SCOURING THE MIND OF LARIZZLE – INTERVIEW

Larizzle’s DJ-ing talents have allowed him to supply numerous guest mixes and guest shows for radio stations including BBC Radio 1Xtra, Kiss Fresh (Kiss FM), Capital Xtra and NTS Radio. His talents have now led him to producing three tracks under his own name, fusing South African sounds of Amapiano, Tribal House and UK Funky to be described as “championing Afrobeat and Afro House in the UK for well over a decade” – Serato (Music Software Company). Here at YMX we wanted to delve deeper. What makes up an award winning DJ?


YMX: Hey Larizzle, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?

Larizzle: I am really missing performing in nightclubs, but the silver lining is that I have been able to focus, create and release my first pieces of music.

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?

Larizzle: Music is something I have always enjoyed ever since I can remember. I remember being obsessed with Michael Jackson from about age 4 – I mimicked all his dance moves and everything, even though his music video ‘Thriller’ really scared me at the time.

It wasn’t until I started attending University (University of Surrey) that my passion for DJ-ing came to life. After self-teaching, I got my first ever gigs at the local student union and it all took off from there. My inspiration for music production came a few years after that but it wasn’t until the pandemic started, that I got a chance to learn and begin producing.

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why?

Larizzle: I would say the 3 artists that currently inspire my music productions are:

  • 1. Black Coffee – He is probably the biggest Afro House music producer and really opened my eyes to the genre with his unofficial release of ‘Turn Me On’ featuring Bucie in 2008.
  • 2. Vigro Deep – A leading producer of the South African Amapiano sound. His basslines and drum rolls have been a big influence in my productions.
  • 3. Juls – A friend and fellow London based music producer who’s a unique spin on Afrobeat and Afro House has also been a big influence for me.

YMX: You recently released ‘The Piano Song‘. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

Larizzle: ‘The Piano Song’ is my third release on my label Larah Records, which was released on 29th January 2021 on all major platforms. This track was a collaborative effort between myself and producer friend Jay Baptiste. This track follows up my previous 2 releases, ‘Ama Play’ and ‘Ama Chill’. Because of lockdown we weren’t able to meet up and make the track in person, which we initially intended. Jay was the one to start the track with the initial percussion and bassline. He then sent it to me to add the main melodies, chords, additional percussion and pads. We then continued sending it back and forth, making all the necessary tweaks until we were happy with the track. The whole process took about a week or so.

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?

Larizzle: I was lucky enough to have started my music production journey during the pandemic and there wasn’t too much of an effect on me as I set up my recording studio at home. Spending a lot of time at home also allowed me to focus and properly learn the craft. I’m still learning now of course.

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?

Larizzle: Yes, I did a number of live stream DJ sets from my living room during the first UK lockdown. I have also done some collaborative live streams with some brands thereafter.

YMX: Since the pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?

Larizzle: Yes, I think it’s very crucial as it is now pretty much the main way to get yourself heard. My main strategies have been promoting across all of my social media accounts including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, even Whatsapp! I also have my own mailing list via my website: larizzle.com. I use platforms like SubmitHub to reach out to curators for playlist placements and also reach out to music bloggers, including cool ones like YMX!

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? 

Larizzle: With regards to dj-ing, I have a live stream set coming up with BBL CLB, GUAP and Reebok on 18th February which I am very excited about! I’m also hoping to be back in the clubs sooner rather than later once the pandemic is over. With regards to my productions, I am working on new music and collaborating with artists in the hope of releasing some very cool vocalled tracks in 2021.