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If you haven’t heard of NYC native Branchez, this would be the time to tune in. The young DJ/producer has been making high quality music for some time now, and he just joined Paper Diamond & LOUDPVCK on their nationwide tour. Luckily for us, one of his first stops was in Champaign-Urbana at The Canopy Club. I was fortunate enough to chop it up with him the afternoon before the show. We talked about his favorite cuisine, what he’s doing when he’s not making music, and even chatted about everyone’s favorite trap crooner Young Thug. Read what he had to say below.

UPC: So I found out about your music over a year ago due to some friends of mine reposting your stuff on Soundcloud. How crazy is Soundcloud? Is there a better way to get your music out there?

Branchez: Yeah Soundcloud, I mean, I would say that LOUDPVCK and I are here because of Soundcloud. I think the big cats, the labels and stuff, are realizing that this is where a lot of people are looking for their new music. I mean between this, Spotify, Pandora… Internet Radio is sort of taking over. But yeah, it’s a beautiful platform to give out music, and I use it a lot to find music.

UPC: Yes, definitely.

Branchez: It’s my biggest resource for that for sure… Yeah Soundcloud is the shit… I owe a lot to them.

UPC: When you’re not searching Soundcloud or making music yourself, what are you up to? I see you play basketball.

Branchez: Yeah I do play ball. Ya know, I’m 23 now, so I have to consciously be active.

UPC: I’m 24, I feel your pain dude.

Branchez: You know what I’m saying? Yeah me and my friends started playing ball more recently, it’s always mad fun and of course a good workout. I’m also one of the few DJs I know who is an avid sports fan. I’m a Knicks fan, a Jets fan, a Yankees fan… I’m struggling in all facets of sports right now.

UPC: Jets had a better year than expected though…

Branchez: True. True. But the Knicks… Man it’s a dark period right now.

UPC: Very, very dark.

Branchez: But yeah, other than that, I’m a foodie. You can take a lot of time doing that in NYC.

UPC: What’s your favorite cuisine?

Branchez: I would say like … [long pause] Man this is too stressful of a question [laughter]. It’s really hard to decide. If I had to pick one it would probably be American, cause I really fuck with hamburgers and sandwiches and stuff. I love sandwiches. But my favorite sandwich is Vietnamese, so who knows.

UPC: What’s your favorite type of venue to play? Festival? Bar? Frat house? Club?

Branchez: Well I haven’t really tasted the festival thing, but last night’s show was crazy [Grand Rapids, MI]. The guys said that was like a festival type atmosphere. So I definitely enjoy the smaller shows with like 300 people but to have 1500 kids bouncing to your music is… it’s what I do it for right now.

UPC: When you’re on tour like you are right now, do you play the same set in every city or do you have the framework of your set and then go off of that?

Branchez: On tour you definitely get in a groove… I used to be like “Fuck that! Fuck playing the same set every night”, but I realized that: A) There’s not necessarily other songs you want to be playing right now. And B) you want to deliver the best product you can and having a thought out process is not a bad thing. A good set is a good set. I personally get bored playing the same shit every night.

UPC: Right, but it is new to the crowd.

Branchez: Exactly, and it doesn’t feel boring when you see their reaction. But I’ve been switching it up, I haven’t played the same set twice on this tour. But the core is the same. If you were playing some 3 hour set at a nightclub, then you would feel it out because it’s fun, and you’re not on a stage like this, this is more of a performance. Planning it out often delivers the best results.

UPC: Word. Production software: what do you use? Ableton is the popular name right now from what I’ve heard.

Branchez: Ableton. I started with Garage Band, and Logic, and got my feet wet. Ableton is the shit. All of these programs all have the same ability, to a certain extent, it’s what you’re comfortable with. For me, I love sampling, and Ableton is like heaven for sampling.

UPC: What do you listen to when you’re not listening to electronic music? I know that’s a broad term…

Branchez: Yeah, I listen to all sorts of shit. My favorite right now is kind of that big, loud, gutter rap music. You know Young Thug.

UPC: Young Thug can’t miss right now.

Branchez: I’ve been playing Young Thug at every show on the tour so far. I don’t know if people get it, but they vibe out hard every time. I really like Fat Trel. So I like rap, but I also really like soul music. I even dabble in some classical music. I try to stay broad. I was raised on Led Zeppelin and played the drums.

UPC: Staying broad is definitely important. Other than Young Thug, what is some of your other favorite shit to play right now?

Branchez: Hmm let me think what gets me hype… Hmm… Well I usually start off with some house-y stuff in my sets. This kid Tchami, French kid, everything I’ve heard from him is crazy. I’m always excited to play that shit. This guy Waveracer from Australia is more like this melodic, dreamy, 140 BPM type shit. I like the new Cashmere Cat EP a lot. As far as some bangers, I think my favorite banger right now is the Dirty Audio remix of this Mercer song “Supreme.” It’s really fucking energetic and it’s on some marching band, going to war type shit.

UPC: I’ll have to peep those.

Branchez: Yeah and obviously every Branchez, LOUDPVCK, and Paper Diamond track ever made.

UPC: Shameless plug.

Branchez: [laughter] nah but for real, the new LOUDPVCK x Paper Diamond shit? That new “Wylin‘” track?

UPC: Goes haaaard.

Branchez: I mean I have no right to play it on this tour, but I’m adding it to my set right when I’m done with this. Just to see the reaction. Last night we all got on stage and were literally hashtag wylin’ to that shit.