Acyan dropped by to chat about his inspirations, the state of trap music, and the future of the Acyan project.
Hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado, Acyan is a DJ and producer who has been flying just below the radar until recently. Combining a pristine production style with his unique take on bass music, he is already rising and quickly making his way to the top. First catching listeners’ attention through his independent releases on SoundCloud in 2021, Acyan has now grown beyond that, joining a group of talented young trap producers who are changing the game as they see fit.
Acyan’s sound can be heard most prominently in his EPs, which include I’M SO HAPPY and MASCULTURE, along with singles such as “INSOMNIA” and “LATERUN.” His most recent release, a single, “OFF THE WALLS,” has also been making the rounds, capturing new and old fans alike. These releases have helped him gain support from artists like Alison Wonderland, Boombox Cartel, Buku, and Eastghost, and he’s also flexed his skills behind the decks during his live debut as support for Mirror Maze at The Black Box in Denver.
After the release of “OFF THE WALLS,” we caught up with Acyan to dive into his inspirations, his newest release, and how he broke onto the scene in Denver. Listen to his spectacular guest mix on SoundCloud and continue reading for our interview with this rising star!
Stream EDMID Guest Mix 390 || Acyan on SoundCloud:
Hi Acyan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We’re excited to share your story. To start off, let’s get into the origins of Acyan. What inspirations led you to pursue music production, and how did that influence the Acyan alias?
I mainly started producing because it was something I could use to express many of my feelings at the time. Despite the music being okay at the time, it always gave me such a strong sense of relief putting songs together. I have gotten better, and to this day, it’s been a great way for me to deal with things that are invading my life. It’s something I can do by myself and use to get out whatever I have going on in my head without judgment. I produce for myself. The musicians that inspired the sounds at the time were Ekali, KRANE, Lucian, Illenium, Keys N Krates, and RL Grime. Trap Nation and Trap City ran the soundtrack to my life at the time, and the weirder underground stuff helped me with some of my best ideas when I started out.
We see that you’re based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. What was it like breaking into the scene there? How has that challenge pushed you to grow as an artist?
Unfortunately, when I started producing, I was 14. So, I couldn’t take advantage of the scene that was growing like crazy in Denver because I was too young to go to 90% of the shows. But, and this is a hot take, I think, nowadays, it’s not really where the music I love making comes and flourishes. It’s hard balancing what our local scene is known for putting out into the world and what I love making. I still love all that Denver does for bass music in general, but putting on high-energy tunes for a crowd of people who know the city for vibing out makes it a challenge for me sometimes.
That balance is what influenced some of my earlier tracks like INSOMNIA or BLOODMOON to still have some of the energy I love but also be dark and more along the lines of 140 and deep dub. That being said, I want to try to be a voice for this high-energy sound in the area. Opening for Nitepunk at Meow Wolf recently was not only an incredible opportunity for people to see me in that light but also a great chance to understand how I could bring this to the local scene. I have some great ideas, and I’m super excited to keep moving forward with that sound.
What best gets your creative juices flowing when you’re getting into production mode?
Honestly, creating, in general, does that. Most of my favorite ideas come to me completely by accident, so having a routine of sitting down and making things, whether or not I have an idea in the moment, keeps me consistently in a creative mode. Other than that, going outside and experiencing something will generally spark ideas. I’ve been going to many shows, and I love going on road trips. Those two activities will have me dying to be home making something afterward.
Speaking of production, your most recent release, “OFF THE WALLS,” was a unique and thought-evoking track. What was going through your mind during the making of it?
“OFF THE WALLS” was created out of a similar headspace to my latest EP ‘MASCULTURE.’ It is all themed around the internet and culture at large crushing me. Spending time working on music during that time got me away from the noise and let me put a breath of fresh air in my lungs by letting myself go crazy. I see OFF THE WALLS as a kind of rebellious anthem and march into battle against whatever is trying to consume my brain.
We touched on your early inspirations, but let’s compare them to what’s in your rotation today. Are there any artists you find yourself listening to on repeat lately? If so, tell us more about their influence.
I don’t think that the artists who inspired me when I first started producing ever stopped inspiring me, but they inspire me in different ways now. A lot of how they inspire me is from their success and paths onward than their actual music, and I think newer artists that, I can only assume, were inspired by them, such as nikko & WINK, Viperactive, Control Freak, etc., are the people inspiring me on a sonic level. What’s crazy is that people will call my biggest inspirations right now my peers. It’s such a crazy honor, considering how highly I can praise their work.
We see that you’re also part of a duo called Karraki. How did that duo come to be, and where do you hope to go with it?
Me and my friend eunki met online through a mutual friend. It’s crazy that it came together, considering all three of us lived in 3 entirely different parts of the world. One day, on the server we met through, eunki posted a work-in-progress for an atmospheric DnB track. I loved it so much and asked if I could do the track’s second half. It worked out so well that we made another track together, this time as a submission for one of IMANU’s patreon remix contests.
We didn’t win, but we loved working together so much that we kept making tracks under a different alias. It’s been a super incredible experience working with eunki. I think we complement each other very well and keep each other inspired. That first track we made together is coming out soon, too, which has us both very excited.
You’re part of a cluster of artists that is reimagining trap music and contributing to what many are calling a revival of trap music. What are your thoughts on the state of trap music today?
I can’t get enough of it. I haven’t been this invested in the genre since KRANE and Quix were on their come-ups. The energy that has come from ISOxo, especially, is just unmatched, and I love how his contributions have cultivated this hysteric punk-like energy for the genre. My favorite part is that I don’t even think it has a rigid genre definition. All the artists that are a part of that wave can seamlessly switch the style to breaks, garage, big-room techno, dubstep, and back again, and it all sounds cohesive. It’s genuinely so exciting to find so many people who love this sound.
What’s coming up next for Acyan?
I have one more single coming out this year in November. I’m going to BnL’s Double Crossed, ADE, and Get Freaky next month to meet as many artist friends as I can, and that has me pumped. But 2024 is when I’m hoping for this project to truly take shape. I plan on releasing an ID mix on my birthday, January 15th. Also, the guest mix I did here also doubles as my application to hype up some crowds all around the western United States. I want to bring some energy out here so badly, I want to travel not only for pleasure but to bring entertainment with me.
Finally, just for fun, as a Fort Collins local, what’s your favorite place to grab a bite to eat that you’d take us to when we came to visit?
Cafe Mexicali is by far my favorite spot in town. There’s also a location in Boulder for those who find themselves there. The definition of fresh to me is watching them make the tortillas on the spot in front of you. Colorado, in general, has a hard time making really good food, but this is one of the places I’ll consistently recommend to people in the area. There’s not one in Denver yet, so you will have to come up to Fort Collins and visit with me to get it.