Android Apartment (Alberto Rojch) is a Future Funk artist based in London, originally from Cagliari, a city on the southern tip of the Italian island of Sardinia. Releasing multiple studio albums since 2015, Alberto remains a figure within the Future Funk community, collaborating with other prominent artists like Night Tempo and Future Girlfriend. I had the opportunity to speak with Alberto about the future of Future Funk for his first English-language interview.
TYF: What does Future Funk mean to you? What differentiates it from similar genres like Vaporwave and House?
Alberto: I’m a pretty pensive person and keep 1000 thoughts in my head at once through a sort of glaze of nostalgia. I use Future Funk as a platform to project myself into my music. My style of Future Funk has a nostalgic and melancholy vibe in its sound but transforms into cheerful and up-tempo beats that the genre is so well-known for.
Between Future Funk and (specifically French) House there are no real definitive differences except the type of vocals that are used; they are very similar genres. However, Future Funk moves pretty far away from Vaporwave while still stylistically being connected to internet culture. The imagery and sound are totally different. Musically, Vaporwave is the complete opposite of Future Funk: low tones, slow tracks; everything happens very slowly. Future Funk is immediate and fast, like a lash of air from a convertible car that’s going 120 km/h in the middle of the night.
TYF: Do you see any overlap between Future Funk and Vaporwave? Were you on board with the Vaporwave trend when it hit the mainstream in 2011?
Alberto: As I said before, there are definite musical differences between the genres but both are part of the same kind of internet-based trend. I’ve worked with Vaporwave artists before; the scenes are very close.
In 2011 I played Emo/Screamo music with a band called “Il Mare di Ross,” in my hometown, Cagliari. At the time I had never imagined that I would end up making electronic music five years later (I became Android Apartment around 2015/16). Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of electronic music until I approached Future Funk!
TYF: You’ve collaborated with big names in Future Funk like Night Tempo and Future Girlfriend. What was the experience working with them like?
Alberto: I’ve collaborated with many people in the Future Funk scene. I develop a close friendship with everyone I work with (unfortunately only online as we live in different parts of the world). I like to collaborate with friends and create sounds and scenarios together. I really like being inspired by others, learning and teaching.
TYF: With how niche Future Funk is, do you find yourself being limited by the amount of people you’re available to collaborate with? Would you like to see more EDM artists attempt Future Funk tracks?
Alberto: I have never felt limited by the number of people to collaborate with and have always been interested to collaborate with artists who make different genres in order to create something unique that would still remain within the genre. It would be fun to see the interpretation of an EDM producer on Future Funk, something interesting could come out of it and would certainly help to get the genre out of the internet niche and bring it to the ears of the mainstream.
I’m interested in trying out new genres, mixing them with my style and seeing what comes out of it!
TYF: As an Italian artist, you’ve experimented with including Italian (rather than Japanese) samples in your tracks like Un’ Estate Fa. Do you think that diversifying the Future Funk scene is constructive and necessary to see the genre last in the future?
Alberto: I let myself be influenced by anything, I never remain rigid in the style of the genre. I like experimenting, creating and listening. I’m actually working with some Spanish samples at the moment and planning on using other Italian samples in the future. I like all languages and many musical styles, if a song hits me and I have some ideas to make a remix, I think “why not?”
I think this approach not only brings fresh air and new possibilities to the genre but also to the artist who doesn’t get stuck in the meta, who evolves to create new melodies and emotions. In this way, not only the artist grows and discovers new things, their audience does too.
I never believed in the definition of a genre, I put things into my music that I listen to and influence me.
TYF: Do you think YouTube channels like Artzie Music are integral to the growth of your audience?
Alberto: Absolutely, yes! I have to thank Fred and Breezy a lot, they supported me from the beginning, let me join the community and always encouraged me. With them I also have a friendship that goes beyond music, they are incredible people and I hope one day to embrace them both in-person. In my opinion, Artzie has helped so many of us to get noticed and to create our audience; I follow the channel every day.
TYF: What distinguishes your style from other prominent artists like Yung Bae and MACROSS 82-99?
Alberto: If I had to analyze my tracks compared to those of Yung Bae and Macross, the first Future Funk artists I ever listened to, I would say that mine are usually a little faster at the BPM level and I use many more effects and crescendo. The difference between Future Funk artists also come down to the choice of samples. I try to always choose samples that sound more nostalgic and vintage while Yung Bae and Macross release tracks with much more funky, bright samples.
TYF: Do you see Future Funk as a sustainable genre? Do you see it dying out of popularity like Vaporwave? What’s the future for Future Funk?
Alberto: Oh my god, good question! In all honesty, in the last two years I’ve seen a slight downwards trend in interest but a recent resurgence in popularity. About two years ago there was an incredible wave of new Future Funk artists: everyone started doing it because it was the genre of the moment online. However, not all productions were quality and, in the end, as with all things that are in fashion, only those who really enjoyed the genre stuck around to create quality tracks. This has helped to awaken the interest of listeners as new tracks being released have regained the quality that had been lost.
Future Funk has continued to evolve over the years and become multifaceted. I think it’s a genre that can survive over time but like with every genre it needs people who experiment with it and don’t stick with the status quo. I think that in order to keep the interest high we need to offer the listeners new possibilities and new sounds.
TYF: Finally, what was the inspiration behind the name “Android Apartment”?
Alberto: Many people have asked me this question because they think it’s a weird name. The name comes from an episode of Futurama that reversed the relationships between robots and humans. After seeing that episode I had a stupid mental trip the same night, thinking about a scenario where robots inherited the roles of humans and humans inherited the roles of robots. I imagined robots going to a disco, going out to the pub to drink with friends, going to school, getting married, etc…
I started to think a lot about if the reality we live in is the real reality or just something that we imagine and blindly believe in. Maybe we’re just game characters that someone is playing with, maybe we’ve been dreaming our whole life, maybe there is no life.
More than often I find myself thinking about those things, so I chose Android Apartment: a place where everything can be everything, where we are and we are not at the same time and where everything is happening but isn’t.
Responses edited for grammar and clarity.