Born and raised in Seattle and now based in L.A., Surf Mesa has created one of the biggest hits to come out of Tik-Tok, “ily (I Love You Baby)”. Since creating his now platinum song, he has gained over 3.5 billion streams worldwide and has been performing at festivals all over like Life Is Beautiful, Firefly, CRSSD, Splash House and more. He has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry such as, Gus Dapperton, Madison Beer, Bipolar Sunshine, Marshmello & Halsey (remix), Shawn Mendes (remix), and Becky G (remix).
He sat down with SPIN to talk about going platinum for the first time, what to expect in his new music, his goals, and much more. Stream Marching Band here and check out Surf Mesa’s electrifying SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.
Who is Surf Mesa and what do you stand for?
Surf Mesa is a project I started in high school after realizing I needed an alias at some point in releasing music lol. My project is dance music the way I hear it. Euphoric, energetic, and happy. I hope what I produce can help people come together.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
My sound originated from the music my dad would show me. Phil Collins, The Killers, Bryan Adams, and David Bowie. All notable legends that helped me shape my understanding of dance music. A warm driving feel that makes you wanna dance! It’s important to have sonic influences as this industry is collaborative at the end of the day.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
My parents at one point could only have me or my sister be in college. That meant I had to move back home to Seattle after studying in Santa Monica. There was a period of uncertainty and I didn’t want to go back home. At this very moment, same week, Capitol Records got in touch with me about my song “ily” that had been catching traction on TikTok. This was apparent that I had made it. When my song reached “Todays Top Hits” on Spotify, that’s when I couldn’t believe my name was next to the top radio hits.
What was your reaction when you first learned that you went platinum?
Every day became more of a surprise as the song gained traction. There were more and more streams each day. Then it became gold, then platinum. So it wasn’t a big surprise all at once but rather a gift that kept on giving!
Did you think “ily (i love you baby)” would get as big as it did?
Never in a million years. I just made that song to get more followers on TikTok but then it became one of the world’s biggest songs at the time.
What can fans expect from your upcoming music?
I’m excited to show people more of what I’m about. Sounds for good feels. Dance music that joins people together through the way I hear it.
What is your ultimate goal for your music?
To be able to do it for the rest of my life. To be a pioneer of my own sounds and to learn about my fans and myself through this journey.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
Performing live was something I never thought I’d do. I always just made music for fun. After Covid, shows and festivals started to open up which led opportunity for me to play, and that was an opportunity I couldn’t pass down.
What’s next for Surf Mesa?
I’m so beyond excited to show people the music I’ve been working on! That includes collaborations with some of my favorite artists and producers right now. I’ve looked up for these people for years and I know many others have too!
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
For the future of dance music, I want to hear more uplifting sounds that helps bring people together. I also want to hear more pop hits and radio songs that have dance driven production.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Enjoy the set and I hope you’ve gotten to know me a little more!