Bedroom Logic is ascending through the ranks of the scene in Chicago with each passing release and performance, so get to know this rising star!
Chicago is a city that’s renowned for being a driving force in the dance music scene whether through the earliest days of house music or globally renowned festivals and nightclubs that have popped up since. The vibrant community in the Windy City has brought the world a number of artists over the years who have kept everyone grooving to the beat, and now Bedroom Logic is one who is looking to create his own legacy.
Since first emerging on the scene back in 2012, Bedroom Logic has been hard at work honing his skills both in the studio and behind the decks. Getting a taste of success over the past decade with releases on Emergent Music, Elliptical Sun, and Alter Ego among others, he’s an artist who is primed for the spotlight in the realm of trance and progressive.
Even in the wake of the pandemic, last year saw Bedroom Logic drop a number of stunners that included the Balcony EP, “Break Me,” and two collaborations with fellow Chicagoan Jeff Ozmits, “Dreaming of Home” and “Secret Sky.” Now, with a new year in front of him, he’s looking to continue that charge with new releases and plenty more in store.
Looking to gain some insight into his creative mind, we jumped at the opportunity to chat with Bedroom Logic to take a deep dive into his own history as an artist, what his recent experiences have been like, and more. Listen to his exclusive guest mix below and read on for the full conversation so you can get to know this rising star in the scene!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 255 || Bedroom Logic on SoundCloud:
Hi Jay, thanks so much for chatting with us today. Let’s kick things off by digging into your own history a bit. What (or who) were some of your earliest musical influences and helped you develop a passion to make music?
Thanks very much for having me! Your publication is awesome and I’m honored to be here.
I guess I’ve always been drawn to melody and just deeply passionate music. I started off listening to mostly punk and metal. I got the majority of my music from skate vids and from friends who were into punk, hardcore, thrash, and melodic death metal. I felt a deep connection to a lot of that stuff and still do. Something about just the raw energy of it and the passion of those genres really drew me in. That was also my first experience really being at one with a crowd of strangers at a show. The sense of community and mutual understanding is something I’ve come to really appreciate in dance music as well.
After I started learning guitar I got really into progressive metal. They’re just these long odysseys and concept albums that weave through everything from face-melting aggression to soft melodic elements but they all seem to flow together perfectly. If I was gonna list my earliest and most influential acts, I’d say Porcupine Tree, Schiller, Pink Floyd, Opeth, and Between the Buried & Me. Not a ton of dance/trance early on, but definitely shaped my taste for melody and longer arrangements that take you on a journey as a listener.
Do you remember the first time you heard dance music? Was it love at first listen for trance and progressive?
My earliest memories of hearing anything dance/electronic were at a roller rink in Mchenry, IL where I grew up. Probably in the 5th grade is when I heard “Castles in the Sky,” and artists like ATC, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method, and some of the older Ferry Corsten and Armin van Buuren. At the time it was something so foreign to me but it had such energy that I was drawn to it in a big way.
I didn’t really spend much time with it until I started learning production. I had just started learning the basics when my brother showed me a group called Above & Beyond. I was fully hooked when I heard “On a Good Day” and felt a lot of the same community and emotion in that music that I loved in punk and metal. Right around 2012, I got more serious about sound design and started to really appreciate masters of it like deadmau5 and Rob Swire, Nero, Andrew Bayer, and Sub Focus. My heart will always go to trance and progressive but anything done well with feeling is my jam.
You’ve been honing your skills for years with some fantastic releases under your belt and you delivered some massive tunes to close out the year. What was the production process like on the Balcony EP?
“Balcony” was a really fun track and it took forever to get to a place where I felt comfortable releasing it. I really wanted to do a melody and vocal that sounded ethereal and otherworldly. It took me a long time to get something I was happy with, but once I had the vocal down the uplifting vibe just kinda fell in around it. I’m a sucker for uplifting melodies, especially on piano or guitar, so those elements just kinda came naturally.
“Deviate” was me just sitting down and saying “I wanna make the gnarliest bass line I can and the most blissful breakdown” and then seeing if I could get them to fit together. It was very much a different style and tempo for me but I’m very happy with how it turned out.
When I pitched the EP to Emergent I asked if they had anyone who might wanna remix it and they said yes, but wouldn’t give me any more details until the remixes were done. I remember listening to both remixes for the first time and my jaw just hit the floor. Ericksii and Tydrous absolutely killed it and brought such unique style and taste to each track.
“Secret Sky” was another stunner you dropped as well, this time collaborating with Jeff Ozmits. Do you approach collaborations differently than solo releases? How did this specific tune come to be?
So Jeff and I have been collaborating for a while now. Before I go any further though, I really have to thank him. He’s been an awesome friend and often mentors throughout my entire experience in producing. Jeff and I like to try to push each other when we get together to write. We rarely make the same track twice. Our styles of composition and production are fairly different from one another, but that’s part of what has made it so fun to work together.
I definitely think you have to approach collabs differently than solo releases. It’s a much more communal and social process. You need to learn how to play nice with others and learn to check your own ego when necessary. I’ve found that often, learning to take a step back and trust in the other person can yield some of the best results.
Last year was devastating for the entire scene and 2021 is looking to remain fairly rocky. What was your experience like on a personal and professional level? How did you find the creativity to produce music?
Finding creativity amongst all this has not been easy. Music has always been my escape from the bullsh** both internally and externally and has always been a refuge for me. Having no shows to attend, limited personal interaction, and a dulled desire to create at all was certainly challenging.
That said, I’ve found a ton of inspiration this past year in reaching out to my peers and others in the industry. Feeling a sense of community through it all. Everyone who is in any way involved in music, live events, or even online has suffered this year, but I’ve also seen countless examples of this community supporting and encouraging each other. Knowing that we’re not alone in the fight has really helped me get through it with a positive outlook.
Pandemic aside, what’s the biggest struggle you’ve faced as an artist? How have you overcome it?
There are so many. [Laughs] Not just for me, but for anyone trying to make it in music today. Navigating self-doubt, criticism, networking, and the million social platforms you’re responsible for as an artist today will take a toll on anyone. Personally, I had to step back and ask why I really wanted to do this. I found that I just want to have fun and connect with people on a positive level. I have always leaned on music to get me through the hard times and specifically on the community of amazing people I’ve found through trance, progressive, and house music. As an artist, I hope that my music can offer that same relief to someone else.
My advice to anyone struggling with that kind of mental stuff, writer’s block, etc. is to step back and try to reconnect with your original motivation as an artist. Don’t be afraid to reach out too. Start a new collab or spend a night just enjoying music with friends (usually on Twitch these days). It helps re-ground me and always gets my motivation back.
With nearly the whole year in front of us, what goals do you have for 2021 that you hope to achieve?
First and foremost, I’m organizing a streaming event to benefit a club here in Chicago. It’s called Le Nocturne and they, like many independent music venues, have fallen on some hardship this last year. I want to do anything I can as an artist, or patron, to try and support these venues because there’s no point in re-opening if everything is closed for good.
On a more personal note, I have several vocal-based tracks coming up in 2021 and I’m really looking forward to that. I haven’t ever really done a “proper” vocal track and with the help of some friends, I’m finally breaking into that territory.
Chicago is a city with a deep legacy in dance music and is home to some of the scene’s best artists as well as renowned festivals and nightclubs. What is your favorite thing about the scene in the Windy City?
My favorite thing about dance in Chicago is the people (duh). Seriously though, The sheer amount of events, interest, and variety of style/genres in this city are amazing. I grew up in a rural town and there was virtually no interest in any electronic music at all. I spent the first several years producing by myself, showing some tracks to close friends, but I never had a scene or a group of people that were as interested in this style of music as I was. The first couple of times going to Smart Bar or seeing someone blow my mind in the Atmos system at Soundbar will always be treasured memories for me. Both for the sound and performance aspect, as well as the newfound friends I got to enjoy that with.
Thanks again for chatting, I’d love to end with a fun question for you. What are your thoughts on Chicago-style pizza? Do you have a preferred place to go? What are your favorite toppings?
[Laughs] I could literally write a short dissertation on all things Chicago pizza. I’d better not though because I don’t want to hurt any feelings. I will say this, my personal favorite for Deep Dish is Rosatti’s. (You have to find a good one though since they’re a franchise-based operation, it varies wildly from location to location.) Also if you know me, you know I’m extremely passionate about chicken wings. So get whatever pizza you like (as long as it’s a double-stuffed pan) and check out Gators Wing Shack in Palatine for the best wings anywhere near the Windy City.