For rising producer Sango, the hectic cross-country traveling, stage hopping, and 24/7 turn up of festival season is pretty much a breeze at this point. Having held down live sets at Coachella and Electric Forest Festival in the past three years, the Seattle-born soundsmith known for his rare blend of hip-hop, baile funk and electronic music was right on cue during his return to Broccoli City Festival this past weekend (April 30).
The lone DJ set of the star-studded lineup that included acts like The Internet, BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson .Paak, Jhené Aiko and Future, Sango brought a refreshing energy to the festival that introduced newcomers to his hidden gem of a catalog, including his producer credit on Tinashe’s “Cold Sweat” alongside Boi-1da and SykeSense. And for those that were already hip to the Soulection signee, hips swayed and arms flailed to the dope sounds that emanated throughout the Southeast D.C. venue filled with over 2000 urban millennials.
VIBE caught up with Sango after his set to talk about earning respect as a producer, his dynamic, multi-genre sound and what’s next for him.
This is your second time at Broccoli City. How does it feel to share the stage with such big name acts like Future and Jhené Aiko? Not to mention, you’re the only producer/DJ on this year’s lineup.
I’ll tell you this… It was like in high school and seeing the cool kids at the cool table. They know you but they’re just trying to figure out if you’re cool enough. It was just like that. And now this year, they’re like, “Okay, come sit with us, bruh.” That’s how I felt in a sense. I was honored to come and represent the sound of where I come from, the whole beat-maker, producer scene. We’re not known for doing anything, man. We don’t get a lot of credit in general, which is wack.
Well, your set was definitely lit. What all goes into your live shows preparation-wise?
I have a set up and in that set up I have my main songs that I’ll play. Then, I have a side library from like literally each city, so when I go to a region I’m already prepared with what moves them. If I’m in New York, I know I can get away with playing some dancehall or Dominican dembow. Or when I’m on the west-coast I can have Tupac and DJ Quik mixed into my set. When I play songs, I don’t really play them as is. I’m always making some type of edits and customizations live.
Yeah, your mashups are dope. During your set you mixed Justin Timberlake’s “My Love,” Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” and the Isley Brother’s “Between The Sheets.”
Oh man! Yeah, I like to keep that in my set and work on it. I played a Spanish version of “Hotline Bling” called “Cuando Suena El Bling.” After that, I used the intro for the sample and go into Justin’s voice and in the beginning of the acapella he beat boxes. The beat box matches well with the intro of the sample. Then I go in with the Isley Brothers loop. It’s interesting because there’s no drums, and people like drums and loud instruments. But I like to keep it simple. It’s just voice and two samples and people can relate to that because it’s kind of open. I don’t know, man. I feel like people get annoyed of hearing too much noise and they need kind of a break, so that’s kind of a break in my set that’s new for your ears. It’s three songs I like in one.
You briefly spoke about having certain sounds for each city you play. Was there something special you wanted to do for D.C.?
I definitely wanted to do a go-go edit to something from Drake’s Views. I have something already ready for New Orleans though [laughs]. If I ever go to New Orleans, I’ve got this bounce edit to Drake’s “Child’s Play” [starts beat boxing]. Yeah, it’s different. I mean, I don’t do major changes, but I might add something for the set. If I do actual remixes, it would be online and you could download it for yourself and some things you just have to come to a show to get.
Were there any acts you got to catch and were excited to see today?
Anderson .Paak. The last time I saw him live was like three years ago before all of this. Back then he was just like Breezy Lovejoy and his band. He’s really humble and forever in his zone. You can tell he’s hungry. I love seeing him live and enjoyed his set.
So, you dropped the final installment of your Da Rocinha series, Da Rocinha 3, last year. What’s next for you?
Just working with more artists. Working with people like Goldlink, SPZRKT, Bryson Tiller, Kaytranada, Anderson .Paak and helping them build up what they’re trying to do alongside building my album and projects I have in mind. My main goal is to make a complication like N.E.R.D’s The Neptunes Present…Clones. It had Beenie Man, Snoop Dogg, Clipse, Busta Rhymes, everybody. I want to do something like that. I mean, they had more status then so it was kind of easy, but as a producer I think that’s the next step for us all. We’re like “Okay, we’ve done enough beats, there’s enough stuff on Soundcloud, let’s work with people.” People love the beats, but at some point you need lyrics, too.