Think back to a few years ago when Adele was largely an unknown artist and it was some sort of insider- trendy word to say her name. As if to imply you were really cultured and sophisticated to know her music (love her as we do). Trap music at the moment seems to be experiencing the same thing. You dare not claim straight Hip-Hop or Dubstep as your musical preferences nowadays oh no if want to be perceived as musically relevant, still marginally aloof & underground, the word is … TRAP.
I like to think of this relatively young sound as the love child of southern Hip-Hop and Dubstep. All the commercial, up-tempo flavour of the Hip-Hop with the deep groove & gritty ear splitting bass of Dubstep. It is because of its broad sound that listeners and ravers of Trap are as culturally & ethnically diverse as they come, with particular signs of popularity across central parts of Europe and America. Who could forget electronic trap producer Baauer’s 2013 track “Harlem Shake” that became an viral hit with fans recreating their own versions of the now infamous freak out video to the same EDM Trap song.
Supposedly the name of the genre is meant in more literal terms than most expect. Trap actually refers to the place in which drugs deals were made and the struggle for success, hence its popularity with southern rap artists such as Keef Chief, T.I, Gucci Mane & Young Jeezy. In fact its only in the last few years that the sub genre of EDM Trap has come about and its proving to be equally as popular.
On this side of the pond however waves are also being made. Enter Stooki Sound.
Their 2012 track featuring producer and London native Hucci entitled ‘Ball So Hard’ has chalked up nearly ten million views on YouTube and has been featured on BBC Radio 1xtra to name only a few. The duo consisting of DJ Lukey & Jelacee have been jet setting to various parts of Europe & America with their British twist on the sound and have most recently announced a small American tour in the US for later this month & we just know a summer tour is on the cards. This bright, young collective are well and truly in the ‘about to blow category so we at FTP swooped in there before they head for the stars and officially out of our reach, to talk to them about their beginnings, music and what’s next.
Lets start with trap music. How did you guys find this sound and what drew you to it in the first place?
L: I’ve always been a huge Hip-Hop fan. What I love about Trap is the energy it brings and the reaction it gets in a club. I think it’s bass driven nature music that makes people react in that way and the fact EDM Trap can work solely as an instrumental it appealed to me as a producer.
J: For me, I’ve always listened to Rap music, and a lot of tracks from the likes of Three Six Mafia to the Crunk scene had a similar style to the trap music of today. However I think it had to be TNGHT – Buggn and Major Lazer – Original Don (Flosstradamus Remix) that really got me heavily involved in the scene.
Stööki Sound is one part of the whole Stööki movement, for those who don’t know what is the other parts of the movement and how does the music coincide with it?
L: The Stooki (www.stooki.co.uk) movement started in 2011 and began with jewellery and clothing as our main creative output. We present our themed collections and artistic works through the three key elements of Stooki that are Sound, Vision and Play. I teamed up with Jelacee in October 2012 to begin producing and DJ’ing as a duo under the Stooki Sound name.
You’ve been getting a lot of love overseas mainly in Europe, is this a sign of a change as far as music trends go?
L: I think the internet allows music to travel globally so quickly. It makes gaining fans internationally a natural thing because Music is now so easy to share. It’s great to be able to travel and play our music to fans in different countries.
J: I think good music spreads fast. Trap music has a lot of influences from Rap music to Dubstep, so it pleases a very wide range of people. It has a very good balance in terms of production so it can be played at a lot of different raves in a lot of different countries.
How did you guys get your start in music and DJing?
L: I’ve always been into music and started composing at a young age. I started DJ’ing later at University and began to regularly in London. I also co-founded the art collective Stooki (www.stooki.co.uk) in 2011. Stooki has three core elements Sound, Vision and Play, it made sense to start developing the Sound element of Stooki and so began producing and DJ’ing as a duo with Jamal as Stooki Sound.
J: I’ve been producing since I was 15, and I started Djing at 17 on Drum and Bass Vinyls. From there I just progressed and found my own style the suited me in both production and been behind the decks.
Educate us at FTP, for novices like us, what separates Trap from its close relatives like Hip-hop, dubstep and EDM?
L: Trap music originated in southern US. It has its signature style and sounds such as the bass driven 808s, quick high hats and snare rolls. EDM Trap uses the original Trap format but brings in other elements that are more readily associated with other genres, so it’s a fusion of styles.
J: I think it has to be the use of hi hat triplets, snare rolls and eardrum rocking 808 basslines. However, I’m glad that a lot of producers are starting to play around a lot more with the way it’s produced.
Aside from yourselves who are you guys listening to musically at the moment (2012), who’s inspiring you?
L: I’ve been listening to Cashmere Cat, Mr. Carmack and Mount Kimbie’s new album recently.
J: Kanye West, Baauer, Hudson Mohawke and old school Timbaland have to be my inspirations right now. They produce some next level tracks.
Tell us about your Geddit!, Mixtape what kind of things can we expect to hear?
L: The Geddit! Mixtape has been influenced by us travelling a playing live shows internationally and to different crowds. It shows are range of instrumentals to working with artists.
J: I think the next mixtape will define our sound a lot more. We have a lot of different elements on this mixtape and its a lot more well rounded. Im excited to release it.
You guys have had a pretty great 2012 from having your single ‘Hucci & Stööki Sound – Ball So Hard’ played on BBC radio 1xtra to various domestic and international tours. What’s been the personal highlight for you thus far?
L: I would have to say our recent Stooki x Stooki Sound audio and visual performance in ‘The Tanks’ space in Tate Modern. It was such a unique venue to play in and the coming together of projected visuals and dj set was something I have always wanted to do and was very pleased with how the night went. The crowd was great!
J: My personal highlight would have to be the announcement of our US Tour in June. For me it is a massive achievement to be able to say I’m going on Tour in the States. I feel very privileged and I cant wait to show the fans over in the States a good time!
What’s next for the whole Stööki movement & of course Stööki Sound?
L: You can expect a lot of exciting things from the Stooki this year. We are working with Adidas Originals on the global ‘Unite All Originals’ campaign where we will be collaborting with other creative’s so look out for those exciting projects (http://www.adidas.com/us/unite-all-originals/_/N-1z128ti). Expect a few new additions to our Jewellery & Apparel ‘Obscura’ collection. The new Stooki Sound ‘Geddit’ mixtape will be released in early June and our ‘Geddit’ US Tour starts on June 9th at The Governors Ball NYC. (For a full list of shows: www.facebook.com/stookisound)
J: I think with Stooki Sound, we just take each day as it comes. You can definitely expect more shows, bigger tunes and a lot of fun.
Where can we find you guys & how can we keep in touch with you?
Watch this space!
Stooki Sound – Geddit! Mixtape Out Now
Gold Trap EP – Out Now – http://itun.es/i6JS649
Check Out; W2L (Welcome to London) – TroyBoi & Stooki Sound
Editor’s Note: This interview was originally published in June 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy.