Aryay Unleashes All The Feels With “Always Wanted You” Ft. Kimbra
One of my favorite parts about music is stumbling across songs that evoke a certain emotion. Since I pressed play on Aryay’s latest release “Always Wanted You,” featuring Kimbra, I’ve been in a state of pure happiness. Loop after loop, I have found myself lost in the waves of euphoric synths, hypnotizing hymns, and seductive snare. It also doesn’t hurt that Kimbra adds the perfect cherry on top with easy to sing lyrics. Check out the tune below out now via OWSLA.
Such an amazing EP my friend! I really want to ask you, how the hell did you come up with the name You Always Knew Me Last Week. I really have never bumped into an artist which a long yet creative artist name. Also, where are you from, and how long have you been producing.
I said the name in passing to a roommate while having a back and forth of random and ridiculous phrases. It’s just part of my sense of humor to say something like that. I joked that it would be the name of my solo project if I ever wrote stuff. I made it my tumblr name and then had a situation with a loved one a few months later that forced me to start writing personal stuff. I made a record under that name back in 2013 and when I had the time to write stuff again I decided to keep the name. I was making completely different music, but I thought I should stick with it. Recently I’m thinking of changing the name to something simpler. I’m from Livingston, New Jersey. I was living in Boston when I wrote most of this because my band and crew of musician friends are all Berklee grads. I’ve only been making stuff like this since August 2015. I was dabbling with ableton and sampling a bit in 2014, but barely knew what I was doing. I still feel like I don’t. I’m just a drummer with an ear.
I appreciate the fact you are a true experimental producer, your sound is really different. Why did you decide to become an experimental producer rather than being a common trap/modern Hip Hop mainstream producer?
I didn’t start listening to hip hop and soul until 2011. Before I was really just into Math Rock and Experimental rock while studying Jazz at Berklee. Then I heard Flying Lotus and Robert Glasper’s Black Radio. I immediately caught on to the whole swung hip hop and chill Dilla Beat thing. No matter what I’ve done as a musician it’s always been combining genres and experimenting with ideas because the last thing I ever want to do as an artist is repeat what’s been done. Mainstream music is a product to me. A complete waste of my time. I’m not big into rap either besides the old school stuff and Kendrick. Kendrick is pushing the boundaries. Kendrick is saying what needs to be said. I’m just trying to follow suite and keep it real. I’m not gonna pretend I come from struggle and I’m not gonna flaunt a privileged life style. I’m just speaking my mind. I speak my mind when I play drums so I’m just doing what I know. I wanted to do a live drums with samples project so I started chopping sections of songs I like without drums. Then I would go and rip some drums over em and demo it out. I just go about it with an open mind. I would come home from teaching kids drums, get high and play around with the melodies that come from cutting and pasting parts together. Throw some reverb on everything and it starts sounding dreamy and ethereal the way I like it.
Please breakdown the creative process of your latest EP “HAUNTER”. Also tell us a bit about the creepy EP cover?
After writing the majority of my full length I realized how much longer it would take to finish. I was anxious to put some stuff out already so I made a couple of tunes to hold everyone over. The first track a homie of mine did the samples for. I gave him a track to mess with and he came back with the Skeleton of “Haunted”. Then like the next three tracks I just put drums over em and had everyone else layer on top as well. It took me a while to write the right lyrics to “Haunted” though. I showed Michi like four different ideas before scrapping it all and going with the lyrics to “Haunted”. It came to me in 5 minutes. I had spent all summer getting back into writing lyrics (I hadn’t written in a few years). I had a lot of heartbreak happen this past year and I’ve been writing about it for months, but “Haunted” came out of thin air. It kind of just wrote itself as my thoughts flowed out about how I felt about everything. Michi then killed the vocal part and made it flow right. The other tracks were the same process of chopping and shredding. I wanted “9 9 9” to be about the numerological number 999. I see matching triplet numbers at least three times a day and 999 represents change so I told my old band mate Dylan to write about what it meant it him. I knew I wanted the song to have a rapping feel, vocally so I told him to sing it like his favorite band “Why?”. He wrote about a shitty new room-mate that moved into his place out in Washington. The last track Sunbath was the most unusual process. I recorded my jazz kit with two mics and made three different loop/drum ideas for my friend Chad Matheny of “Emperor X” to record over. I thought they would each be three different songs, but they became three different sections to a synth epic, once he started layering over 20 different sounds into the session. He just had me hit record then listened back and made cuts in certain spots to get the majority of what you hear in that track. It was surreal.
The Cover Art needed to capture the essence of the video and aesthetic of the record. The artist, Elle DioGuardi, uses mirrors as a medium for pieces. She carves words or phrases into the back of mirrors to get an interesting effect. I knew I wanted her to do something with that and shine some light through while also utilizing the reflection of the mirror. She carved HAUNTER and my “insignia” (unibrow-smiley face) into the mirror, put lights behind it, and took a couple different angles and shots outside her house. After looking at a few I picked the right one and we cropped it into a square album cover. I think it’s perfect.
Rappers/Producers nowadays think by throwing up a few beats/videos up on social media and pushing quick projects, they can blow up overnight! Clearly your skills are on a whole different level! Give us your view on how over saturated the market is right now with so many MC’s/Producers but not to many quality music.
Well plain and simple people gotta stop for a second and think “why am I doing this?” What’s your intent? I grew up finding it hard to fit in so naturally I learned to just be myself and allow myself to stand out. Embrace it. The market is always gonna be over saturated with bullshit. In my experience, whether its Hip Hop or Punk, or whatever, you gotta come from the heart. It helps to know what you’re doing technically, but at the same time there’s so much complex crap out there that you forget about the second the song ends. You can’t forget a feeling though. If your music can make a bunch of people feel something deep, then you will stand out. I think that’s why “big” artists seem like they got it made, but there making money for someone else too. They’re just playing the game. They still got people to answer to. But then you take Kendrick, Chance, Flying Lotus, even Kanye. They seem to run their own ship and they seem to be the real winners in all of this. Because if you’re trying to last. You gotta make something real. Something that the people feel. It’s the feeling that stands the test of time. They want to make something that’s bigger then themselves. I’m trying to do the same. I just want to bring music to the people and play. I don’t care if I have to tour out of my car alone for the rest of my life as long as I can play for people and share my music.
How many music videos do you have? Are there any tracks on your EP that you would want to shoot a video for?
As of now I just have the whole short film to HAUTER. I’m considering doing a video for a few songs performed live in a sweet location. I will definitely be making some videos for a few songs off of the upcoming full LP.
How often do you perform LIVE. Any live beat sets coming up? Shows lined up in the near future?
I’ve been trying at least a few times a month. I’m currently booking a two-week tour starting January 17th to February 1st that will take me to the Mid West and tackle the East Coast as well. My live set involves me playing live drums over the drum-less tracks out of ableton. People seem to dig it so far. I like to think of it as going to see a DJ perform, but I’m filling in the drums so you have something to watch.
Where do you see yourself in 5yrs time?
In 5 years I would love to be able to open up for Flying Lotus or just be involved in the whole Brainfeeder crew of artists. That would be an honor to just kick it with those cats. Regardless I just want to still be on that road and continue to out do myself.
Here it is! Our most popular question! What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?
Underground hip hop is where it all begins. The hottest tracks aren’t gonna be coming through the radio any time soon so people gotta wake up and start looking a little closer to what’s going on around them. “The revolution will not be televised”. The real fun can be in your hometown.
Where can people find you on the web? Drop all the vital links.
Shout out to everyone involved in this record, my other bands People Like You and Pet Jail. Kash, Karen and Sloane Bryce, Boston Fam, Livingston Fam, and everyone at Underground Hip Hop Blog. Thank you.
Dropout Dive Deeper Into Their Unique Euphoric Funk With “You Always Win”
With their debut single “Slowly”, Dropout came onto the scene and made some huge waves with their funky midtempo style that did very well with satisfying your subs. Now they are back with a second original “You Always Win”, and it’s funny they talk about YOU always winning when they seem to be the ones that always win. Uplifting yet wistful in tone, the track has plenty of energy to help you overcome your own struggle with letting someone else into your mind and controlling your every thought. It happens to the best of us, and there’s not much we can do to stop it from happening with that certain someone. When this song hits your speakers, there’s not much you will be able to do to stop dancing. Set at a smooth tempo a little above the moombah range, the Nu Disco vibes clearly shine through and lift the song up even higher, encouraged by the creamy saw chords and crunchy bassline – not to mention the irregular half-time snare pattern, which was present in “Slowly” as well. Take a listen on Spotify or SoundCloud below, and keep a lookout for the link to purchase this bad boy.