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RL Grime & Diplo in Conversation

by Arad Javaheri
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RL Grime is known as a pioneer and king of the trap scene. In this article, we cover his original alias Clockwork and the transition to RL Grime.

Why did Clockwork stop?

I was EDC 2013 or 14 and I was playing a clockwork set and I had a full panic attack when I was playing. I realized I hated the music I was playing. After finishing the set I knew I didn’t want to play that music anymore. I didn’t know what to do because I built a whole fan base around Clockwork. At the time I was trying to keep RL Grime separate and not have people know.

RL Grime started with edits and remixes, right?

The RL Grime stuff was more original. I did make a lot of mixes of music that was inspiring to me. I did an EP or two that was very under the radar and it was weird cool stuff and then did the Mercy remix that took off.

The rap music scene was awesome at the time. How did the RL Grime x WhatSoNot – Tell Me collab happen?

RL Grime: That was in 2014 it was after I put out a few of these remixes. I was doing a bunch of bootlegs and I think I heard the Get Free WhatSoNot remix and we linked up. We made that track in 5 or 6 hours.

That record for me seems like the staple of this whole trap music scene. It’s up there with the biggest dance records. That record still goes off, It has emotion and feeling but still aggressiveness. I think it defined the blueprint for RL Grime and the scene.

RL Grime: For sure, in retrospect, that is a career-defining record for me.

I remember when we played Alaska together and you did a deep-set even though it was trap music. For a while, you were the king of edits. You were in vegas and had 20 songs going on in 20 minutes. Every time you did a set I said I can’t follow RL Grime cause you dropped everything. What was it that made RL Grime transition and play songs that breathed like a house DJ would play?

RL Grime: I think I got to a place even with clockwork stuff that I was playing so many edits and other people’s music that I wanted to transition to playing my own music. The challenge for me is finding the balance between.

What’s been your favorite RL Grime set? Ever get to see Clockwork live? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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