After throwing down a frighteningly good show at SoHo in Santa Barbara, I had a chance to speak with David Crow, the rising producer known as Ghastly (and no, that’s not a Pokemon reference). This self-taught OWSLA artist had humble beginnings, starting out on a goat farm in Arizona before moving to Los Angeles, where he’s now risen to the top ranking of LA Weekly. Here’s a peak into the mind of the one they call Ghastly.
You’re one of the younger people in the electronic music industry. How do you feel this affects you and the way you make music?
Honestly I don’t feel like age has anything to do with it because I’ve seen people who are intensely younger than me do way better and people who are much older than me do a lot worse. It has nothing to do with age. It’s rad because it lets me know it doesn’t matter how old you are; you can be 14 or 48 and still make good music.
Do you need to be in a studio to produce?
Not at all, I get more inspiration being out on the road these days. The last two songs I’ve written I’ve written in restaurants or airports while just watching the world in front of me. I don’t think the studio is necessary until the final professional mix-down portion. As far as the idea, you can make it anywhere.
What producers are you keeping an eye on this year?
I would have to say Drezo, Slumberjack, and G Jones. All of them are doing some really unique stuff these days and it’s just what this music needs. Fresh sounds that push things to the next level.
What gave you the name Ghastly?
I was living in downtown LA in a place called Skid Row on 7th and San Pedro. While I was living there I was going through some motions, like I was suppose to be in a duo with this guy—just a lot of other nonsense and then I remember one day, laying in bed and thinking to myself, “what am I gonna go by?”
I remembered where I was living. Skid Row and downtown LA are crazy. Terrifying. I went to sleep every night to the sounds of sirens and people saying things like “this isn’t crack, this is meth” and it was straight ghastly. I thought, “damn, I’m Ghastly.” And I ran with it. Never thought people would associate it with Pokemon, never thought it would be associated with anything else. That’s just who I am, Ghastly.