If there has been a place to find sunshine and positive vibes during these cold Berlin days, that's definitely the SoundCloud profile of engelwood. The US producer quickly grew on me after last week's feature by Nate where he sent us to explore the colourful beatworld engelwood called "Hello".
Matt - the guys behind engelwood, seems to have a really awesome approach to creating beats and I seriously dig the chilled vibe radiating from his online presence. Hence - a mini mix and interview felt like a must! Enjoy the sounds he picked and our chat about life, music and cartoons.
Hey Matt! Before we begin, could you share a random fact about you? Something not many people know.
Random fact? I'm your father. Playin. I play competitive smash bros melee.
How would you describe your mix in a sentence?
I would describe this mix as a bouncy, colorful, funky ass vortex of sound.
Besides being grounded and bored to death during for 3 months, what inspired you to create beats when you first picked up FL. Also, why so many people start with FL instead of Ableton?
(Got grounded for getting suspended for being drunk at a homecoming dance for the record) At the time I was really inspired by electronic music, stuff like Justice and Deadmau5 so that's what I initially made for like 2/3 months when I started. What gave me the idea for downloading FL was actually my friend. He sent me a video of avicii making a song when I was suspended and right after that video I downloaded FL studio and started learning how to make random electronic tracks. After like 2 months of making electronic music, my buddies started like freestyling and shit so I was like yeah imma start making hip hop beats. Then I really got inspired by the stuff on soundcloud. This was right around the time like medasin, flamingosis, josh pan and all them were just at like 10-20k on Soundcloud. Then yeah I kinda took what I heard on Soundcloud and mixed the sounds up and that's how I got my type of music.
I think people use FL over Ableton cus its pretty easy to use. It's kinda basic compared to programs like ableton and pro tools but you can still make top quality tracks on it, regardless of whether or not it's basic.
In your last track "Hello" you wrote... "last little single before I drop a collab ep wit someone... you can probably guess who it's with lol". Who is it?! Can I guess? Flamingosis?
Dude I would give my left nut to make a collab EP with Flamingosis. Guy is my hero. But nah it's with Jeff Kaale, it'll be our 3rd project.
I know you're striving to make Engelwood a full-time thing - do you reckon there's any university degree that would help you with this (besides music-related one). Maybe marketing / social media or something creative like design for example?
Yeah my current major is communication arts w/ a focus in radio, television and film, so that's like the closest thing that UW- Madison offers to what I want to do. Also training to be an audio engineer in the summer so I'll be a certified mixing engineer soon which will definitely help out. I wanna open a studio where I do everything, mixing, beats, mastering whatever.
From your SoundCloud I kinda have a feeling you love cartoon-inspired artworks. Which obviously leads to the question - favourite animation when you were a child?
Hell yeah man glad you noticed that. I love cartoons and animation so much, I kinda see myself as a cartoon character so I try portray that in my album art. That shit is cool af to me. I can't wait to make an animated music video, definitely gonna happen this year. I also wanna make my own cartoon show in the future but we'll see how that goes.
As for favorite animations as a kid, I really fucked with all the nickelodeon cartoons like kablam!, hey arnold, rugrats, rocket power. I think my favorite was either ren and stimpy or action league now. South Park is my all-time favorite tho.
If you could collaborate with anyone out there, who would that be and why (not bound to producers only)?
I really like this new wave of r&b, so I would say Frank Ocean or Anderson Paak for sure, especially Frank. Blonde and Channel Orange are 2 of my favorite albums of all-time, I feel like we could make something fucking magical. As for producers I would say Flamingosis, Medasin, or Monte Booker. All those dudes are super influential to me and I feel like I have aspects of all their music in mine so we could make some tight stuff.
What's on your playlist right now? Any artists we should be checking out?
Definitely check out quickly, quickly, simon eng, cig. margot, mia gladstone, yung gravy. Been listening to a lot of monte booker, eugene cam, frank ocean, the new sampha album is dope, migos, outkast, young thug, thundercat, random shit on soundcloud, haha.
What's ahead for 2017?
Got the Jeff Kaale collab EP coming in a few weeks, another collab tape with someone else, a solo EP in the summer and maybe another tape later in the year. Also got a bunch of music with yung gravy dropping, we just made my room into a recording studio he goes to the same uni as me. Imma start doing liveshows and shit also, so if I'm in ur town come see me!
Lastly I got some clothing i'm planning on dropping soon. And yeah ill probably just drop a bunch of other random shit as usual.