As Falcons and Hoodboi respectively, Graham Oatman and Roger Schami have gone from strangers to friends and collaborators. Now, you might even call them teammates.
Athletixx is the collective Oatman and Schami founded with fellow DJs and producers Promnite and Kittens earlier this year, a squad brought together by a penchant for driving electronic music looped together by a healthy wash of R&B and hip-hop influences.
Weve all been close friends for a while now, Schami said. The project came about early this year, when we decided to start compiling all the work we had done. After that, forming a crew felt pretty obvious.
The groups debut mixtape, All-Stars Mixtape Vol. 1, dropped in August, bouncing to life with the pound of a basketball and screech of shoes against the hardwood before diving headfirst into a stimulating but sophisticated set of modern L.A. club cuts.
That early dribble is more than just an aesthetic sample, though; its indicative of the mindsets Hoodboi and Falcons both carry into music. Work in play is one in the same, and they go hard with both.
For me, producing and deejaying is my sport, Oatman said. Its like what I practice and live for.
The two electronic whizzes have been fast friends since Hoodboi invited Falcons to play at one of the regular parties he was throwing at Los Globos in L.A., feeding off each other and even teaming up for a remix of Ty Dolla $igns Paranoid.
Eventually, the #BUD2BUD tour team-up was born, the second run of which stops Friday in Oklahoma City.
Being on tour [together] doesnt feel like work ever, Schami said. We have been homies for a long time, and it just made sense to tour together, Oatman added. It makes for some pretty epic high-fives on stage.
The two arent codependent on each other, though; each shines brightly in his own right, increasingly so in the past year.
Hoodboi just signed a deal with A-Trak-helmed Fools Gold Records this summer and plans to release an EP in the next few months, making a name for himself with some high-profile remixes of Chromeo and Allison Wonderland in the meantime.
Ever since high school, Ive always been a fan of A-Trak and Fools Gold, Schami said. They are family now.
Falcons, on the other hand, unveiled Birdcall, his lauded debut solo EP, in 2013, forging a new path forward from the intersection of EDM, hip-hop and R&B in the process.
I used to be a dancer, and if the music doesnt make you feel some type of way and move your body even just a little bit then I messed up somewhere, Oatman said. I dont want to sound like anyone else, so that innovation was important to me.
The remaining months of 2014 promise to be busy, with more remixes, solo EPs and even a #B2B2B2B tour with the other half of the Athletixx crew being plotted out. But like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Falcons and Hoodboi know practice makes perfect the quest for glory made easier standing side by side.