Interview: Lazy Rich

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The first time I was able to see Lazy Rich was at this year’s Ultra. The line-up was so conflicting that we literally jumped from stage to stage to see all the artists we wanted to. At the beginning of Lazy Rich, we originally planned to leave to go see John Digweed for a little and then head back to the BAO Dome for Jelo. We never saw John Digweed. Lazy Rich performed so well that we stayed for his entire set. Sober or intoxicated, Lazy Rich put on an unforgettable show that everyone was dancing to. It was one of the only sets of the weekend that we stayed for it’s entirety.

Lazy Rich was scheduled to play in Jacksonville this past Labor Day Weekend at Electric Sun Festival. As many have heard, ESF ended up being a complete flop. Almost all of the headlining DJs cancelled and some DJs that were on the schedule weren’t even booked to begin with. I was very disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to sit down and have an in-depth conversation with the UK’s very own Lazy Rich while I was in Jacksonville. However, quickly following the unsatisfying event, Lazy Rich’s people contacted us and said that we could still do the interview via Skype.

You were just at Burning Man. How was that experience?
It was brief. It was way too brief. But, it was mind-blowing. It really was just such an onslaught of the the senses. Like, when it was nighttime and you would go out onto the Playa, everywhere around you, you just see lights and crazy shit. It’s just unbelievable. There’s so much going on. I mean, you could just spend weeks and weeks going to see every different thing that’s there. It was unlike anything I’ve seen before so, it was really, really cool.

What was the craziest thing you saw there?
Lots of naked people… in varying degrees of hotness.

I love how you’re one of the only people left making that filthy electro sound.
There’s loads of people making that stuff. You just need to do your research.

Well, I mean specifically with your style, I feel like you’re one of the prominent older generation artists creating that type of music. 
I certainly am old now, yes, that’s true. There’s so many kids making really corny stuff. And then there’s lots of the older guys who just kind of get left out of the picture.

And might I say, you’re one of the best that can make that sound. What do you look for in an artist when you’re contemplating signing them to your record label? 
You can listen to a track for literally, like two seconds and you just know. The production quality needs to be up there. You can just tell with the quality of the drums, the quality of the synths, and it needs to be unique. Too many new artists just use sample packs and are just ripping everything off. They’re trying to do exactly the same thing over and over again. Innovating is very, very  difficult, but if you are going to make a popular track, it needs to be produced really, really well. And if you’re going to make a bad quality copy of an average track, then it’s not going to get signed.

In my opinion, the UK has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music. Some of my favorite artists are from the UK. As a native, do you think there is a gap between the UK and the US when it comes to electronic music?
Ya, there definitely is. The UK is certainly more innovative and I think people there are more welcoming to new stuff. They, maybe, have a bit more patience with music. But right now, things are really blowing up in the States and I think that’s going to lead it to catch up. I also think it’s what’s happening in the States right now. The fact that so many people are starting to become aware of the whole dance music thing. I’m really pleased in the direction it’s heading. It’s a very good place to be. So many DJs are moving to LA right now because that’s where the scene is the biggest. That’s where all the money is. So, I think the States are definitely going to catch up.

Why do you think the UK is ahead of the US when it comes to music?
I don’t know. I mean, when I grew up, dance music was all around me. Literally, when I was 4-years-old I was listening to dance music. We have this thing in England, where as soon as a band is anywhere near popular, people start hating it. We’re always, always on the look out for the newest thing. I think, also, because it’s such a comparatively small country and there’s so many people packed into a small space. It’s always been, in every field, a very productive place.

What’s your take on club sets versus festival sets? Which you do prefer?
I much prefer playing at clubs. I like the intimate vibe with the crowd. I like being able to read them better. I like being able to pace myself and to take the crowd on sort of a journey building upwards rather than hit them with a wall of sound. I like having somebody open for me. Maybe that’s a bit arrogant of me, but I like being the main act. It’s nice. It’s a good feeling, ya know? Festivals are great when they go on. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s something very special about playing to that many people. I just feel that in a club you have to work the crowd a bit more. You have to earn getting that big hands-the-air moment, whereas in a festival, it’s kind of just expected.

We all have influences when we do something big, like starting your own record label and becoming a famous musician. However, what are some of your major influences today?
It’s not very interesting unfortunately. I’ve been influenced by the guys that are really making moves right now. The Tommy Trash’s, the Zedd’s, the Porter’s. It’s amazing what those guys are doing for the industry. They’re really pushing it forward. You really have to admire the people that are able to do something unique when there’s quite as many artists right now as there are . There’s so many people putting out music and to still do something new, it really takes some doing. I definitely admire them for doing it.

What can I find on your iPod right now? 
Let me take a look. I actually just put some old stuff on there. Hold on, I’ve got a really slow iPod. Let me see. The Fuzzy Hair remix of “Dancin” by Erick MorilloChris Lake and Marco Lys re-edit of “Hey” by Nightriders, which is just an amazing track. Also,Kim Jong Thrill by Pance Party. Yup, those are the best three I think. Unfortunately, I live in, like, a bubble. I hardly listen to any other music and I know it’s terrible. It’s awful and I should be ashamed of myself. But, I listen to music all day, every day, and to actually take time out to listen to other music just never happens.

What is your favorite track that you’ve made and why?
I really like my remix of “Sundown” by Chris Lake. It’s just got something special about it and everything just fell into place when I made that, so I was really pleased.

You seem to have an ear for up-and-comers. Signing people like Lucky Date, Porter Robinson and Zedd is a big deal. How do you find young kids like that?
They’re awesome. You know, I try to see them as regularly as I can. I randomly run into them at gigs and stuff. And they’re all just the nicest people. We all really get along. I’m so happy for all the success they’ve had. If you actually meet someone like Zedd, you can’t be anything but happy for him. He is an absolute musical genius. It’s just staggering what he’s able to come up with. It’s really nice that there’s young, fresh blood coming into the scene, as opposed to all these older guys who get other people to write tracks for them. He’s someone who is completely dedicated and does amazing work. I think he’s an absolute musical genius and an all-around nice guy. It’s fantastic. It’s great for the scene.

Who has been your favorite person you’ve worked with?
Um, Chris Lake, he’s just – I’m going to sound soppy now, but he’s such an all-around nice guy. It’s impossible not to like him. It really is. It’s nice being able to work with British guys and actually have someone who appreciates that British sense of humor. He’s been so helpful to me in doing tracks. I’m working with his wife right now on a new song and he’s always on Skype, always helping me out. It’s awesome. The amazing thing is I was buying his records on vinyl. He was one of the big guys. I hadn’t even put any tracks out (at that point). It was really awesome.

Wow. You were buying his vinyls?
Oh, of course. Ya. He’s such a big artist. He’s actually a legend within the industry.

How do you prep for your sets? Do you do an extensive prep or have you ever just gone into a DJ booth and improvise? 
That’s what I always do. I always just improvise because I’ve been DJing for about 12 years now. So, I like to think I’m getting alright at it. There are so many DJs now that just turn on their computer and hit play and that’s it. And that, for me, is not performing. It’s not DJing. When I’m DJing, I’m actually doing something. I’m actually playing live. I’m actually trying my best to read the crowd. I’m playing whatever track I think needs to come up next. You can hear it with my mixes because some of the mixes are good and some of them you’re like, “Here, he’s not sounding right.” That’s just me screwing up.

Obviously there’s been a huge thing about the “button-pushers” and Deadmau5 talking about people who do just go and press play. What is your take on that?
It’s absolutely fine, if that’s all you can do or that’s your way of doing things. Then, sure, I mean, a lot of time you’re getting booked for being a producer rather than being a DJ. But, I like to think that I’m getting booked for being a DJ and a producer. When I play, I want to be seen as a good DJ. Whether or not people actually appreciate it, I don’t know. But at least it gives me something to do when I’m up there and getting bored.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
It’s like an epic, intense, electro onslaught. Whenever I make music, I try to make the most intense version of it that I can possibly make. It’s not for everyone at all. It’s club music. It’s not the sort of music that would necessarily work if you tuned it in on the radio. It’s not perfect and there are so many things I can do to improve it. It’s what I do. It’s what I like to do.

Do you think EDM going mainstream has helped or hurt the genre?
I think it’s helped. Of those that hear “Levels” on the radio, there has got to be some that go and investigate and find other artists they like that make similar sorts of music and will dig down and dig deeper and find something very nice. To me personally, being able to go to any club in Vancouver and hear dance music, as opposed to sticking to hip-hop all the time, it’s awesome. I think it’s great. It’s so much more uplifting and friendly and positive.

You just dropped your remix to Avicii’s “Silhouettes” and you also put out Al Bizarre’s “Ice Jump” off your record label. They’re both amazing tracks. How have people responded to both of these songs? 
The response for both has been better than I thought it would be. My “Silhouettes” remix, I was a bit rushed doing it. I wasn’t completely happy with it so, it’s been amazing to see that people have been very positive about it. Al Bizarre has a great history of putting tracks out on Mau5trap and other labels. I’ve gotten an absolute ton of great feedback about it and I’m really pleased to see it do quite so well in the charts rights now. You see tracks that will jump up in the charts and then come straight back out again. But this track is staying there, which means people are constantly buying it and it’s turned out to be a big track.
Currently, the Lazy Rich remix of “Silhouettes” is number seven on Beatport’s Electro House chart. Lazy Rich also does a monthly podcast on Digitally Imported, an online radio station. The Lazy Rich Show is on the third Thursday of each month and is available for download HERE. Check out future tour dates for Lazy Rich below. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We really appreciate it and can’t wait to see you perform again.

Sept. 27 – The Mid – Chicago
Sept. 28 – Webster Hall- New York City
Oct. 6 – Six Flags Great Adventure – New York City
Nov. 7 – Diesel Nightclub – Pittsburgh
Nov. 23 – Republik – Winnipeg, Canada
via Bionic Beatlab

Florida Farmworkers Organizations Boycott Publix

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Samantha Doucette,

Contributing Writer

 

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are 150,000 to 200,000 migrant farmworkers that travel to Florida for work every year. Some of these workers experience unfair wages, horrible living conditions and even slavery.

While the treatment of farmworkers has been an issue since the 1960s, the problem still persists today. Because of this, advocacy groups are doing more to bring this to the attention of the general public.

Last week, from Sept. 10 until Sept. 15, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the Gainesville Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice (IAIJ) had a Week of Action to bring awareness about the horrors that some farmworkers still face today.

“If you have people who are helping to make your company incredibly profitable, that produce things that your consumers really value, then you should reciprocate and make sure that they’re treated fairly and humanely within a human rights context,” Paul Ortiz, a member of the Gainesville IAIJ and a history professor at the University of Florida, said.

As a Mexican-American, Ortiz grew up heavily involved in agriculture. He has previously worked as an organizer of the United Farm Workers of America, the nation’s first farmworkers union, and he has been apart of the farmworker movement since he began graduate school.

“I know a lot of farmworkers that work in the state of Florida and they’re hardworking people. I think they deserve to make a living wage,” Ortiz said. “I’m really concerned about those issues that affect people that I know.”

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is an internationally recognized human rights organization credited with starting the Fair Food Program, a campaign to improve working conditions and low wages to mistreated farmworkers. It’s headquarter is based in Immokalee, Fla., but the organization has become a voice for farmworkers all over the country.

These workers produce the mass of the fruits and vegetables we find in the corporate food industry. This allows huge corporations, like Publix Super Market Inc., to have the bargaining power to demand the lowest possible prices forcing lower wages and worse working conditions upon those who actually do the physical labor.

The CIW began the first farmworker boycott of a major fast-food company, Taco Bell, and its parent company, Yum! Brands, in 2001. During a lengthy four-year boycott, the CIW demanded industry giants take social and moral responsibility for the human right violations that were taking place in the fields of where they were buying their produce.

The conditions of the agreement were simple. Mostly, the CIW was insisting that major companies that continuously bought large amounts of tomatoes pay at least an extra cent per pound.

They also wanted these companies to only buy from growers who give that cent directly to their workers, enforce a code of conduct in the workplace and keep a full and complete record of purchases and wages.

After national attention was gained, Taco Bell agreed, prompting McDonald’s Corp. to sign the agreement in 2007. Burger King signed a year later, followed by Whole Foods Market and then Subway, the largest fast-food buyer of Florida tomatoes.

The University of Florida’s food service provider, Aramark Ltd., signed an agreement with the CIW in 2010.

Publix has been the organizations next target. Since 2007, the Campaign for Fair Food and the Alliance for Fair Food has tried to get Publix to sign an agreement only to be met with continuous refusal.

Apart of the Week of Action, the CIW and the Gainesville IAIJ organized a protest on Sept. 14 at the Publix on SW 34th St. and West University Ave.

“They (Publix) currently lack the understanding and education about the issues at hand. One of the issues being that slavery exists in Florida. A lot of farmworkers in South Florida who work in the tomato harvest, which Publix purchases tomatoes from, have been subjected to conditions of slavery,” Ortiz said. “They have basically tried to make the claim that they don’t know anything about what’s happening or if something’s happening, it’s the government’s responsibility.”

Despite the rain and a police presence, a large number of people showed up to support the cause. One of the protesters was Alli Baldwin, a 22-year-old senior at UF. Baldwin lived at LaLa Land Organic Farm just outside of Gainesville for a short period of time. There, she learned how to grow her own vegetables. On top of growing produce for herself, she also shares her harvests with the community.

“I find them (Publix) to be more influenced by money. Their intention is for their personal profit instead of for the greater good,” Baldwin said.

While she said she does her shopping primarily at the local farmer’s market, Ward’s and the Citizens Co-Op, Baldwin admits to shopping at Publix occasionally, claiming that it’s easy to get sucked into the convenience and cost efficiency of a major supermarket chain.

Ortiz made an interesting comparison with the slavery of African-Americans in the 19th century.

“The analogy I make as an historian is that during slavery times, before the end of the Civil War, you had slaves. You had masters. The argument that Publix is making now is akin to, ‘Well, we benefit from slavery, but it’s just between the slaves and the masters. They have to work it out.’ I think they’re still kind of stuck in the 1812 mentality, which was an attitude of moral relativism. If it doesn’t bother me, if I can rationalize it, then it’s OK. It’s not an issue,“ said Ortiz.

Fool’s Gold Clubhouse @ CounterPoint feat. Nick Catchdubs and more

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When you hear the words “Fool’s Gold,” you probably think about A-Trak almost instantaneously. However, Fool’s Gold Records wasn’t created by just A-Trak himself. Co-founder Nick Catchdubs met the famous DJ at a party that they were both booked at in the mid-2000s, and thus, one of the most prominent and recognizable record labels in electronic music and hip-hop was born. With a taste in music as varied as Nick Catchdubs, it’s almost hard to keep up.

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Nick Catchdubs will be performing at CounterPoint Music Festival in Georgia later this month, with his Fool’s Gold Clubhouse. Read on to find out more information about the talented producer, DJ and record label owner and the Clubhouse that will be featured at CounterPoint.

He was the associate editor for The Fader magazine before Fool’s Gold Records. He mostly was in charge of the magazine’s radio show, “The Let Out,” on East Village Radio but he also wrote features and cover stories as well. He has made a name for himself throughout the different music scenes due to his diverse song choice in terms of production and performing. He plays everything from hip-hop and electronic to the newest sounds coming out today.

Nick Catchdubs beautifully merges electronic music and hip-hop in a way that not most people can do. He is known to be able to read a crowd and know what to play to satisfy them. He has a certain process when he creates his exclusive mixes. “It’s all different and depends on the aim of the project, but they start the same way though: getting together all the music I want to pull from, listening to it closely and then trying different ways to see how to best connect the dots,” Catchdubs said in an interview with the blog Blisspop.

As one of the founders of Fool’s Gold Records, Nick Catchdubs has remained to stick to the value of incorporating and using a variety of new and different music in his mixes. This is also evident in his work with Fool’s Gold, as the record label has come to be known as one that is ahead of their time (and the game). Fool’s Gold has signed a variety of artists that are known for their progressive music and prototype-like talent. This includes Danny Brown, Flosstradamus, Style of Eye, Kavinsky, Crookers, Kid Cudi, Kid Sister, Cubic Zirconia, NAPT, NT89 and too many more to mention.

This summer, in honor of their five year anniversary, the Fool’s Gold label debuted their curated Clubhouse, a traveling festival tent featuring artists off of the label and those close to the tight-knit Fool’s Gold family. According to an interview done with Hard Events, Nick Catchdubs said, “At the end of the day, anyone can throw a show. But not everybody can throw a party. And that’s how we view the Clubhouse stuff.”

And it’s true. From personal experience, Fool’s Gold DOES know how to throw a party and a damn good one at that. So don’t miss out on the Fool’s Gold Clubhouse at this year’s CounterPoint Music Festival on September 27-29th. The Clubhouse will feature Nick Catchdubs, Oliver, Treasure Fingers and A-Trak.  General admission tickets are still available for $165 and 3-day VIP tickets start at $365. All tickets can be found online, HERE.

You can listen to the most recent mix that Nick Catchdubs and A-Trak have done for the Diplo and Friends show on BBC Radio 1 HERE. Hurry, the link expires in four days.

 

via Bionic Beatlab