A self-described “G-house guru,” Bijou has long been among our most beloved DJ/producers, with a special talent for fusing hip-hop grit with sub-flexing house grooves. This was showcased on his recent Gangsta Party EP with longtime collaborator Dr. Fresch, dropped last month on his newly launched Do Not Duplicate imprint—though he’s got a different side to show with his new single, “Memories.” Prior to its release, he claimed it was his most emotional release to date.
“I was going through a tough time in my life when I wrote this record, and as always, I wanted to express that through my music,” says Bijou. “Stylistically, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to showcase but was never really able to nail in the final product. I believe that this is something where you can’t just sit down and make it—there’s real emotion and heart that goes into this type of song, and I wanted the listener to really understand where I was coming from.”
To mark the release of “Memories” on Insomniac Records, we thought we’d grab Bijou to find out more about why it’s such a special track for him.
Bijou’s “Memories” is available here.
How is your 2019 starting off?
2018 finished off strong. I wrapped up the Super Phat tour that spanned three months, while keeping the releases going throughout. 2019 so far couldn’t be better! The shows have stayed steady, and I just released my Gangsta Party EP with Dr. Fresch on my own imprint, Do Not Duplicate Recordings.
Are you still based in Phoenix? How does that feed into your DJing and producing?
I’m still based here and don’t have plans on leaving anytime soon. It definitely feeds my creativity and drive, as I’m always trying to put on for my city. I think Phoenix is slept on, but you have Ghastly, Drezo, Mija, and more that are from here, and I don’t think people are really even aware of that. So, for me, being the only one who still lives here, I really try and push for Phoenix with everything I’m doing.
It appears G-house is still an accurate description of what you’re doing musically (you’re the “guru,” after all). Where is the Bijou sound at in 2019?
I completely agree, and in 2019, it’s expanding into different realms. That being said, everything will still be house music and feature my G-house sound, but I wanna show people a different side of me. There’s more to me than the dark G-house side that everyone knows, and I’m in a spot now where I wanna give people the side of me that they’ve never known: the fun, goofy, loving side that people only know on a personal level but have never heard in my music.
What’s the story behind this track, and why does it mean so much to you?
This track is extremely personal for me, as I was going through the aftermath of something at the time of the production that really had me down for a couple weeks. I’m not one to really ever let anything get me down, so not only was this a new experience personally, but I turned to music like I always have when going through any type of emotion. I want the listeners to feel what I was feeling when I made this record and learn from their own experiences, just like I did. This track, stylistically, is something I’ve been trying to nail for a long time. This is the first one I was really happy with, too, so that just adds to the background story of it.
What’s on the agenda for Bijou for the rest of the year?
Musically, I have a ton of new stuff in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with everyone. The follow-up for “Memories” is already done, so that’s exciting in my eyes. I have my own imprint now, as I mentioned before, so I’m hyped to show everyone what we have coming up with that. Touring-wise, I have a bunch of festivals this summer and some more international stuff announcing soon!