Published Thu, Aug 16, 2012 4:23 am Dateline
Updated Thu, Aug 16, 2012 9:31 am
John Jagos, a.k.a. Brothertiger, has been a staple in the Athens music scene for nearly four years.
Those that keep up with local music have probably caught one of his shows at The Union, Casa Nueva, Jackie O's, or in any number of basements around Athens.
But those in the crowd may not have known just how big Jagos’ electronica music has grown. With almost 4,500 ‘likes’ on Facebook, as well as European and U.S. tours under his belt, Jagos has garnered a worldwide following during his time in Athens, and is likely the biggest act to come out of the local scene in recent history.
Jagos first came to Athens four years ago as an audio production student at Ohio University.
"Athens is where I got my start! It’s where I played some of my first shows and where I recorded a lot of my material," he said. "Without Ahens, I wouldn’t be where I am today."
Athens was ultimately where the 'chillwave' artist would begin writing, recording, and performing as Brothertiger. However, Jagos isn’t the biggest fan of that particular tag.
"I honestly don’t consider my music to be chillwave. I think the genre is too widely characterized," he explained. "It’s weird when you see an artist you like that’s considered chillwave on some blog, but that’s the last genre you’re thinking it is."
For those unfamiliar with the genre, chillwave generally features vintage synthesizers, digital drum machines and vocals heavily laden with reverb. The music itself is relaxed, often-dreamy sounding, and draws heavy influence from bands like Air and Talking Heads.
"If anything, [chillwave] is becoming a stagnant thing. All of the ‘pioneers’ of chillwave like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro Y Moi are all breaking in to other genres," added Jagos.
Jagos is also taking his music in a different direction these days. Concerning his new album, he said his fans can expect a little more variety in terms of instrumentation and overall sound.
"The last album had a central theme to it, which was all about being young and innocent and such. This album isn’t really sticking with that. My focus for this record has been to make it sound as big and upfront as possible."
Early this fall, Jagos will be moving to Brooklyn, N.Y., to pursue a career as a music engineer and producer. He’s also looking forward to growing the Brothertiger name in the New York music scene.
"I think the plan right now is to get settled in Brooklyn for a bit and play some shows around the city," he said. "I definitely want to tour again soon, but I'm still working on finishing this new album and I’m about to make a big move to the city, so I need to focus on that."
Jagos has secured what is likely the best living arrangement for any musician trying to grow their name: A loft in a full-fledged recording studio.
"It’s actually all one big loft space. It’s called The Gallery Recording Studio," he said. "I interned there two summers ago while I was in school and one of the head engineers recently offered me an open room, so I had to take it. It was too good to be true. They have a really nice space with a ton of great gear, so it will be really cool to work with it while living there."
When asked if he thinks he’ll miss Athens life after moving to Brooklyn, the answer is yes, but Jagos clearly has his sights set on the future.
"I will definitely miss the simplicity that comes with living in Athens, but I’m also ready for the city life and what it has to offer," he said. "The key focus for me right now is just immersing myself as deeply into the Brooklyn music scene as possible, while still trying to further my career living in the city."
Take a listen to the tracks above for a taste of Jagos’ music. Included are two tracks from the recent Brothertiger release Golden Years, as well as a track from his side project Seafoam.