Black Girl / White Girl are two young DJ/producers who have their finger set firmly on the pulse of good music. Residing from remarkably different backgrounds – yet brought together in what they conceivably believe to be a twist of fate – Ty and Karin are a duo who have been making a name for themselves as they skilfully fuse styles of house, techno and rolling bass music to audiences across Europe.
While the electronic music spectrum is full of producers that could be described as unique, you’ll be hard pressed to find an ensemble who mix it up like these two. With an uncompromising love for Chicago house, their energetic sound shifts with ease as it lends influence from wide-ranging styles of raw, groove-laden house and techno, meanwhile maintaining a tempo undeniably catered for the dance floor. Their charismatic sets range from the early deep house hours sounds, to the peak hour, hands in the air moments and then back into the darkness of the night with sounds that keep you going until the sunrise.
Grant Richards caught up with the girls to chat about their career to date, their music and the ever growing female presence in modern clubland.
Hi there girls. Thanks for finding the time to chat to Decoded Magazine. How’s your day been so far?
Hi Grant, it’s our pleasure. Our day has been busy as it as almost every day of the week. Between making music, DJing, studying a host of music related subjects (very important!), and being with our Yorkie Louie, there aren’t many hours left in the day to relax. But we always manage, because we absolutely love it. Life is all but a collection of days, so we try to make all of them equally great.
Tell us about the house scene in Israel. Is it big enough to sustain you, or do you have plans to relocate now your star is in ascendance?
In our opinion, the house scene in Israel definitely needs some strengthening. As a club-goer you don’t really have a lot of options like in Europe. There just aren’t enough label nights, festivals, showcases, and most of all, there isn’t a lot of variety in the type of international DJs that frequent Israel. Although the techno scene is big here, for us house music lovers, the situation is pretty barren.
The scene is not big enough to sustain our ambition, simply because there isn’t that special kind of breeding ground, support system, and musical diversity here. We would have to change who we are, change our style drastically to fit in. And that is just not an option for us. We do have plans to relocate and move from Tel Aviv. When the right opportunity will come, it will all become much clearer.
We understand you met at ADE a few years ago. Do you feel like that was a fateful meeting, like perhaps you guys were destined to meet and connect and have this musical path together? Why?
Yeah, it was when we were both living in Amsterdam in 2012, and it really was fate. We believe it to this day. You have to understand, we were musically and mentally in the same place at that time. We were always into all kinds of music, but around this moment we came in contact with a lot of great house music. We’re talking records from Detroit Swindle, Breach, Eats Everything, Futureboogie, Crazy P, and that’s just to name a few. This is how we connected. It felt like this was the sound we truly loved, and we wanted to dive right into that. Although we come from very different backgrounds, the musical and spiritual connection between us was really easily made. And of course we wanted to make our own music on a professional level. We were prepared to give up everything else just to be able to do that, and that’s basically how it all started.
You’ve come a long way in a short space of time, do you think the same thing would’ve happened pre-social media due to the way you can connect with an audience in such a different way to way back when?
You know, the great thing about social media is that you can make it your own, do it your own way. The thing that we really love is to connect with our audience or fans, however you want to call it, on a personal level. It feels very much like they are our friends, so it’s a very organic relationship. It’s cool to have a little online family of people who support each other and care about the same things. Of course in the past, this must’ve been more difficult, artists used to rely a lot on outside forces like labels, managements, bookers, and traditional media. Now you can do a lot on your own if you want to. And you should want to! This definitely means that you’re doing it right, and along the way you will meet those right people that can be a part of your journey.
Let’s switch things up a little, I think I’m right in saying you think Madonna should leave it to the next raft of pop princesses? Do you think there’s anyone like that in the house scene?
In the house scene? Absolutely not, the great thing about the underground scene is that no one has an expiration date. But Madonna, yeah definitely. The pop world works quite differently, and honestly, we just think she’s only still performing to have some kind of world record or something. But hey, to each their own you know..
You have varied taste right across the house music spectrum, which comes across in your productions and your DJ work. What do you have to say to those music snobs that frown down on DJs that love variety, like you both do? Surely they are just missing out really?
Ah man, music snobs are the worst. The last thing we think anyone should be snobby about, is music. There are people out there that are doing it the right way (Jackmaster and Doorly come to mind, but there are many more), and even more so, there are tons of DJs just mixing stuff up lacking any kind of purpose or direction. It is a matter of thinking about what you want to achieve musically, and sub-genres shouldn’t really matter when you’re letting your ears and your brain do the work. But hey, that’s just our two cents, you know? What we play and what we produce can sometimes differ massively. DJing wise, it really depends on where we are playing, our time slot, the crowd, and the country. For example, tunes that we would play in Amsterdam do no necessarily work out here in Tel Aviv and vice versa. So yes, we do think being able to navigate right across that house music spectrum is a great asset to have.
With production, inspiration is what leads us. We try to stay in the house music domain, yes, and there are many different shades. Our aim is to be musically agile, we just like to flex and then see where it fits. House music just has so much to offer. Isn’t this why it’s so great?
We understand you are residents at Clouds in Tel Aviv, but if you had the opportunity to become residents in any club in the world, where would you choose, and why?
Wow, that is such a difficult question to answer. The list is too big, there are many places where we’d like to play, like BPM Festival, Verboten in New York, Ministry of Sound in London, Space Ibiza, We Are Festival, and so on. But to be honest, it’s not only about these places themselves. It should be any place that allows us plenty of freedom to play fucking great music, a place where we can share the stage with other DJs we love and respect, and where the audience is totally into it.
With a desire to play extended sets of 4 or more hours, do you feel you are able to fully express yourselves if you only have an hour slot?
One hour flies by when you’re in the booth, it feels more like 10 minutes. Every time we step into the booth we feel like we want to take the audience on a trip. And one hour is just the start of that trip. We love to start easy and take the energy up little by little, and then at the end, just explode the whole place. So if we can play longer, we reckon it’s just better for everybody!
Talk us through the collaboration with Maya Schenk (whose music we’ve really been digging recently). How the opportunity came about?
The collaboration came about super organically, we initially heard her EP on Habitual Records – which was ridiculously good – and thought it’d be nice to work on a track together. At the same time that we came across her work, we were working on an untitled track that needed some really unique vocals. So we shot a demo over to her, and some days later we got a demo of the vocal that she wrote on top of it, which was really, really good. So we immediately told her to continue on that path, and the rest is history – “You” was born.
How was the experience of writing with Maya? Did you pick up any neat tricks?
Well, honestly.. We are not really lyricists, and we tend to focus on the stuff we’re good at and love to do. That’s working with chords, progressions, melodies, tweaking arrangements and so on. A pretty neat trick is that we layered some of the harmonies that she wrote on top of the track’s original melodies. This created some really interesting new harmonies and melodic content, which was super exciting. And probably very nerdy too, haha!
Tell us about your fashion range. Do you feel it’s important for artists to think as broadly with branding to survive in today’s musical climate?
Definitely, but only if it comes natural to you. Some people want to focus solely on music, and that’s OK. We do think about branding, the fact that one of us has a background in marketing and design also helps sometimes. But is it essential for survival? Not necessarily, survival should fully depend on the music – it should always come first – and your audience. But branding certainly does help a lot. Just remember – if there’s good music, there’ll always be an appropriate way to market it and brand the living shit out of it – if that’s what you want, of course.
Congrats on your recent release on Kerri Chandler’s MadTech records, that has to be a proud moment! Do you have such a thing as a list of DJ goals that you’d like to achieve? If so could you tell us a few things on it?
Thanks man! Yes, we are still on a high from that one. We do have a list of goals which is big and very, very detailed. Some of the things on there are which labels we’d like to release on, our album plans, touring plans, future collaborations, and many more. Our list is big, because we’re constantly reaching our goals and we have the belief that we can continue to reach each and every one of them. We work hard and hold ourselves accountable for everything we do, so that’s a technique that has proven to be very effective and super motivating for us.
We hear you have some new tracks out soon too.
Yeah man! Our debut EP is dropping on June 8th, it will come out on Nervous Records. That’s one seminal label right there, and we are very proud to be a part of its rich history. We also have music arriving on Toolroom’s on-point sub label Love & Other this summer, which is very, very exciting. And then, there are the remixes that we’re working on, but unfortunately we can’t say anything about these, as they haven’t been announced yet. Sorry for being so secretive, but soon all will be revealed, and we promise it’ll all be worth the wait.
I see that we share an interest in horror movies, what’s your favourite horror movie of all time and what’s your fav horror film you’ve seen recently?
Ha, nice! Favourite of all time, wow.. Must be “As Above, So Below”. Not going to say anything about it, but if you love to be scared shitless and you aren’t a big fan of the gore thing – go for this one! Unfortunately we haven’t had the chance to watch a lot of horror movies lately, most of them are too gore-y without really great scares. The only one that comes to mind, is “The Babadook”. Really original and intriguing. If anyone has a good tip, please.. please! Tweet it to us: @officialbgwg. Love u thx!
Decoded Magazine recently interviewed Sam Divine and we asked her about the strong and ever growing female presence of DJ/Producers in the scene. Who were your female role models growing up, and what will you do to empower more girls to get into underground sounds?
Oh wow, well we absolutely love Sam Divine! Nice one. Having said that, our female role models growing up were probably the Spice Girls, haha. But seriously though, we’re not in this to be role models, we are just here to follow our dreams. If by doing so we happen to inspire young kids, then that’s really great and we’re extra happy. Later on in our career we would definitely love to do a lot more than that, though. We often talk about how nice it would be to share our knowledge with the new generation at some point, maybe by teaching, or other forms of empowerment. We’ll see what the future holds!
Tell us about Louie, your Yorkshire Terrier. Have you thought about bringing him to your sets? And if you did, what treats would you have on your rider for him?
Oh dear lord, here we go again. Louie always manages to find the spotlight, that little mafia dog. If he could, he would definitely be in the DJ booth with us, chewing on cables like it’s candy and barking on everybody who dares to get close to us. But really, he would be backstage of course, and on his rider would be: a king-size puppy bed, some assorted dog sushi bits, peach-flavored vitamin water, a pitcher of special dog mojito, a live stream of our performance (in HD of course), a handful of squeaky plush toys, and a private masseuse.
Well it’s been a blast to meet you and chat girls, where can we see you play over the summer months?
It was super fun to chat to you, thanks Grant! You can catch us right here in Tel Aviv over the summer, at our home base – Clouds. Keep in touch with us, and stay updated on our future plans by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re more into eye candy bits, we’d be happy to bump into you on Instagram. Until the next time, cheers guys.
Mat.Joe – God Damn Wait
John Stoongard – Look @ Here Daddy (Gianni Bini Rootsy Vocal Rework)
Angel Mora & Bonetti – Chicago
Oliver $ – Doin’ Ya Thing (Die Grote Bootleg)
Third Deck – Inside Out
City Soul Project – Ah Shucks
Makam – Hide You
David Pher – You Trippin
Enzo Siffredi, Sav Manganaro – Hand Bone
Dayne S – My Soul
Soul Divide – Catch The Light (Man Without A Clue Remix)
Paul C & Paolo Martini – Take Some House (Riva Starr Edit)
Delgado – Tell You Sumpthin (Ds Told It Mix)