Get To Know Boathouse - From CS Intern to Producer
words by Steven Goldstein
Aidan Sigel-Bruse first joined Closed Sessions as an intern. He’s now the label’s latest signing.
Meet BoatHouse, a versatile producer who draws from a myriad of different influences and a growing performer who just toured with Alex Wiley in Europe. The future is bright for 20-year-old BoatHouse, who most recently laced Lucki Eck$ with the beat for “What I Wanna.” CS and BoatHouse chopped it up to talk about Blink-182, Waka Flocka in the White House and figuratively showing the world your balls.
Closed Sessions: Word around town is that fans were pulling their ballsacks through their zippers at your last show with Wiley.
BoatHouse: This is very true. It wasn’t at the show, actually. We went to Stevens Point and we did a show for Juicy J, and we were fucking around town afterward and some girl hit us up to go to this party. They’re playing beer pong and the music selection is decent and everything’s chill, but then I look over to my right and see a dude pulling his ballsack out through his zipper. I was like, damn, bro. I went to school with kids that played this joke on people, and it’s super funny when you know the person but suuuper unfunny when you’re just at a random party and you don’t know anyone there. I turned to Wiley and let him know that nutsacks were coming out, and then two or three other dudes started doing it. One of the dudes who lived at the house just came up to me and was like, “it’s probably in your best interest to leave now. You don’t wanna stay when nuts are coming out.”
CS: For all you know, that’s a popular greeting on campus.
BoatHouse: I have a friend at Bradley that will do this joke where he pulls his nuts out and his shirt down. He’ll walk around the quad and wave real high and yell “hey guys!” I think that’s hilarious. But also, don’t show your nuts to people. I’m just tryna not show my nuts literally. Figuratively, yes. But literally, no.
CS: I also heard you were deathly ill in Germany. Seems like a dope place for a Jewish guy to get rushed to the hospital.
BoatHouse: Dude, there was a moment where I was sitting in the hotel room, coughing and blowing my nose and shit and thinking that I was going to die there. I’d bring shame to all my people, over here in fucking Berlin dying. Not cool, man. I just got sick on that trip for some reason. I think I had something before we took off, and then the flight germed me up real good. It was hard to push through, but we took a lot of naps and drank a lot of water and OJ.
CS: You tweeted the other day that Mark Hoppus might be your dad. Do we know for sure that he isn’t?
BoatHouse: He’s for sure not my dad, although I will say to a certain degree that Blink-182 did raise me. I’d like to thank my actual dad for putting me on to that; he copped the live album when I was seven and “All the Small Things” was a huge song in my house. This was back when the word “sucks” was a swear. So in “All the Small Things,” he said “work sucks, I know” and my dad turned down the volume during that part. It’s funny because on the live album they’re screaming, like, “BLOWJOBS!” and “I wanna fuck a dog” and shit. But how cool would it be if Mark Hoppus was your dad?
CS: But then Tom DeLonge would be kinda like your uncle...
BoatHouse: Awww man. He’d be the worst, talking all nasally to you about how he misses you and how aliens exist. I’d be pretty about that for about a week. But he’s also the man. I love Blink-182.
CS: So how’d you get into hip-hop after being raised on punk rock?
BoatHouse: I was like a freshman or sophomore in high school. Hip-hop had been here and there growing up; my friend had a copy of The Eminem Show and that was one of the first records I ever heard. For a minute I was super about the Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and that stuff. But in high school I was at my friend’s birthday and his cousin bought him Aesop Rock’s Daylight EP, MF Doom’s Mm, Food album, and 36 Chambers by Wu-Tang. We were playing video games or whatever and he threw on the first song on 36 Chambers and I heard “Bring the Ruckus” and I thought that shit was fucking sick.
CS: You literally caught the blast of a hype verse.
BoatHouse: Exactly! In a major way. After, I borrowed all three of those. Aesop Rock was my favorite rapper for years. I have all of his shit. I ended up getting an internship at this store called Fifth Element in Minneapolis which is owned by Rhymesayers. From there I was a super underground hip-hop enthusiast. No one at my high school could tell me shit about the Lil Wayne.
CS: You were listening to Doomtree when the rest of your school was bumping Da Drought tapes.
BoatHouse: Exactly! I didn’t think there were any better rappers than like Slug from Atmosphere and Brother Ali. Once I got off of that and stopped being a fucking dick about things, I started getting into everything and appreciating stuff for what it is. That’s really what hip-hop is. There’s such a huge range of shit. There’s nothing wrong with being able to turn up to a Gucci song and then listen to “Sunshine” by Atmosphere. It was a long growth coming into hip-hop though. Now I just like the whole thing.
CS: So you were born in Chicago but grew up in Minneapolis. Sorry about that.
BoatHouse: Eh, kind of. I have a lot of family in Chicago. My family was staying with them when I was born, but then they bought a house on the south side of Minneapolis. That’s where I grew up for a few years, then I moved to a suburb called St. Louis Park. That’s where I went to high school and met all of my friends. I came back here for Columbia College. Got accepted to that, and it just made sense to be here by my family still. I was deejaying in high school and I knew I wanted to do music stuff. But I was in the marketing and management major for one year, and that sucked because I thought I’d be able to make music and learn about this other stuff. It wasn’t fun so I switched over to recording and learned more of the studio aspect of things. I finessed that into an internship here.
CS: And they didn’t even know you made beats.
BoatHouse: Not really. I mentioned in my interview that I produce as well, but this gave me a little in to what I wanted to do. I put my head down, took the trash out when I had to, and did some of the tedious recording aspects like getting good levels. I did my shit, and when I had downtime, I plugged my laptop into Studio B and made beats there.
***A brief interlude by Michael Kolar, who walked in and repeatedly yelled “DOUBLE CUP ME PLEASE”***
CS: The name Aidan means “little flame.” Can you confirm that you’re the human manifestation of the small flame emoji?
BoatHouse: Yeah man. I’ve been going by “fuegito” now, which in Spanish means small flame.
CS: But the blogs were calling you “Wolf.”
BoatHouse: From the track I did with Lucki Eck$. I think we were just fucking around and named the session “wolf.” Something like that. I name shit crazy stuff. And I think he just accidentally credited me wrong. I hit him up and with the quickness he was super apologetic. But I think I’m still on illRoots as “Wolf.” But on the SoundCloud it says “prod. BoatHouse” and that’s cool with me. I’m all about the mystery anyway. Maybe I’m Wolf; maybe I’m BoatHouse; maybe I’m Fuegito.
CS: Is it true that BoatHouse owns neither a boat nor a house?
BoatHouse: We rent a crib. We don’t have a boat yet. But we’re hoping that by fully encompassing that of a wavvy individual, eventually a boat will just pop up. That’s the goal.
CS: That’s why we do this rap shit.
BoatHouse: Pharrell has a boat. A studio yacht. That’s what I’m going for.
CS: Wiley actually told me to ask you where your boat is.
BoatHouse: The thing about my boat is that it’s pretty much everywhere. It’s on the water. It goes wherever; it’s never in one place.
CS: Is this a spiritual boat? A sexual boat? Metaphorical boat?
BoatHouse: All of the above. It’s everything.
CS: Who’s the first mate on this boat?
BoatHouse: Uhhh, somebody’s girl. I don’t know, probably not yours. I don’t want to do that to you. If I know someone, I’m not stealing their girl. But someone I don’t know, or I don’t know it’s someone’s girl, I can bring her on the boat for sure. She can steer the boat while I go to the bathroom.
CS: Who else would sound good on BoatHouse production?
BoatHouse: Boldy James. I super love Boldy James. Dizzee Rascal. Dally Auston, Hurt Everybody, fucking 50 Cent would sound great on a BoatHouse beat. This girl Sosi is super mysterious. She has like no followers on Twitter and only two tracks on SoundCloud. But she has this song called “This is the Thing” with Drip-133 that’s blowing up. So her for sure. And Lana Del Ray. I think my sound is constantly evolving. I think everyone can find something for them.
CS: Hillary or Waka for 2016?
BoatHouse: Hill Dawg for sure. I’d love to see Hillary as President with maybe Waka as First Man. Hillary x Waka. I definitely wouldn’t like Waka running things, but I’d like him to be one of the guys.
CS: The spiritual adviser.
BoatHouse: Yes! He’s the glue keeping her whole shit together. That’s what I’d like to see.
CS: Did you have a favorite spot from the European tour?
BoatHouse: It’s a toss up between Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and I’m leaning toward the Copes. But Amsterdam was the most interesting shit I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Me and Kolar popped out after the show, smoked a joint and went walking around in the red light district on a Friday night. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I don’t think I said a word during the two hours we were there. Just soaking it all in. The prostitutes are just all in a row, knocking on the glass. You go in there, talk about what’s going to go down, they take you into a room, do your thing and then you leave. It’s so efficient. I was super not tryna do anything with any of them, but it was interesting to see. Copenhagen was just the nicest place I’ve ever been to. Everyone was friendly and there was no communication gap.
CS: Do you see anything when you make your music?
BoatHouse: I watch a lot of anime with the sound off when I make beats, but it really depends. A lot of the time I picture colors. In Minnesota there’s a lot of autumn colors. Greens, dark blues. But the anime swag when I’m making beats makes me feel like a samurai or something. I’m a fucking instrumental samurai.
CS: One word to describe the new music you’ve got coming out on Closed Sessions?