This week’s guest mix comes to us by way of a young and prolific producer from the Netherlands by the name of Jengi. His unique and eclectic style along with his forward-thinking production has garnered him international acclaim and made him a vanguard in Amsterdam’s flourishing electronic music scene. He joins us this week hot off the heels of a busy week performing at Amsterdam Dance Event and just ahead of his new EP “Rare” dropping later this month. For his guest mix he delivers an impeccable selection of eclectic tunes ranging from funk, to house, to futuristic beats and hip hop. So turn the volume up and catch a vibe to the groovy sounds of Jengi and keep reading for an exclusive with the man himself. Also be sure to check out Jengi’s brand new single “Ice Tea” available here.
Damon Steele: Thanks so much for joining us this week for our guest mix series and taking the time to chat with us! What can fans expect to hear from your mix?
Jengi: It’s my pleasure! Thanks for having me.
The mix contains different parts: At first you’ll go through some chill/groovy stuff, I’ve mixed some of my own songs, edits and remixes (old & new music like Guap Lab and Rollerskates). A few tracks in, the vibe turns to chill house jams like Groove Armada, and suddenly the mix switches from 120 – 130 BPM songs to 80 – 110 BPM.
I’ve remixed my own song Rollerskates into a Roy Ayers kinda slow jam (I’m a big fan of classic soul music by the way). For the rest, you’ll hear oldskool hiphop and other groovy stuff like Big L, my bruurs Jaël and Midas Hutch, Anderson .Paak. And finally, a sneak peek at my newest song ‘Ice Tea’ which is dropping this Friday!
DS: You have a very unique and eclectic sound as a producer, can you tell us a little bit about your musical background and influences that helped shape who you are as an artist?
J: When I was younger, I used to skateboard a lot. So as a kid, I was already a little jackass that was surrounded by people who listened to rock, punk and hiphop. Also my father often searches for new music that isn’t discovered yet (mostly Lounge & Lo-fi stuff). My brother took me to several hiphop festivals and he introduced me the Dutch Rap music. This definitely helped shape the sound I have today.
A few years later, I discovered lots of soul music because I was sampling hiphop, and DJ Premier was my inspiration, so I just copied his style lol. Finally I found my own sound thanks to my Sound Design school, SoundCloud and different platforms like Soulection. The rest is history!
DS: Congrats on the new EP you have coming out this month! Can you tell us a little bit about the project and your inspiration in making it?
J: Merci! It’s a four track EP including lots of influences like soul, disco, future, electronic and house. My inspirations in this EP are artists like Breakbot, Yung Bae, FKJ and Midas Hutch.
DS: You have a new track coming out this Friday called “Ice Tea” can you tell us a little bit about the process of making that track and what fans can expect from it?
J: It’s a really fun track! It’s bumpy like the Kaytranada club songs, and it’s a happy disco/house jam.
Fun story: it all started by accident. I was editing a cartoon video of Shin Chan for my Instagram, just to do something fun with it. But people went crazy on that bounce, and they asked me if I’d ever drop this as an official release. I couldn’t say no, so I’ve finished the whole song. I actually sampled myself on that beat which was new for me to do.
DS: You’ve quickly become a fixture of the vibrant and exciting music scene coming out of Amsterdam. Can you tell us what it was like coming up in that scene and what makes it a special environment for music-makers?
J: Very special because I’m from a small town in the south of Netherlands called Den Bosch. As a kid who turned 19 it was pretty intense to play in the capital city, so I was really nervous and humbled by the experience.
DS: Speaking of Amsterdam, you guys just got done with a crazy week of ADE. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience at ADE this year and some of the highlights?
J: This year was my favorite! ADE is the best week in Amsterdam. There are so many parties and there are so many people I know in the music scene, it’s great to catch up everyone!
I had some interviews, a couple of gigs and I went to different parties with my friends. I also met with our Studio KOTO crew (The Flexican, Jaël, Wantigga and the best manager, Rana), the promoters who sometimes invite me to Korea and Indonesia. I partied a lot and met so many good people!
DS: Based on your social media feeds and the video’s I’ve seen of you guys in the studio, it seems like you have a really great relationship and chemistry with your label-mates Wantigga, JAËL, and The Flexican. Can you tell us how you all first linked up and what it’s like to be able to make music together now?
J: They are my buurs/brothers. We were signed to the same booking agency and we’ve made 2 albums in the Red Bull Studios Amsterdam together, the African inspired album and the Japanese inspired album ME ft. Sam Tiba, Canblaster, Awich, Loota and Emufucka. I already knew Wantigga from DJ gigs, I met Jaël and The Flexican during the first Red Bull session.
I’ve learned a lot from them and we’re helping each other with our projects and plans in the music.
DS: I understand you’ve been doing quite a bit of touring over the past few months in Europe and Asia. Can you tell us what it’s been like being out on the road and what some of your favorite places to play have been?
J: I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to travel with my music. I’m aware that it’s a privilege to be able to travel the world and eat so many good & weird foods. That’s not something I take for granted! Haha, but in all seriousness, I’ve met so many amazing people and have had the best shows with the best audience. SOAP Seoul, Parc19 (Jakarta) and SusieQ Bangkok are my favorite places to perform yet. The crowd is fantastic, and they know almost all my tracks which is pretty amazing.
Also the promoters/organisations over there are a group of friends that are organizing events especially for the city and the community in their area, there should be more people like them.
DS: Do you have any plans to come to the states to play for your US fans? We’d love to have you in LA sometime!
J: I’d love too! We’ll see what the future brings. If there’s a chance, I’ll hop on the plane in no time!