DJs and producers living in Denver have it made; they live near a plethora of dance clubs, in a city known for its ties to underground dubstep, and they have the benefit of beautiful mountain views and legal cannabis for inspiration. But what an artist does with these benefits is what truly defines a musical career. For Digital Vagabond, also known as Patrick Boyle, following through has never been an issue. Between producing dubstep, DJing and running his company, Lost in Sound, Digital Vagabond stays busy by chasing the dream and making good things happen in his local music scene. CULTURE caught up with him to talk music, the human struggle and cannabis as medicine.
“Each of my production sessions starts with a heavy dosage of THC. The physical and mental benefits play nicely with the studio workflow.”
How did you get started making music?
Music was an integral part of my upbringing. My parents made a point to teach us a little bit of every instrument we had in the house. My stepfather played in several regionally touring bands, so I’ve been at gigs on the weekends, coiling cables and carrying speakers, for as long as I can remember. I’d come home from school miserable from the day’s druthers, and my stepdad would need a drum take for a cheesy new pop song he was working on. Little did I know he was giving me the keys and discipline to unlock my own creative freedom later in life.
How do you feel about the genre you are a part of? What kind of support do you have?
I’m normally down with any style of music that expresses true emotion and a sense of the human struggle. I lean more towards music that brings people together rather than alienates. That being said, “sound system culture” has become that sense of community for myself and many others. The quality of sound presentation allows for music of any style to be portrayed accurately, providing a level playing field for multi genre artists and DJs.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? Could anything be done better or differently?
After watching my mother completely rehabilitate her 30-year chronic pain issues with heavy CBD treatment, I have zero doubts about the healing benefits of cannabis. Like many other creative children, I was a test subject for Zoloft (anti-anxiety) when I was about nine. I took myself off of it at 12 while at summer camp and replaced it with cannabis not soon after. From then on I was a minor having to buy my medicine from “drug dealers” on the regular. Luckily I grew up in Vermont where quality cannabis is fairly accessible, but nonetheless I was underage purchasing an illegal substance from adults who thought I was “chill” enough to keep it quiet. Cannabis wasn’t the gateway drug here; I can’t even say it was the Zoloft. The real gateway was the threshold I had to cross daily between legal and illegal. I think we all know what can happen to kids who spend too much time on the other side of that threshold. My hope is that with the popularization of cannabis and hemp, the rest of the world can begin to share the immeasurable benefits of both.
Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how?
I often make music that incorporates the styles of dub or reggae. This music is heavily rooted in cannabis and soundsystem culture. The syncopated rhythms and repetitive delays mixed with the mild hallucinatory nature of THC make for a nice psychotropic audible effect for the listener. Many of my mixtapes on SoundCloud are dedicated to or themed after cannabis as well.
How has cannabis affected your life and creative processes?
Each of my production sessions starts with a heavy dosage of THC. The physical and mental benefits play nicely with the studio workflow. For long sessions, the anti-inflammatory relief can do wonders on the body as well. Cannabis is a great palate cleanser for the whole psyche.
Photos courtesy of Lucidlightstudio.com