台灣 Beatmaker 指標人物 Farragol，早期以「Luviia.」為名，並以〈 新橋戀人1991 〉在國際上打開知名度。後來改名為 Farragol，傑出及豐沛的創作力，讓他受到英國 Boiler Room (英國極具影響力的音樂平台) 的音樂藝人專題報導。對於節拍掌握輕鬆自如的他，大學畢業之前竟完全沒有學過音樂，一路以來靠著自我學習、摸索，找到屬於自己的創作風格。藉著此次合作發行《 MindCasule 》的機會，Cassette Hunter 很榮幸能夠專訪 Farragol，與大家分享他的音樂創作之路。
Farragol, an iconic Taiwanese Beatmaker, started out with the name "Luviia" in his early days and got international fame with the song “新橋戀人1991". Later, he changed his name to Farragol, and his outstanding and abundant creativity has been featured by the Boiler Room (a highly influential music platform in the UK) as a music artist. Farragol looks great at making beats; however, he has never studied music before graduating from university, and he has been learning and exploring on his own. On the occasion of the collaborative release of the album "MindCasule", Cassette Hunter was honored to interview Farragol and shared his music journey with everyone.
CH: Did you have any music background in the past?
F: I am a halfway starter (lol) . I had never studied music at all before. I like dancing and listening to music, so I joined Pop Dance Club when I was in college. I was curious about how hip-hop music was made, so I started to explore it by myself after graduation. I watched videos on webs and asked for some advice from other seniors.
F：大概是 2011 年吧！其實我的本業是工業繪圖軟體工程師，原本在高雄工作。當時有認識一些做 beats 的音樂人，像是 Hans、Jizo。Hans 跟奇清唱片主理人黃茶也都是好朋友，他們好像從大學時代開始就是嘻研社的，很早就在接觸 Hip Hop。一開始，我有試著自己做一些音樂分享到 SoundCloud。有一次 Hans 發現到我，就邀請我跟他們一起交流。Jizo 和 Hans 也是平時都有往來，所以自然而然都會認識。 不過，那時覺得自己的創作不夠成熟，跟國外的比起來還是有差異，怎麼聽就是覺得不一樣。就開始在想，要怎麼調整、改善。後來偶然在 SoundCloud 認識日本很有名的 beatmaker「bugseed」，他建議我到國外學習，多與外國的 beatmaker 交流，或許可以有所突破。畢竟國外的風氣盛行、作品完成度也高，有任何問題都可以快速地獲得解答，成長速度也會更快。
早期 SoundCloud 上創作者的交流很活躍，我在那認識了一個創作者住在美國維吉尼亞。很巧的是，bugseed 介紹了一位創作者也住在維吉尼亞，因此促成我飛過去。那裡的 Lo-fi Hip Hop 風氣很興盛，他們很常邀請 beatmaker 到自家辦活動、交流。我也趁機觀察他們怎麼做、用什麼器材，盡可能地多看多學。
當時我差不多 31 歲，原本的工作也做了一段時間，始終找不到目標和熱情。但我對音樂卻充滿熱情。所以我在 2012 這年決定辭掉工作，專心做音樂，並開始試著將作品放上 Bandcamp 銷售。
CH: When did you officially started making music and what was the turning point?
F: Around 2011. Actually, I was a graphics software engineer. At that time, I met some musicians who were making beats. They seemed to have been in Hip-Hop club since they were in college, so they got know more about Hip-Hop early on. However, during that period, I thought my music works were not mature enough, which was still pretty different from foreign ones. I started to think about how to adjust and improve them. Afterwards I accidentally met a famous Japanese beat maker named “Bugseed” on SoundCloud. He suggested that I should study abroad and learn from others. Perhaps it was a breakthrough because Lo-fi Hip-Hop music was more popular and full-grown in overseas, so I could learn it faster. In early times, artists on SoundCloud were actively engaged in swapping music ideas, so I met a beatmaker on it who lived in Virginia, US. Coincidentally, Bugseed introduced me a friend also lived there, so I grabbed the chance and then set off. Lo-Fi Hip-Hop was flourishing in Virginia, so beatmakers who lived there often held events and exchanged their ideas. I took the opportunity to observe what they did and what equipment they used, and I learned as much as I could.
After returning to Taiwan, I have been doing my regular job for a while at that time, but I couldn't find my goal and passion on it. However, I was very passionate about music, so I decided to quit my job and focus on making music since 2012. Meanwhile, I tried to sell my merchandise on Bandcamp.
CH：台灣的樂迷對於 Bandcamp 可能有點陌生。當初會選擇在 Bandcamp 銷售的原因是什麼？
F：簡單的說，它像是台灣的 Street Voice音樂平台，加上音樂人可以販售自己商品的功能。Bandcamp 目前有很多各國的音樂創作者、廠牌將音樂放上面銷售，也吸引眾多的樂迷購買。即使是小眾的音樂，也會有樂迷在那尋找音樂。它是一個接觸國外市場的好平台。以我來說，我的樂迷大多來自美國，特別以美國西岸最多，可能他們覺得我的音樂風格很美式吧！亞洲的話，就是日本、韓國、香港為主。
其實我在 SoundCloud 經營時間是比較久的，但那邊無法販售音樂。所以我的做法是，專輯發行的時候同步在SoundCloud 上宣傳，再把樂迷引導到 Bandcamp 購買，所以大約 90% 的樂迷都是從SoundCloud 帶到 Bandcamp 的。
CH: Taiwanese fans may be unfamiliar with Bandcamp. Why did you choose it to sell your merch?
F: The main reason is that there are many artists and labels from different countries selling their music products on Bandcamp, even the alternatives, which attracts a lot of fans to buy. It is a friendly platform to reach international markets. To me, my fans are from the US, especially from West Coast. Probably they think my music is American style. As for Asian fans, they're mainly from Japan, Korea and Hong Kong.
Actually, I have been operating SoundCloud for a long time, but I can't sell my products there, so my approach is to promote the album on SoundCloud when it is released, then guide the fans to Bandcamp to buy there. Therefore, approximately 90% of the fans are from SoundCloud.
Editor's note: Bandcamp is an American Internet music company that was created to support musicians. Labels and artists can upload their digital or physical albums for sale, and give fans the opportunity to support the artists they like.
F：原本我把artist name取做「Luviia.」，主要做 Lo-fi 和 Hip Hop。後來我覺得做音樂應該要多樣性發展，所以就開始嘗試 House、Vaporwave、實驗性的音樂。也是因為這樣，後來決定把名字改成「Farragol」，代表更多元化的創作，也是給自己的期許。奇妙的是，我發現改名之後，在 Bandcamp 上更容易被注意到了，可能跟我的音樂做得更廣也有關係。所以我想，不論是在 Bandcamp 或 SoundCloud 上經營，維持自己音樂的多樣性是蠻重要的。
CH: Have you got any special thoughts on managing Bandcamp these days?
F: I was initially named my artist name as "Luviia." on Bandcamp, who mainly produced Lo-fi and Hip Hop. However, I thought I should diversify my music genres. In this case I decided to change the name to "Farragol" to represent my diversified creativity and self-demanding. The amazing thing was, I found that after changing my name, I was more easily noticed on Bandcamp, probably it was also related to those different music genres I've made. As a result, I think it is quite important to keep my records in varied.
日本搖滾夯團 RADWIMPS 的主唱野田洋次郎，2012 年起以「Linn Mori」之名開始創作 beats，並展開了名為「illion」的 solo project，展露出有別於 RADWIMPS 的作品風貌。《 Luvlin 》是 2013 年 Farrgol 與 illion 共同合作的 beattape。
F：一開始是受到國外 beatmaker 的影響，看到他們著魔似地發錄音帶，就想說也來試試看。因為只要有卡座機，就可以將音樂錄到卡帶裡，對於獨立的音樂人相當方便。我之前都是給廠牌發行，自己發的話是從 2015 年開始，我都是用卡座一對一對錄，加上手工包裝，很花時間。加上還要顧小孩，所以發行數量也沒辦法太多(笑)。
CH: In today's music industry, digital marketing is the vast majority way of releasing records. Why did you want to release cassette tapes?
F: In the beginning, I was influenced by overseas beatmakers and saw that they were obsessed with releasing cassette tapes, so I'd give it a shot. I've been making tapes by myself since 2015. Nevertheless, I can't release in large quantities because I have to record my works one to one, and pack them on my own. Also, taking care of the kids is one of the reasons of it. (LOL)
CH：對於 Lo-fi Hip Hop 未來的發展性，有什麼看法？
F：我覺得 Lo-fi Hip Hop 未來還有蠻大空間的。對創作者來說，製作的門檻沒有很高，很容易入門。加上很多平台持續都有在推廣 Lo-fi Hip Hop，對聽眾來說，一聽到就會覺得這音樂好適合在開車或讀書聽，所以我覺得還在未來發展上還能再持續一段時間。
CH: What is the future of Lo-fi Hip Hop in your opinion?
F: I think there is a long way to go. To the artists, making Lo-fi Hip Hop isn’t really hard, once you want to learn it. In addition, there are many platforms constantly promoting it. As for listeners who hearing it, they would think the genre is good for listening to while they're driving or studying. Therefore, I think Lo-fi Hip Hop could continue to develop in the future.
CH：現在想做 Lo-fi 的人越來越多，有沒有一些想法或建議，提供給這些未來新進的創作者？
F：在台灣做 beatmaker 蠻辛苦的，在美國西岸可能會好一些，因為整個氛圍和環境截然不同。我覺得台灣與國外的主要的 Lo-fi 音樂發展差異在於「人與環境」，人的素質會造就、影響整個環境的發展。我會希望未來能有更多人喜歡、欣賞這個類型的音樂，讓它有機會能搬上主流市場。就像 J Dilla，連 Janet Jackson 這樣大咖的主流歌手，都會找他合作，還獲得葛萊美獎。
CH: There are more and more people who want to make Lo-fi music nowadays. Do you have any advice for these budding artists?
F: It's pretty hard to be a beatmaker in Taiwan. Probably the situation would be better in the West Coast of the US. When it comes to Lo-fi music, I think the main difference between Taiwan and foreign countries are human qualities and the environment, which bring about the atmosphere flourishing or not. I hope that more people will like this genre of music, so that it can have chances to publish on mainstream market. Just like J Dilla, a producer who was collaborated with Janet Jackson and won a Grammy.
I've received messages from new artists saying they want to make beats and invite pop stars to sing their songs. They desire to fame quickly and earn a lot of money. I just told them in a very straight way, "It's impossible." You can only make music step by step. Don't try to reach the sky in a single bound. I think it's important to spend more time on themselves and sharing their works so that more people will notice them, and they will be seen.
CH：最後能否跟我們分享一下，這次新專輯《 MindCapsule 》的創作概念？
F：這次很高興受到 Cassette Hunter 和感傷唱片行的邀約，有機會發行這張《 MindCapsule 》。當時得知主題是外太空，我就直覺聯想到 SpaceX 首度發射成功的新聞。從這點出發，去想像如果是一位太空人，在浩瀚宇宙中寂寞地漂浮，會聽什麼樣的音樂。這張專輯也是我第一次嘗試以電影劇情的發展去做曲目的規劃。A 面講的是太空人在太空艙內，孤獨地聽著從家鄉帶來的卡帶，回憶起在地球上生活的點點滴滴。B 面則是太空人如願以償、返回地球，與家人朋友相聚，卻感覺心靈依然空虛。因此才恍然大悟自己其實早已習慣漫遊在太空，在太空中找到了真正的自己。整張專輯的節奏都是跟著劇情走，整張專輯的 beats 是有起伏、連貫的，希望大家會喜歡！
CH: Lastly, could you share with us the concept of your new album "MindCapsule"?
F: I was so happy to accept the invitation from Cassette Hunter and Kind of Blue Records to release “MindCapsule”. When I was told that the topic was about outer space, I came up with SpaceX’s 1st successful launch immediately in my head. From the perspective of the news, I started to imagine what kind of music an astronaut would listen during his single stay in space. This album is also my first time to make the release plan which is based on film scenario. Side A is about the astronaut, listening the cassette lonesomely he brought from his hometown, and recalling his life on the Earth. Regarding B-side story, the astronaut finally returned to Earth, and he accomplished his dream of family reunion. However, his mind felt blank. He suddenly realized that he has already gotten used to the life in space and found his true self at there. All rhymes in this album are followed with the scenario. I hope everyone will like it!
來自台灣的 Hip-Hop Beatmaker / Collagist，自小沉浸在 70 至 90 年代的 Jazz、Soul、Funk 等音樂環境中，熱愛在不同領域學習、創造自我獨特音樂風格。善於利用取樣技巧來創作各式音樂，創作初期以「Luviia.」之名發表〈 新橋戀人1991 〉一曲打開知名度。2013 年起陸續在國內外眾多音樂廠牌發行個人 Beats tape 錄音帶專輯與合輯，並正式更名為 FarragoL，推進更多創作能量。
Profile of Farragol
A Taiwanese Hip-Hop Beatmaker / Collagist who has been immersed in various music styles such as Jazz, Soul, and Funk since he was a child. Farragol is good at using sampling techniques to produce all kinds of music. Since 2013, he has released many Beats tapes and compilations to domestic and overseas record labels. Also, he officially changed his name to "Farragol", promoting himself to get more creative ideas.