The 33-year-old producer/singer/songwriter behind the popular indie electronic act Cassettes Won't Listen and, more recently, an instrumental hip-hop project called Dfalt, adjusts his white Obey snapback and contemplates his long-running relationship with the sticky green. "I've always smoked weed, ever since I was a teenager. But yeah, I think weed has had a big influence on both Dfalt and CWL. Maybe it's helped make me as prolific as I have been."
What started as a slow trickle of tracks under his Dfalt handle has turned into a steady flow, with a late 2012 EP, Greyscale, followed this month by his first Dfalt full-length, Helsinki Beat Tape (Part One). "I go through these phases," he says. "It kinda just hits me and I'm like, I gotta sit down and work." Helsinki Beat Tape will eventually comprise a trilogy of releases, all of which he hopes to put out over the next year via his own audiovisual label, Daylight Curfew.
Yeah, he runs a label, too. In addition to Helsinki Beat Tape, they're also gearing up to release limited-edition giclee prints by street artists Bishop 203 and Sek3. "I love visual art and I don't see a lot of people treating it like you would a record...having release dates for specific artwork and prints. That idea's very exciting to me."
Listen to Helsinki Beat Tape on Soundcloud
Then there's Cassettes Won't Listen, which Drake plans to reactivate in July with CWL, the sorta-self-titled follow-up to his 2011 space-pop opus, EVINSPACEY. But more on that in a minute.
Right now, Drake is leaning back in a rolling desk chair in the windowless workspace he shares in Venice with his Daylight Curfew partner-in-crime, rapper/visual artist Bisco Smith. He's wearing a gray-green camo T-shirt and black jeans. It's a hot early summer afternoon and the beach is just blocks away, but in here it's dim and cool. He and Smith moved their base of operations from downtown to these artists' lofts about a year ago, and he's been appreciating the "secluded" vibe, away from the beat scene epicenters of the Eastside. "Lately I'm more interested in just writing and making music than being out in the scene trying to wheel and deal and network." Plus, when he moved to L.A. from New York City five years ago, "the whole goal was to live by the beach."