The next round of monthly parties on the sly and OUTPOST1 (with support from WCDB) are nearing closer – current countdown reads at 10 and 11 days respectively – and the following interview was just too good to keep starred in my priority inbox any longer. This month’s headliner, Jillionaire, is hilarious (and of course, talented) and I can’t wait for us to host him in Albany on May 18th at Jillian’s, alongside Mix Pak’s Dre Skull and residents Party With Tina, knomad and Looney.
Additionally, be sure to hit us with an e-mail at [email protected] so we can add your name to the list for the RSVP-only Happy Hour to get the early advantage on our inexpensive-but-not-cheap drink specials. Happy Hour runs an hour prior to when we open the doors to the public too, so come hang out early.
Jillionaire has over fifteen years of experience and has created a unique sound which mashes indie dance and big room house with the caribbean rhythms of soca and dancehall. He has built up quite the resume that stretches an arms length including joining Major Lazer across the globe on a sold-out tour, curating the first Mad Decent showcase at Camp Bisco X, releasing his fair share of remixes and original tracks and plotting World Domination alongside the likes of Diplo.
To help you get acquainted with the man himself, we took some time to conduct this interview, which is a nice balance of funny and factual. Check it out beneath the cut!
In the game since: Been in the game for years, it made me an animal. A cuddly koala bear.
What drew you in? Money, hos and clothes. And all the free fruit and diet coke you get backstage.
Growing up in Trinidad, do you feel as though your approach to DJing will always showcase regional/tropical flavors?Trinidad DJs are some of the best in the world. They have to play hop-hop & rnb, reggae & dancehall, soca, top 40. You have to be flexible and cater to very diverse tastes.
Given the tropical flavorings of your sets, do you ever find it bittersweet having to adjust to a venue in a suburban city like Albany as opposed to playing in an environment such as carnival or an outside setting? Do you feel as though this music is best suited in its roots of being outdoors/in warm weather or do you hope that the music transports the crowd there? You just gotta bring the island vibes, mon. I got my coconuts, I got my hammock, I got my lil umbrellas for my pina coladas. But the thing about dancehall and soca is once it comes on everybody is gonna dance.
After being in this line of work for so many years, what makes one party stand out to you compared to the rest? Honestly, I almost always have a great night. New cities, new crowds and everybody just wants to party and have a good time.
How do you manage to not get worn out / keep up on recent music? I’m still playin the same shit from 2009 so it’s cool.
What was your first gig like? How did it compare to your most recent? First gig I can remember I was djing on a sound in Trinidad and we had to carry our own sound system to this party out in the countryside. My boy borrowed a hooptie and it shut down halfway there. We got there late, i can’t remember if we played or not. It was on a basketball court and I just remember the cops shut it down, and somebody pointed a gun in my face.
Most recent gig, uhh, sold out a string of concert halls throughout the UK and Europe.
when did you first link with Mad Decent and Diplo? We met at an online scrabble tournament.
Have you ever been pranked by Diplo? Ever prank him? Sometimes I switch out his english breakfast for chamomile. It gets real on the tour bus, you know.
What types of sounds can we expect from feel up recordings? When are you expecting the first launch to be? The website is almost done and we’ve got two or three full eps almost ready to go, expect jams to start dropping in the summertime.
What are some of your favorite producers right now? baauer. jwls. flexican. phat deuce.
what’s the update on that national geographic documentary you were featured in? “Making Tracks” is now playing in 100 countries around the world on National Geographic Adventure.
What was it like curating for WMC and the Mad Decent showcase at Camp Bisco last year? Is that something you’d like to do again? Yeah man, I love to do parties. I love to involve my friends so I’m always down to work on stuff like that. There’s no money in doing parties tho and it can be difficult dealing with venues and sponsors that don’t fully “get” your vision so it ends up being a lot of hard work. But I guess fun is the reward. Fun fun fun.
As someone who is on the road a lot, what are some things you never leave home without? Do you pack light or are you a pack rat? Man sometimes I pack light, sometimes I pack too much shit. But definitely a denim shirt, some pastel colored pants and a pair of suede shoes. Carry on.
What’s your favorite kind of taco? Tacombi Taco on Elizabeth Street in NYC!
Photo by Carolyne Weldon