Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Glowsticks-I'll Be There

I love hearing about what my friends are doing across the world, especially when they are doing big things...

My family and I moved to Abidjan, the capital of Cote d'Ivoire, before the start of my 8th grade year. That year made a huge impact on my life, although a coup d'etat cut short our stay. When I wasn't playing basketball, my best buddy at the time, Jono (aka Kasper tha Ghost), and I would make beats and lay verses on them, even making and selling a full album (maximum 3 albums sold). There was a strong musical streak at that our international school, and people got really into producing, rapping, and battling, getting funky on tracks with a mix of kids from all over. While I would make simple pre-installed loop based beats on our bootleg copy of Ejay, one buddy of mine would get nuts on his beats, incorporating instruments from his native Sudan with a complexity far beyond his years.

This friend, Osama, now better known as Verse-Atile, started off small, but over the years has continued to make music, and has expanded his talents and crossed over genres. Now based in Canada, Verse-Atile is part of the group The Glow Sticks (TGS), which has a dope single out (I'll Be There) to promote their new album. Incorporating a strong house feel, "I'll Be There" shows off Verse-Atile's ear for making a hit, and feels like it could keep clubs going from Abidjan to Toronto.

I had a chance to catch up with him recently, and asked him a few questions about The Glow Sticks and "I'll Be There":

Can you tell us a little about TGS. How did the two of you meet? What type of sound are you trying to capture?

The Glowsticks (TGS) is a group consisting of myself (producer-songwriter) and DarkAce (vocalist -songwriter). Originally I was DarkAce's producer for his solo project. During the process of producing and co-writing Ace's project, we realized that we are stronger as a duo.

I know for a while you were making more traditional hip-hop. How did that evolve to the sound in "I'll Be There?"

I started out as a hiphop and RnB producer, yet thanks to my frequent travels to Europe, I fell in love with House and Electro music, which then began to influence my style of production. I began mixing genres together to create more interesting beats that crossed genres. "I'll Be There" is more house influenced, but the rest of the TGS project is more mixed genre.

What are your plans for TGS? You have a dope single that people will probably love, what's your next move?

We have been working on other music and we now have over 8 songs fully finished and we are currently working on more. They will be cross genre with a lot of electro and house influence, and a touch of urban hiphop.

I know you've come a long way since our days of making beats on ejay. What's your process to making a song like I'll Be There?

I use a combination of tools to create beats based on what sound I want to achieve, everything from FL Studio to Logic and Protools. For TGS we play with different sounds and experiment with them in different styles until we are happy with the result.

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