At Mamby On The Beach in Chicago, I had the chance to sit down with electronic artist, pluko. He’s a young producer from Pennsylvania with a lot of drive to be one of the greats. Earlier this year he announced Foreign Family Collective which is curated by ODESZA. It was a pleasure to get to know him and learn about what he’s got going on!
Ben: Take me back to when you were growing up. You’re from Pennsylvania right? What was it like there?
pluko: I grew up in the middle of nowhere, there are only like 9,000 people there. I grew up going to my sister's orchestra and band concerts and I hated going. But I always loved music but it was always shoved in my face so I didn’t want to be in the band or do any of that. It created all of these ideas and creativity that was just stuck there. I wanted to be an architect at one point so I was always designing stuff. Shortly after that was when I found music and really enjoyed making it.
Ben: How did you get into creating music? From producing to writing what sparked your interest?
pluko: I dove on to my sister's laptop one day and she had Garageband and stuff. I started experimenting on it and writing garbage tracks on it. From there I got an illegal copy of FL Studio and used that for a while. I ended up getting a legit copy of Ableton from a friend of mine who lived in my house. He got me the program for fifty bucks because he worked for Ableton. Once I had that, I really started to take things seriously.
Ben: Once you started taking things seriously, how did you break out? The music industry is pretty saturated at the moment and it has been for a few years. What was it that took things to the next level for you?
pluko: The first track that really broke out for me was the track “breathe” with my friend ye. There’s this thing called splice where you can meet and collaborate with people and I’ve never even met him before! We basically just bounced our styles back and forth and we came up with something I’ve never heard before. We just put it out on SoundCloud and it was doing decent but then Trap Nation picked it up and uploaded it to their YouTube. People started to catch on and enjoy the music.
Ben: It’s amazing how you can meet someone online and it turns into something so much more. With the momentum you have now, where do you see things elevating to?
pluko: In the beginning, it was mostly about making cool songs with a hard beat. I’ve started to explore the more meaningful and emotional stuff that will be on my album in August. Music has always been therapy for me and trying to get people to understand the message with no words is difficult. I put out the first instrumental titled “pink.” which will be on the album. I’ve been getting messages about people being emotionally connected to it and understanding it. On the album, there are about nine more instrumentals on there which makes me really excited for people to hear the full thing. I’ve just been staying true to myself the past two years and I think people are starting to get it which is really cool.
Ben: That is super cool! It’s always important to stay true to who you are and what you want to accomplish. Going off of that, it’s not as common for electronic artists to create albums. There are a lot of singles and SoundCloud records that aren’t a part of a bigger project. The route you’re taking is going to come with longevity without a doubt. Is having that longevity something that’s important to you?
pluko: The music on this album is pretty timeless in my opinion. There might be a few that are poppy tracks and mesh with other music from this generation. But I really see this album lasting and unfolding into another album after this to keep it going. The music is something that can last a while and I’m really excited about it!
Ben: Is there anybody that you see yourself collaborating with or wanting to in the future? Maybe from the vocal or lyricists standpoint?
pluko: I’ve always wanted to work with someone like Pusha T or other hip-hop artists. There are a couple of female vocalists that I’ve been really into lately. I guess when it comes to someone particular I’d say someone like Pusha T or Kendrick Lamar. I actually got to see Pusha T perform at Governors Ball recently. It was the first performance since he dropped the new album so it was really cool to see.
Ben: I’m a huge fan of hip hop so I think it’d be dope if you worked with someone like Pusha or Kendrick. Do you see yourself making your way into that lane? Similar to someone like Getter who produced a whole album for Pouya and works with other hip-hop artists.
pluko: Yeah definitely! I’m always playing around with beats and messing around with autotune. I really would like to dive into producing for rappers and other people. I’d like to get some unique stuff going in that side of music. The last year - two years has been focused on the album of course so it’ll be cool to work on stuff with other people. I’m all about hip-hop as well.
Ben: It’s easily one of the most popular genres of music right now and it’s still growing. In terms of growth, what do you see your brand and yourself in the future?
pluko: For me, I just want to keep being true to myself. I want to build the biggest and most loving fan base, like a nice collective of people who enjoy music for what it is and not the garbage that’s floating around today. I want to see it continue to prosper and create timeless music at the same time.
As you can see, pluko is humble but hungry to make his imprint on the music scene. He genuinely wants to make great music and build a community of music lovers. Make sure to keep your eye out for his album dropping in August. In the meantime, check out his music and hear what pluko brings to the table.