An Interview With DJ Ezasscul
August 1, 2011 6 Comments
If you frequent this blog regularly, you’ve probably become familiar with DJ Ezasscul, whose music we’ve featured on multiple occasions. In the most recent post, I wrote that he was nineteen years-old and that “he tries to emulate Pete Rock.” A day after the post went up, someone commented, “I’m 18 actually, and I don’t try emulating anyone’s sound I just have idols. Thanks for the review I guess.”
The use of the first person immediately made me sit up in my bed. Did this kid really read my review? That’s fucking tight. But I also felt uneasy. I could tell he didn’t like what I said about him trying to emulate one of his idols. Not wanting to cause a rift between an artist and two of his biggest fans, Rusty and I decided to be proactive and give him a bigger platform to introduce himself and explain his music.
Here is a glimpse into the mind of a high school band rat-turned-producer phenom, where he discusses a rocky start in music, his influences, and “Jazz-Hop,” among other things. While his innocence matches his youth, his humility goes well beyond his years. In an era where the hip-hop scene is turning into a popularity contest, with artists hiding their pedestrian talent behind played-out party anthems and a pseudo-hipster style, Ezasscul’s under the radar persona is a breath of fresh air. As for his music? It’s a thing of beauty.
Syrup Daily: First, introduce yourself to our readers; tell them a bit about your history and how you came into music,
Ezasscul: Hello my name is Ricky Lascaze, also known as DJ Ezasscul. I got interested into music when I was about fourteen years old, when one of my friends mentioned to me that his older brother and his brother’s friends made beats, using a program called Fruity Loops. That same night I got myself a demo of Fruity Loops and thought I was doing rocket science. I then pushed away from music because I thought the program was too hard for me to learn. Then, when I was fifteen or maybe still fourteen, my friend introduced me to some music off of the Samurai Champloo soundtrack. The first track I heard on there was Sanctuary Ships by Nujabes and that basically got me interested in music again. Later that year, our school took us on a trip to BAM, a theatre for music, dance, and drama students. I didn’t really pay attention to anything the employees talked about on the trip, until the lady suggested that we should have a backup plan in life. She literally said, “use FL Studio, Garage Band, etc. and make music.” Once I heard her say Fruity Loops, I was just like, “whoa my friend’s brother uses Fruity Loops and I have Fruity Loops so I think I’ll give it a try, again [laughs]!” During my junior year of high school I joined my school’s marching band, concert band, and jazz band. Doing that got me more interested in music and I eventually started sampling jazz records and getting a fever for jazz music.
Syrup Daily: What did you grow up listening to? Which artists are you most influenced by? I read that Nujabes and Pete Rock are your idols, is there anyone else that stands out?
Ezasscul: Hmm, I grew up listening to, I can’t remember actually [laughs]. I didn’t really pay attention to music when I was younger, something I truly regret. I was born in the era where old school hip-hop was on the verge of being dead. I didn’t pay attention to music until I was probably eight or ten years old and by then, Bow Wow and them were coming onto the scene. The first hip-hop track that I heard was Hypnotized by Notorious B.I.G. I heard that song when I was about four or five years old [laughs]. I thought the girls on the chorus were saying “Ricky, Ricky, Ricky, can’t you see, sometimes your words just hypnotized me”. A person who I’m most influenced by is F to the A to the T to the Jon! Ah, Fat Jon’s percussions are so flawless. His bass lines are so smooth and deep. Fat Jon is an artist who influences me all the way, his sound is experimental but solid at the same time. A person who stands out to me is Uyama Hiroto. I like how he plays live sax over his warm Jazz-Hop songs. I’ve always wanted to do that with my trumpet, but my school took it back when I graduated and I couldn’t afford one [laughs]!
Syrup Daily: What drives you to make music?
Ezasscul: Tough question there. Hmmm, I don’t know [laughing]. Boredom? Inspiration? Yeah, that’s it. Inspiration!
Syrup Daily: How would you describe your sound? In your mind, what makes it unique?
Ezasscul: I describe my sound as Jazz-Hop. I think the name says it all. I think my music is unique because it often reminds my fans of Nujabes, Pete Rock, or Fat Jon, something I don’t even try to do.
Syrup Daily: Where do you see your music going and what are your goals?
Ezasscul: I see my music going on anime sound tracks and that’s my biggest goal – to get my music featured on an anime’s sound track. Samurai Champloo 2 [laughs]!
Syrup Daily: I’m a big fan of your “house” tracks (Calm Mindset, Night At Club Tokyo). Do you see yourself exploring
that genre more, perhaps even making an entire house album? Which house artists are you a fan of?
Ezasscul: Yeah, I definitely see my self exploring more into that genre, I’ve actually started a house album, but I’ll probably release it when I’m confident with my sound. I’m trying to aim for a Jazz-House sound. My favorite house artist so far is Derek White some others are Lovebirds, Jetlag, Phil Kinley, Incognito, and much more.
Syrup Daily: What is your favorite electronic instrument; drum pads, synths ect?
Ezasscul: My favorite drum pad is the MCP 2000xl, hands down. My favorite Synths are the Roland SH101 and the Roland TB303. The MPD 24 is my favorite midi/electronic drum pad, it was the 1st drum pad I’ve ever bought.
Syrup Daily: Do you have any desire to play live shows in the near future?
Ezasscul: Yeah, I’ve dreamt of doing live shows, mainly because a lot of fans have requested them. Hopefully, when DigiCrates Records does a tour, I’ll tag along.