Sweater Beats is a facemaking, banger producing, donut-head. The Philippine-born, LA-bred DJ’s sense of humor is rivaled only by the size of his drops.
We caught up with him at SXSW and got his word on the alleged weirdness of Austin, the difference between Asian and American crowds, and the special place fried circles of dough hold in his heart.
Hey, man. To start can you introduce yourself and tell us where we are?
Hey this is Sweater Beats. I make emotional bangers and we’re in Austin playing some shows and listening to awesome music for SXSW.
Right on. Who are you excited to see here?
Oh man, the just homies that are out here. I’ve loved seeing all of my friends mucking around. I didn’t make any plans to see anybody because I haven’t had time I’ve just been walking and doing the showcases but I would love to see Mary and Hell. That’s one of the bands that I would just try to find yeah.
What do you love about Austin?
BBQ. I just had funnel cake. Just food stuff. The weather out here’s awesome right now.
Have you had any weird experiences here?
You know, I haven’t but that’s their motto: Keep Austin Weird. I dunno where the weirdness happens but I’m yet to find it. We’re all kind of weird.
So you’ve eaten funnel cake and BBQ so far here. Is there anything else on your culinary wish list?
Gus’s Fried chicken. It’s famous. Super famous. We passed by it just now and there was already a line.
So you’re from the Philippines originally. Have you played any shows back there?
I played my first show in the Philippines when I went to Asia. I had an Asian tour about two weeks ago and it was really cool to go back to Manila and see family, but also be with my people. I felt at home there.
How did it compare to a show you do in the US?
I don’t know. People go hard here, but for some reason I think people in Asia just enjoy it or are more enthusiastic about it. They listen to the music more, they don’t have to be fucked up to get rowdy and that’s very different here. Over there, you can be sober and still be enthusiastic about the music and have a thing.
Do you think that you’ve gained like a fan base being from there?
I hope so. I hope I made some fans in Asia ‘cause I definitely want to go back.
Can you pinpoint your favorite show?
Seoul was amazing. I played at a place called Cakeshop and it was packed and sweaty. Just how I like it. And every time I like played a song everyone would be like ‘Ohhhhhh’ at the drop. Everyone knew the songs and it felt really good.
If Sweater Beats was an animal what would it be?
Probably a sheep because it’s wearing sweaters all the time. And we go baaaaa.
We saw on your instagram you pull a lot of funny faces.
Oh, I do.
Which we love. Can you show us a few?
When you hear a sick drop… it’s like yeahhhh (makes face) or something tight. Ummm let’s see what other faces I make..
What about the disapproving mom?
Oh yeah like…. (makes face)…that’s exactly what my mom was like when I said “I think i’m gonna be a DJ.” It’s just like yeah, side eye. Like mom, don’t worry about it, I ask for rent anyways…. but yeah those are my two go-to faces.
Who’s the musician that you listen to that’s your guilty pleasure?
Guilty pleasure. Oh man, this isn’t even embarrassing but I love Justin Bieber. I guess I would have to say Zayn, he’s awesome and I love “Pillowtalk.” It’s one of my favorite songs. Oh man, I love Lenny Kravitz. Lennnyyyyyyy!
Do you travel a lot?
Yeah for tour.
Where has been the best street food?
Ahh, Taipei. They have these things called night markets and it’s just street food and bootleg stuff like cell phone gear but it’s all it’s all really good stuff. They have multiple night markets around and it’s crowded and beautiful and the people are beautiful. A good vibe all round
What is your cuisine of choice?
If you follow me on the internet, I have a really big thing for donuts. I grew up eating donuts. They were the first thing I ate when I got here from the Phillipines. I was eight years old and my uncle took me to Dunkin Donuts and that’s where I fell in love with it ‘cause I never had donuts in the Philippines. I got mad love for donuts.