MatZo_PressPhoto_130506_IMG_2379 2-1

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.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas State University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Ja Rule Vows To “Stop Engaging” In Feud With 50 Cent

Ja Rule says he’s done “engaging in anymore back and forth” with 50 Cent. In a lengthy Instagram rant posted Friday (April 19), Ja blasted his longtime nemesis as a “parasite” and a “cancer to the culture.”

“THIS is why me and 50 will NEVER co exist,” he captioned a video of a Min. Louis Farrakhan speech. “He’s a parasite, a cancer to the culture and our [people]. He comes out with music takes shots at me Kanye etc. Comes out with liquor takes shots at Diddy, comes out with his show [Power], takes shots at Taraji [P. Henson].”

Ja added that Fif is “always downing his own [people],” and “always running his f**king [yuck] mouth until the smoke gets thick then you wanna make anonymous calls to the Feds and NYPD talking about you scared for your life... lmao smh.”

He continued, “Then when the minister [Farrakhan] called for both of us to sit with him for [hip-hop] unity you gave this man your a** to kiss… definition of a SUCKER.”

In closing, Ja announced that he is walking away from the beef. “I’m saying all this to say I will not be engaging in any more back and forth with this goofy a** n**ger Curtis Ratson!!! #BootlickingkneekissingCOON#cloutchasingclown you can have all the money in the world, can’t buy class.”

The 43-year-old Queens born rappers have been going at it for more than a decade.  Earlier in the week, Fif took to Instagram to make fun of Ja's newly reported tax debt. He has yet to respond to this latest roast but last year, Fif promised to continue feuding with Ja until one of them dies.

Read Ja’s full Instagram post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

THIS is why me and 50 will NEVER co exist he’s a parasite a cancer to the culture and our ppl... he comes out with music takes shots at me Kanye etc. comes out with liquor takes shots at Diddy comes out with his show takes shots at Taraji always downing his own ppl... always running his fucking yuk mouth until the smoke gets thick then you wanna make anonymous calls to the Feds and NYPD talking about you scared for your life... lmao smh then when the minister called for both of us to sit with him for hip hop unity you gave this man your ass to kiss complete definition of a SUCKER... I’m saying all this to say I will not be engaging in any more back and forth with this goofy ass nigger Curtis Ratson!!! #BootlickingkneekissingCOON #cloutchasingclown you can have all the money in the world can’t buy class... 🤷🏾‍♂️ #Iconn 12.XII.Twelve

A post shared by JaRule (@ruleyorkcity) on Apr 19, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

Continue Reading
Joe Scarnic/Getty Images

Cardi B Turns Down Plea Deal In Strip Club Assault Case

Cardi B will be heading to trial after rejecting a plea deal in her assault case. The 26-year-old rapper, who is accused of ordering an attack on two bartenders at a strip club last year, made a brief appearance in Queens Criminal Court Friday (April 19).

The Grammy winner faces misdemeanor assault and reckless endangerment charges. During Friday’s hearing, prosecutors reportedly offered Cardi a deal to plead guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault, with a conditional discharge and no jail time. The case would have eventually been dismissed, provided that she abided by the terms of the plea agreement.

Sisters Jade and Baddie Gi accuse Cardi of being involved in an attack against them at a New York strip club last August. The women claim Cardi accused Jade of sleeping with her husband, Offset.

"Cardi B ordered and committed violent assaults against my clients and is being called to justice for her crimes,” a lawyer for the women said last year. “Apparently, she thinks her celebrity status puts her above the law, since she has bragged to multiple people and on social media that she orchestrated these vicious attacks. But reality is setting in, as justice does not care whether her name is Cardi B or Carly B, and she will now answer for her crimes."

Cardi surrendered to NYPD last October, for her alleged role in the brawl. Her trial date is scheduled for May 31.

Continue Reading

Top Stories