He proceeded to take three years of lessons from a bossa nova expert — "This 50-year-old Brazilian guy" — but he never studied music theory and considers himself self-taught.

"My approach to music doesn't make sense to anybody I know," says Anjos. "If I play a chord, I know what it is. But if I do anything more complicated, I have no clue what I'm doing; I'm just playing music. I can hear everything in my head, but I don't know how to write that down, I don't know how to tell anybody how to play it."

That quality shows in Anjos' remixes. His methodology is akin to that of a musician writing and arranging for a band. He isn't afraid to construct new melodies or use nontraditional instruments. He'll employ fluttery riffs played on a Brazilian guitar, the cavaquinho, or have his fiancée add vocal flourishes if he thinks they'll enhance a song. He's also always on the lookout for unorthodox gear; one of his latest scores was a reel-to-reel tape machine he liberated from Greenville's radio station for $75.

Jennifer Silverberg
André Anjos: The Remix Artist Collective's 23-year-old founder.
Jennifer Silverberg
André Anjos: The Remix Artist Collective's 23-year-old founder.

"Where most remixes are meant for a dance floor, the remixes that I do are more oriented towards a music lover, somebody that really enjoys a band and wants to hear the song in a different way, instead of just hearing a dance beat behind it," Anjos says. "That's what our goals are."

Though he has a slate of bands on the horizon — including up-and-comers Dead Kids and Jukebox the Ghost, and (he hopes) current buzz band Vampire Weekend — the RAC hasn't quite gotten to where Anjos wants it to be. In the future he'd like the remixing to be spread out more equally among him, Crookram and Jasinski. (Both say they're open to more work.) And he has always wanted to produce other artists; he says a few major labels have approached him, though nothing has come of that yet.

Like his remix work, Anjos considers the prospect of producing "fun."

The bands he has worked with can see why. "One time he actually sent me a bunch of his remixes, and I was having a party," says Ra Ra Riot's Roth. "All of them are just so upbeat that I was able to put that on repeat all night, because they're all so danceable and just fun."

"Whenever we talk about bands, he'll get so excited about a song. He'll talk about it in a way that I don't even necessarily understand, I just can appreciate that. You can just tell he loves doing what he does, and is thinking of new ways of working on people's music."

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