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…