We live in an unusual age. It wasn’t so very long ago that to make it in the music world – to make it big – typically required several prerequisite years of unacknowledged shows in local bars and a few mediocre albums out of the way before a record label paved the path to fortune and fame. Nowadays, all it takes is one song to make a star, and two up-and-coming DJs set to hit Hamilton on Thursday night, are a testament to this phenomenon.
Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon, despite division by their gender, nationality, style, and intent, share the necessary keys to the world of stardom: a few songs apiece that have garnered enough attention to have them touring around the world. In an interview on Sunday, Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon opened up about their surprising musical intentions.
If you’ve been to Hess over the past few months, then you’ve probably heard Sak Noel’s popular dance hit “Loca People,” which is one of only three original tracks the Spanish artist has released. This trio, found on Sak Noel’s Crazy Society Trilogy LP, has rocketed the club-owner-turned-DJ to the international stage.
While these songs may be familiar to you, the Spanish artist’s political intent behind them probably isn’t. “The economic crisis [in Spain] is really hard right now and people are unemployed, and there are a lot of sad things going on. So my Crazy Society Trilogy is about that. I try and use that context to make dancefloor songs to make the people forget about that, but at the same time make them aware of what’s going on in Spain,” he explained. Sak Noel believes that there is room in electronic music for communicating messages of substance. “If you want, you can add some subtext to the music. Why not use dance music to share your opinions with the world?”
Fans of Sak Noel can expect more material to be released over the course of this year as a follow-up to Crazy Society Trilogy. “I have three or four projects [on the go]. I want to start to show my music more regularly… I want to spread my music throughout 2013,” he enthused, and hinted that an album is on the way.
DJ Rhiannon also has an album in the works, to be released some time this year. A well-established DJ who has spun with heavyweights such as Tiesto and Deadmau5 (as well as celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg), this University of British Columbia graduate has begun recording her own tracks. Her rap music, which marks a departure from the EDM that she DJ’s in clubs, is aggressively provocative. The three original songs she has released so far – “Like a Slut,” “Nasty Bitch” and “All the Girls Do It” – are extremely sexually explicit. With lyrics like “Eat that shit, grind that clit / Don’t fuckin stop until she spits across the room / Pussy go boom!” it’s unsurprising that Rhiannon has been garnering attention.
In a rap scene dominated by arguably misogynistic male voices, Rhiannon hopes to offer an alternative female voice. “Whenever women talk about explicit subjects, it’s considered more shocking than when men talk about. If you listen to lyrics by Tyga or Lil Wayne, or name a male rapper, they’re usually talking about crazy explicit things,” she said. “I can’t really relate to drugs, I can’t relate to wanting to drive flashy cars, I can’t relate to violence… People talk about what they know. I’d be posing if I talked about anything other than [sex].”
Unlike her colleague Sak Noel’s politicized motivations, Rhiannon is markedly nonpolitical in her approach to the issue of female presence in rap music. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m doing it to feel empowered. I just feel inclined to do it,” she explained. “Ever since I was a kid, I loved getting reactions out of people. I was a jokester, I liked to shock people and do crazy things to get people to laugh or just react. [Producing this kind of music] seemed like the next natural thing to do.”
Both Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon are eagerly awaiting their upcoming performance and the chance to spread their unique sounds in Southern Ontario. “I’ve never been to Hamilton before but I’m very excited,” Sak Noel professed.
Sak Noel and DJ Rhiannon are performing on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Sizzle in Hess Village as part of VOLV’s BIG ROOM EDM SERIES, which aims to bring big names in the scene to an eager Hamilton audience. Tickets are available from VOLV online at http://volvsaknoel.eventbrite.com/ and at the door, starting at 10 p.m.
Sak Noel's popular hit "Loca People":
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DJ Rhiannon's song "All the Girls Do It":
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