I like BoatHouse, as a producer, a person, and one of the artists on Closed Sessions. He’s got a lot of music, and I found myself listening to a lot of his production over the last few weeks. As I listened, I also had questions. Midway through a very long text message about one of his new songs, I the idea to turn this into a recurring feature on rubyhornet and share what I find with you, whoever the fuck is reading this right now.
It’s a simple premise, I pick a BoatHouse song, listen to it a bunch, and ask BoatHouse some questions about it. Nothin more. Nothing less.
It’s called BoatHouse Tales (for now) because I couldn’t think of a better title. If you got one, holler. Last week, we explored “Coming Into Focus”. This week I turned my attention towards “Crowd Go Loose”. Read below.
rubyhornet: So, “Crowd Go Loose” came out in September of 2017, this is after Hibernation and “Coming Into Focus”. It’s not attached to any project. What was happening with you around this time, can you think back to this release?
BoatHouse: I was hitting the road with Kweku Collins a lot during this time. We were doing a lot of shows, heading out like every week, every other week to some new place. It was a lot of fun. We had a European tour quickly approaching and one of the places we were headed to was London. I’m a huge Dizzee Rascal fan and just overall big into Grime music so I was particularly excited about the London stop. That’s what kind of inspired this song. Those are Dizzee’s vocals from his song “Stand Up Tall” chopped up in the beat.
rubyhornet: This one has some bounce to it, it’s uptempo, was this a new sound for you at the time? What is the inspiration here?
BoatHouse: A lot of the instrumental stuff I was making was very four-on-the-floor type drum patterns. Very housey. I was just really inspired by European downtempo dance music and wanted to make my own version of that. It’s got a very UK vibe to it. Pretty minimal dance song.
rubyhornet: I really like when the beat drops out a little bit and then you bring in and isolate the handclaps. Where did those handclaps come in the creation of this record? They are so sick.
BoatHouse: It’s important for me to have an ebb and flow to my instrumental stuff, so that part came out of necessity. The beat starts from nothing and builds up then goes back to a very minimal place. When those hand claps come back in, it’s building back up to a new half time section. It’s surprising to me as the listener when I hear hand claps on the two and four beats and then transitions to a new drum sound that’s only happening on the three. That’s the technical explanation at least. I knew though from the start that I wanted a real sounding clap and I think the clap sound itself is a few layers of electronic claps and some audio of my actual hands clapping. Had to make it clap to this one.
rubyhornet: It feels like there is some Hip Hop influence on this track even though it is more dancey/house vibes. Is there Hip Hop here? Is that something important for you to maintain?
BoatHouse: Like I mentioned earlier, a big influence for me is Dizzee Rascal. He’s one of my all time favorites purely by his unique sound and flow. You can’t say that every song he makes is a “Hip Hop” song but you can always see the Hip Hop at the core of what he does. I try and do the same with my music. My love for Hip Hop is what pushed me to get involved in music so I’ll always pay homage by having it as the baseline of everything I do. Whether its a house, pop or whatever song I want people to always be able to see the Hip Hop in it.
rubyhornet: You produce, but also DJ – both your own sets and you’ve been on tour around the globe with Alex Wiley and Kweku Collins – is there any world influence here either in the sounds or in seeing crowds and wanting to make something to make them dance?
BoatHouse: A lot of influence from that. When I was first out and touring with Wiley we we’re playing these huge college shows opening up for like Juicy J and people like that. I’d get to throw down a few records to warm up the crowd before Wiley came out and just seeing the people move and get hyped up to what I was playing was very influencial to me. The more shows I played with him and then with Kwe, I really began to understand what specific type of crowds like and what others don’t, which sharpened my decision making as a DJ as well as a producer. I’ll always be thankful to Wiley and Kweku for the opportunity to get those miles in as a DJ on the road. Sidenote: the cover art was from an outdoor college gig I did with Kweku. Cooper Fox snapped this picture of the crowd at the perfect time as we were performing and everyone looks like they’re losing their mind. Getting really loose.
rubyhornet: What is your favorite thing about this record? And on the flipside, is there anything you’d change if you could take this down and swap up a new file?
BoatHouse: I really like my drum choices on this record, the claps especially. I’m not sure if there is anything I would change specifically. I’ve always been a fan of electronic music with a vocal chop that keeps a singular theme and I was really geeked to have made a song like that. This song was kind of a moment for me, I love the vibe of it and I’m really proud to have made it. I don’t know if I would change anything.