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EDM Phenom Porter Robinson on His ‘Preposterous’ Success


In April, electro-house and dubsteb wunderkind Porter Robinson will be making his rock festival debut at Coachella, but the 19-year-old producer-DJ didn’t initially understand the impressiveness of that achievement. “My iTunes is literally 99 percent dance music,” says Robinson, speaking on the phone from his family home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “So I, embarrassingly, wasn’t really initially aware of the festival.” But, he adds, with a laugh, “People have given me a sense for the scope of Coachella. It’s massive, right?”

Yes, it is. But given how quickly Robinson’s career has taken off, he can be forgiven for losing sight of these things. Now signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA records, Robinson played his first ever show in October 2010. His “Say My Name” hit No. 1 on Beatport that same year. Since then he’s toured with Tiesto, released his Spitfire EP, and inked a deal to play a DJ residency this year at the luxurious Surrender and XS nightclubs in Las Vegas. “These opportunities are just ridiculous to me,” he says. “It’s preposterous.” Before these events arose, Robinson explains, “I kind of expected that I’d be a medium-level producer who had 5, 000 followers on Twitter.” But 53,000 followers later, “I’m in the position where every month something happens that, a month earlier, would’ve made me say, ‘Bullshit.’ ”

Even with all the success, Robinson is determined to stay focused on the thing that matters the most. “It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve written new music,” he admits, “but the stuff I’m working on now is going really well. I’ve completed two songs.” He has an eye on releasing a proper album towards the end of 2012, with “a bunch of singles up until then.” And what can fans expect? “I don’t want to give too much away,” he says. “But people should know that I can definitely push myself to go harder than I’ve already gone.”

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