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In his own words, Clams Casino remembers the moment he dropped his double life and started taking music seriously.

January 2011 started out pretty normally for me, but within the space of 12 months, my life changed forever. I’d been in college studying physical therapy. I’d completely set myself up to believe that this was what I was going to do with my life; I studied hard, and by my final year, I was working in a hospital, learning on the job for no money.

Music had always been a hobby of mine, but in 2007 I decided to take it more seriously. I was using the internet to connect with rappers and get my beats out into the world. After a few years of sending messages to rappers on MySpace, I began producing songs for some of my favourite artists, from my room in the attic of my mother’s house. I made songs with Lil B, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Soulja Boy. That gave me the motivation to keep going.

"After a few years of sending messages to rappers on MySpace, I began producing songs for some of my favourite artists, from my room in the attic of my mother’s house"

I had a small following online from that work, and that made me feel like I was living a double life – studying and working at the hospital by day but also working hard to get more recognition during any free time I had outside of school.

In March 2011, after seeing requests from fans online asking for me to put out instrumental versions of songs I had produced for artists, I released a collection of them (Instrumentals). From here, things got more exciting. I remember being in the hospital after the tape came out, checking my phone in the bathroom and at lunch breaks in the cafeteria and seeing all of the reactions to this project. The music that I’d made as a backing for rappers to take the spotlight was being taken in a different context by fans of electronic music – a world I wasn’t completely in tune with. In fact, I was a little confused with all the genres I’d never even heard of being attached to my name.

"The music that I’d made as a backing for rappers to take the spotlight was being taken in a different context by fans of electronic music"

That moment I released my first instrumental mixtape changed everything, and changed the way I thought about my music. People started seeing me as less of a producer and more of an artist in my own right. The more textured music I was making may not have made sense to a lot of rappers, but in an electronic world, it was welcomed. Some of those beats that were never used by rappers went on to be released by Tri Angle Records on the Rainforest EP in June, and I started to see even more of a diversification of the crowds that were listening to my work. I didn’t have to fit into a box.

Moon Trip Radio is out now via Clams Casino Productions LLC