There's something so refreshingly anti-rock star about an artist who names himself "Nobody." Enter the psychedelic and obviously modest world of Los Angeles' Elvin Estela, who stares intently past genre lines to meld together hip hopt/turntablism, psych rock, and experimental elements, as heard on his latest album, Pacific Drift. Named 'Best DJ' by the L.A. Weekly, we felt it was time you got to know him.
No Cover: As a self-claimed 'vinyl junkie', what's your record store behavior like? What sorts of records do you dig for?
Nobody. Right now I'm still heavy into diggin' up '60s psych and pop records. There just seems to be so much out there to still uncover, and although they may not be as insane as some of the classics that have popped up, there is always some sort of overly psychedelic records that were just brain piercing, i.e. the Creation, the Attack, things like that. Now we know that sound is well picked, so we can move on psychedelia that is more on the mellow side, i.e., The Millennium, Sagittarius, Beach Boys. I also still gather up lots of jazz like Pharaoh Sanders, Sonny Sharrock, and things like that. Stuff is so expensive these days, so my pickings are few but I try to make them special.
NC: What appealed to you about the alias "Nobody?" were you a middle child, by chance?
Nobody: I am an only child, maybe that explains a lot. I guess I like the anonymity of it. It's not really attached to anything specific, so it could represent any sort of artist, not just a hop-hop or electronic sort of name.
NC: What was your favorite part about making your new album, Pacific Drift?
Nobody: Working with the singers and live players. I was a bit worried when I started this thing, nervous that I wouldn't be able to pull off the singers-on-sampled-beats thing because all my samples are so dissonant. It's tough to get a turntable in perfect pitch. Luckily, everyone was pro enough to work with all the weird sample nuances, especially on "Porpoise Song," where Chris really dug on the dissonance and played off of it. Everyone was really so helpful and I'm really thankful that I got to work with these great folks. It was just fun to work with other people since I'm usually alone in my bedroom staring at a small sampler and a computer. Having people over to collaborate from point one is awesome.
NC: If you had to dedicate the entire album to one person or other artist/group, who would get the honor?
Nobody: The record is dedicated to Mary Hansen of Stereolab and Sophia Clare Andrew Larson, a loved one.