On The Rise: The LOFT
Miami’s changing; our once EDM-heavy haven is growing and maturing. The same can be said about music in general; bedroom producers with little more than a laptop and an audio interface have the ability to create their own sound with professional quality and share it with the world with just a few clicks. Record labels are no longer a necessity to get your music to the masses, which gives listeners endless new music to discover and enjoy. We are no longer required to listen to the mainstream junk the radio plays, which allows us to shape our own taste in music. The crowd is shifting and, dare I say it, actually beginning to appreciate all forms of art.
This year III Points Festival will be landing in Wynwood for the third year. III Points’ lineup has a plethora of established artists that have a very original sound, the other half shows love to Miami’s blossoming music scene. One act I was pleasantly surprised to see on the lineup is future R&B duo The LOFT. The LOFT consists of singer Cristian Gomez and producer Jose Machin. With one album under their belt, a few singles, and collaborations with Niko Javan, the two have been gaining a lot of attention.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Cristian about their music and what we can expect from them in the near future. Check out what he had to say:
III Points is your first festival performance, but will this also be your first time at a festival?
No, I’ve been into music since I was sixteen. My partner and I have attended many festivals and concerts.
How does it feel to grow from a festival attendee to playing your first festival as The LOFT with just a few performances under your belt?
It’s a good feeling; it’s a nervous feeling; it’s an anxious feeling. It’s joy, yet worrisome. To prepare a new project to perform, it’s a weird thing. This is different; it’s something new. We’ve played twice and have taken it easy, but we’re mainly focused on the studio. Performing live isn’t something that we’re too familiar with doing. We’ve been in bands; I’ve put in a lot of hours on stage — but never as The LOFT.
How do you feel your sound has grown since the release of Anxxxious?
We’ve become less other people and more of ourselves. Also, our influences from the past have played a larger part. During Anxxxious, I would just listen to modern music. Now I’m all over the place. The songs are easier to digest this time around, [they’re] not pop, but they have structure. Anxxxious was very experimental, but it’s something that holds great value in my heart, because it’s so incredibly personal.
How has your personal taste in music changed? Where do you find yourself pulling inspiration from now?
I’m still into modern music, but I’ve curated playlists to genres I love. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Rock essentials: a playlist that has everything from Elton John, to Jimi, Nirvana, The Smiths, Soda Stereo, Extremoduro, and newer shit like City and Colour. It’s the best playlist. I have another one that’s old school R&B classics: Usher, Joe, Blackstreet, Aalyah, Dru Hill, and shit. One that’s all modern hardcore music, post hardcore, metalcore, deathcore. A metal one; Metallica is my favorite band of all time. But in that playlist it’s Maiden, Sabbath, Megadeth, Pantera, you know, the greats. I have a dance one, and the modern future beats, alt R&B thing. Oh, and I have a ratchet, turn up hip-hop playlist with everything from Petey Pablo, to Migos, Travis Scott and Keef.
Jose our producer sticks to his guns. Right now we’re both bumping FKA Twigs project religiously.
Do you or Jose have formal music training?
Negative, we are self taught.
Do you think that the lack of formal music training hinders your music making process?
At times I wish I knew the technicalities of my writing. When I freestyle my melodies I wish I knew the key, its scale, and the notes I sing, but it doesn’t really hinder us. We do very well with what we have. Jose is an incredible producer who knows his notes and scales, but, like me, we don’t know really know all there is to know about music.
I know that you and Jose met in a band that the two of you were a part of in high school. How did you make the transition to the genre of music you make now and where did the name The LOFT come from?
I was always listened to ambient music even when it was rock. I wasn’t making music my last year of high school; I was searching for an emotional feeling. Jose was already making different music. We’ve always been keen on music, and I noticed the new wave of artists that started to be recognized in 2011: How To Dress Well, The Weeknd, Evy Jane, JSMN and James Blake. They were all doing what I’ve wanted to be doing. I’ve always had this soulful tone to my voice, even in my rock days. So, we took from those artists, threw away and began finding what we really wanted to do. Our song “Streets” is almost a rock song. I like that diversity.
The LOFT was just a thought: I liked the living spaces. How everything is so open with barely any walls. No separations, like the way I want the music to be. No secrets in our songs, nowhere to hide
What’s the next project that we can expect from you two?
We’re two singles into the release of our new EP entitled Brickell, which shows the progression of my life since our last project. In Anxxxious, you met my character as he went through a whirlwind romance; it was a tormented love story. It was love, falling out of it, hating each other, still fucking, working things out, and then the woman goes crazy and basically single-handedly ruins my life. All of this in my Kendall suburbia. Brickell is that same man. He has a little bit of money now, and he lives among the wealthy in Brickell; he moved east from his problems and left people behind. I changed after that relationship, but this character still holds a lot of the same qualities as well as others that weren’t there before. Emotional unavailability, develops a minor drug habit, a little bit of alcoholism and all of this in the heart of the city, Miami’s upper east side Manhattan.
We have one other single in the works and a handful of collaborations with fellow III Points performers. I may do a cameo at one of their sets to perform some of these new songs. Maybe. It’d definitely be cool.
The LOFT recently released the track “Brickell” on Soundcloud. Tell me a little bit about it.
This is the title track off our upcoming EP. This song explains the life of the selfish wealthy people that inhabit this part of the city. It sums up the things that I’ve seen and the power this part of the city has. Although wealthy people still deal with problems, they battle depression and heartache; these problems are much more glamorous then they were for my character before.
You can catch The LOFT performing at the third annual III Points Festival taking place in Miami, FL on October 9-11. Tickets are affordable and can still be purchased on the official III Points website.
Connect with The LOFT