Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Uppermost Breaks Barriers in Santa Monica Music

At the West End Nightclub in Santa Monica, Discovering Music That Cannot be Easily Categorized

 

March 26, 2018

September Dawn Bottoms

Behdad Nejatbakhshe, also known as Uppermost, sat in a law studies classroom in Paris, France working towards a degree in political science. But In his head, he was counting the seconds until he could go home to work on his music, much to the disagreement of his Iranian parents who escaped to Paris to live a safer and better life.

At first, Nejatbakhshe would post his musical remixes and original compositions online, free for the world to listen to. "After a while, I decided it didn't put value in my music to work like that," said Nejatbakhshe in an interview with the Observer. After putting more effort and time into perfecting his craft, it wouldn't be long before Uppermost would make his parents happy with a successful music career topping electro-house charts and starting his own record label.

Having started performing in underground French clubs and at parties for friends, he was now Performing at the West End nightclub in Santa Monica as part of his first U.S. tour.

With over 90,000 followers on his Facebook page, he needed no introduction to the fans surrounding him asking for pictures and desperately wanting to meet him.

"In my mind I've always been connected to the people in LA and California because there is a culture of discovering music that you don't find anywhere else," said Uppermost, making sure to acknowledge everyone of his fans who approached him.

Largely inspired by Daft Punk, Uppermost prides himself on being different, with tracks like "Beautiful Light" and "Step by Step" each taking on an identity of their own. It was not only the ability but the desire to make different kinds of music that led him to create his own label Uppwind.

September Dawn Bottoms

"I felt that I didn't want go into a particular identity and the only way to keep expressing myself without any constraint was to create a label," he said.

He explained that he aims to find other artists like him that don't want to be categorized into one specific genre or artists who practice other arts outside of music.

Uppermost also had some words of advice for those still in their bedroom making their first mixtape.

"The thing that saved me from giving up is a playful mind. If you start having big expectations and living in the future you will get bored of what you do and you will stop...Just have fun and try to practice as much as possible," he said.

When he took the stage, and the crowd began chanting his name, it was obvious he had taken his own advice, and he was just having fun.

 

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