When we say the words hip hop and house music – you’ll probably automatically think of two people: Will.I.Am. and Calvin Harris. But there is another way: Belgium producer A.N.D.Y.
He’s trying to reconcile two diametrically opposed styles into a new house off-shoot without it sounding like something you find on the cutting room floor of Interscope Records.
His latest EP, which is out now via Smile Recordings, features one new original track with vocals from rising star Dominique Young Unique, the single is broken into 4 versions of the same track, each with its own style – so there’s bound to be one version that will tickle your fancy.
As part of our ever popular Introducing interview series, we grabbed 10 minutes with A.N.D.Y. to talk about his new EP, how he managed to get signed to Sony Worldwide and what he has planned for the rest of 2013.
HBF: Give us five words that best describe A.N.D.Y.’s sound?
That’s really hard because I like to make many different styles of music, something you will certainly hear in my upcoming single featuring Dominique Young Unique. But let’s say: a mix of hip hop/rap vocals, classic house beats and classic 80s synth stabs.
HBF: Regarding Mustang, which you were one half of, did you see that as an important experience in creation the A.N.D.Y. alias – do regret parting ways in anyway?
When I started Mustang with Renaud Deru I was very young. I had just graduated, so the whole process of releasing music was brand new for me, and basically I agreed to it without thinking what I really wanted to do in the future. After 3 years I realised that I was not 100% happy with it for both personal and professional reasons. But, to be honest, I have no regrets, because I learned a lot during this time. And I also have some great souvenirs, and most of all, it gave me a clear vision on what I wanted to do in the future: A.N.D.Y.
HBF: You’ve recently signed to Sony, tell us about that, how did come about and what does mean for the future?
After releasing my first single ‘Pump it Up’ featuring Nyemiah Supreme, I had some interest from various labels, both Independent and Majors. After a couple of meetings, it was clear to me that Sony was going to be my ideal partner. They strongly believe in my sound, me as a producer and as a songwriter on a worldwide level. Then with my follow up single and other demos it convinced them even more … so I’m really proud of signing with Sony. It’s going to be a direct collaboration with Smile Recordings, who I will begin A&R’ing for starting from this September – so there’s loads of exciting things coming up.
HBF: Your new EP is about to drop and is a heady concoction of 90s house, hip-hop and other odds and sods – can we expect more experimentation within these genres from you?
I’ve always listened to loads of different styles of music when I was younger. For the new single I tried to mix all these elements in one record and then give it my personal musical touch. If you listen you can hear the hip hop influences in the vocal, a classic house touch in the beats, flow, sound, and on top of that my own melancholic synth stabs to give it that A.N.D.Y. feel.
HBF: How important was your residency and Libertine Supersport in becoming a full-time DJ/Producer? Should ever DJ be a resident at some point?
Really important, Libertine Supersport is one of the main clubs in Belgium with a strong musical vision towards the future. So a residency, in my home town of Brussels, was really important for me as both a DJ and producer.
HBF: Tell us about highly talented Dominique Young Unique? How did you come to work together?
I spotted her more then a year ago on Youtube. I was completely blown away by her vocals, by her flow, by her skills. I contacted her through her management and sent some demo instrumentals to her people. I’ve waited more than a year to release this track, as I thought it would be too much of a shock from what I’d been making with Mustang – so I decided to wait until I could be sure it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise for everyone. She is also signed to Sony Music, and she’s finishing her upcoming single featuring Diplo and DJ Fresh.
HBF: What remixes have you got in the pipeline for the next few months, and how do you choose who you should, and shouldn’t, remix?
I’ve done a remix for a Greek duo called Bronson, on my own label Smile Recordings. It’s scheduled for a May release and it will be the last Smile Recordings release before the summer. We will then take a short break and come back with some exciting releases after the summer.
There’s also a remix I’ve done for Pharao Black Magic which is going to be released on Future Classic, Australia. I’m really excited about this one. I made it more than 6 months ago, and it has a great summer feel to it, with some reggae vibes in there, too, I can’t wait to see it around the internet soon. The most important thing for me when I choose a track to remix is: if I don’t feel it from the first few seconds – I won’t do it.
HBF: Tell us a secret about yourself that nobody knows.
Mmmm, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, haha.
HBF: If your studio was on fire, and if you could save one thing, what would it be and why.
I can’t imagine that, my god! I’ve got loads of analogue gear that we can’t replace, they are all really difficult to find these days. I’ve spent so much time by collecting them so losing them would be a disaster for me. But if I had to choose one thing: it would be my computer.
HBF: Who should we be keeping an eye on from your local scene – who’s currently on your radar?
I signed some new and talented artists on the label recently:-
A young duo (brothers) called Voltron, who released their first EP ‘Let Go’ a few months ago. I even did a remix for it.
A guy called Daryl. He will release his very first EP right after the summer so you should expect some club bangers
There’s: Vicente. I did a side project with him last year, on Discotexas. He also has a very strong EP ready soon.
And finally, a new artist called Bailey. He’s giving us some fresh and sexy vibes straight from Brighton, UK.
HBF: Are their any collaborations in the future that we can look forward to?
Unfortunately, it’s too early to tell you about any future collaboration, but expect only the very best.
Listen to A.N.D.Y.’s ‘Pushing’ EP below.
Smile Recordings :