Set to disrupt the gravity tethers at this year’s MojoStock is one of the youngest and most talented dubstep artist on the scene. Cyberoptics (aka Alex Epps) humbly describes his music as “futuristic, nerdy, fun…and lots of bass.” But the quick achievements at each chapter of his game makes it’s clear his work bench is equipped for more than simple upgrades.
Having recently turned 21, Cyberoptics has only been producing and djing for a few years. Intrigued by a friend’s Fruity Loops program (now known as FL Studio), he began playing and making his own songs during the spring before his high school graduation. About a year later he made the choice to advance to the next level.
“I didn’t really get into djing until my songs got really good and I wanted to play them for people,” said Cyberoptics.
And when he started playing them, there was no way people could look away. Shortly after he began to introduce his sound, his song “Kong” grabbed the attention and signing of a hometown local in Memphis, Tennessee. This release quickly produced contact from the accomplished and talented Reid Speed, who asked if he’d make a song for her recording label Play Me Records.
“I got really inspired and was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ This was my chance to you know, like really get in the game and make it big so I made ‘Geisha,’ which was my really big release. And it went to number one, and I guess the ball kept rolling from there.”
“Rolling from there” means not only did his song ‘Geisha’ make it to number one and stay in the top five for about a month on Beatport.com, but he also went on to release several champion hits such as “Pimpin,” “Tie Fighter,” and “Toasty.” All of which placed in Beatport’s top 20.
Quick success and getting his music out to the masses, however, is not his main concern. His love for music is less about survival and fame, and more about solving the puzzle of doing something new and different.
“I definitely want to keep pushing the bar by doing new stuff, and not ripping off. I feel a lot of dubstep and music now is just ripping off of older music and it’s not really original. I just really want to make something nobody’s really heard and if I can make it to where it pleases the masses then that’s fine.”
He admitted one of his biggest challenges as a young producer and dj was competing with other djs in making his own unique sound. Despite the challenge, Cyberoptics is more concerned with his own music rather than others.
Therefore, Cyberoptics doesn’t really listen to many dubstep artists.
“As far as being a young aspiring producer or dj, I stress to not worry about what other people are making. And if you’re gonna make dubstep, or you’re gonna make whatever, I would suggest that you listen to that genre of music as little as possible. That way you don’t get influenced by other people, and you end up making what you want to make.
And at the end of the day you’re gonna be 100 % satisfied. Rather than 70 or 80% satisfied because you based your ideas off of somebody else. Personally I found when I make songs that came straight from my mind and my heart, I like them better.”
He named only one dubstep influence during the interview, Liquid Stranger.
“Liquid Stranger is one of those people that when you meet them, you automatically know that they are on another level from other people. I don’t have very many role models, but if I did have a role model, he would be one of them.
He teaches a martial arts class, he owns his own dojo which he devotes a lot of time to, and he studies Native Americanism, and things like that. So he’s culturally trying to improve aspects of his life whether it be musical, or personal aspects. And he doesn’t care if his music gets sold, or about popularity. He just wants to make good music and live his life. And that’s pretty much what I want to do.”
Some not so obvious influences included southern hip-hop such as Three 6 Mafia, old classic 70s like Kool and The Gang, and his mother and father. His mother used to sing at Carnegie Hall, and his father sang in a policeman quartet which traveled all over the country, and even sang for the president.
Also, an interest in rock and metal during his early teenage years inspired a period of time where he played guitar. Something he decided wasn’t for him.
“I just gave it up because everybody else seemed like they played guitar. So that didn’t make me feel that special.”
Finally, if you’ve ever listened to Cyberoptics’ music, it’s pleasingly obvious video games are an influence. Not just by the various sound bites he adds to his songs, but also with titles such as “Plasma Cutter,” which is the weapon used in one of the most amazing games of all time, Dead Space.
The influence is also paralleled with the hope of being able to someday make music for video games or other visual mediums.
“Video games kinda give me some sort of inspiration because it’s not something you see everyday in real life. So then you have something to relate to other than real life stuff.
I really want to have my music put to a specific visual that’s really well done, that will be seen and heard by millions of people. I feel that people relate to music more if they have something to watch or interact to with the music.”
On top of this future prospect, Cyberoptics is currently working on a full length, physical album of original songs soon to be released by Play Me Records. He is also firing off bass-filled sets with the PLAY ME Bass Monster Tour currently traveling the United States. But most importantly you can catch him here in Indianapolis during MojoStock, which takes place July 29 and 30 at Sleepybear Campground. For more information on line-up times check out: