Summertime. All the time.
It's a pretty chill way of life and a copyrighted trademark for producer and DJ, Viceroy, who lives his life according to this motto in every aspect. His production is what's widely described as “feel good music” with disco infused and tropical house influenced sounds that have ignited his career and earned him a devoted fanbase. Just like his music, Austen is a real chill guy who embraces this summer lifestyle ideal by rocking Hawaiian shirts (he has a legit collection) and making funky “jams, not bangers” and remixes of every significant artist under the sun including, Biggie Smalls, Lady Gaga and Maroon 5.
We were able to chat with Vicreoy about his past, present and future before his FNGRS CRSSD show in San Diego. With his impressive production roster, unique sound and established brand this guy will continue to excel within the dance music world and bring the summer vibes with him.
When he's not on tour worldwide, Austen spends his off time living in San Francisco and loves being immersed in all of the diversity that comes with the city. He's an avid music fan and talks about his inspirations and favorites.
There's so much going on. Whether it's a band or any range of DJ — it's great. I'd say it's just as comparable to New York or LA. I'm just jumping all over the place listening to things, like the beat genre – I'm all over that stuff. Stuff on like Future Classic, in terms of bands this band called, Wonder Wonder – they're awesome like psychedelic rock stuff. I really like G house a lot, it's very like raw dance music – bass, drum and bassline. It's really cool. I like trap – if it's done right! There's a lot of great stuff out there, but then there's also a lot of shit. I guess that's the same with every genre.
He's been passionate about music for a long time (though he was actually deaf until he was 7!) and his passions and creativity boosted Austen into the electronic music world when he was in college as he started to experiment with mashups and DJing.
I was messing around in college with mashups and then I realized that got really old really quickly…everyone's doing it. So I was like, okay what do I do? So I just started making disco stuff and that was my senior year of college. And the rest was history! I started to DJ actually when I was studying abroad in Rome and learned there.
Viceroy is notorious for his unconventional feel good remixes of a diverse range of artists. From gangster rappers to pop stars, his revamps are one of a kind and have assisted his notoriety in the dance music world. One of his most popular “Jet Life” remixes of “Going Back to Cali” – a staple anthem in the hip-hop world.
I started that Jet Life series with a Wiz Khalifa remix and then I realized people were really responding to this, taking something unexpected and forming it into a tropical house/disco song. It got a lot of attention so I had to start doing this regularly, so I started mixing with these old school songs. I was able to remix stuff no ones been able to remix before, like the remix of Nelly and the Ignition remix.
Photo by Arlene Ibarra Photography
With popularity of Tropical House reaching an all time high this year under the likes of Kygo and Thomas Jack, veterans like Viceory embrace a similar sound – but with his own unique twist. He supports the rise of the genre and has his own vision of what's next.
I have no problem with it at all! With anything that's not popular and then gets popular some people hate on it and some people embrace it. I'm totally fine with it. It's like the big room stuff, everyone manipulates with who's doing it first to the max, and that's the only issue I have is just kids doing what Kygo does who kind of started that sounds that's popular now and I don't think I would necessarily put myself in the same category, it's not what I do something very different but in the same sense it's related.
Most producers often overlook the importance of branding themselves, which is something this guy has down to a science forming this “summertime” feel within his music, market and style.
I was always a really happy kid. I've always been really mellow and not negative. And then I was thinking of how to brand myself and I was like boom, summer. I used to go to Kaui, I always travel to warm places – I like that better than cold places. And as for my style, I really like to wear questionable floral patterns. When I started my first show, which was was put on by the Bixel Boys at The Standard in downtown LA and I just met all these guys who were really into this tropical attire stuff. And so I just started wearing it all the time, and still wearing it now!