform every track off.
Besides finger drumming, what other instruments do you plan to incorporate into your live performances in the future?
A live drum set, a bass guitar, singing, and then an array of synths and midi devices. Just stuff that I can touch that makes music.
You recently had a two track release, one was ‘THE FEELING’, and then you played just earlier, ‘HOLD ON TO’ with Boy Beverly, can you tell us more about that collaboration?
Boy Beverly is my young bull. He’s this 21 year old from Philly, and I’ve been helping just develop him sonically for a couple of years. He sent me an acapella, it’s a whole three minute song, and I just took hold onto that little piece of him saying that, I chopped it and just made the track around that. And I don’t think he was disappointed. He may have expected me to use the whole song, but I just used a tiny little piece. He sent it to me from Philly when I was in LA. A couple hours later I made it and sent it back to him and he was like, this is fire. And I was yeah, it sounds good to do it.
Last year you released a track called ‘CINEMA’, which was featured as the title track for Rocket League. How did that collaboration come about and how was it like having your music incorporated into a game?
It’s a fucking dream. I grew up playing a lot of video games, specifically Tony Hawk’s Underground, and the soundtrack of that game shaped a lot of my musical inspirations as a young kid. So I’ve always kind of revered gaming soundtracks as dictators of taste. So to have that experience as a young kid and then think maybe I can do the same thing for a kid now is a dream come true. That collaboration got funneled through Monstercat and that’s how it happened.
What are your top three games that you’re playing right now?
Elden Ring would be number three. Number two would probably be Red Dead Redemption 2, and then number one would be the current Call of Duty.
Besides playing games, what do you like to do during your free time when you’re not in the studio?
If I’m not making music. I’m hanging out with my girlfriend, hanging out with friends, skimboarding. It’s a little hidden passion, go on a lot of walks. I love nature and animals. I volunteer at a dog rescue shelter, so I’ll go down there and help out some pups, talk to my mom, pretty chill, nothing crazy. Go for some drives.
What do you want to be remembered as an artist?
The biggest lesson I ever had in my entire life was when my dad passed, the one thing that I realized was that he always stayed alive based on the way that people talked about him and the stories that they talked about him. So in this sort of weird roundabout way, it almost to me feels like he’ll live forever, because I’ll always have these stories to tell and I’ll always have these things to talk about. So as an artist, I kind of think I want to adapt to that same mentality. I don’t really care about being the best. I don’t really care about being rich. What I care more about is making lasting memories on people. Whether that helps them through good times or bad times. I hope that through my music, I live forever in that sense.
I’m looking at all your tattoos. Do you have a favorite tattoo?
I have one which is a quote from Walt Whitman’s Leaves in Gras which is my favorite poem. It says, I love this one and all read this song on myself. And to me that always kind of growing up, that always kind of gave me comfort. You go through all these trials, situations and traumas and it makes up who you are. And it’s up to you to decide whether you want to be a bitch or whether you want to be a boss.
Follow OddKidOut for what he’s going to be up to for the rest of the year below: