Monday, June 6, 2011

Artist of the Month : The Friendly Giant

The Friendly Giant - No More Fairy Tales (Eminem vs. Lil’ Crazed) by Drugs and Mirrors

Greg Maddux, King Middas, Geraldo Rivera....Eli Sones. Not familiar with the common denominator?
The golden touch.

The friendly giant, Eli's mash pseudonym, is, hands-down, the prince of the mash world.  He dropped his 23 track EP last week and it is near flawless. A wonderful blend of hip-hop, club bangers, pop, and even some disco.  He was kind enough to allow me to interview him, and was nothing but a gent during. Much Respect.

Mixtape Download:

Tipsy Love (Friendly Giant Mashup) by The Friendly Giant

DnM: Hey Eli, How’s it going today?
TFG : I'm great, thanks. Nice and relaxed.

DnM :Alright, I gotta clarify something, how old are you?
TGF : I'm seventeen years old.

Dnm :Haha thats wild,
What made you get into mashing at such an early age?

TGF : I sort of accidentally got into making mashups. I stumbled across this website (that no longer exists) that made it really easy to mix instrumentals and acapellas, and so after playing around on that website for a bit, I pretty much taught myself the basics of making mashups. The first five or so songs I made were absolute trash, but I eventually got a better hang of it and took it more seriously.

DnM : What really strikes me as interesting is your logo, how did you come up with that?
TGF : To be honest, I found the image online somewhere. I had made my first couple mashups and was trying to figure out what I should call myself. I was with my cousin and her best friend one day and her friend randomly said something like, "You're so tall for your age, but you're not scary at all. You're such a friendly giant." I liked the way that sounded, and I've used the name ever since. And so then I was looking for some sort of logo and I found the little monster guy online somewhere, e-mailed the guy who uploaded it to make sure it was okay, and it was as simple as that.

DnM : If I’m not mistaken your from California? This is where some of the biggest mash artists originate (Super Mash Bros, Milkman) Did they influence you at all?
TGF : Yeah, I live right in Los Angeles. I've definitely listened to a lot of their stuff, but I don't know if they've really influenced me. I'd say Girl Talk was the most influential artist for me-- I saw him at Coachella a few years ago-- in terms of introducing me to mashups and showing how much potential there is to be creative when mixing songs together.

The Friendly Giant - Too Untrue (Lupe Fiasco vs Kool and the Gang) by Drugs and Mirrors

DnM : You have a very distinctive mash sound, how would you describe it?
TGF : Hmm, I guess I would just say that I try to be as creative as possible by using songs from all different sorts of genres. A lot of times I mash up songs that people would not really expect to go well together, but hopefully I'm able to make it work and put a completely new twist on those songs. I just released my debut mixtape "No More Fairy Tales" about two weeks ago, and if you check that out, you'll find all sorts of songs used in the mashups-- electronic, rock, hip-hop, indie, funk, and even a song from a Broadway musical.

DnM : How do you decide what you are going to mash? And would you care to describe the process a little?
TGF : It's definitely a lot of trial and error. I honestly don't work on mashups that much just because I'm so busy with a lot of other things, but when I do have some time, I search on a bunch of different websites for instrumental and acapella versions of songs. If I find one I like, I go through all my files and sort of sing in my head to see if it would sound cool with another song (hopefully a song in a different genre). Sometimes I find a perfect match, but a lot of times I end up not being able to find a way to use that instrumental or acapella. The key and the tempo of the songs also make it harder to find matches (even though I can change tempo and pitch, changing it too much will make it sound too distorted), so I ideally, I try to match songs with similar tempos and keys. A lot of times when I'm listening to the radio or my iPod, I immediately (almost subconsciously) start to think if that song would work in a mashup, and many of the mashups I've released started that way. The creative aspect of choosing the right songs can be pretty difficult, but the technical aspect is actually a lot simpler than you would expect. I don't have any advanced equipment at all. I make all my mashups on my laptop using Audacity and GarageBand, both of which are free and extremely simple. I use Audacity to change tempos and pitches if I need to, and then I put the whole project together in GarageBand.
DnM : Have you had much of a chance to play live shows, or does your age hinder that?
TGF : I haven't gotten a chance to do any live shows, but maybe one day...

DnM : Now I know drugs are bad, but if you had the option to do any drug, with anyone, past, or present, who and what would it be?
TGF : Shrooms with former President Chester Arthur.
"Mushrooms find you. You don't plan them, you do not think about it, it just happens..."

TGF : Thanks again-- I really appreciate it.
DnM : Anytime Eli,

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