It seems like Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” which brought attention to EDM’s version of trap music, came out eons ago. EDM’s rapid pace makes once-fresh sounds irrelevant in roughly a year’s time, so producers have to reinvent.
While trap, purely within the dance music sphere, has taken a backseat to future bass and tropical house, it’s much like progressive – kicked around on a new path by certain individuals and certainly not dead yet. One of those producers looking for newer horizons is TroyBoi, the South East London DJ born Troy Henry. And, while “Soundclash,” his collaboration with Flosstradamus, placed him within the trap box, he’s shown that he can be just as versatile as any established DJ.
Being signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent certainly reflects such adaptability. “Afterhours,” his collaboration with Diplo and Nina Sky, more than brings that out, delivering a chilled-down version of mainstage trap complemented by pop vocals. And, mirroring the career path of his label manager, TroyBoi’s tried his hand at pop, R&B, and hip-hop producing, working with Little Mix, Missy Elliot, and ZAYN.
Right off V!BEZ, Vol. 2, his latest release, and a subsequent North American tour, TroyBoi had time to speak with us about his plans for 2019.
Tell us about your musical background. When did you start producing?
I started producing music when I was 14 years old after discovering for the first time how to record in a music technology class in secondary school. I had always wondered how music was recorded up till that point, I felt like a caveman finding fire for the first time. It became more than a hobby to me, I knew that it was my calling.
Your latest release, “V!BEZ, Vol. 2” EP dropped on 11/9. Sound wise, what’s new about this release?
The great thing about my V!BEZ EPs, musically, there are no holds barred. It’s my way of expressing what I’m feeling at the time and exploring multiple ideas that I’ve had sitting in my head. I spent a lot of time in the west coast of the US when I was making the EP, so it has that musical influence in a few of the tracks.
What was your process for putting this EP together?
I just do what I do best and create what I’m feeling. Once I have composed the tracks I wanted for the EP, I put it all together and presented it to the world.
In regards to fashion, how would you describe your personal style? Has your taste changed at all since moving to the U.S.?
I have quite an eclectic style. I like high end fashion, mixed with either really quirky one-off pieces, streetwear or vintage garments. Living in the US has definitely inspired some of my recent purchases, but the quirky London boy is still in me, so I like to mix it up.
As someone who is constantly on the move, do you have any travel tips for packing efficiently?
Yes. Travel as light as possible, carry only the essentials, it makes it so much easier going through airport security!
How do you maintain a consistent fitness routine while you’re on the road?
Honestly, it’s hard at times to motivate yourself to go to the gym after crazy flights etc. Lucky for me, I’m an explosive performer so each show is an intense cardio workout for me. I’m absolutely dripping after one of my shows and if I’m not, there’s something wrong.
You’re on Mad Decent’s roster of artists. What’s it been like working with Diplo and his team?
It’s been amazing. I have mad love for Diplo and the whole of the Mad Decent team. They have always supported my music and my visions. There is nothing better than having a team that allows you to do YOU and not try and change you or your artistic ideas.
You’ve done several collaborations over the past few years, from Ice Cube to Flosstradamus. In terms of the future, which artists would you like to collaborate with?
There are so many to name, I’m open to work with anyone who gels well with my music and is a good human.
What music excites you at the moment? Are there any artists we should be on the lookout for in 2019?
Any music that sounds different from the generic stuff. Music that sounds undeniable.
In terms of production, whether for your own work or remixes, what do you use for gear and software?
I have been working on Logic for the past 11 years, it’s such a great program. Technical, but brilliant for getting the job done. When I’m at home or on the road, I use a MacBook Pro to run the software, MIDI keyboard and a good set of headphones. I also like to record random noises, rhythms and vocals on my iPhone. That’s all you need. I only use big studios when I’m meeting artists so we can use the space and enjoy the music we create through the big monitors.
For aspiring producers, what advice do you have?
Focus on your talents, create your own lane, be humble, do YOU, trust your gut, treat your fans with respect and invest in your career. Nothing comes easy, especially in the music industry. You have to put in the work to achieve what you want.
Aside from your current releases and U.S. tour, what can we expect from you in the near future?
More releases, more shows, but bigger and better! I have a lot up my sleeve so you will have to wait and see 😉