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Interview by MissCallMeCris
After success as a producer for acclaimed artists like Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, and Tank, JoeeBilli found the artist within himself. First, giving us a show of heavy hitting production and the anthem, “Run It Up” with rapper Siya, on his first album “The Billi Show”. Now, Joeebilli is showing us his musical side with his newly released single “Waiting For”, with contributions from R&B/Pop singer and songwriter, Daniel Church.
CREATE. Digital caught up with producer and artist JoeeBilli after dropping his new single. Here’s what he shared. (Interview lightly edited for clarity)
So, your new single “Waiting For” dropped on Friday. It feels really good to hear a nice balance of yesterday’s, and today’s R&B. Where did you draw inspiration for the song?
I say just how I feel when I create. When I created the beat, it came out so smooth that I had my boy, Daniel Church came up with the hook right away. Once the beat and hook was done, now it’s just having a conversation...like okay, what’s the subject? Are we talking to a woman? Okay, I know how to do that. So then it just simplified it and became easy for me to reach that mood. So, that’s how I came up with that one. That one was just a sexy bop in the studio.
Were you and Daniel Church in the studio together when making the song?
Actually, I made the beat. We had a session that next week, and I’m playing beats, and he’s a dope songwriter and artist himself, so I’m like I need to get more records with him. So, I played him the beat and he said “Yo, I got something for this”. He hopped in the booth, and killed it! And now we have “Waiting For”.
There have been many collaborations done between popular male R&B artists over the years, and sometimes you hear stories about friendly competition. Was there any of that between you two? What was the vibe like when creating the song?
Man, me and his vibe is crazy! He’s such a good person, and when we connect, it’s people first. For me, I don’t just like making music with people. If you pay me, then okay. But, off the love, I like connecting with you as a person first because then it’s going to translate into the music. If we’re boys out here, imagine when we get in the studio and focus on something. Also, with Daniel, he’ll literally pull up, hear something, hop in the booth and go crazy. Now, he can “sing” sing. For me, I’ll tell anybody, I am a vibe, I’m not a singer like that. I can set the mood. So, couldn’t have a competition with Daniel Church. That’s like having a competition with Tank. But, I can say working with him has elevated my confidence when I went in to do my part. Once he killed it, I had to meet that level.
As I was listening to “Waiting For”, I was trying to grasp the concept of it, and it sounds to me you’re saying you can read the woman’s mind and you know what she wants. But, it also sounds like you want her to say what she wants. Is that correct?
Why is that important?
It's important because I want to hear it. I want to have clarity. I want to know you want it too. I don’t want to be the only one. I’m waiting for you. You’ve been working hard, you’re an independent, beautiful woman, and you are about yours. But, I know you need that too. So, tell me what you’ve been waiting for.
As I was looking at the album cover, it reminded me of a love story. What did the album represent to you?
Gone with the Wind! I was like, this is the vibe. I need this to sit with people, and see it with the record because it's not just a song. I like to make movies in a sense. I wanted it to feel like a presentation. Like I’m really trying to set a tone, or set a presence with this song in particular. This is a love story, I’m speaking love thoughts. It’s a love vibe. For me [as an artist and producer], it was also important because most of my songs have been Hip-Hop. But, this isn’t Hip-Hop. This is arrangement! Also, when the guy made it for me [the album cover], when I was in the studio listening to the record, I was looking at it on the big screen like yea, this feels right.
Is this song a preview or segway to an upcoming album?
What can we expect from the project?
I’m focusing on just making the realist music I can. Like, my best! I don’t know what that is just yet but, I really want it to be musical, to be Pop, to showcase every avenue that I do well. I want this specific project to do better than my first one. I feel like my first project didn't do as well as it could have because one, I didn’t have the budget to do crazy marketing, and two, I didn’t feel like it had enough diversified vibes on it. It was sort of one-laned. So, that’s what I want to do for the next project. Also, a lot of the bloggers that turned “The Billi Show” down, was due to the writing. But, the beats were tight! So, with this next project, they’re not going to be able to say that. The content, nothing is going to bad. It’s going to be right!
So, I heard as I was listening to previous songs, that there is this outro that you do at the end of some of them. How did that become a thing for you as a Producer?
It was because I only got placements in Hip Hop. From Casey Veggies to ghost producing for Kendrick Lamar and Meek Mills, I was mostly known for the hip-hop, hard, club, uptempo beats. But, I was like Bro...I hate making these types of beats. I come from a musical background. Beyond just me, I can call some of the top musicians in LA to get them in the studio. So, I just want to show my peers not to label me as just a Hip-Hop dude. I can do R&B, I can do Pop. In fact, I got some Pop stuff coming soon. I just wanted to show people it is not just about the “Run It Up” beats. I can do it all!! I’m an artist and can write songs as well. I feel like people in the game who come across my music will respect it. It’s about people in the industry that will back me based on my talent.
As a whole, who is JoeeBilli the artist and producer? If you can wrap yourself into a genre, what would it be?
Man, you know those raffles you put your hand in? I would be one of those. You don’t know what you’re going to get. Unpredictable! A very unpredictable artist and producer because on my next project...I’m going crazy! It’s going to be different, using different sounds nobody is using right now. So, I would say I’m just unpredictable.
Translated in Korean
미국에서 각광받는 한국계 가수 AZRA 인기 이유
봉준호 감독의 영화 ‘기생충’이 미국 아카데미상을 차지한 이후 한국의 노래, 영화 등은 ‘K-컬쳐’라는 장르로 미국에서 당당한 문화의 한 장르로 평가 받고 있는 것 같습니다. 한국의 영화, 노래 등은 아시아의 주류를 넘어 전세계적인 유행의 중심에 서 있으며, 최근 미국에서 태어나 예술 활동을 해온 한국계 배우, 가수 등 아티스트들이 재평가 받고 있는 시기입니다.
특히 그래미 상을 수상한 제이미 존스와 협업하여 미국에서 많은 인기와 사랑을 받고 있는 한국계 여성 가수 AZRA는 그녀의 유튜브 영상 조회수가 30만 뷰를 넘기는 등 큰 화제입니다.
그녀가 미국을 이끌 차세대 여성 가수로 손 꼽힐 만큼 현재 미국에서 큰 화제인 이유는 다음과 같습니다.
미국에서 각광받는 한국계 가수 AZRA 인기 이유
1. 탄탄한 기본기의 6차원 매력
AZRA는 뛰어난 가창력은 물론 탁월한 댄스 퍼포먼스 소화력, 6차원의 다양한 팔색조 매력을 자신 만의 색깔로 표현하는데 큰 재능을 가진 가수라고 합니다. 그녀의 음악적 감성은 프레디 머큐리부터 마돈나에 이르기까지 다양한 장르의 아티스트로부터 영향을 받았다고 합니다. 휘트니 휴스턴과 P! nk 같은 가수들에게는 중독성 높은 멜로디와 자신만의 미션을 뛰어난 영감으로 표현하는 방식을 배웠다고 하며, 그녀는 자신만의 감성으로 다양한 생각들을 표현하는데 큰 재능을 가졌다고 합니다.
아래 유튜브 영상을 통해 그녀의 매력을 확인할 수 있습니다.
2. 그래미 수상 아티스들과의 협업
그녀가 2018년 제작한 싱글 ‘Dimension’은 미국 디지털 라디오 차트인 Digital Radio Airplay Charts에서 2주 연속 1위를 차지하는 등 큰 화제가 되었습니다. 그녀의 탁월한 실력과 열정은 이미 미국 LA 지역에서 정기 공연을 하던 고등학교 시절부터 유명했다고 하며, 그녀의 곡은 몽환적이고 섹시한 감성을 지니면서도 퇴폐적이지 않고 순수한 방식으로 표현되어 팬들의 큰 호응을 얻고 있습니다. 그래미 상을 수상한 제이미 존스, 매트 웡 등이 그녀의 협업 파트너이며 탑 아티스트와 협업을 한다는 것 만으로도 그녀의 할리우드에서 위상과 영향력을 알 수 있습니다
3. 미국 미디어에서 집중 조명
2017년 AZRA는 자신의 레이블인 CLÚ Records를 통해 데뷔 EP Freedom을 발표했습니다. EP에는 풍부한 멜로디와 싱글 "Shine"및 "Gravity"와 같이 댄스를 위한 연결고리가 적절히 배합되어 있습니다. 그녀는 해당 싱글로 TWIST Magazine, All Things Go, PopDust, Singers Room, Women 's Republic 및 FOX News에서 큰 호평을 받았고, 그녀의 인기는 2020년 현재까지 이어지고 있습니다.
2월 28일 발매한 그녀의 신곡 “Dangerous” 발표회는 LA의 Madame Siam에서 열렸는데 큰 화제가 되고 있는 상황입니다.
AZRA의 개인 인스타그램과 최근 발매한 신곡 “Dangerous” 등 주요 곡을 들을 수 있는 곳은 아래 링크로 방문하시면 됩니다.
음악 링크: smarturl.it/azradangerous
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