By Pat Gunther
James Prudhomme, better known by his Tom Krell-inspired moniker Suicideyear, has accomplished a number of impressive milestones in his 19 years. After solidifying himself as the king of Baton Rouge’s experimental music scene in the past year-and-a-half, Suicideyear has become the first BR-based musician to participate in legendary New York City art institution MoMA’s illustrious PS1 Warmup series.
A 17-year-old project incorporating boundary pushing sonic art, MoMA is a haven for the most talented up-and-comers in the world of experimental music and killer DJ sets. Prudhomme’s blend of emotive minor tunes will leave you lamenting on all of the things you’ve fucked up in the past, and his incredibly palatable and downright infectious dance tracks are something that Baton Rouge musicians have never been able to produce before. In the modern-day electronic music zeitgeist, Suicideyear continiously proves to be in a league all his own.
During his nearly month-long stay in New York City, Prudhomme has opened for Swedish rap sensation Yung Lean and his Sad Boys clique in addition to headlining an impressively well composed DJ set in TriBeCa’s Grand Hotel on the 25th. However, Suicideyear’s shining moment kicked off at roughly 3pm on July 26th at the jam-packed MoMA PS1 Warmup.
There, Suicideyear treated fans to an incredible set peppered with dance-inducing original mixes and some of his signature hip-hop inspired tunes that had the crowd going absolutely wild in preparation for Cashmere Cat and Goldlink, who went on to play later in the evening. Most importantly though, Suicideyear’s original and unique style of music is something that Baton Rouge, and the music world in general, has rarely seen before.
Prudhomme’s originality and keen ear for crazy fun or wildly personal tracks makes him a unique talent in the soundscape of 2014, as his tunes are decidedly emotional, fresh and downright funky at times. The set, which consisted mainly of dance tracks with a few of his originals scattered throughout, had fans buzzing about the relatively unknown kid from Baton Rouge who has just inked a deal with Software Recordings in the past year, and is poised to blow up with the September release of his much anticipated EP, Remembrance.
Fans enjoying the sunny weather and cold beer offered at the Museum of Modern Art were grooving to Suicideyear’s opener that featured cuts from his acclaimed mixtape Japan and some newer releases that they surely hadn’t heard before. While walking around the crowd, which was packed like dancing sardines in a super funky can, I overheard several people talking about the “dude they’ve never heard before, who’s actually pretty fucking good” and how killer the performance was for such a young guy.
Though it remains to be seen what’s in store for Prudhomme’s place in the future of Baton Rouge and world music in general, he’s certainly on the right track. After catching Prudhomme’s roughly 60 minute set and kicking back for a lively UNIIQU3 set and the glitter shower Cashmere Cat let go, the MoMA PS1 warmup ended with fans buzzing about the prodigious young gun from Baton Rouge who’s uncanny and quickly realized potential makes the sky his limit.