Favorite ThisMinnesota opens up about making a difference (review + slideshow - Austin, TX - April 3, 2014)

Published: April 9, 2014
Interview by: Jacki (Moon) Horne
Photos by: Mario Villeda (mariovilledaphotography.com)

Minnesota, born Christian Bauhofer, is a rising EDM producer swiftly becoming notorious for his underground sound, unique bass lines, and flawless utilization of female vocals. Art Scene Alliance brought Minnesota and AMP LIVE (of Zion I) to The Parish in Austin, TX last week for a vivacious night of rich bass and relentless groove. In addition to badass beats and top-notch production, the lighting design was on point courtesy of synaesthesiax. The combination of all of these elements kept the crowd alive and dancing until the early morning hours.

I caught up with Minnesota before rockin’ out to his set and learned that as all genuine artists, Christian’s character adds to the depth of his craft. He chatted with us about the anticipated release of Voyager in May, his efforts to raise money for melanoma in his stepbrother’s memory, and how EDM artists are starting to use their platform for social change by partnering with organizations such as Electric Family.

MinnesotaThe Untz: I keep up with you on social media, and saw you're planning to release some new tunes. Do you have a release date set?
 
Minnesota: I’m aiming for May 15th, we’re working on the art and one or two more tracks for it. I’m working with a really cool designer that I actually found from Youtube videos, and really trying to get some dope beats for this release.
 
The Untz: Do you have a vision for the album/EP art?
 
Minnesota: Yes, the release is going to be called Voyager and it’s going to be a steam punk theme, with a sort of futuristic yet old-fashioned air-ship on the front. I definitely have a solid vision for the whole thing.
 
The Untz: One thing I’ve noticed is that you remix a lot of different kinds of tracks, from reggae, to other EDM with a lot of Adventure Club. Is there a certain genre that you most enjoy remixing?



 
Minnesota: I definitely prefer remixing female vocals; that’s why I’ve done a few Adventure Club remixes. There’s another [Adventure Club remix] in the promo that I haven’t released yet. The [Collie Buddz remix to] “Come Around” track was actually an acapella that I put on a track that I had already done, it felt a little bit dubby and reggae; I also want to do more reggae stuff like that.
 
The Untz: As I mentioned, I keep up with you on social media and one thing I was really inspired by was your stepmom running in the Boston Marathon to raise money for The Melanoma Foundation of New England in your stepbrother Connor’s memory. How is that going so far?
 
Minnesota: Good, she’s raised over $20,000, which is awesome. She’s running the Boston Marathon on April 21st and luckily I’ll get to be there because I have a show the next week in Boston. 
 
I’m also working on stuff personally to raise money for melanoma. There’s a company called Electric Family that makes bracelets and other apparel to help raise money for different causes, so we are working with them and hopefully doing some other stuff to raise some money [for melanoma].
 
The Untz: I actually checked out her fundraising page to share it on my social media, and noticed that she’s less than $4,000 away from her goal of $30,000. Do you think she’s going to reach that goal in the next month?
 
MinnesotaMinnesota: She’s killin’ it. It’s cool, because her original goal was $10,000 and then she raised it [her goal] to $30,000, which is higher than anyone else [participating] in the marathon. I think she will reach it, because Electric Family has been kind enough to set aside a few days where 20% of all sales will go to that [Tracy Cockerham’s fundraiser for The Melanoma Foundation of New England]. Hopefully before the marathon we can do even more fundraising.
 
The Untz: Is Electric Family just fundraising for melanoma, or are there different types of charities they work with?
 
Minnesota: This [fundraiser] will be raising money for just melanoma, but it’s really cool because each artist gets to choose what charity they want to work with. Adventure Club has one that goes to a different type of cancer; Krewella also has [a campaign].
 
The Untz: How has your platform of music along with social media played a role in raising money for the Melanoma fundraiser?
 
Minnesota: I did one post urging people to donate, but I do know that not a lot of people don’t have much to spare, which is totally fine. I do want to do some other stuff as well. For example, Bassnectar does a thing where he donates $1 for every ticket to a certain charity and I’d like to do something along those lines where a portion of merch and show money goes to charity. I’m still working on exactly what to do right now, but that’s one of my main goals this year.  
 
MinnesotaThe Untz: I feel like our generation gets a pretty bad rep about being selfish and narcissistic, but you’re using your platform for something with substance, and you mentioned other big artists like Bassnectar, Krewella, and Adventure Club are as well. How do you think social media has played a role in positive change and influenced social awareness?
 
Minnesota: There are a lot of artists within our community of underground music like GRiZ and The Polish Ambassador that are using social media for positive impact. I feel like I haven’t taken too much advantage of the ability I have to help causes like that, but from being affected personally, I really want to dive into that this year and do more than just make music; I want to raise money for causes that my family and I want to support.  
 
The Untz: What has it been like to watch your mom work to reach that goal? I know you said she started at a goal of $10,000, but raised the bar to $30,000.
 
Minnesota: It’s been good….it’s definitely a positive thing. I’m very happy that she’s raising that money, because it’s bringing her spirits up, but its still a hard thing to go through no matter what. I’m glad people are helping her reach her goal, its getting her motivated.
 
The Untz: Is there anything else you want to add about your music or yourself?
 
Minnesota: The music I’m releasing May 15th is the music I’ve been most excited for; I’ve really hunkered down and worked hard. I can’t wait to get this music out and play it for people.

Special thanks for Christian for taking the time to sit down and answer my questions, and to Art Scene Alliance for bringing this incredibly talented performer and inspirational individual to Austin. As a millienial in the bass community, I often come across the two common misconceptions that my generation is not socially engaged and electronic music lacks substance, but producers such as Minnesota prove that just the opposite is true.


Tags: Dubstep