Wes James, better known as Le Youth, has always had a talent for production, and the summer of 2013 has proved to be the perfect launching pad for the magic that is his musical creations. They have readily set themselves in the hearts and ears of listeners, critics, and labels alike. His latest single, “C O O L”, was recently picked up by Ultra Records, and its matching EP, fully loaded with remixes of the single by talents like Ben Pearce, ColeCo, Lane 8, and Henry Krinkle, is now available on iTunes.
EARMILK was lucky enough to catch LA-based Le Youth before he boarded his plane to NYC and get his two cents on his inspiration, cassette tapes, and desert island essentials.
EARMILK: So, who is Le Youth?
Le Youth: My name is Wes James. I’m from Los Angeles, and I’m 27.
EM: How did you decide on the name Le Youth?
LY: It started out as just Youth. I realized that wasn’t going to work out and wanted to add some mystery to it so I added the Le. It made it sort of international. I keep taking meetings with people who get so confused that I’m from the U.S. and are like, “Oh you’re American?”
EM: How and why did you first start producing music?
LY: I started playing drums at a young age and started writing songs in high school. I played in a band and it was just a natural thing for me. I always wrote and produced alone. Even in previous bands I was still writing the songs in my own studio, pretty much the same way I do now. I’ve just always been doing it. And why? I don’t know why. I guess it’s because I couldn’t help it.
EM: You have a serious knack for mixing classic R&B hits with house, disco and tropical sounds that basically ensure auditory happiness. How did that sound come about?
LY: I was definitely experimenting a lot. I was probably going for that sound when I first started doing it. It’s kind of difficult to answer that question. I’ve always been drawn to big hooks in pop music and I feel like the 90’s had so many of those, particularly R&B. That’s the sort of stuff I grew up listening to so in that aspect it was natural. As far as producing the music, I just produced what I was listening to, sampling what I was listening to, and I guess it just came out the way it did.
EM: Can you tell me a little bit about what your music making process is like?
LY: It’s not that cool of a story. There’s a lot of experimenting, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of hours in the studio. It’s all I do. My whole day is in the studio. Going to play shows is kind of draining on me because it sort of puts me out of the studio. I feel most comfortable in the studio.