THE SANTA CLARA
February 19, 2014
Better known in cyberspace as Andie Roy, junior Chris Rotas is an electronic music producer whose SoundCloud page features only five of his song remixes. But each of his tracks boasts more than 17,000 listens, two of which have been played over 100,000 times.
“I was born in this generation when you can use a laptop to do anything,” he said. “I just love the fact I can release a song and within minutes someone likes it from China.”
Stuffing his tracks with swooping saxophones, playful steel drums and airy, infectious beats, Rotas’ style falls under the broad umbrella of tropical house, which has seen a recent ascendence within electronic music.
“Tropical was easy for me to jump on because it’s very simple. You just kinda play around with melodies,” said Andie Roy. “I’m playing with this idea of using some of those elements and adding it to different aspects of different genres. I like to fuse stuff and have my own identity.”
While studying abroad in Germany last autumn, Andie Roy orchestrated one of his most popular remixes with a pair of twin DJs known as Suntimechild.
“I found them on SoundCloud, and they were an hour or two away from me,” he said. “So I messaged them and I ended up booking an entire weekend to stay with them in this little village that had like 100 people.”
The collaboration produced a new twist on a classic tune. Creating an original remix, the artists meshed the vocals of Sean Kingston’s ‘Beautiful Girls’ with a hypnotically playful and popping beat.
Andie Roy composes songs, not with the lined sheets of Mozart, but by splicing his own work with samples of other tunes or a capella vocals.
“Maybe it’s not creating something completely out of nothing, but it’s broken pieces, and you’re putting the puzzle together,” said Andie Roy.
Since he was in middle school, he has been assembling these musical amalgams, exploring the different sounds and tones of songs to create something new.
“I was big into GarageBand and I just dragged the stock loops and made these little beats,” said Andie Roy. “It’s funny, I remember funding some of my stuff by convincing people to buy the CDs I sold at recess.”
These electronic origins and early days of mixing shaped the way Andie Roy approaches his craft.
“Digitally is how I understand music,” he said. “I’ve taken music theory to understand notes and stuff like that, but as important as that is, I never really think, ‘I need a C major right here.’ For me, it’s all in my ears.”
While other artists may work on three or four songs at once, Andie Roy devotes all his attention to one song at a time. He dives into the project, giving it attention until it is just right. He tinkers with his compositions until he has refined his sounds into a form that matches his vision.
“I put in a lot of hours that basically amount to nothing, but, in a way, I’m learning what not to do,” he said. “It teaches me for down the road. I’m just trying to keep this afloat, trying to keep people interested.”
Contact John Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.