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Adding to SBTRKT

Mysterious UK electro producer discusses ignoring boundaries.

Although some might suggest that SBTRKT bridges the boundaries between DJ-produced electro and traditional rock, he says he doesn't let anything like genre stand in the way of composition.

"In terms of writing music, I don't think about boundaries," says Aaron Jerome, the U.K.-based producer who becomes SBTRKT when he puts on an African-themed mask and gets in front of a console. "I think there are so many facets of music out there -- I'm just going to keep trying different ideas."

Best known for the smooth electropop single "Wildfire," Jerome spent March cruising music festivals -- from the all-encompassing SXSW conference in Texas to electronic-focused Ultra Music Festival in Miami.

SBTRKT refers to the idea that Jerome is "subtracting" his personal identity from the music. Unlike other electro acts, who perform hunched over buttons, SBTRKT focuses on live performance using live drums and collaborating with singer Sampha.

"I try to use the best instruments possible for each environment," says Jerome.

And after the recording is completed, he says the songs continue to evolve in a live setting.

"Every week, I'm adding new sounds, new synths," he says. "[The songs] are constantly developing and writing themselves."

In touring through the U.K., Australia and now the U.S., the one thing that Jerome has noticed about SBTRKT crowds is the reaction.

"It's always kind of crazy that the songs you create have meaning in the world," he says.

Drizzy gets busy




Jerome’s unique approach has caught the ears of high-profile acts — including Drake, who remixed “Wildfire.”

“After that, I tweeted at him and he said he was going to come down to the show. … I didn’t think that it would happen,” says Jerome about Drake’s guest appearance at his show in Toronto last summer.

The artist says he has recently been speaking with OutKast and Odd Future about potential collaborations.