From Liege to Berlin, Spain to South Africa, El G has a lot of flavours to combine. Maybe that’s the reason why he ended up producing a perfect mix of afro trap, baile funk, future bass and folkloric instrumental sounds. In this interview El G discusses his roots, the next steps in his career, and how his music continues to evolve in the open-minded environment of Berlin.
“OK, yo El G, let go on this style…”
Tell us about your name “El G”.
El G comes from the name of my hometown, because of phonetics the initials of Liege are LG. I turned it into El G, like “the gangster” in Spanish (laughs).
You’ve lately been using Brazilian sounds and lyrics, where does this attraction come from?
I discovered Sángo in 2014 when I started my first DJ set and I always play his tracks to soften the playlist. A year ago a friend just pushed me to produce this type of music, and somehow it worked. Some of my tracks had [a] little success so I went deeper into the game, producing, playing DJ sets and touring.
We could say your music is a mix between trap, hip-hop, afrobeats and some future beats, but what we really want to know is how would you define your music without any of those tags?
A bassline followed by a contrasted blend of sound that will make you feel something.
Berlin is known worldwide for its techno scene, how does your music fit in there?
Good, because my music is very varied and that is always welcome. Baile funk is not as popular as dancehall or afro trap yet, but it will come. I also have a trap, hip-hop and alternative bass side; and glitching all that my sets always work out. I think Berlin is a very stylish and open city.
What is your creative process and what do you need to feel comfortable while composing?
I’m always influenced by my mood, a tone and/or a style. So I start from there and I search through my sound bank for something I like. On the other hand, I say to myself: “OK, yo El G, let go on this style, this type of sound, this rap” and I know where I’m going. I don’t need much, my laptop, an external sound card, HD 25 headphones and I’m comfortable. To record a rapper I count with a studio space in Berlin too.
What music did you used to hear when you were a child? How do you think that affected your own music?
My mother is from Spain and my father is from South Africa, so I had Latin music on one side and on the other side African and traditional music. This didn’t influence my debut in music, but I always had the rhythm I think! Baile funk and melange afro trap are really a pleasure to compose.
Can you describe a film scene to us where your music could provide the soundtrack?
My album Sabor FVLS in the movie Elite Squad at minute 1.47 when the BOPE storms a favela during a baile funk party outside.
Which are the future steps for your music career?
My solo project, which has been sleeping for six months. I also have this baile funk tropical bass project that will come out after spring with a European summer tour. I also have this collaboration with the rapper Mista Meta from Berlin; following a German tour that is happening at this moment, we’ll release an EP together around summer.
You’ve done several concerts over the last year, do you have any anecdote you would like to tell us?
For a successful party it is not the amount of people in a room that matters but the quality of the audience.
Picture by primodelafuente
Interview by Benet Serra