On The Record: Graves
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Whompy, warpy, vibe-heightening electronic filth music — in terms of music satisfaction, Christian Mochizuki (aka Graves) is all about that life.
Along with encompassing much of his livelihood, creating music has also been a gateway for expression and exploration for the talented DJ, producer and audio engineer.
With a drive built on ambition and adventure, the DJ formerly known as Christian the Lion x Glitchd–k keeps his creative grind constant. Much like a detailed science experiment or tedious trigonometry equation, the process is just as important as the final outcome.
“Making music is the most frustrating thing as a producer who takes music very seriously,” said the 26-year-old wunderkid. “I don’t ever wanna release music that doesn’t move you emotionally as well as physically during the drop of a track, both of those together is what I’m aiming for whenever I make music.”
Unwilling to dumb it down for the sake of unfamiliarity has always been his calling card. Since Vice Nightclub put a premium on quality electro beats, Graves has embraced the challenge of infiltrating Honolulu club culture by evoking all kinds of craziness.
“DJing in the club, especially packed clubs is very essential in my own production because I know exactly what sounds and chord progressions make the club move in a certain way,” he said.
Graves is a beam of focus behind the CDJs and his infectious brand of dance debauchery has proved to be second to none. If he isn’t already the most in-demand local EDM DJ-producer in Hawaii, the self-proclaimed “workaholic” is certainly in the discussion.
“I spend any time I’m not doing things with my son or out DJing working on music, I literally dream about working,” he said. “All I do is work I don’t have any other hobbies or enjoy doing anything else.”
Entering amplified dimensions of creation while spending hours on end to obtain the inspired track of his desire is both the challenge and the payoff for Graves. To put his intense nature in perspective, he once jumped off a 10-foot rooftop in celebration of a great set. A chee-hoo moment, if there ever was one.
While the final version of a song is what the avid listener values most, Graves said the process, as tedious and frustrating as it can be, is a journey worth taking. Unlocking the door to new ideas, meshing sounds and obliterating mental roadblocks is part of the fun. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“99 out of a 100 times, my production and music ideas change from the point where I started to the final product I have ready to be mixed and mastered,” he said. “I’ve already come to a point in my life where I can’t and won’t allow myself to release anything that isn’t of the highest caliber of production in sound design, sonics and just general song writing.
“Success to me is sitting on the top of (the) DJ Mag Top 100, private jets, big festivals, the glory, the fame, the money, the jewels, the cash, the Denali, good times on the regular, yachts on the regular.”