Don’t get it twisted. DJ Snake and DJ Cobra are two very different species. Andrew Grant retired the moniker after pursuing a more serious approach to his musical journey. During his self-reflection, Grant got chummy with LA socialites while releasing his version of Post Malone’s hit “White Iverson” minus the funky-looking white boy with braids and gold fronts. Grant’s rendition of the track is as addictive as it is unique; he recruited a female vocalist with a Jamaican accent to sing the saucy lyrics.
Who knew Andrew Grant could outdo himself? Grant’s newest single “Crumbling,” off of his upcoming debut album, is a myriad of hypnotizing vocals and Middle Eastern beats. With his never ending list of entertainment industry experience and unmatchable perseverance, I had put my noisiness to good use in figuring out his tricks of the trade.
In the mid 2000’s, what was the secret survival skill you used to play over 300 shows a year?
I believe it is some part nurture and some part nature. For me, I need to be constantly moving otherwise I get down, so I actually thrive off of the busy schedule. Also, I am not much of a drinker, so I never had to deal with hangovers, which is what will wear you out faster than anything. The biggest tip I can give for any heavy traveler is never check a bag, and try to fly with one airline for preferred treatment.
How has co-owning Warwick broadened your knowledge of the entertainment industry?
Warwick was a venture in nightlife where my partners and I bet against the market trend. At the time we funded the business, EDM DJ culture was starting to really take off and was in an upward trajectory. It was all about big flash, razzle dazzle bottle presentations with confetti and sparklers. We went the opposite direction of the market creating an environment allowing for more social interaction, focusing less on it being dance driven. We invested heavy in design elements, aesthetic, services, fluorescent lighting, bottle presentations and even went as far as to instruct our DJs not to play any contemporary dance music. The success of the venture has since re-shaped nightlife in Los Angeles where our model has become the current trend in LA, even inspiring other venues to also follow suit in other markets. The lesson learned is to follow your own path and not be concerned about what others are doing.
When was the concept for H.I.R.D. conceived?
I would say about two years ago near the end of 2014. After spending a long incubation period of artist development, I found my sound which was a fusion of hip-hop, indie, rock and dance. I knew I was going to have to bootstrap my own project in order to go to market, so I formed my own record label H.I.R.D. out of necessity.
Why do you believe that “typical EDM” won’t last forever?
Well, nothing lasts forever, but with that being said my definition of “typical EDM” would be anything generic where the listener can’t clearly discern who the producer is. All music is cyclical, and historically there are small windows where producers and artists have been able to exploit trends and ride that wave, but those periods are always short lived. The artists and producers who stick around are the ones who have their own sound. Otherwise, they are just a flash in the pan.
Why were you compelled to cover “White Iverson” by Post Malone?
“White Iverson” was an organic hit. People really connected with Post Malone’s track and I knew if I did a cover with a female vocal it would completely reform the meaning of a the record, making it a song of woman empowerment. The record was a Trojan Horse of sorts, allowing me to focus the attention of it being a female version of a hit record, rather then getting people to focus on me as a new producer. It allowed a way for people to discover my sound, and it worked out incredibly well, trending number one on twitter and top five on Hype Machine.
Recount a cherished memory sharing the stage with Prince.
My Prince experience is an interesting one. It was for a free invite intimate concert he decided to do for just a few hundred people back in 2007. It was a whose-who crowd from the likes of Jack Nicholson to Lindsey Lohan at the height of her infamy. What I remember most was not the show, but the weeks leading up to it, when Prince was coming out to a venue where I spun weekly. He would sit at the table right next to the DJ booth, and he was always super nice and soft spoken. I would ask him if there is anything he wanted to hear. His answers was always the same: Fleetwood Mac.
I hear a bit of DJ Snake influence in “Crumbling.” What do you think of my comparison?
I totally hear that as well, and it is a flattering comparison. Crumbling was made almost two years ago, so it is very serendipitous that this sound has now come into vogue with Snake being one of the ambassadors leading the way. I was originally drawn to playing with vocal samples as leads after hearing songs like Otto Knows’ “Million Voices.” There is something about manipulating the human voice I have always loved, from artists like Roger Troutman to beat boxers like Rahzel.
How has Zyzx’s turbulent childhood shaped your collaboration?
Both she and I have faced challenges growing up, which has only strengthened our bond and allowed for a very organic creative process for the two of us writing songs. There is a certain strength one develops when faced with adversity, which also makes for great art. I don’t know any prolific artist that has not had a challenging upbringing, and if Zyzx continues to develop at the rate she is, I have know doubt she will be remembered as one of the greats.
Check out Grant’s newest release, “Crumbling,” below: