Flaunt Premiere | Mono/Poly: Easy Living

by Paulette Ely

Mono/Poly aka Charles Dickerson is as rare of a find as they come. Despite the competitive clout culture surrounding us, the LA based producer has a genuine passion for collective consciousness that knows no division. With genre bending in his blood, Mono/Poly is set to release an incomparable album, Monotomic, on September 13, but first we got a little taste of the psychedelic bass tune, “Easy Living” premiering right here. 

Not only was the song reminiscent of lucid dreams and astral projections had by Charles himself, it is a collaborative effort with some of the most groovy in the game. With that psychedelic bass courtesy of Thundercat and vocals by Kimbra, “Easy Living” is a song that makes you really feel- both through the emotional energy it evokes and through the goosebumps it settles on your skin. 

"Charles sent me the track and I immediately connected to it. The track bed was so dreamy and evocative but when the drums drop it had a real toughness... it reminded me of being woken out of a dream state and the way we can live our whole lives in a daze,” Kimbra commented. 

Catch the visual for “Easy Living” right here and read our interview with Charles himself to get ready for the electronic escape of an album to come. 

I not only want to ask about the song and your upcoming EP, but about you as well. At what point in your life did you realize that producing was your calling?

I think it started when my Dad brought his friend’s Juno keyboard. My dad would make West Coast sounding local Bakersfield kind of shit, and then when the keyboard was brought over there was that rave sound that I would always press and I’d be like “Why don't they use this sound?!” It was actually being used at that time, but I wasn’t being exposed to all of that music- like Drum and Bass. I think it all started there, but I officially started making stuff when I was 14 or 15.I didn’t know even what to use, I just knew I needed a sampler because of my dad’s friend who was a DJ in Bakersfield. I just remember certain times when I started looking up things that I would need online. Luckily, it was all about the internet at that time which made it easier to find stuff.

You mentioned your dad being a major inspiration to the start of your music, but I also know that your upcoming EP was inspired by a Lucid Dream. Can you explain that inspiration. 

I’d say with Paramatma and Golden Skies, a lot of lucid dreams and astral projection stuff was inspiring my music in general. I was doing that heavily. Now I’m not so much, but I should be. I think that's the muse for people that are really looking for an edge and more creativity, I think that’s the way that you access it. I learned a lot from those days, so it’s there with me in a sense.

Maybe it’s because of the lucid dreaming and astral projections, but I can definitely say that your music has so many sensory specific elements. “Easy Living” has so many sensory elements that listeners can feel, so I’m wondering how it makes you feel as the creator?

I think it’s always going to be different for me since I saw the process, but it was really so magical. When Thundercat lived near me in Koreatown, I brought that beat over back in 2014. He started playing and I swear it was like I was on psychedelics. He was so in the flow, and I was like, “Wow, this is fucking magical.” When we finished that part, I immediately thought of Kimbra to sing on it. He actually introduced me to her, so I asked her if she was down to sing on it and she did it pretty quickly and sent it back. It was a completely different track at the time and it just evolved.

What was it like working with people like Thundercat and Kimbra. You’ve even collaborated with Kaytranada for the upcoming EP. How have they influenced you?

Thundercat especially influenced me a lot because we’ve made a lot of music. Everybody else, it was just really cool to see that people were down to record. I like what all of them do, like Kaytranada and Kimbra and everybody on the record. It just made me have a little more confidence in what I was doing. I wasn’t sure if people would fuck with me outside of the normal circle. It was really a new thing to me and it actually helped me see different perspectives. Im just usually kind of a hermit when it comes to my music, so I think it helped me see from different perspectives. I need that- I get stuck in my own head and I need to just relax a little bit. I’m really hard on myself, and when you get outside of yourself from collaborating you get to see where you need to let go with certain things. 

You sound like a very grounded and self aware person, and I think having people-regardless of what their name is or what they have done- with a human connection in your music just speaks to your values. With that grounding, you’ve mentioned tying chakras and consciousness to your music, when did that become a narrative through your music?

I think Paramatma was what really pushed me over. I was always into that stuff before, but I think that was the thing that I really wanted to use and a tool to wake myself up. That was what it was for myself to get out of whatever entrapments that I had in my head. I got different messages from it that I definitely didn’t realize that I put there, and that was the whole point to try to get out of my ego to some degree. I wanted to do it in a way that I wanted to let something show me something, not being attached to how its supposed to be.  That was around the time that I was doing a lot of astral projection and out of body stuff, and it really shifted the way I thought about a lot of stuff, and it made me think differently about why my name is what it is.

And why is your name what it is?

It’s mostly just saying that you are me, just in a different body. Yes, we may have different perspectives, but we’re all on one earth. We’re one thing. If we zoomed out, we wouldn't see ourselves at all. We would just see a fucking sphere. I’m “Mono, One” and “Poly, All.” We’re individual and we’re all.

Is there anything else with the album coming out that you want to tell the world about it?

Don’t expect anything. I like to be free, and I hate people’s assumptions. It’s partially because of our marketing economy. There's so many categories in music that I don’t want to be assigned to, like yeah I’m inspired by all this music- from dubstep to 70’s rock to jazz, but I don't want people to expect one thing form me. I want to be multi faceted. I want to express in a bunch of different ways. I’m simple. I just seek stimulation in some way.