Signing Story: DJ Porter Robinson--How He Got Signed to Astralwerks



Rolling Stone didn’t name Porter Robinson one of the top “25 DJs That Rule the Earth” in 2013 because he followed the status quo or pushed hashtags down fans’ throats. Instead, the 21-year-old EDM producer simply makes music that he truly loves and understands. Now, Robinson’s ready to enter a more alternative realm with a new album released through Astralwerks Records (an imprint of Capitol Music Group in the U.S. and Virgin EMI in the U.K.).

For Robinson––who released his debut EP Spitfire through Skrillex’s vanity label OWSLA––the choice was easy. “I think a lot of these labels were looking for the next ‘big’ EDM record, and that was obviously just not going to work. It mostly came down to finding the label that really got my vision, and these guys totally got it... they were really excited.” The Chapel Hill native considers artistic freedom and passion far more important than fame and money: “I [basically] went to every label and said, ‘Look, I’m not going to accept anything less than final cut...offer what you will for that, but I’m not going to compromise that.’ I’d rather be a failure as an artist and be unsuccessful than give up my freedom.”

“I [basically] went to every label and said, ‘Look, I’m not going to accept anything less than final cut...’”

This sort of logic keeps Robinson ahead of the “trendy” curve. He’s unwilling to follow a formula that he considers “beat”––it’s time to get back to the pure beauty and individuality of music. After just a few meetings with Astralwerks, Robinson knew he had a reliable team of unique and young-minded innovators. “Your entire repertoire of taste is something that already exists in you. Once you start combining all the stuff you love and making that your art, that’s when an artist will truly start to blow up and do well and become classic... So I went with the people that understood that.” Robinson’s as-yet-unnamed album is scheduled for release this year.
– Danica Bellini