While some artists have become international sensations overnight, most have spent years in the studio and on the road, honing their skills and building their repertoire, before making a splash on the global scene. We discuss that process and the tools of the trade in our A Cappella series.
“What in the hell is crunkstep?” I wondered as I lurked around Crizzly’s Facebook page and saw the subgenre for the first time. I fathomed a guess that it had to combine elements of Three Six Mafia swagger and some kind of take on dubstep. Intrigued, I meandered to Crizzly’s SoundCloud page, where I was bombarded by “Ass Clap” and “Drop Dat Ass.” Needless to say, the name crunkstep certainly made sense. If you were to imagine the opposite of tropical house, this would be it.
Crizzly will be bringing all of the crunkstep to Escape this Halloween, so go ahead and cop those tickets if you haven’t already.
Is an artist just someone who does something better than most? What does being an artist mean to you?
It’s about being an individual and doing something that’s specific to you, regardless of [whether] the world “gets it” and is hugely successful or not.
Is there another genre of music that you’re tinkering with or would like to make?
Hip-hop, 100 percent. I love listening to it, and I love working with hip-hop artists. It’s definitely something that I’d venture out to in the future.
What factors might compel producers to go the ghost producer route? What’s your take on ghost production?
Money is probably the biggest factor. If you are great at writing tracks and you enjoy the process, then you can make a lot for good songs. I would never personally do it, but I understand its appeal.
Which do you prefer: a smoky, low-lit club, or a big stage with bright lights and laser beams?
I think my music works for both situations, and I enjoy aspects of both. My upcoming tour is going into small rooms for $10 a night, and I’m really excited about the run! That said, there is something surreal about looking over a massive crowd gathered to hear you play your tracks.
Fact or fiction: Anyone today can buy a laptop and audio production software and become a producer/DJ seemingly overnight. What’s your take on this?
I embrace it. It pushes us as producers to create something that’s fresh and unique. If I don’t continue to write and learn, I’m going to get surpassed. If you really want to learn how to produce, it’s very possible. The key to the equation is being able to build a brand around those solid tracks. The more you write, the more opportunity you give yourself to write better music.