If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, and if anyone knows what’s right for an artist, it’s artists themselves
“I can work well with other producers,” Amtrac says, “but A&Rs telling me that it needs to be different so they can sell it is not artistic to me. It takes away from the value of what I produce into my work. Starting my own label pretty much opened the door for complete creative control over everything, and no red tape. I can put out whatever I want, whenever I want.”
Openers is Amtrac’s way around the suits. It’s his tunnel to freedom, and while it’s currently his personal outlet, he has plans to sign more artists and break into the party and event game down the line. The name is a nod to opening DJs, his personal favorite time slot and a craft that, in his mind, is too often overlooked.
“A good set is usually a lot of records you’ve never heard before,” he says. “It can set the tone for the rest of the night, or it can ruin the night as well. They hold a very important role in the show atmosphere. I’ve opened quite a lot of shows in my day, and I like playing opening sets as well because I get to play the weird records I don’t get to play at prime time. You can really test things out.”
That experimental mind-set is the mood Amtrac hopes to set for the label. Openers is about his creative and expressive freedom. With that at the helm, he unleashes his first EP, 1987, a collection of four simplistic house tracks aimed more for the headphone listener than the club. Its title is, in fact, the year he was born. The artwork is a disposable-camera picture his father took in his Kentucky hometown that very year. The music carries a sense of reverie, although it’s not directly a nostalgic release.
Lead single “Piano Boy” is incredibly groovy, with a repetitive melodic piano beat and almost haunting synth countermelody. The textures build with the energy on top of the steady house tempo. It’s chill, but it’s invigorating. The track got the video treatment, starring an adorable toddler kicking around a keytar synth behind colorful Miami murals.
The 1987 release is the first of many. Amtrac is totally energized in the studio thanks to his new Openers responsibilities. He’s got a forthcoming side project he’s rather excited about, but can’t yet give many details. He’s been in the studio with a lot of friends lately, learning new techniques and flows, trying to get out of his natural reclusive tendencies. It’s a bright new era, and his body is ready.
The 1987 EP is out through Openers on Friday. Check out the “Piano Boy” video below, as well as a visual teaser for his next single “Informal Disco.”