Hi Agile, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you!! I’ve been great, grinding away finishing the last bits of this project.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Flavor”?
Yeah, “Flavor” is an Afrobeats-vibes anthem. I’m really focused on making music that translates to the dance floor.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
No one event in particular. I’d say it is a combination of several events including attending Gumbo here in Toronto. Gumbo is a huge Afrobeats, Reggae & Soca party a couple of my friends throw here. I wanted to make something that they would want to play there.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It was HOT AS HELL FIRE!! In Toronto we have really four 4 real seasons, and it was the middle of July when we shot this. Early morning on a Sunday on Lakeshore Blvd. It was already 30 Celsius at 7AM, so the whole process that day was try and stay cool LOL. Director Cazhmere just wanted us to have fun with it. She challenged us to have fun and enjoy the shoot. It was also crazy that even at 7, 8, 9am in the morning, whenever we stopped somewhere to turn around or have the crew change lenses etc., people would line up to buy ice cream. EVERYWHERE!! I felt so bad having to tell them we actually didn’t have the freezers full of inventory, since we were shooting a music video. I learned that day; Ice Cream trucks really get the bag.
How was the recording and writing process?
The record is an anthem. Once I finished a rough of the beat, it had this anthem quality to it. I work with Kash K, a songwriter who I have a great chemistry with, and when we finished the demo we knew we had something. Our eyebrows collectively went up when we were bouncing the track out in real time.
What was it like to work with Ammoye and how did that relationship develop?
Ammoye is great!! She is such a good performer. I’ve known her for years and it was just a matter of time for us to connect creatively. When my team and I were thinking of vocalists for that track, she was one of the artists we thought would be able to kill it. She’s got swag, and that’s something you can’t coach someone to convey through a microphone. People have it or they don’t… Ammoye got it in spades!
How much did she get to influence the song?
It was huge. Once she started putting her vocals down on the track, she owned it!! And I think that’s the key with any feature. Whether you write it, perform it, stay in your comfort zone, or are performing in another zone you have to own it. Those types of performances usually make a great feature.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Yeah for sure. A good collaboration is usually a mash up of the contributors. Especially adding other producers or players in the mix. I love hearing how they approach certain parts of the process, especially when it’s completely different than what I would have done, yet it’s still dope. It’s actually quite a cool experience.
What role does Toronto play in your music?
A lot. We have so many cultural influences here, from all over. African, Caribbean, European, South and Central American, Asian and then of course the influence of America. I also think climate is part of the process. I don’t want to be driving down Lakeshore Blvd in January with my windows down. It’s dark and cold, perfect time to hibernate and be in the studio flushing out new ideas and experimenting with styles. I think that post New Year’s Eve hibernation is great. Whether you escape and head somewhere warm, or retreat on the low in the 6ix, so many records coming out of this city start during this time, well at least their inception.
Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?
I’m all done. I’m just tweaking the intro to the project. We have a couple videos in the bag, we’re getting ready to roll.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
January 2020, inception season.
Would you keep diving into the 90s music realm or would you be seeking a new direction?
90’s are great, for the 90’s. I’m interested in what the future sounds like. I’m always pushing forward.
Any plans to hit the road?
What else is happening next in DJ Agile’s world?
I do edits and music for our World Champion Toronto Raptors, so I’m just working on stuff right now for the Christmas day Game. I also did the music for ‘Hip Hop Evolution,’ seasons 3 & 4 on Netflix. Season 3 dropped in September and Season 4 is slated to drop in the early New Year. I have a couple other things in the works, but I can’t speak on them yet. I’m out here putting in the work, what else would a Scarborough mans do? ☺