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Interview: 'Easy' Producer Mat Zo Talks Daft Punk And The Inconsequential Ramblings Of Twitter

Mat Zo can’t legally rent a car yet he’s already worked with Anjunabeats' Above & Beyond, toured the world (a few times) and dropped more hits than Mike Tyson. His long-awaited ‘Easy’ EP – co-produced with American spinner Porter Robinson – is released today (April 7). After months garnering global attention, the enormous house anthem, artfully contrasted by soulful licks and big-room vibes that remain tasteful, sees a six-track remix package at last. Featuring edits by production stalwarts - ranging from drum and bass pioneer Andy C to indie artists Lumaitre - the music charts are due to explode at any moment. However, the behemoth EP feels like a mere precursor to the just-turned-23-year-old’s recent signage to Astralwerks, where a debut artist album is in the works for the British youngblood (born Mat Zohan), who VIBE pegged last year as one of our "DJs to Watch in 2013”. We’re still here watching, and listening.

The musical wunderkind remains tight-lipped when plugged on the recent Will.i.am illicit sampling of his track “Rebound”, which he created with Russian jockey, Arty... and rightfully so. He's a combination of wise-beyond-his years and busy, leaving no time to stew in scandals. Zo did, however, find a moment to chat with VIBE about a deep admiration of Daft Punk, the intelligent reasoning for deleting his Twitter account and a full summer schedule of festival appearances. See how Mat Zo makes it all look so “easy”.

VIBE: Describe your sound at this moment in three words.
MAT ZO: Stuff I Like.

Being that your folks are musicians what was their reaction to your following their path in the biz as a producer and DJ?
At first they thought I was wasting my time, now they don't think that.

Who or what was it that first turned you on to spinning?
The first time I got the itch was when DJ Pied Piper came into my school for a special music class.

If Daft Punk tapped you to do an official remix of any of their tunes, which would it be?
I don't think I could remix Daft Punk. I've done many bootlegs of their tracks in the past for my gigs, but generally I will never be able to improve on anything they've made or will ever make. I'd probably reconsider if they actually asked me.

What’d you do for your 23rd birthday, which just passed?
I went on safari in Kenya

What was the best birthday gift you received?
Daft Punk helmet.

You had one of the most entertaining Twitter accounts within the DJ sphere. Why did you decide to take it down?
I took it down because I was starting to spend more time on twitter than making music, which is what I really love doing. Spouting my inconsequential ramblings was proving to be a bad habit. Reading other people inconsequential ramblings was also proving to be a bad habit. I'm much happier without it.

What festivals can we catch you at this summer?
In North America, so far Electric Daisy Chicago and Vegas, Veld Music Festival in Toronto and Electric Zoo in NYC.

What has it been like working with Above & Beyond?
They're incredibly smart people, and I've learned a lot from them.

Best advice you ever got?
I can’t remember because I probably ignored it.

Cop the 'Easy' EP on iTunes.

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J. Cole Reveals Details For 2nd Annual Dreamville Festival

It’s going to be a “legendary” 2020 for Dreamville fans. J. Cole’s second annual Dreamville Festival will return to Raleigh, North Carolina next year, the Grammy-nominated rapper announced on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec. 10).

The 2020 Dreamville Festival goes down on April 4, at Dix Park. The lineup, which features Dreamville artists and more, will be revealed at a later date.

Last year’s Dreamville Festival welcomed 40,000 people, according to The News & Observer. Performers included Ari Lennox, Bas, Earth Gang, SZA, Big Sean, Rapsody, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and 6LACK.

The Dreamville Festival will benefit Cole’s Dreamville Foundation and Dix Park Conservancy. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (Dec. 11) at 12 p.m. EST via dreamville.com.

Besides the festival announcement, Cole celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Forrest Hills Drive album on Monday (Dec. 9). “A day late but. Forest Hills Drive just turnt [sic] 5 years old,” he tweeted. “I feel big big gratitude for the year spent making it and for all the love shown to it. S**t crazy thank you God.”

 

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Joyner Lucas Blames Juice WRLD’s Death On Rappers Who Glorify Drug Use

Joyner Lucas blames Juice WRLD’s death on fellow rappers who glorify drug use. Lucas tweeted his thoughts about Juice WRLD's passing on Monday (Dec. 9) writing in part, “He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool.”

Lucas added, “[I’m] blaming [ya’ll] n**gaz for this s**t. All that lean and pills n**gaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now? RIP @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon.”

Juice wrld was 21. He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool. Im blaming Yal niggaz for this shit. 🤦🏽‍♂️ all that lean and pills niggaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now?Rip @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 9, 2019

Lucas also shared a Juice WRLD interview where the Chicago native shares how Future’s music inspired him to start using drugs at 12 years old.

Rip young legend... To my generation, we gotta be accountable for the shit we glorify. Difference between juice & other niggaz is juice wasn’t proud of it. he talked about being ashamed of using. That’s art. I’m not mad at it. I’m mad hip hop for steering him in that direction. pic.twitter.com/MzYCAsCg7a

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 10, 2019

Juice WRLD, whose birth name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure upon at Chicago’s Midway airport last Sunday (Dec. 8.). The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer was headed back home to Chicago after working over the Thanksgiving holiday, and celebrating one of the “best birthdays” ever last week.

Although an initial autopsy on the rapper’s body came back inconclusive, Juice WRLD reportedly swallowed several prescription pills as federal agents were confiscating drugs and weapons from the suitcases on the private plane that he was on, along with his entourage and girlfriend. According to the Chicago Tribune, Juice WRLD began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest at the airport. His girlfriend told authorities that he had a “drug problem” and had taken the painkiller Percocet. He was given a Narcam shot, which is administered in the case of an overdose, but pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities found dozens of vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition in the bags on the plane. Two of Juice WRLD’s bodyguards were arrested at the scene for misdemeanor weapons and drug possession.

Juice WRLD was open about his battle with addiction to prescription pills and codeine, both in his music and beyond. Over the summer, he promised to get help for his drug habit in a tweet to his girlfriend. In addition to battling his sobriety, the recording artist was mourning the loss of his father who died earlier in the year.

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Lauren London Pays Homage To Nipsey Hussle In "Forever Stronger" PUMA Campaign

Lauren London is teaming with PUMA as she steps into next chapter in her journey.  London debuted “Forever Stronger” on Tuesday (Dec. 10), a visual campaign paying homage to her late boyfriend, Nipsey Hussle, and his indelible love for Los Angeles.

The 35-year-old actress created the emotional piece, which is described as a “creative vision Lauren wanted to bring to life to signify the continuation of her marathon alongside PUMA.”

Set around the streets of Los Angeles, London narrates the visual with a poem by Samantha Smith. “We are flowing, we are growing, we are open like the red sea,” reads one passage of the poem. “We walk through with confident uncertainty. We kneel here. We heal here. We open our hearts to the heavens. We use our tears to cleanse our canvas. The fear floods us, the love is electric.”

“Pain is the light,” the poem continues. “Pain is insight. The body hurts, but the spirit grows. The flesh is starving, while wisdom overflows. I got a question only Lord knows: does life break us twice?”

The campaign was directed by Danny Williams (Top Shelf Junior), edited by Matt Tolkin and produced by AJR Films. The musical score comes courtesy of Rance of 1500 or Nothin.'

PUMA previously collaborated with Hussle on capsule collection that was posthumously released in September. The collection sold out within 24 hours.

Watch London’s “Forever Stronger” campaign below.

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