10 x What With…
10 questions answered by Hrishikesh of The One Am Radio
What is the story behind your name?
The very first recordings I made on my own were these instrumental four-track cassette lullabies, with acoustic guitar and a drum machine, and these little bits and pieces of staticky monologues from talk radio that would float in and out. I called that tape “the One AM Radio” — I liked the feeling and the wordplay of mixing up the late night “one am” and the lo-fi “am radio.” When I started playing out live, I didn’t want to play under just my name. I saw that tape label again, and put that on the show flyer.
What kind of music do you make, for those unfamiliar with your sound?
When I have to explain it to my parents’ friends, I tell them that it’s “electronic music with singing.” After that, they know that they don’t want to talk to me any more about what I do. For people who are into music, I tell them it’s “dreamy, electronic indie pop.”
What is your favorite time of the day?
I like both sides of magic hour — just before the sun comes out and just after it sets.
What are your biggest inspirations?
Movies, insomnia, travel, and the weather.
What are your biggest vices?
Women and desserts. I have an unhealthy appetite for both.
What is a typical day in the life of The One AM Radio?
I’m happy (most of the time) about the fact that I have a pretty irregular schedule. Typical doesn’t usually come into it. When we’re not playing shows, I freelance doing whatever odd creative gigs come my way—graphic design, web stuff, photography. Every day I’m hustling.
What would the show of your dreams consist of (place, audience, etc.)?
I hadn’t imagined it before this, but I think it would look like something from Hiroshi Sugimoto’s theater photographs: extremely classy, woozy with history, but it would be free and open to anyone. People would dance when it was time to dance, be riveted during the quietest moments, and sing along to every word the whole time.
What would you eat for the rest of your life if you had to choose one dish?
I’ve been recently craving arepas from a restaurant in New York called Caracas. I only get to eat there when I’m on tour. They have an arepa (which is like a thick, cornmeal tortilla sandwich) called “La del Gato” that has avocado, plaintains, and cheese, and is one of the most perfect foods I’ve ever eaten. I could probably it eat forever, because it has a mix of sweet and savory flavors, and crispy and soft textures.
What does love have to do with it?
The need to fill the void where love is missing, or broken, or unresolved is an incredibly powerful creative force. It’s a force for all kinds of behavior, I suppose, but in its best manifestation, it’s a catalyst for art. But I don’t think there’s a moment in life, or maybe this is just me, where you can say, “I have enough love. I’m done. I’m all good.” And that longing is where most songs begin for me.
What is The One AM Radio doing one year from now?
Touring, scoring films, and celebrating the one-year anniversary of this interview.