Artist To Artist: Waajeed & LadyMonix
Some folk have soul, some folk don't. It's a simple as that.
Waajeed and LadyMonix are two distinct voices within dance and electronic music, however the music that they create touches on far more than just the stereotypical notion of the "club". They draw inspiration from deep rooted history and circumstance, breathing life into the music they produce and curate with dynamic creativity and flair. They both have stories to tell, tales from Detroit & Baltimore, stories passed down from the pioneering era of house and techno.
Waajeed has recently recorded the latest in the Detroit Love series in which he showcase a sprawling assortment of sounds and styles. He also picks an exclusive track from LadyMonix on the comp which is as good an excuse for these two to chat as any…
LadyMonix asks Waajeed
Quite an eclectic group of people from all over on this last Detroit Love compilation. What made you decide these were the ones?
Ultimately, it was the music. I was after a uniqueness I can't describe. Someplace where rawness meets sophistication. A place where swing meets quantization. It just so happens that the personalities of the artist are authentic to the sound they produced.
You've got so much going on right now! Your other latest release, Hocus Pocus, came out on Deviation just last month with some stunning artwork. What's the story behind the title and mystical imagery?
I'd been thinking about the idea of levitation for many years. I was scrolling through Instagram and came across Benji Reid, A fantastic photographer based in Manchester, England. His photos were exactly what I was looking for! I reached out, flew out, and knocked it out. It was a great experience.
Rumour has it there's another album in the works for 2020… can we expect any sneak peeks or singles anytime soon?
Yes. I'm working on a new LP for a release on my label DIRT TECH RECK. I've enjoyed putting out singles and EP's but it's the LP experience that offers more incite as to what I'd like to present to my audience. It's an opportunity to give a in-depth journey into the idea. More sentences in the paragraph.
There's always a concept behind your work. What will be the story behind the next album?
Still sorting that. I will say that the conditions here in America play a major part in this new LP. How could it not?! It's very tense here in the US especially around the subject of race.
Anyone you're hoping to collab with in the next year?
Hoping to build with some new people, some one I've met recently and a older friend. This has been a formula I've used for years. It allows me to listen back years from now and use the music as a statement of where I was in my life.
Do you do anything other than work? Between music, filming/editing your own videos, and touring, it seems like you never stop! How the hell are you doing this, really.
No. I don't stop. There's too much to say. Too much to do. Life is short. You should make the best with the time you have. Music has offered me a fantastic life. It's my job to refine it and give it back to the people. When a person spends their money on my music or comes to hear me play, I owe them the best I can can give.
Imagine you actually take a day off. A whole day to do anything you want around Detroit. What would you do?
Hmmmm. A day off. I'd take the opportunity to visit some friends and family. I'd also take the time to go see some of my teachers from High School. I'm pretty close with several of them. They played a significant role in my life
What's next the next step for Dirt Tech Reck, any new artists you're looking to add to the roster?
Yes. There's some new talent being developed, some of which are featured on the latest Detroit Love Compilation. I used to try to only sign talent from my city. I've since changed the philosophy of the label.
Do you have any favorite clubs or parties you've played this past year?
So many clubs, Most I don't remember. Somehow it's the smaller venues in the smaller cities that are the most significant.
What are you doing NYE? 🙂
Taking the night off going to have dinner and relax with my lady 😉
Waajeed asks LadyMonix
How'd you get the name LadyMonix?
It's something I've had since middle school. Back in the good ol' AOL days, that was my screen name, ha! And since then, it's been every variation of email since. When I started djing and my first gig was coming up, a friend of mine was making the flyer and asked for a dj name. Truly I just wanted to use my own name, but I had been convinced that using something other would be better. So…. here we are. Funny enough, I recently posted a pic to instagram of what could be called the real LadyMonix, adolescent me at the giant desktop typing away in chatrooms, definitely blasting Deee-lite.
When did you discover your love for house music?
I've always been around it really. Whether I knew it or not. Growing up, my parents would throw parties at the house and my Dad 100% loved dance music. Major disco happening, and definitely all that pop-house that was going on in the 90s (Cece Peniston, Crystal Waters). Not to mention late-night Baltimore radio had it going on!! I learned a lot there.
How did you come up with the name for your record label?
The name is actually derivative of my Dad's old business. He passed away when I was a teen, and I'm always looking for ways to keep him apart of my ever changing world. When the idea for starting this label came to be and I was thinking up all these names, I called my sister to see what she thought of my list. She was the one who said "why not use Frizner Electric!" And tbh I was like…. why the hell didn't I think of that first. The plug logo is even the original logo that was on his truck.
If you had to describe your production style with three spices in your kitchen. What would you chose and why?
What a question….. I'm going start off w salt (pink himalayan salt bc I'm fancy) bc if theres no salt then your shit is bland. It's the building block. Next I'd say red pepper flakes. Gotta have that heat, that spice! And something to round it all out, something to add a bit of sweet but savory to it, I'm going to say saffron. Its that flavor you can't always identify but you know it's good, and you always want more.
How has your childhood in Baltimore effected your lastest EP's?
Man, as I'm answering these I'm realizing all over again how much my family and childhood has influenced all of this. Kinda crazy. To be honest, this last release, Baby, I think is the first record that I didn't fully pull from those memories. I do a bit, when using some of those disco vocals that I love so dearly, but I mostly wanted to put forward something that was a bit more layered and what I felt was a little different for me. I mean, it's all in the same vein, but the way I went about producing this one was different from that last 2 records.
What's your go to piece of gear when making beats?
My favorite thing right now is using the Korg Volca Sample to start ideas. It's so small and offers so much.
Do you prefer to DJ or produce?
That answer can change on any given week for me. Sometimes I just want to be home, sometimes I want to be out there.
Danny Krivit just played your monthly party, "Maybe Tonight" in Detroit. What was the first and last record you played?
Started w Steely Dan "Glamour Profession", ended w Earth People "Dance".
What is the dream party or event you haven't DJed yet?
Oh I've got a long list. But the main one I'd love to play is Panorama Bar.
What do you have planned for 2020?
More releases, more gigs, less time staring into the phone at things that don't serve me.
Buy the new comp HERE.