The tail end of 2015 finds Angelz on an exciting tip: tearing up his blueprint and digging into his experimental core. “I’ve always liked the rawness of hip-hop mixed with the repetition of house beats,” says Angelz, known for pushing boom bap-leaning edits of techno and house tracks onto discerning...
The tail end of 2015 finds Angelz on an exciting tip: tearing up his blueprint and digging into his experimental core. “I’ve always liked the rawness of hip-hop mixed with the repetition of house beats,” says Angelz, known for pushing boom bap-leaning edits of techno and house tracks onto discerning dancefloors and up the charts.
Angelz’s irrepressible urge to innovate synthesizes his experience as a producer and his passion as a music lover. Inspired by footwork and Chicago house, Angelz began submitting baroque sounds that left executives scratching their heads in 2014. “They were like ‘No one can rap on these beats!’ and stopped calling the former Def Jam ghost producer who was dropping chart-topping beats between homework assignments as a 15-year-old.
Turned off by the major label hustle and anonymity, Angelz spent a reclusive year in Australia with “a crummy laptop” preparing for the spotlight. “This was right around when Skrillex was blowing up. I was really into Justice, Boys Noize, Crookers, MSTRKRFT. I realized then that there’s a market to be your own man.” It was a game changer for the sonic prodigy who, at 20 had 8 years of producing rap to his credit but no idea how to DJ.
Embracing house wholeheartedly, Angelz – who “can get on an MPC and flip anything” – has gone back to one of his enduring strengths, sampling. The proof is undeniable on his latest single “Hey Girl” released by French house-master Tchami. “A lot of the stuff I make now sounds like slowed down, B-boy type of hard house, more like raw house. It’s more about feeling the vibe than raging. I am moving toward a different crowd, people that take the time to listen.”
Testing limits comes naturally to Angelz, whose father was an equally experimental French new wave musician. As a teen, the natural born maverick connected with some of his deepest influences on equally rebellious P2P networks like The Neptunes IRC. “I didn’t know that Diplo was also on that channel, and so was Tyler the Creator. I became a huge hip-hop head in love with Timbaland and the Neptunes. I learned how to sample by listening to Alchemist.”
Angelz, who has earned accolades and plays from superstar peers around the world, is clearly on the right path, however divergent it may seem to outsiders. “I started out doing the sound I’m doing now about a year ago and tagging it G-House. I didn’t know there was a whole scene around mixing deep house with hip-hop. I got boxed in with guys competing with and copying each other. That’s not me. I’d rather take my time and build my sound. I’d rather take the long road.”