What You Expect Sits With R3LL

I see people on social media making beats and it’s obviously a hard craft but people make it look so easy. At what point was making music become effortlessly? 

At least for me, I wouldn’t say it’s always effortlessly because sometimes you run into some roadblocks creatively and I think “damn I don’t know what to do with this song”. For the most part, I got comfortable around 2012. I was doing more EDM and Jersey club remixes. That allowed me to be more artistic. 

When you run into a roadblock/tough situation how do you handle it? 

If I run into an obstacle on a project I’m working on, I’ll save it and come back to it. I’ll start something new or send it to a homie I want to collaborate with just to get some feedback. I try not to get too caught up on a project. 



When did the love for music come in? 


The love for music came around 2004. Around that time, I had a love for jersey club music. I would go to my cousin’s house who was DJing and he would play different CDs. I would ask him “what type of music is this?” He would say “Brick City Club, Baltimore Club, Jersey Club.” I asked him for his CDs and he would say, “naa”. So, the weekend after I took a blank cassette tape and I dubbed his CDs. Then in 2006 I joined P-Unit and we were throwing parties all around Newark, but my job was promoting. There was a time where I didn’t want to promote anymore I wanted to start DJing. Then I started to link up with people and learned how to DJ. 


What about club music really lasso your ears. Is it the process of making it, the sound, what is it? 


For me, it’s the sound, wordplay, creativity, and dance that all flows together. 


When you DJ are you focused on the crowd or your equipment? 


You have to pay attention to the crowd. You got to talk to them, ask them how they feeling, give a shout-out. Create vibes and play bangers. 


Directions was your first EP. Have you listened to that recently to see how much you’ve grown? 


I actually listened to the song Ponanay last year but I’m lightyears ahead of that now. 


Do you cringe when you hear anything old you released? 


Yes, all the time. I listen to my old stuff and I say “damnnn I was ass”. Then I try to take that and make it better. 

A couple years after you dropped your first EP you were traveling quite a bit. Going to Canada, Seattle, doing stuff in Jersey. Was life moving a bit too fast? 


Naa I felt like I was ready for it. During that time, I was in the west coast and I was ready to put people on that sound from New Jersey whether they like it or not. I felt like I had to represent Jersey. 


Did you feel pressure going to the west coast and bringing that Jersey sound? 


Hell yeah. The connection I feel with Jersey club shines through the music. I’m not doing it just to do it; it’s the love for it. That’s where I feel like people can connect when I’m doing a set. When I do sets over here I always think the audience is new. I play records that are digestible so they can get into the genre and then I dig deeper. Then I start playing the stuff from back home. 


Being a DJ during the pandemic is a huge blow especially to the entertainment industry. What have you been doing throughout this whole time? 


Of course, it’s been difficult because you can’t do anything. At least for me, things have been good. It allows me to take a step back and see what I have done and plan for the future. A friend of mine, DJ Drew, we created The Jersey Club Producer Battles. We have several different DJs remix one particular song or create an original song. That’s been something that’s bringing the line of communications within producers. During this time, it’s been great but it sucks not DJing. 


What’s Clubanese? 


It’s my new mix series on the taste maker channel on dash radio out here in LA. Clubanese is essentially my platform to house all different types of club music from all different types of producers. I want to DJ different records, bring on guests, talk about people’s stories how they got into club music.