DJOYbeat Exclusive: Autograf Talks Doing Something Different

What happens when you combine three multidisciplinary artists with a passion for fine arts and a history in music production and lock them together in a studio? An infinite wealth of creativity. What started out as a street art collective among friends and fellow producers simply known as Louis, Jake and Mikul, Autograf quickly evolved into its own unique musical project. Drawing inspiration from various sectors of music, the Chicago-based trio focuses on an eclectic blend of funk and groove that they’ve lovingly dubbed “future house” (sometimes “future soup”). We caught up with Louis before the group wrapped up their cross-country summer tour at Bardot to get the exclusive on Autograf’s story, its sound and what the future holds for this trailblazing team of artists.



First off, that Andy Warhol party looks incredible.

We started the project initially as an avenue to create and “make” art. Jake went to art school for sculpture and drawing. Mikul does street art, had art gallery spaces and is a designer and screen printer. So we came together and built an 8′ 500 lb. Future Soup can. We had the idea of taking the Boiler Room concept for parties but going one step further and turning the space into an art installation. So we made other pop-art inspired pieces for the event including Andy Warhol-inspired Autograf “Brillo” boxes, an installation of his Silver Balloons piece and a giant smoking cigarette, among other things. We call these art parties Futurist Factory which also encompasses our artist collective, soon to-be launched record label and clothing brand.

You guys have a lot going on!

Who knows what’s next; Jake wants to make some analog filters and custom instruments to create a new live show. I want to build a sculpture which explores the future of privacy. Mikul wants to build an ice sculpture. It’s about self-expression in any way, shape or form whether that be through music, art, fashion, words, anything.

This one’s pretty generic, but what’s the story behind the name Autograf?

It’s about leaving your mark in the world – it’s about leaving your “autograf.” We wanted to use this new project as a medium to create and do whatever we’re feeling at the moment.

It seems like everybody nowadays wants to start producing deep house and jump on that bandwagon, like it’s the “in” thing to do. However, I was delighted by how different some of your material is. How do you keep things fresh and unique when everybody is trying be “different”?

Well it’s not exactly “deep house.” It’s a bit difficult to categorize our music as any of the predefined genres that Beatport and others like to put everything in to. I’ve seen arguments break out online as to what genre some of ours songs should be labeled as. My favorite out of all the labels I’ve seen us listed as is “dark tropical.”

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What exactly is “future house”?

We like to call our music future house, which to us means pushing the limits of electronic music and incorporating elements of many different genres. Sure, we like house music and groovy deep basslines, but we also incorporate things like breaks, garage elements, and of course some playful tropical steel drums. So future house to us is like our mantra for Autograf. It’s about expressing yourself however you like, and making and playing whatever music you feel like making and playing.

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One of my favorite tunes by you guys is a remix you did of 50 Cent and Lil Kim’s “Magic Stick.” Where did the idea for that one come from?

I was just cruising in my friend’s 1980s convertible Nissan 300ZX out in Los Angeles and the original “Magic Stick” came on the radio, and it just dawned on me that a sexy chilled out tropical version of the song would be amazing. I suppose it was the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and palm trees all around that spawned the idea.

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What can we look forward to in the near future from Autograf?

Jake is building a studio in his backyard, which could double up as a bunker. I’ve accumulated over 300 San Pellegrino bottles, so look out for an art piece which incorporates that. And Mikul is screen printing a bunch of Brillo Boxes for our next Warhol party. Oh, and we have a bunch of new music coming out that includes a continuation of our free download “Future Summer” remix series and the debut of our first set of originals.


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