Getting Down with Ezel
Ezel is a multi-instrumentalist, house music producer and DJ. He started his career in 2007 remixing work for such labels as Yoruba and Ocha Records. In 2010, he received worldwide recognition for his single “In My Lifetime” featuring Tamara Wellons, who got remixed by the likes of Deetron, Atjazz among others. From that moment on, Ezel has been a sought after DJ having performed in places like Japan (Tokyo Crossover Festival), Amsterdam (ADE), France (Djoon), USA among other places. A man of many musical visions, his style of work reflects his desire to always keep pushing envelopes thru musicality and passion.
We caught up with Ezel to talk about his New EP on Local Talk and more.
Your artist name Ezel is actually your birth name – is there a special meaning behind it?
I like to think it is special… altho I doesn’t have any particular meaning to it.
Seems like you’ve had a bit of a break from house music – what have you been up to the last few years?
Mostly growing in other aspects of life. The time away helped me re-design myself for the future ahead so I am pretty grateful.
The release we’re here to talk about is the ‘Get Down EP’ you did with Tumelo via Local Talk, tell us in your words a little bit about how it came to be and and what prompted it’s musical direction?
Well basically the song came first as a 16 bar jam that I sent to Tumelo to see if we could try doing something together. I appreciate the fact that he was very receptive of the initial input (funny it was the deeper bayacou mix I sent first). After I got his vocal parts, listening to them in acapella, I kinda felt I had hit a gold mine because his vocal tone was so pure and funky. So having done the deeper version first, I went again to the drawing board and then sketched the soulful (original) version – trying to convey more of a complex performance with response, hooks, etc. Suddenly, I had 2 strong tracks, one being a remix.
Hooking up with Local Talk came to be pretty organically. I usually send my works in process and stuff over to some close friends who are also DJ/Producers, for another pair of ears. So I sent these to Kiko Navarro and it was him who encouraged me to send these over to Mats. He replied positive and the rest is history.
Has your roots starting as a piano player at your local church (over a decade ago) helped shaped you into the artist you are today?
Well, I guess so. I remember back then I only could play a limited amount of chords and my chops wheren’t nearly as smooth as they are today.
But even back then, while being at that church feeling the spirit doing what I love and comparing it to now, whenever I hit a dancefloor with dancers, poets and people who come to feel the music… it just feels like a church and I am sure the spirit is there as well.
What artists (dead or alive) have directly influenced your sound the most?
I am tempted to say Prince and leave it there… but then again, there are so much more. On a house tip… my favorite producer is Deetron.
What’s next for you?
I’m gonna keep building my partnership with Local Talk by releasing yet another project with them. Things are looking really good right now, I really appreciate the positivity the guys are putting into this project and the support they have given me and you guys as well.
On another tip, there is very special Ezel EP more afro house oriented to be released on Ocha Records. Not sure the release date but I think it will come in the fall. Can’t miss that! Besides that, well a few remixes here and there and hopefully some gigs will come along.
His ‘Get Down EP’ is available now on Traxsource: HERE