RENDRD Radar: Trendsetting or Nothing with ANGELZ
The lone statement on ANGELZ’ page says that you need to know about his creations, each of them unique but all with his signature touch. The enigmatic producer from Quebec has been releasing a steady stream of singles, along with his recent ‘Saint Thug EP’ through Confession, run by label head Tchami. Sit down and learn how to stay ahead of the trend as we enjoy some downtime with ANGELZ before his Vancouver set for Tchami’s Prophecy Tour.
RENDRD: First off, the question on everyone’s mind: are you Malaa?
ANGELZ: Man, you know, it changes from day to day. That’s all I can say.
So is that a yes?
I’ve already said too much. You’ll have to solve the rest on your own.
And who is Saint Thug?
The name Saint Thug came from the idea that I wanted to create a story with my latest EP. I like movies like ‘Kill Bill’ a lot, and I was inspired to make listening to the EP very immersive. It’s much more common to put out singles rather than full projects now because it creates instant feedback, and with that instant gratification. But you have to know that your fans that were there before can be patient, and won’t disappear if you spend longer crafting something more meaningful.
You mentioned ‘Kill Bill’ as an influence - are you a Tarantino fan?
Yeah, definitely. Funny story - I just found out that I live super close to Quentin [Tarantino]. I’ve been very involved in running for a while, and there’s a long road through Hollywood Hills that I usually run - it’s all downhill one way, then uphill to come back. I was near the bottom of the run and I saw someone walking their dog. He actually started the interaction - he looked up and asked “are you going to run all the way back up there?” It took a second but when I realised who he was, all I could get out was “yeah, I am” with a big grin and kept running. After that I thought of all the questions I wanted to ask in that moment! It goes to show that you just always need to be prepared.
What other ‘Hollywood’ experiences have you had since moving to LA?
I visited Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood - pretty much every Top 100 hit you can think of over the past 40 years has been recorded there. The Weeknd has recorded his past 3 albums there, and for the last one, Starboy, apparently he wanted something for him and his crew to do in their downtime. So the studio built them a basketball court, with a massive ‘XO’ logo in the middle. And the court is still there to this day. I didn’t get to see the man Abel himself, but it was a cool experience.
What would your studio requirement be when you get on that level of fame?
Honestly man, maybe a basketball court too. Something to take out some of the physical energy and relax you when you’re in the studio all day. I also run a lot, so some nice running paths near the studio would be great. I tried running today here [in Vancouver] but it was raining all day and my shoes got soaked.
Welcome to Vancouver.
Haha I guess so.
You’re from Quebec, so I have to ask - who’s poutine is better? BC or Quebec?
Man, to tell the truth I haven’t had poutine in a while. I was raised a vegetarian and changed to veganism soon after moving to LA. There are still times when I think about it though…
Have you heard of Cartem’s Donuterie here in Vancouver? They do vegan donuts!
My manager actually just grabbed one for me a couple of hours ago - it was so good! I had the apple fritter.
What’s your favourite track that you’ve made?
Want It All. I’ve really enjoyed making my recent tracks, it’s been a fun process and the workflow is much more seamless, I can take the ideas from my brain and manifest them into actual tracks. The ‘Feel Your Love’ official remix I did for Flux Pavilion was cool too, but I made that track more to show that I’m capable of sound design. My favourite tracks are the ones where I have full creative freedom and the idea organically comes to me.
My personal favourite of yours is Fishscale.
Thanks man! That was a fun track to make - at that time I was listening to a lot of Dabke, which is Arabian dance music, when I would go for my runs and I felt inspired. The sample I used was pulled from one particular song but I couldn’t find the instrument for the longest time. I started messaging every Arabic musician and producer I could find to figure this secret out. That turned out to be a difficult process with the language barrier; the response I would usually get would be ‘Hi! Nice to meet you!’ They were very friendly but not very helpful in my search.
Did you end up finding it?
After a lot of searching, I finally did. Go check out what a Mijwiz looks and sounds like, then take another listen to ‘Fishscale’.
Who would you say are the most underrated artists right now?
They originally started as a duo called Atica. They work on their own projects now - one kept the name Atica, and the other performs as Slatin. Both have been on Confession, and both are great guys. I have projects that I’m working on with both of them coming soon.
Do you prefer creating solo, or are you moving into more collaboration tracks?
I’ve worked on my own for so long, and I’ve built my own creative process and become more efficient over time. But now that I’ve begun branching out and working with other artists, I see the benefit of learning their workflow and techniques to step my own game up. I’ve come to really enjoy collaborating with other artists because even if our song never sees the light of day, I was able to share that experience with them and take something away from the process.
Here in BC we’ve had a major drug issue lately with Fentanyl, and now we’re seeing it sweep into the East Coast. Have you seen it affect anyone close to you, and how do you think drugs at concerts of festivals should be handled?
I haven’t been personally affected thankfully, but I have been hearing the stories and it can be terrifying. I personally come from the suburbs in Quebec where it doesn’t seem as common. For my fans and everyone else attending my shows, I know the reality that people do want to enhance their concert experience. All I ask is that everyone that comes is safe and tests whatever it is that they’re using.