Who knew a producer from Def Jam Records would end up becoming of one the most exciting g-house artists in recent memory? That’s exactly what happened with ANGELZ, a rising producer making big moves in the g-house scene. He got his start trading production tips and tricks on the Star Trak forums, a production forum organized by hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His production attracted the attention of Def Jam Records, and the label hired him as a producer and arranger at a mere 15-years-old.
Now, ANGELZ makes a career out of putting out the very best in g-house tracks. Up there with the likes of such artists as Amine Edge & DANCE, ANGELZ flips hip-hop hits and reinterprets them for house clubs and dance floors. He just released a 17-track compilation with BitTorrent, featuring a whopping seven unreleased tracks. He’s primed to explode onto the scene in the coming months, and Your EDM is lucky enough to have snagged an interview with him. Read below on the inspiration behind ANGELZ production alias, his upcoming music, and more:
You got an early start producing for Def Jam. Which Def Jam rappers were you exposed to early on? How did producing hip-hop influence your later interest in producing g-house?
I was generally always drawn towards the “dirty south.” One of the first hip hop artists I was a huge fan of when I was around 8 years old is Ludacris. He had just dropped “What’s Your Fantasy” and it completely changed the game. Him and DTP would end up being some of the first artists to give me a shot.
As the years went by, I started gravitating towards different genres. Clubs exposed me to house music and eventually I started trying my hand at it. All my producing experience came from hip hop so my take on house music rarely sounded like the stuff I was listening to. At some point I just said fuck it, stopped referencing my tracks and just ran with my vision.
G-house is a natural extension of dirty house, and fits into how rap and EDM have crossed paths over the past several years. Why do you think hip-hop and EDM have formed such a strong bond?
The main thing is rappers realized they could rap on electronic music and that it was just different beats than what they were used to. I used to get such a headache trying to explain to artists how they didn’t have to rap like Twista on a 120bpm beat because they could simply rap like they would like on a slow 60 bpm track.
As innovative as the G-house and bass house genres are, lately the innovations have stagnated. How do you plan to differentiate yourself from the slew of producers simply jumping on the bandwagon?
To be honest, I have a crystal-clear vision of what I’m going for art-wise and have been too focused on creating my own sound rather than paying attention to what’s “hot” right now. I’m a trendsetter and competition is not on my agenda. A signature sound is everything.
Where does the name ANGELZ come from? What inspired it?
Because I believe in angels.
Explain your production process. How do you go about creating a song? Does the process differ when you’re creating a remix?
It is different every time but for remixes I especially love giving myself the challenge of flipping tracks where the original has samples in it. For example, when I flipped Lupe’s “Daydreamin” I used the acapella, the instrumental, the I Monster sample Lupe had used and finally the original track I Monster had sampled. On “Dolla Bill,” I used the instrumental, the acapella and the original sample. Doing this, I approach the track in a way where the original vibe is completely preserved but I still get to give it new life.
I have rap fans hitting me up all the time telling me they usually hate electronic music but listen to my flips on repeat. In the case of “Dolla Bill,” my friend DJ 4B told me he was super skeptical when I dropped it because he’s from New York and touching Wu-Tang Clan is blasphemous. After listening, he gave me his full blessing and that meant a lot because it was something I was aware of before approaching a classic like “C.R.E.A.M.”
Who do you think are some of the most exciting artists in electronic music and hip-hop today?
Kaytranada, Tchami, DJ Snake, High Klassified, Amine Edge & DANCE, Point Point, AGLORY, Gesaffelstein, all the Bromance and Ed Banger guys.
What plans do you have for releases in the coming months?
My first single “Hey Girl” is coming out soon on a label that I’ve been keeping secret.
Where do you see the electronic music genre heading in the next year?
I have friends making some mind-bending footwork/juke and I could definitely see it gaining momentum.