Auckland production duo SACHI (Nick Chrisp and Will Thomas) are one of the most sought after young electronica acts in New Zealand. While things might look like they’ve come quickly for them, SACHI got their spark playing rock music together at a young age. In recent years, they’ve spent time recording at Red Bull Studios in Auckland and OWLSA Studios in Los Angeles, along the way catching co-signs from Diplo, Zane Lowe, and Vince Staples. These accolades have been the outgrowth of their sensational EP release Lunch With Bianca, heavy remixes, and explosive live shows at Rhythm & Vines and Homegrown. They’re a duo that push the envelope, take creative risks that pay off, and most importantly, ‘Just Do It.’ In honor of a shoe that blends the same attitudes, we had a friendly and humorous conversation with SACHI to celebrate Nike Air Max’s 30th Anniversary – commemorating the sneakers that risked it all.
When do you think you really got serious about making music?
Will: When we were 15, Nick had been playing around in Ableton, and I’d been using Logic Audio for a bit. We went to the Flume show at Logan Campbell Centre, and it was a super inspiring moment. It was the first time I’d seen a live electronic music show. It was such an experience.
Nick: Our entry points were pretty parallel. There were a couple of other things, though. We used to make these funny videos and edit them on Premiere Pro and Final Cut. Their interfaces were pretty similar to Ableton, or Pro-Tools.
What sort of videos were you making?
Will: We were big on skits. Towards the end, we got into special effects and action movies as well. Nick got given a gorilla suit for his birthday one year, so we did a rendition of Pulp Fiction called Ape Fiction. We used to make videos with this guy Julian who was slightly older than us. He got us into people like Quentin Tarantino and Jimi Hendrix.
Nick: I vaguely remember Will’s older brother showing us The Lonely Island’s ‘I’m On A Boat’ around that time. It was a game changer for us. Also, we’ve been playing skateboarding video games for as long as I can remember: the soundtracks for all those old Tony Hawk games are so good! Being exposed to tunes like that when playing the games helped form our early taste in music. Those songs are so well matched with the visual element of the games, which is something we strive to achieve with our visuals. They have to fit the vibe and the feel of the song completely.
Nick wears Nike Air Max 90 Flyknit // Will wears Nike Air Max Atmos
How do you view the relationship between music and clothing then?
Nick: For us, clothing is a passion like music. I think music and fashion go hand in hand as well. I remember how sick it was when the Nike Red Octobers came out. One thing that is real admirable is their consistency of branding. Just do it! All we’ve been doing is just doing it.
Will: They’ve been true to themselves for forty years, and are still the top. It’s iconic
SACHI made an impact pretty quickly. What were the first opportunities that came your way?
Will: We played our first live shows in 2014 at the Mount Eden Scout Hall. We’d just bounce everything we had written down and play live off Ableton. A lot of it was on the fly, but it was sick.
Nick: After that, we got to open for Hayden James from Future Classic at Cassette Nine. That was huge for us. Being underage, we’d get kicked out of shows we were booked for sometimes. Our finesse game was fire. We couldn’t always sort it, but we’d try.
How would you define the core areas or things you need to be good at aside from just music to be a musician now?
Will: Being a musician is so much more than just being good at making music as well nowadays. You need to be good in social situations. You need to have clear art direction. Knowing how to run social media properly and engage people is really important.
Nick: We’re interested in presenting a complete vision. It’s got to be about everything, not just one aspect. We’ve tried to do it from as many different sides as possible.
What was it like when Zane Lowe premiered ‘South Central’ on Beats1?
Will: Having a premiere like that on your CV is crazy. Guys like Zane are literal tastemakers who make and break songs, the power of Beats1 is so crazy. It’s so sick that he’s a Kiwi. He’s such a bro.
Nick: For me, the success of people like Zane Lowe and Lorde overseas is super inspiring. He’ll be interviewing Jay-Z or someone, and he’ll randomly mention Mount Eden. It makes you realise what is actually possible.
Nick wears Nike Air Max 90 Flyknit // Will wears Nike Air Max Atmos
This year SACHI took out the #1 spot on George FM’s Biggest Bangers 500 Countdown. What was that like?
Nick: We were shocked when we beat out Shapeshifter. They’re such dons. They’ve held that spot for six years. It just shows the power of a good song and a good social media campaign.
Will: We had a moment of “what the fuck have we done?” We asked Jay Bulletproof from George Nights if we could paint him blue if we won, so it was pretty funny when we had to do that as well.
You’ve got a bit going on in Australia as well right?
Nick: We’ve been over to Australia a few times, but we’ve only just started playing shows over there. Our friend Joel Siviour from Falcona Agency looks after us there. It’s all about working with people who are genuinely passionate. Those people are hard to find, but Joel really is one of them. He literally just fucked with the vision from early on. If we do well, he does well. We’re jumping on an 18 show tour with Running Touch, and doing some after parties and headline shows.
What was it like playing at Homegrown this year?
Nick: Homegrown came just after we won the George FM countdown. It’s just been a really buzzy time. We haven’t put out much music the last couple years, but there were still so many fans in the crowd. We did a full live show. I sang and played keys, Will played drums, and we triggered samples off Ableton.
Will: Homegrown was one of those shows. It reminded me of seeing Flume play as a fifteen-year-old kid. Homegrown was the show I’d been waiting for. It was such a wild experience.
What else is on the horizon for SACHI?
Will: I feel like in this day and age you can do anything. It took me awhile to believe it. You can really do so much from the internet. A little can get you a long way. I think going ahead we will continue to grow as people and musicians. Having fun is the main thing, though.
Nick: We want to write the best music possible and give our fans the best experiences at our live shows. We’re going back to L.A. to write in a couple of weeks. We have new music coming out soon as well.
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