Champagne Drip on trying new things: “Learn the rules to break them”

champagne drip

Photo credit: Webster Hall

When I asked him about who inspired him to create music, Champagne Drip aka Sam Pool cited his former art teacher Marlene Alexander as one of his biggest motivators.

When he was just two years old, his mom enrolled him in her class, and he still remembers her to this day.

He said that she taught him about composition, the creative process and the importance of taking time to obsess over work and get into the details.

“’Learn the rules to break them,’” he quoted her as saying. “I felt lucky that I got to learn that at a really early age.”

Pool’s music production certainly reflects the lessons he learned so long ago. His new track “Millennia” has a futuristic and effervescent twist, while the rest of his music falls anywhere on the melodic spectrum from tropical tracks like “Return Harbor” from his Poseidon EP to dark and dirty songs like his remix of Zeds Dead’s “Blame”.

If you’re looking for a deep dive into Champagne Drip, try his June 2016 Megamix or his recent promo mix for Nocturnal Wonderland.

Pool used to produce music under the name SPL, with dubstep songs like “The Vision” as well as drum & bass tunes like “Bristol Transmission.”

A few years ago, after hitting resistance with his SPL followers about putting out more melodic tracks, he decided to try something new under the name Champagne Drip.

“I was curious to see what people would think without knowing my history,” he said.

After being anonymous for a while, the act eventually got too gimmicky and he decided to reveal himself as Champagne Drip.

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Photo credit: Calvin Hoeun

His signature drippy sound is inspired by 80’s music and artists like Phil Collins. If I had to say, it’s be a mix between both the phantasmic synths Electric Mantis and bass-filled chaos of G Jones.

But Pool does his own thing, that’s for sure. Champagne Drip has got its own majestic, adventurous sound.

He’s released tracks on UZ’s label Quality Goods Records in the past, as well as on Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Recently, he’s been putting out music on Deadbeats, Zeds Dead’s latest project as well as supporting them on tour.

“Their influence is so big that getting just a slice of that has been really good,” he said. “Their audience is really cool. They like what I’m doing, so it just feels kind of natural.”

Pool praised other artists on the Deadbeats label like Kid Froopy, Mad Zach and ZEKE BEATS, and cited some of his other favorite acts now as Shades, G Jones, EPROM, NOISIA and Conrank.

At home, he has a strong community of support to motivate him. He loves talking creativity with his painter friend Mark Räda, while another friend Jeremy Robert Johnson, an author, helps keep him inspired and thinking.

Even his neighbor, an old friend who helped him find a new home, has always been supportive and encouraging.

“You know the classic ‘it takes a village to raise a child’?” he said. “Well, I think it takes a village to raise a musical project.”

Pool is a self-proclaimed workaholic, but loves cooking in his free time. He loves Korean food and even makes kimchi from scratch.

“It’s easy to go through a lot of it,” he said. “I usually make a huge batch now, but it takes all day.”

So what’s next for Champagne Drip?

He’ll be hitting up cities around the country with ill.Gates and will meet up with Zeds Dead and Grandtheft for a performance in DC later this year.

He’s also got another EP coming out soon on Deadbeats, as well as a track on Liquid Stranger’s label Wakaan. He’s also remixed songs for Armanni Reign and Mr. Bill, soon to be released.

“It’s been a busy year,” he said. “That keeps me happy.”

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