As Producer, DJ, Musician and Live Performer, it is a bit hard to understand the background of your music without first getting a bit into your life and how you evolved as a musician, did music come naturally into your life from youth with your father being a musician himself as well?
Yeah, I would definitely say that. I didn’t grow up with my dad, but we are cool with each other now. I was with him until the age of 9 and then we moved away. But those early 9 years, all I saw all the time was music. He had his own band and he was in the church band. My aunt and uncles played and sang in it too and my grandmother was the preacher.
Even my first performance was in church. I remember seeing my father playing guitar while practicing a lot. Somehow when I got older even though I didn’t live with him, I started writing songs. I started out first more as a poet and a writer. I used to write a lot of creative stories and fantasies about creatures and magic and stuff like this. Then I started writing songs.
Good thing that you mentioned that your first performance was in church as it’s related to my next question. Did growing up around musicians give you the chance to start performing live from a very young age?
Yeah, it was like a family thing; we all performed. My mother wasn’t so much a singer but she was still a performer, like dancing and modeling, etc. Everything in my family was somehow about performance.
Was Hip-hop your first love?
Actually, I wouldn’t say it’s my first love, but it was the first time I started really recording. It was also the first time I went down the road with a producer and some rapper friends and it worked out somehow. But my first love is poetry. Everything I still do is poetic somehow and all of my poetry was always built with imagery. I was always explaining landscapes or the way a color felt to me or this sort of thing. Every time I talk about how I feel I’m always talking in images. that’s how I best express myself.
Do you still include poetry in the recent stuff?
Yeah, since some of my songs have words, but even when I produce songs that have no words in them, I’m actually imagining stories while I’m making them. Sometimes it’s about feeling and sometimes it’s about vision.
Have you ever been in a full band and for how long?
It evolved several times, meaning it would start then it would stop and so on but my first band was a garage band back in LA like a long time ago and it was mostly alternative music – like grunge.
Then later when living in New Jersey, the Hip-hop world wasn’t quite working for me because I wasn’t presenting a gangster image and at the time, that was important to the industry, so I decided to go back to my roots which were live instrumentation and just remembering my father. I was back in touch with him at that time. So yeah I converted my Hip-hop project into Hip-hop Rock band and I made all the beats in my MPC 2000. I made everything electronic, I think using logic and my mpc. I created a version of Rock beats and I would rap over them. After that, I found a band I sent them the tracks and asked them to make it live.
How did you get into House music after?
My father was a disco and funk musician. When my father wasn’t doing church music, it was disco and funk. The guitars always brought that feel and when I was doing hip-hop I really loved being able to make people dance. That was always important to me. When I started my electro funk project with my other group ‘discoBAASSIK’, I wanted to start making house music with the bass player that I was working with but we never got the chance to do that. When the band broke up, I decided that I was still gonna do it. I always danced, I always went to house music parties. Even when I was in LA, I had a good friend that was from New York and he would take me to where the dancing was. It was fun, I learned how to do proper house moves from him. And then when I moved back to New York, we have been out of touch and then we ran into each other again at Club Shelter, which was big on house music. That’s just an environment that I was in, and I fell in love with it. By the time I moved to Berlin, and because House music is super important here, it became kinda more important than my electro funk [band] project. I loved my electro funk project but now living here it just made a lot of sense [to evolve]. Here I’m listening to house music more than I normally would. So I was like bam, I could do that. My whole idea is that I could do anything, any kind of music, I just love it all. It’s all type of poetry. I have songs that sound like guitar punk and then I have songs that sound like New York Hip-hop then I have songs that sound like house music or Techno music and breaks. I just make whatever I feel like.Did switching from genre to genre every time feet a bit hard at the time, especially in terms of having to start all over again and letting go of all what’ve you? Or how was it for you?
That’s sort of the sad part, every time I reinvent myself it’s like I have to convince a whole bunch of people that I exist. Right now, my focus and my goal is to completely be everything that is me rolled into one music project instead of doing this style and that style one at a time. I have some new stuff and I’m gonna be performing them live in September. I’m going to be using my guitar, singing some vocals and doing electronics.
I have actually done it before but not in the context of making sure that I include every style of me.
In my discoBAASSIK project, we had rock songs but we also have fully electronic stuff, that was different, but this time, I’m mixing it all.
That’s Again what I wanted to talk about next, have you ever considered releasing a record that sums up all the music genres you’ve been influenced by?
I actually have. The album is done. I just haven’t released it yet. It includes my rock elements, Hip-hop, even Jazz, and the electronics. It also includes influences from my Family history — it has everything, literally all of me. The only reason I haven’t put it out yet is because of me being an independent artist and a single person running a record label. I haven’t been able to arrange the vinyl situation yet and I really want my first vinyl to be this album, to literally be my entire soul.
Would you prefer to publish it on your own label?
I’ve actually been checking in with other labels, but my styles are so diverse. We’re talking about tempos ranging from 124 to 138 on one album. There are some labels that never leave the 120 to 125 range. So, if I have tracks that are 128 or 130, then they’re gonna tell me to go check another Techno label. But what if it’s not Techno, what if it’s Ghettotech. What if there is also a House track there or something that’s kind of Jazzy. I’m not confused, but the rest of the world can get a little bit confused and people are so used to living in a box, where things are packed perfectly for them so that they understand exactly what it is. As soon as they don’t understand something, they’re afraid.
If I wanna put this out, I either have to put it out myself or have to find someone who’s not afraid.
You’re performing tonight in About Blank, what should we expect?
I like to dance between genres so I’m mostly going to play different types of house music tonight, but it’s still going to be different than the other house music. That’s the beauty of people being different. There will also be some G-house and I will bring my Hip-hop a little bit in there. I always try to find ways to leave into other genres then I generally bring it back to House. If I have the opportunity to play Techno, I will play something that sounds like breaks.