It’s not everyday that you get to interview someone whom you truly admire, but last month the opportunity presented itself while prepping for the second weekend of Splash House in Palm Springs (read our review here).
Viceroy, born Austen Afridi, is an unofficial ambassador for the twice-a-summer event that reigns supreme over all other California pool parties. Just close your eyes and imagine this: beautiful people sunbathing by the pool, clear blue skies, hot weather, ice-cold drinks and a thumping house beat. Viceroy, otherwise known as the “Sultan of Summer” as he playfully calls himself, has been painting this exact picture for years with his music, and it finally all makes sense now — Afridi, both literally and metaphorically, has become “a ruler exercising authority” over a kingdom he created.
Showbams spoke with Viceroy about his “summertime all the time” brand, his Jetlife side project and his affinity for Hawaiian shirts, among other topics.
Showbams: You are slowly becoming the unofficial face of Splash House as the color palette and beats match the Viceroy mentality. What do you think of Splash House? Have you been to one?
Viceroy: I love the vibe at Splash House. I’ve played every single one of them, and it’s always a blast. My friends come with me, so I stay the whole weekend.
Showbams: When did you first come up with your “summertime all the time” brand, and what influenced it?
Viceroy: I came up with it when I started Viceroy five years ago. It just came naturally to me as I love summer more than anything. It really speaks to who I am as a person.
Showbams: How about Jetlife? That side project seems like a nice alternate approach to the other music you create.
Viceroy: I love 90’s hip hop and R&B. It’s fun to throw my signature sound on something that originally is so different.
Showbams: Are you still bringing a saxophone player with you to your gigs? Is it the same guy every time or do you recruit them from different cities? Do you provide a Hawaiian shirt for them as well?
Viceroy: Yes, his name is Simon and I bring him around. I’m also building out a live show with more musicians. My homies at Chubbies provide Simon with fresh shirts and shorts!
Showbams: Speaking of Hawaiian shirts, I myself have built a small collection of Hawaiian shirts after seeing you perform in Orange County back in 2014 and now I notice them at thrift stores and buy/sell/trade places in Los Angeles. That said, how many do you own? Were they all purchased brand new or are some of them second-hand/vintage?
Viceroy: I have so many that I’ve lost count. I have a rad partnership with Chubbies, so all my shorts and shirts are from them.
Showbams: Being part of the early 2000’s house music generation, I fell in love with the “white label bootleg remixes” of the time. Are any of your remixes “bootlegs?”
Viceroy: When I started, some of my releases were bootlegs for sure, but now I get commissioned to do mine.
Showbams: Who are some of your favorite collaborators?
Viceroy: I loved working with Gavin Turek on my latest single “Fade Out”. K.Flay is rad, too!
Showbams: How do you feel about B2B sets?
Viceroy: I love them! Especially if it’s with the homies.
Showbams: A lot of your remixes add a very distinct layer of piano. Did you have any formal training growing up?
Viceroy: I grew up playing the piano for several years.
Showbams: Where do you call home now?
Viceroy: Good old San Francisco!
Showbams: What are you working on now? Any EP projects in mind? Any big tour dates ahead you’re prepping for?
Viceroy: I’m working on building the live show and just more music with a potential EP in the works.