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ROSTAM BATMANGLIJ, the sonic architect behind Vampire Weekend and producer for some of music’s biggest names, may be an unknown entity to many, but his solo debut, Half-Light, is an exquisitely dreamy record that pulses with confidence and self-awareness. Winq speaks to him about the creative process and how his identity as a gay man feeds into his music

Rostam Batmanglij may not be a household name — not yet, anyway — but unless you’ve been holed up somewhere for most of the past decade, you’ll have heard of Vampire Weekend, the Grammywinning indie-rock band he was part of from its creation in the mid-Noughties until early 2016.

Rostam was never the frontman — that honour goes to lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig — but behind the scenes, he was instrumental in creating the band’s distinctive, critically acclaimed sound. Over the course of three albums, he shaped Vampire Weekend’s sonic landscape, finessing jaunty earworms such as Oxford Comma, Diane Young and A-Punk, which took the band from Columbia University dorms to the Pyramid stage of Glastonbury in 2013 and gained them a reputation as one of the genre’s most exciting (and biggest-selling) names.

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