You know something is on from the very moment the pounding kick drum begins, then as the intense bassline and accompanying undulating funkiness all pulse and carouse their way throughout the arrangement this proves to be inescapably excellent. Archie Hamilton delivers the sort of rich, intensity that is so completely compelling here and given that Mr V also highlights words with a powerful message of positive encouragement then it really doesn’t get much better. A selection of versions including an A Cappella are all available to you but either way a standout release for sure.
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.
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.
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…
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.
This And That
You can’t help but be drawn into Zombie Disco Squad’s world and twisted way of viewing things. Four tracks of unrepentant Dance music seeks to unnerve and excite you via the distinctly genre busting grooves, which sound all the more powerful for it. Rude Girl opens with taught basslines and crunchy drums that deliver an epic punch offset by whirring synths and vibrant fx. Commited, continues to feed the intensity with unsettling rhythms and voices, while Back 4 Real strips it all down to Jackin’ percussion alongside the addictive vocals. Leaving, the throbbing bass tones of Basement Trax to complete this challenging release of sound from Davide Squillace’s hot label.
release: October 19
Gold Digger EP
Lost My Dog
Returning for their second outing on Lost My Dog Mountal feature three new tracks alongside remixes from Mr V. For me, it’s the punchy, stab driven Nothing To Undo and the gritty Masterkill that work best here, both sounding tailor made for the imprint – tough and provocative for the dancefloor. Mr. V then provides two great versions of Gold Digger with the perky, organ punctuated SOLE Channel Mix, plus the first rate 2 am mix that takes it deeper with thumping kick drums and reverberating effects feeling tastefully late night.
release: October 20
Sad Ballerine EP
Gorgeous production by Dan Noel whose lush soundscapes are adorned with rich atmospheres coupled by unnerving undercurrents. The stunning, Follow Me plugs you straight into the currency of deep, throbbing rhythms alongside an engaging array of sound effects bouncing around the stereo, while Katy Blue’s breathy words only add to the experience. The remix comes from Anthony Middleton vs Dance Spirit who beef-up the drums with added Toms plus extra bass, synths and tweaked vocals all adding another dimension. Remaining tracks, Nocturne gets tougher as the title track itself ends with emotive strains of music evolving across the arrangement. PS Brenda Leon Atrip’s artwork too!
release: October 27