The “Harlem Shake” meme is over, but it will always be known as Harry Bauer Rodrigues’ foray into the spotlight in 2013. Nearly two years after that YouTube phenomenon broke the Internet, Rodrigues—best known to the EDM crowd as Baauer—has moved on to headlining sets at major nightclubs and festival appearances worldwide. Baauer recently released a documentary through Red Bull Music Academy, Searching for Sound, which costars his musical companion, Nick Hook, and depicts their travels across the United Arab Emirates and Japan. Along the way the pair met indigenous musicians and recorded their unique instruments and sounds. You can parse the finer points of playing the shō versus the goat bagpipes with Baauer on January 21 when his monthly residency, Studio B, returns to Light nightclub in Mandalay Bay.
Do you plan to do something like the Searching for Sound documentary again, or was that a once-in-a-lifetime deal?
We were just in India, but unfortunately didn’t have much time [for recording]. I really hope I can go back and have time to dedicate to just recording sounds. And same with Brazil; I’d love to go there and do the same thing.
How did you and Hook initially meet?
We actually met a long time ago. He worked at this sake bar in Manhattan called Satsko, and I found out through Twitter that all these DJs that I really liked were hanging out there. So I went, and we just met that way—before I’d even started the project as “Baauer.” A couple of years later, we linked up. I asked him to help me work on new music and be my homie in the studio. And that just sort of turned into Searching for Sound.
Is he an adviser or are you two collaborators? What is his role in your work relationship?
He’s like a spiritual adviser. [Laughs.] He’s like a yogi. A musical yogi.
What’s the response been to the Searching for Sound sample pack you released? Have any producers sent you music they’ve made with your sounds?
Yeah! I’ve gotten a whole bunch, and they’ve all been incredible. It’s so cool to hear what people have done. If you [search for] “#SearchingForSound” on Twitter, you can see a bunch. People just put them on Soundcloud, and they’re all dope.
On your recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” appearance, you gave a vague answer regarding a possible upcoming album. So, can we expect a full-length album soon?
It’s well in the works. I plan to finish it very soon, and hopefully get it released by summertime.
How do you pronounce the title of your latest EP, ß?
That’s kind of interpretive. Like, I just wanted it to be that symbol. You could say “Beta” or you could say “B,” or in German, it’s [an eszett], the sound of two Ss.
And what’s with the rocks and the helmet on your cover art?
We linked up with this Australian artist. We just kind of let him go and let him do his thing, and it was cool. There’s not really anything particular behind it. [We were] just trying to create something that looks really weird and interesting.
I noticed the Dragon Ball Z reference in the track “One Touch,” when Slim Jimmy from Rae Sremmurd raps, “I just popped a senzu bean.” Did Jimmy write that? Are they into that Japanese children’s cartoon?
Yeah, definitely. That was another favorite Studio B moment. That was right before we got to [Light]. We were at a studio in Vegas, and they were just free-styling. I didn’t even know what that meant at the time; I had to look it up. I don’t know much about Dragon Ball Z, but I love that they used that reference.