Crystal Waters Q&A

Hello Crystal and welcome to Magazine Sixty. Your vocal features on the new single by STED-E & HYBRID HEIGHTS: I Am House. How did the collaboration come about and where did the idea for the words come from – What is House for you?

Hi , well I’ve known Eddie and Carlos for a long time, we’ve collaborated on 2 other tracks Synergy and Believe both went to #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. I posted a pic of me on facebook wearing a t-shirt saying IAMHOUSE and it really resonated with a lot of people, I decided that I would name my album IAMHOUSE. When I heard the track it just all fit together, I decided that would be the hook and commenced to writing. Kenny Dope heard me sing it at the ADE and said he wanted it for his label..couldn’t turn that down lol.
House for me is a community, it’s about the people and the connection to music. It’s always been such a positive vibe, I’m happy and proud to be a part of it.

https://www.traxsource.com/title/920041/i-am-house

Having been involved with the music since the early days do you feel House is still the best description for the music, or has the genre now evolved into something else?

Yes I think it’s still the best description , it’s still the root of all the other offshoots..I must say it’s nice to see it still evolving. When I started they said it was just a fad, bullshit music that it wouldn’t last. Great to prove them wrong.

Taking it all back to where you began. Who influenced you most in deciding to sing as a career, and what advice would you give to someone starting out?

Well I come from a musical family.. my father was jazz musician Jr Waters, my Great Aunt was a very famous Actor and singer Ethel Waters. My brother played bass and guitar so there were lots of band rehearsals at the house. Every summer I went on tour with my Father. The turning point for me is when I need some extra cash and took a gig as a background singer on an album project. Once I got in the studio I knew this was it, never looked back. My advice? Study you’re craft first..a lot of people get caught up in the business part of things, trying to outsmart everyone when they don’t even have good music. I’ve seen a lot of people make this mistake.

One of last year’s biggest hits was HiFi Sean’s ‘Testify’ which you also performed on. What made the song so special for you? Do you have plans to record together again?

Ralphie Rosario introduced me to Sean. At the time he sent me the track to write to I was receiving
a lot if EDM , I was getting so sick of all the same rise and fall arrangements..When I got Sean’s track it was like a breath of fresh air!
Finally something different and new. I put everything aside and started writing. I loved the fact that that the track gave me room to put some attitude on it, love that.. Yes we have plans for 2 more tracks , one to release spring/summer and the other one is for my album.

A lot of Dance music is now primarily instrumental. Do you feel something has been lost since sixties Soul, then Disco and House all continued to be based around vocals and songs?

I had a conversation once in Ibiza with several people about the lack of vocals, someone had a very interesting stance about it, the reason they said for the lack of vocals was the fact that most new Dj’s don’t know how to mix in vocals when they play, it’s too hard for them so they just play instrumentals and also the fact they don’t know how to produce vocals in the studio. Something to think about. I do know for a fact that there is a big difference between a Dj and a Producer. Some of the Dj’s think they are producers but they are not..I can tell what they are as soon as I listen to a track I’ve been given. I can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent on arranging and editing tracks. So if anything has been lost I would say production quality.

Tell us about your working day and where you draw inspiration from when writing, plus can you describe the actual process of recording vocals?

My working day ..let’s see ..it depends on the day , most weekends I’m traveling doing shows. Mornings I mediate and workout.
In the afternoons I handle all the business ,calls, emails ect. I’ve recently launched a skincare line for men called Boyface , so I’ve been dealing a lot with that lately ..Then its off to my songwriting studio in my house, it’s just an 8 track enough for me to get a good idea down. If I’m lucky I’ll have a track that doesn’t need an arrangement then I listen , count bars decide where the verse and hooks and bridge are..Then I go in for the melody. If I get a great melody then the rest is easy. Sometimes it takes days to get it right but that’s the fun part. When I get it right then I go for the lyrics..Usually somewhere In that melody I’ve unconsciously said some words and I can pick up on an ideal of what the song is about..there’s a lot of pacing going on lol..this processes may also take days.. once I feel its close enough I head to a studio with a great engineer (this week I’m in NY at Bass Hits Studio with Dave Darlington) Then it all gels together once I’m in the booth. Since I know what I want the vocal to sound like with effects and things I usually send the vocal totally produced wet and dry. All they have to do is lay it in..

Do you have a favourite microphone? Do you own one?

Yes! my favorite is the Manley and no I do not..

And finally. What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Well I few more releases coming this year that I’m excited about. One with Hifi Sean “Heavy”, another “Without You” Paige & Crystal Waters on Armada .The others the contracts aren’t signed so I won’t say who.. I’m also trying my best to get an album done. I have the boyface skincare line..and my agents are putting my tour schedule together for the summer. i think it’s going to be a fun year…

http://iamcrystalwaters.com

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Kenneth James Gibson – In The Fields Of Nothing – KOMPAKT

Sometimes the depth reached for by Kenneth James Gibson tearing fields of vision is almost too much to fathom. Sometimes to exhilarating to feel safe with. This new album starts and ends with the feeling that something else has just happened. Beyond that the poignant, perfect piano of single Far From Home says more in moments about the human condition, than perhaps needs to be, as soaring notation agitates perception. I guess it is easy to drift into a sea of descriptive words and thoughts while the endless, dreamy slide guitar of To Love A Rotting Piano plays, or the sci-fi mood generated by Plastic Consequence comes into sharp focus. Maybe, it is just much better to listen rather than read words about it: Transcending Ambience.

Release: March 9

http://www.worldofkennethjamesgibson.com

Preorder: https://KompaktRecords.lnk.to/InTheFieldsOfNothing

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Steve Bug & Langenberg – NGC 6240 – Poker Flat Recordings

Lifted from his the current album Paradise Sold this joint collaboration alongside Langenberg seeks out an urgency that becomes all too apparent depending on the numbers. From one aspect the undulating stabs feel like haunting, atmospheric ruminations. Yet viewed from another the reoccurring, sizzling Acid lines are purely fierce, cutting determinedly through the airwaves backed-up by a single strident kick drum. Never one to underplay the power of music in all its forms NGC 6240 supplies and then satisfies the demand for invigorating moments. Remixes come from Tim Engelhardt who lifts the rhythms skyward adding hints of melody amid the rush of synthesized keys. Plus, from Vince Watson who inevitably stokes the fire igniting the array of stabs punctuating and building the tension in expert fashion.

Release: February 23

http://www.pokerflat-recordings.com

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Mattias Coll – Panic Attack EP – Tagged

Excellent production from Mattias Coll whose dangerous amalgamation of dark sounds and frisky rhythms serves the EP’s title correctly. Although, this is also about a rolling funkiness that proves to be just as irresistible in itself compounded from grainy elements and a strange rush of tripped-out voices. Hollowgram then takes the remix in a re-imagined direction via punchier kicks and added sound effects teasing out otherworldly atmospheres. Second original, You & I continues and extends the theme of smoky landscapes alongside tense vocals torn out of tough beats and bass evolving over several minutes.

Release: February 26

https://www.facebook.com/MattiasColl2017
https://www.taggedmusic.com

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STED-E & HYBRID HEIGHTS ft. CRYSTAL WATERS – I AM HOUSE – DOPEWAX RECORDS

Landing directly on Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez’s Dopewax label this sure-fire number has HOUSE stamped all over it. And just to make sure you receive the message loud and clear an array of mixes come hard and heavy to back up Crystal Waters insistent, irresistible vocals. For me it’s down to the fiery percussion fuelled remixes by Jacob Colon that really work the rhythm section into distraction, compounding the vocals perfectly. However, maybe the Kenlou versions aka Masters at Work may float your discotheque via brisk drums and splashing hi-hats accompanied by a retrospective, good-time party feel reminiscent of the 90’s. Or there’s KidzBlock who likewise keep temperatures high as Mr. V & William “Reelsoul” Rodriguez deliver their own take with the addition of a spoken injection of attitude from V.

https://www.traxsource.com/title/920041/i-am-house

https://www.stedeandhybridheights.com
https://www.facebook.com/IamCrystalWaters
http://kaydeerecords.bigcartel.com/category/dopewax

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Francis Harris – ‘Minor Forms’ EP – Scissor & Thread

Founding member of the Scissor & Thread imprint, Francis Harris delivers two exquisitely cutting arrangements in the shape of More We Cannot Do and Minor Forms. The former heightens a sense of circumstance via repeating loops pf teasing, unnerving sounds that tantalise your senses against a backdrop of playful percussion until the energy is released at breakdown point. The later breathes jazzier notation into undulating rhythms pushing and expanding temptations, indulging in breezy trumpet led melodies in the process. Valentino Mora then delivers two remixes of Minor Forms transforming the concept with robust kick drums on the Underwater Rephrase version, while the Cosmic Trans Rephrase explores deeper climbs feeling rather lush and reassuringly blissful.

Release: February 23

https://francisharris.bandcamp.com/album/minor-forms

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Ambient Works by Khristian K

It was inevitable that the artist who has produced so much spine-tingling music over the course of the years now strips down sounds to reveal their hidden essence. This collection of pieces compiles ambient soundscapes alongside the more chilled side of Khristian K’s ever expanding output from various labels now neatly appear under the one umbrella release. The expansive, From opens the sequence via a breathy delivery of ideas that touch and release emotions while the rousing, swirling pads generated on Floating seem endlessly rewarding. The grainy electricity of Perpeetum contrasts beautifully as the haunting piano of It Could Be tears at reflective heart strings to complete this other side of the coin. Notable, life-enhancing music.

https://khristiank.bandcamp.com/album/ambient-works

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Pale Blue – You Stopped Dying EP – Crosstown Rebels

A magnificent piece of music which I have been waiting to review. Not least of all because it challenges, tearing at your heartstrings while unsettling you by the insistent, haunting atmospheres generated via the not-so-gentle whir of synthesized repetition. The fizzy electronics which only enhance the tension are then soothed and smoothed over care off the icy, yearning voice of Elizabeth Wight, who alongside Mike Simonetti form Pale Blue. As a casual aside it is also interesting to note that, You Stopped Dying could be reflected almost as clearly care of acoustic instruments but then that’s important music for you. However, the two remaining tracks remain firmly in the box with the fevered Acid tones produced by Daughter Of Babylon, and the brutal drums of contrasting Love both fizzing with the type of dangerous excitement thats demands you leave the edge of your seat.

Release: February 16

http://www.crosstownrebels.com

https://www.facebook.com/PaleBlueOfficial

 

 

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P. Leone – Chances We Take EP – Rekids Special Projects

I couldn’t exactly explain why Rekids are quite so important at the moment. Obviously they release music that challenges, excites and moves forward but also perhaps because the simmering, violent intensity produced by P. Leone on Rose Petal Breaks is simply breath-taking. Add to that, at a relevantly short six minutes of brutal drums, brisk crisp stabs plus a heady rush of sheer energy this demands repeated play. Next, Noon Service gives cause for concern with its gritty combination of punctuated keys and quick-fire percussion which, is fair to say, leaves your brain in a confused state. The unforgiving tempo of Hold Me Down follows in rapid succession, leaving the not so introspective Sometimes I Feel Strong to end care of another blistering array of beats, bass and chaos. Beautiful Vinyl Only.

Release: February 16
https://www.facebook.com/rekids.official
https://www.facebook.com/p.leonemusic

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Silent-One – Lost Souls EP – Intimate Silence

Silent-One aka Benedikt Merkl started transmitting ambient shapes back in 2016 via his label Intimate Silence. And today the dark, crumpled shapes are even more demanding of your time. Human Border, begins as heavy sounds unfold across the stereo teasing out uncompromising yet resolutely rewarding emotions which build upon a sense of trepidation. Although light relief comes in the form of strummed, guitar like notes offsetting the terse intensity. The, just as imposing, Decide Your Fate follows serving up ideas with a breadth of scope, determinedly asserting their authority. While the tingling anxious, grittiness of Sign of Anxiety again feeds the imagination with highly charged expectations as rolling, clipped arpeggios ignite the mind. Saving the title track to last, Lost Souls opens up to a more positive future, though melancholy is never far from sight, with voices suggesting and tantalising – even though I have no idea what they are saying to me. The music typically haunts the background, coming and going as pads and loops of sound expand and then dissolve into oblivion.

Release: February 12

https://de.juno.co.uk/products/silent-one-lost-souls/676044-01

http://www.fromanothermind.com
https://www.facebook.com/silentonemusic
http://www.intimate-silence.com

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