NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

DJ Sessions: 'Vibey' And Melodic With Anthony Valadez

KCRW’s Anthony Valadez joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson for the latest installment of DJ Sessions.

From Brooklyn electro-soul duo Denitia and Sene to Toronto jazz trio BadBadNotGood, he brings us “vibey” and melodic sounds that might make you want to roll down your car window and drive.

Songs Heard In This Segment

BadBadNotGood, “Sustain”

Denitia and Sene, “trip.fall.”

[Youtube]

Superhumanoids, “Bad Weather (the Scoop Deville Remix)”

[Youtube]

Jay Electronica, “Better In Tune With The Infinite”

Anthony Valadez, “Good Looking (feat. Bird)”

[Youtube]

Anthony Valadez, “The Runner (feat. Nanna.B)”

[Youtube]

Guest

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

OK. Time now for another edition of the HERE AND NOW DJ Sessions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE LAST DJ")

TOM PETTY: (Singing) There goes the last DJ.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DJ PLAY A LOVE SONG")

JAMIE FOXX: (Singing) DJ, won't you play this girl a love song?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROLLOVER DJ")

NIC CESTER: (Singing) Dance, little DJ, come on.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PON DE REPLAY")

RIHANNA: (Singing) Come, Mr. DJ, song pon de replay. Come, Mr. DJ, won't you turn the music up?

HOBSON: Anthony Valadez, DJ with KCRW in Santa Monica, California, is with us now. Anthony, I have to say, it's not as fun to be on this side of the country than to actually be sitting in that room in the basement at Santa Monica College with DJs from KCRW, but it is great to have you back.

ANTHONY VALADEZ, BYLINE: Thanks. It's nice to work in my suntan while I do this.

HOBSON: OK. Good. Well, let's start with some of the music that you have brought us this week, sounds from a jazz trio called BadBadNotGood. This is called "Sustain."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUSTAIN")

HOBSON: I just want to lean back in the couch to jazz club with that one.

VALADEZ: Yeah. These guys are really cool. They're based out of Toronto. And, you know, interestingly enough, I saw them at South by Southwest. They're opening for Nas and Flying Lotus. And it was so great to see young kids appreciate this music, appreciate these sounds from the jazz era. But what's really cool is that they take a lot of pop songs from the likes of Kanye West, maybe some Gucci Mane, Tyler, the Creator. And they add their little soul jazz flavor to it. Very hypnotic, very cool, very - just very vibey.

HOBSON: How did you find them?

VALADEZ: You know, these guys have been kind of paying their dues on the blogosphere, making some really cool videos. They're three kids, recently signed to L.A. label, Innovative Leisure. And again, it was South by Southwest that did it for me. The way they were able to rock that crowd with this kind of sound - again, they're opening for Nas. It was awesome.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUSTAIN")

HOBSON: All right. Let's get to another one. This is Denitia and Sene. The song is "trip.fall."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRIP.FALL")

DENITIA: (Singing) Rain cloud, the weather man say, may just lay in bed all day. And you found somebody to stay, may just look around today.

HOBSON: I'm sensing a theme with you, Anthony. You like this breathy, soulful but with a dance beat.

VALADEZ: It's just good music, man. At the end of the day, it's just good music. These guys are great. They're a duo based out of Brooklyn, New York. The male guys - his name is Sene, he's the vocalist - is actually an MC Rapper, but kind of took a different turn musically with this project. And he's exploring more of his R&B soul feel.

VALADEZ: And Denitia, who you just heard on that track, is amazing. She's out of Houston. They vibe, they connected, and they're making this very futuristic electronic soul sound, which I love. I love that they're exploring different tempos, different fields, different aesthetics. I mean, it just feels right.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TRIP FALL")

DENITIA: (Singing) Snow storm was headed my way, but the lovely say. Snowflakes fall on my face. Never seems to rain. Snow ball all of my day. Throw it all the way.

HOBSON: And she's got a nice voice.

VALADEZ: Oh, very hypnotic. And, you know, watching her - another act I saw myself by this year and, you know, she was able to grab that crowd and bring them into her world. She closes her eyes, and it was great to hear something melodic, flowy(ph) and vibey(ph), and that's Denitia and Sene.

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

We're talking with Anthony Valadez, DJ of KCRW. And you're listening to HERE AND NOW.

HOBSON: All right. Let's get to Superhumanoids. This is "Bad Weather," the Scoop DeVille remix.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BAD WEATHER")

SUPERHUMANOIDS: (Singer) Open it wide. You never talk about your separate life. No shelter deep inside. Bad weather couldn't take me, take me by surprise. No shelter...

HOBSON: Very chilled-out sound there, Anthony Valadez.

VALADEZ: Oh, very L.A. too. You know, lately, we've been having this great weather. And this is something I play in the car, just driving around. You know, the Scoop DeVille remix is what caught my attention. I slept on his album. It was released last year. They've been releasing a few EPs, but this is their full length. And I heard this remix, and I loved it. And Scoop DeVille, known for his work with Kendrick Lamar and a lot of hip-hoppers, this is kind of a cool, interesting feel that I'm really loving. Superhumanoids is very vibey perfect since dream pop based out of L.A.

HOBSON: OK. Moving right along, let's get to Jay Electronica. This is "Better in Tune with the Infinite."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE")

JAY ELECTRONICA: (Singing) My brain pours water out my tear ducts to heal me. My Lord's too beneficent. The message grab a hold to every ear it get whispered in. The waters in the bayous of New Orleans still glistenin'. The universe is listenin'. Be careful what you say in it. My grandma told me every bed a nigga make, he lay in it. The church, you go to pray in it. The work is on the outside. Staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies. Oh, ooh.

HOBSON: Well, tell us about Jay Electronica.

VALADEZ: Jay Electronica, what I love - especially where you started from, there's a line that he says, the church, you go to pray in it. The work is on the outside. Staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies. Like, listen to that and think about what he's saying. This entire song is him just dropping this knowledge, talking about sacred geometry and growing as a person and talking about how frustrating it can be to express yourself, and how hard it is to undress yourself with the media. And Jay Electronica, you know, he's a non-traditional emcee from Louisiana, New Orleans' big act. But what I love is how he chooses what he rhymes over. This one specifically over a piece from the battle soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

And, you know, it's very non-traditional. A lot of times, people like beats and drums, but he likes the soundtrack. The amazing thing is this man has no albums out, nothing. But he recently signed to Jay Z's Roc Nation for management. So hopefully, we'll see what happens.

HOBSON: OK. Anthony, before we let you go, let's turn the camera on you, if you will. You have some music out right now, a new album called "In Search Of" that you produced. Let's play one song off of that. This is "Good Looking," featuring Bird.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOOD LOOKIN'")

BIRD: (Singing) Hey, good lookin', why don't you just stay there? As I turn on the lights, everything is clear and bright. Hey there, good looking, all the small of your life, I've been waiting to love. Girl, I want you. Hey, good lookin', why don't you just stay there? As I turn on the lights, everything is clear and bright. As I...

HOBSON: Now, Anthony, I know you spent your free time hanging out with "Papi" and J. Lo, but is this the national debut for that song?

(LAUGHTER)

VALADEZ: I think so. You know, this is the brand-new album. It's called "In Search Of." I don't know on unplug research. It's just me having fun. It's me having access to a lot of amazing artists that I support on KCRW after midnight. And it's my way of collaborating with them and making beautiful music.

HOBSON: Well, it sounds great. Best of luck with it. Anthony Valadez, DJ of KCRW, Santa Monica, California, thanks so much as always.

VALADEZ: Thanks, J Hob. I appreciate it.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: J Hob, I like that.

YOUNG: Yeah.

HOBSON: And he's actually not the first person to ever call me J Hob.

YOUNG: It could be...

HOBSON: Oreo, Oreo.

YOUNG: ...some, yeah, kind of overdone it.

HOBSON: And you got - we got the whole list of all the songs that Anthony brought us at hereandnow.org. HERE AND NOW is a production of NPR and WBUR Boston in association with the BBC World Service. I'm J Hob.

YOUNG: I'm Robin Young. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.