San Francisco-based producer Charlie Yin, who performs as Giraffage, keeps things playful, including his upbeat, electronic pop songs and R&B remixes. Scroll through his recent Facebook entries, and you'll find a photo of Yin eating grapes, an announcement that he’s working on a new album, and stream-of-consciousness musings on his About page, including thoughts like, “force fields. eyes that shoot out laser beams. teleportation. time travel. robot science. white noise. cute emoticons. fuzzy animals. who cares. ham on my socks.” All of Yin’s posts are signed off with “your boy, giraffage,” adding to his sincerity and whimsicality.
Joining Yin on his current fall tour are acts XXYYXX, Tennyson, Qrion, Wingtip and Taoist. Who will perform with Yin changes as the tour continues; Taoist performed only at the early-October shows, and L.A.-based bedroom producer XXYYXX will join the show in Denver, then close out the October dates.
We spoke with Yin about memorable moments from tours past and present, working with XXYYXX, and his web presence.
Westword: What are five words to describe your personality?
Charlie Yin: Quirky, weird, awkward, cat lover, dog lover.
Any intention behind your whimsical social-media presence? Where did signing posts “your boy” stem from?
I guess I’m just a whimsical dude. I like when artists show their personality, and I try to do that via social media. I honestly have no idea [where the signature came from]. I did it once, and then I did it again, and now I’m in this weird habit of always signing my posts with "your boy, giraffage."
How would you describe your sound’s evolution over time?
My music is really just a reflection of what I’m listening to and how I’m feeling at the moment. I grew up listening to math rock and pop punk, so my first few songs had really poppy melodies with weird time signatures. Now I’m in a weird ’80s R&B phase, so expect to hear a lot of DX7 nostalgic sounds.
What has been a highlight of this tour thus far?
A highlight for me was a four-year-old girl coming to my show in San Diego. Her mom brought her last year, and she’s a huge fan of my stuff. She brought me a bunch of presents like stickers, candies and a handwritten note saying how I’m one of her favorite artists. My icy heart melted.
How did you team up with XXYYXX for this tour?
I did one of my first tours ever with him and have toured with him a bunch ever since. It's great, the collaboration that we did was all done through the Internet, and it was at a time when we were both young and naive, so the song had sort of an innocence to it.
Memorable moments from that initial tour with XXYYXX?
One time we got held up at the Denmark-Sweden border because they thought we were drug dealers since we had all these different types of currencies. They ended up having to strip-search all of us, and eventually let us go after a few hours.
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Giraffage performs this Thursday, October 27, at the Ogden Theatre with XXYYXX, Wingtip and Milky.WAV.
Giraffage in the wilderness.