In the shadows of his lowly attic, Clams Casino constructed a sound that shaped a modern movement. Like a sonic architect rather than a producer, he helped build a foundation for a modern hip-hop subculture, dipped in ambience and atmospheric vibrato. Cloud rap.

Slowly, a reputation for surreal production and unifying collaborations with some of the most exciting young rappers and R&B singers out urged New Jersey's Michael Volpe to the top of the list of sought-after producers. But after finally releasing his debut album 32 Levels this past summer, Clams Casino has emerged from the attic to the stage.

Mr. Clams Casino, how has the tour been?

It's been really fun. I'm just getting ready for another show tonight and Lil B is coming out to the east coast. So we're going to have a few more shows. It's been kind of spread out. It's not too much at once. I'm making music in-between so I planned it out so it could be nice and spread out like that.

So you're working on new music while on tour eh?

Yeah, I planned it out so I could work in-between. I didn't want to do too much at once. I did a little west coast run and then a bit of a break - like two weeks or so. I was working on new music in-between and then going back out. Then I have a little break again and then I'm going out to Europe at the end of this month. So right now, we're in the middle of the east coast run. Next up is Europe.

I'm sure Europe will be a change of pace for you as you'll be country hopping from one city and country to the next.

Yeah, Europe will be back-to-back. And Lil B isn't coming out for that so then I'm going off and doing the rest by myself.

That's exciting. So what has playing your music, and this latest album specifically, in front of a crowd taught you about the music you're making now at this point of your career that you're looking to either alter or insert more of when it's time to buckle down on your new work?

It's cool to see people react to it live. I hadn't played too much like that before, so this year has been about just getting out and playing more. Just seeing people react to different things. Some people gravitate towards the high-energy hip-hop stuff on the album and people go crazy to that stuff at the shows. And then there's also the instrumental ambient stuff. They really want to hear that too. So there's a range. My fans, I can't really pin them down to any one thing. They're into different stuff and different fans like it for different reasons. It's cool to see the range. I try and mix it up during the sets and try to give them a little bit of all that stuff. To see people reacting to it live is pretty new for me. It's good and it will definitely influence me and inspire me when it's time to make music. I'll be thinking more about other people and not just what I want to hear. I'm taking notes on the crowd's energy. Reacting to that, I think, will influence the music in a positive way when it's time to make it again.

What were your thoughts on the overall feedback that you received from the album. It had been five years and this is your debut album. Was the experience worth the work and is the experience of putting out an album what you thought it would be?

Yeah, I knew it would be a totally new experience for me. All the other projects that I've done, it was music that was done already. They were beats that were lying around for a while and I put them together to say, 'Oh I have an EP now' or 'Here's a mixtape.' And then I made them into a mixtape with instrumentals or rappers on them. I knew that this was going to be brand new. It was the first time that I sat down with almost nothing. It was fun. It was just what I wanted to do, which was experimenting along with collaborations and going in with people that I knew were going to push me to do things that I wouldn't normally do. So I'm working with other artists and other producers that can help me do that and it was the goal.

Goal achieved, because the album was stacked. It was an A-list album. Relationships have obviously been one of the keys to putting out a debut album like this. But for a lot of producers, isolation has been a big thing they've struggled with due to the nature of the craft. What do you attribute to your ability to build these relationships within an industry that is so often closed off?

I think it's just about doing something that no one else does. I'm always focused on pushing myself forward as far as what I want to do or things that keep me interested in the music. So I think that people can hear that. And that comes across in the music, where I'm kind of pushing myself all the time and I wanted to experiment. People can see that and hopefully want to work and kind of do the same thing. The collaborative part was definitely a big part of the album for me. It was definitely something that I wanted to do. And it did what I expected, which was getting together with people and different types of artists and just see how that affects my music and the decisions that I'm making. That's what it's all about.

What's your favourite thing about working with an artist like Lil B. On one side of the industry, he's so loved and on another, he's so misunderstood. You do a lot of work with him so what draws you to working with an artist like the Based God?

My favourite thing about working with him or even just listening to him as a fan is just that you can't always know what to expect. It's always something new. I think I've always just been into the whole idea of, whatever he's going to do, I'm not going to be able to expect it. I'm not going to be ready for it. That hasn't changed. That's the main thing that I work with him for. Constantly doing new things. He's doing that for himself too. That what comes across. And it's authentic.

I saw you mention that he should release the Black Ken mixtape on Twitter. What can you tell me that?

I've spoken with him about it on the tour. I'm not sure what I can say or can't say, but it's been a long time coming and I'm ready to hear it. Hopefully it will come out sometime soon.

I also saw your tweet at AJ Tracey regarding your upcoming Euro dates. Do you plan on doing some collaborations when your over there?

Yeah, I'm definitely trying to do more work. I have the remix from AJ and I met up with him while I was out in London. And we're definitely trying to get some more work done. But I think whatever we do is going to become its own thing. It's not going to be me trying to do UK stuff or grime stuff and it's not going to be him trying to go full American hip-hop. We're definitely going to do some music but it will become its own thing. And I'm definitely exited. I'm looking forward to getting more time with him.

And to end things off, how would you describe this natural progression right now in this phase of your career, after putting out your debut, in terms of what you see for yourself next?

I want to do more of the same of what I do which is making beats and making instrumentals or working with hip-hop artists and singers. I want to keep that going but at the same time, keep adding stuff as far as scoring and film music. But that will happen when the time is right. That will just be added on to the things that I do. So I'm just going to keep on building on everything else. I don't want to lose anything else that I keep as a part of me, as an artist or producer. So that's the next step whenever the time is right. Scoring and making music for film.

That would be ridiculous. What do you see yourself scoring? Luke Cage, season 2?

I think it has to be something really dramatic. A dark sci-fi maybe. Just something epic.