In the tabloid imagination, the underprivileged are depicted as degenerates. Ghetto inhabitants are lazy and stupid. Crips and Bloods are sociopaths and junkies are two-legged invertebrates. Reality isn’t so monochrome. Every shooter, look-out, corner boy and Capo is a breathing contradiction. Gangsters can be articulate, complex and emotional. Autumn in June adds to the alternate reality.
Despite sharing Ice Cube’s proving grounds and dabbling in hip-hop, he’s more Morrissey than Mack 10. “When I was younger, everybody tries to box you, especially when you come from certain places. Once you start letting that get to you, that shit is miserable. It’s the worst thing ever.” A Phil Collins stan, Autumn grips synthesizer not Glock. When friends repped the set, he hustled studio time, even working out of a trap house on unused equipment. The Mexican American produced for Suga Free as a teenager, but accelerated toward a synth highway.
Wishing to keep personal and musical tangents separate, Autumn’s true name is unknown. He focuses on art, rather than earthly details. The wistful singer’s identity is cloaked under a haze of Daft Punk, Prince and a little Depeche Mode. Debut Magenta is equal measures love lost and carnality. Narcotic episodes are recalled under neon afterglow and music to step to. This ying and yang is deliberate.
“The songwriter part of my brain is a sad soul, it’s very personal, but the producer side of me, I love happy melodies. I love to make that type of music and they both connect.” A capable beat-smith, Autumn traverses electronica’s borders, delving into new wave on “Starlight” and channeling Nile Rodgers’ boogie licks on “I Guess It’s Cool To Be Lonely.” He flexes production dexterity across 12 tracks, dabbling in trap, dance and mild dubstep. For those recoiling at the latter, these trials are a brief foray rather than seismic bass wobble. Standout tunes invoke moonman Giorgio Moroder’s Italo disco, launching into space bound synths. “Cocaine 80s” and “You’re A Model Too” mesh danceable robot-rock with moody reflection.
The 20 something fully composed, performed and engineered Magneta, opting for totalitarian approach. “The album is 100% for me. I don’t usually make music for people, I make it for myself and that’s the only way to stay true to it.” Raised in the streets, yet undefined by his past, Autumn’s odes oppose hood stereotypes. Once again, 2Pac’s message is proven true, thugs get lonely too.
People from rough areas are usually portrayed as hardened gangstas. Someone such as yourself show there’s diversity everywhere.
It’s crazy, a lot of media portrays that. Guys need to be tough, when they need to be tough, but people are real people. Criminals are seen as the worst thing ever, but it’s rarely like that. Some people have their good days and their goofy sides. I’ve known friends that are super goofy and love to be playing, but when it comes down to it they turn up and they get with it. I guess there’s a certain thing that a lot of people think because you’re from a certain area, you’re all violent and extra out there. But I feel like everybody in their own mind, not everybody is just angry like all the time. It’s human nature that people look to have fun and they do things they enjoy. There’s obviously people here and there, but that’s in every community, even in rich communities, there’s people that just love violence.