It’s always exciting to see hip-hop artists team up with musicians from other genres of music. The blending of sounds from opposite sides of the spectrum can often produce a fresh take that can be very rejuvenating. That was the case when Big Boi teamed up with electronic rock duo Phantogram for tracks “Objectum Sexuality,” “CPU” and “Lines” off 2012′s Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors. It was a thing of beauty.
With those songs being clear standouts from Big Boi’s experimental album, it only made sense that all three are working on a project together. Two years later, Big Boi revealed that they have an EP of material recorded and may expand it into an LP. But XXL wanted to dig deeper. During Phantogram’s U.S. tour promoting their sophomore album, Voices, we spoke to Josh Carter of the New York outfit about how they met Big Boi, what it’s like recording with the OutKast legend, and the expected release date of the EP Big Grams.—Emmanuel C.M.
“We were just f***ing around and Big Boi was just like, Big Grams—you know Big Boi, Phantogram—and he’s all like ‘snort the unsnortable. Big Grams.’”
XXL: How did you meet Big Boi?
Josh Carter: We first met at Outside Lands. That’s in San Francisco. He was a fan of our music because he heard one of our songs and Shazam’d it and we got a dialogue going on. Fast forward a little bit, we met him at Outside Lands and [were] completely star struck. [We] hung out in his dressing room. It was really cool. We just hit it off after that. Eventually we were on tour and we stopped by Stankonia [Studios] in Atlanta after a show and hung out. Then he ended up flying us down to Atlanta and we just worked on music with him for about 10 days.
What year was this?
Around 2011 or 2012. He was on tour for the Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty record when we met him.
What did you work on for those 10 days?
I played him a bunch of my beats and he was really vibing with them. Then I ended up producing a song called “Objectum Sexuality” and Sarah and I had co-writes to two other songs.
How is it working with him?
He’s like the coolest dude in the world. He’s so laid back and just fun to be around. It’s just positive vibes. Just the way he works, it’s just sort of relaxing. He made it comfortable in the studio.
Who approached who for the joint EP?
It just kind of happened from just hanging out a lot. It’s crazy to say, but we’re good friends with Big Boi. We were just talking about things and said, “Why don’t we just make a record together?” That’s it. Nobody really approached each other.
Did you guys already start recording for it?
The name of the project is going to be called Big Grams. We’re working and making beats almost every day. We’re just plugging away. But OutKast is on tour and Phantogram is on tour.
How did you get the name for that?
We were just fucking around and Big Boi was just like Big Grams—you know Big Boi, Phantogram—and he’s all like, “Snort the unsnortable. Big Grams.”
When do you think it’s going to be done?
I’m hoping it’s going to be done early 2015. Hopefully, we should release it early next year.
Just the idea of Phantogram and Big Boi together is pretty cool. What type of sound is the project going to have?
I think we as Phantogram bring a super interesting dynamic and elements to music in what we do. We’re working with one of the most creative legends in hip-hop of all-time. It’s going to be psychedelic. I’m looking forward to it.
What’s your favorite OutKast song?
Shoot, that’s a tough question. Sometimes I get “West Savannah” stuck in my head. [Sings] “Now now now nine in my hand, ounce in my crotch.” I really like a lot of their songs. It’s really hard to pin down. I really love Stankonia; that might be my favorite OutKast record. I like that song “Red Velvet” a lot, too. That might be one of my favorites.
Previously: Big Boi & Phantogram Are Making A Collaborative Project
Show Recap: Big Boi Rocks NYC’s SOBs with A$AP Rocky & Phantogram
Big Boi’s Track-by-Track Breakdown of Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors