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.

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 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…


Reviews: 141

Single of the Week

diegoDiego Krause
Right About Now

Unison Wax main man debuts on the label with three equally quality productions that could just set the dancefloor on fire. The title track opens with crunchy drums but soon develops its emotions with tasteful keys complimenting the tough House rhythms perfectly.  Manitu, then adds more movement to the percussion to provide addictive listening, while Dreams completes the release with a combination of creative synths and more heavy-duty drums on the deepest but also possibly most compelling of the trio.

Deeper Side To Life EP
Brise Records

Brise59-A bcExcellent new release from the ever impressive Brise with the title track from the EP sequencing sassy congo breaks together with warm, expanding chords and tech stabs alongside welcome human voices. A funky combination for sure, but also a deep and moody one with more than a twist of invention to the production. The Nightshift Remix then takes it up a gear with rolling bass adding heavier vibes to the darker elements of the original. Next, Serpente fuses break-beats with treated vocals and pulsating piano to again produce another imaginative arrangement of sounds. Label boss Helmut Dubnitzky provides a remix which adds fierce bass to a much moodier and excellent reworking.

Release: February

Misfa Stereo
Something is Wrong
La Pitti Records

Two fresh new tracks from Neapolitan producer Pasquale Gargiulo aka Misfa Stereo go to make up this latest from La Pitti with the later F Is To Forget being the standout courtesy of the punchy beats and basslines adding tension to the organ punctuated grooves. The former, Something is Wrong feels less frantic with crisp snare hits and moody keys adding extra atmosphere. A remix comes care of Share Records’ Helder Teixeira who adds a more off kilter edge to the production via contrasting soulful vocals.

Armand Van Helden
Ministry Of Sound

Expect the unexpected. So I don’t quite know why I was surprised to see that Van Helden’s three CD compilation for the Ministry series were titled: The Loft, Yacht Rock Don’t Stop, and Freestyle Forever. For obvious reasons it’s the first CD and its selection of House classics (I use the word advisedly) complete with Masters At Work, Earth People and Logic’s timely ‘The Warning’ that all provide reasons to acquaint yourself thoroughly with the mix. The Freestyle collection is then highlighted by the more obvious Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam ‘I Wonder If I Take You Home’ and Joyce Sims anthem ‘(You Are My) All And All’ and I guess it’s a pre-House sound you either love or not. And so to the Yacht Rock selection which, let’s face it, contains a number of breezy, uplifting classics (though also a fair share of cringe) despite the terrible genre name attached to them now. Consequently if Toto, Chicago, and The Doobie Brothers sound like your idea of heaven then you’re in luck…

Release: February 14
Pre Order here:

One of Armand Van Helden’s 90’s classic records (not on the CD)