In the wane of the harvest moon over Colorado, Big Gigantic brought the noise for Rowdytown XI for two packed-to-the-brim nights at Red Rock Amphitheater with Denver fireworks in the distance. Night one was Jungle Boogie, where Big G brought us a taste of their dance music tracks off their new album, Brighter Futures 2, plus naughty, unreleased club-ready material and kept it pure with a world-class horns section. There was no stopping the dancing, even on the party bus home.
Setting the tone Friday evening were unforgettable sets from Jason Leech with blissful jamtronica feels, BIJOU‘s bursting house tunes and Wreckno‘s highly-worthy second Red Rocks appearance of the year.
Booties dropped, hands remained in the hair and the family vibes blew past the roof.
Providing a way to save the memories of the weekend was an art installation for the perfect photo ops curated by Big Gigantic’s collaboration with High Country Healing.
The energy of Area 51 was ever present on night two. The staple event brought long time brothers and sisters together from all over the world and Big Gigantic suspended the dance floor in a non-stop groove with a robust performance of classic Big G vibes and more new heat following the carefully selected opening acts: ALIGN, Wavedash and MEMBA. Explore each artist from the lineup though our Rowdytown XI program notes.
Following ALIGN‘s debut Red Rock’s set James was getting swarmed by fans on the dance floor and we connected for an interview as the Chicagoan producer levels up his music career and temporarily moves out to Los Angeles then heads out on tour in December.
How was your day leading up to your show at Red Rocks? Anyone you enjoyed meeting, present rituals or highlights from the day?
The day of the show was a roller coaster of emotions. I made sure to get to the gym and exercise a bit in the morning so that I could curb a bit of my pre-show anxiety around this one. Getting to Red Rocks was a really cool experience, I’ve been there multiple times before, but rolling up to the venue with all of my gear and setting up was just a really exiting and inspiring moment to look up at the stands and the overall venue. I got to chat with the other artists as well as meet a lot of fans so it really made for an all around awesome experience.
What were some pivotal moments along your music production and DJ career that led you to your debut performance at Red Rocks?
Last year, almost a year to the date of Red Rocks this year, I played my first out of state headline show at Larimer Lounge. This show sold out and I think that was a really great moment for me. I think I’ve had many small moments in music that have brought me here. It’s been an accumulation of playing many shows, and increasingly bigger shows, as well as working to consistently put out music that I genuinely believe in and want to share with everyone else.
When and how did Big G reach out to you about opening Saturday night of Rowdytown?
I actually got the final word from my manager that we got the show while I was on the INZO tour playing in Hawaii this year. It was a pretty special place to get the news about Red Rocks and it made my return back from the Islands very positive. I knew they had been finalizing things for Red Rocks, and I was aware that there was a chance of me being part of the show. I was waiting for them to feel finalized with everything to get any word on what type of support they wanted to have on each night and kept my expectations low, but was pleasantly surprised.
Please share about your latest LP, Endless Summer. What is the message or story behind ‘I Lost My Way’? Any other overarching concepts for the body of work?
Yes! That LP is something I really love, and I’m actually about to receive the Vinyl copies in hand to sell shortly. “I Lost My Way” is a track I wrote about writer’s block, I was incredibly stuck and I couldn’t get anything to click in my head which continued to frustrate me. I started writing “I Lost My Way” and it came together really nicely, and it oddly pulled me out of my writer’s block. I decided to put my own vocals in there and keep them down to the roots of my message.
Endless Summer is about an overall feeling or vibe of that nostalgia that you feel when you have an amazing moment or memory in your life that has passed. It’s kind of about recognizing that feeling and manifesting those moments back into your life in the future.
What life experiences have you had that inspired you to produce your style of music?
I’m constantly inspired to produce this style of music. Listening to music that is melodic yet dancy is something that always feels good to me, and I’ve noticed that it does for others as well. I love the connection involved with music in general, so I’m constantly inspired to write new music that I feel I can connect with others on, and an audience can connect with each other over as well.
I would say my style of music is influenced by a mixture of awe and wonder for nature, as well as my love of Chicago and Chicago house music. I like to blend multiple things together and that ends up creating a fun mix.
What are some vocals outside of your own productions that are resonating with you lately?
I’ve really been into cinematic music lately, and I’ve been finding some cool stuff to work with that really sets a soundscape for the listener. That’s all I can say right now…
Any new releases / collaborations in the works?
Yes! Working on plenty of new music, I’d say everyone should plan to hear 2 EPs from me by the end of 2024. I’m working with MOONz on a track, she has incredible vocals. I’m also working on some new stuff with INZO and Blookah, as well as a few other things that I can’t mention yet.
What is one life philosophy you like to live by?
The Golden Rule! Treat others the way you hope to be treated. We can’t always be perfect at this, but the more we keep it in mind, the better it makes all of us to each other. This is also the name of one of my tracks on the Endless Summer Album!