Dutch trap lords known for fusing hardstyle and hip-hop, Yellow Claw are poised to take over the world. Having a phenomenal year, the Amsterdam trio brought their dynamic party soundtrack and epic live show to our Chopping Block stage at Escape: All Hallows’ Eve, serving up heaps of dirty, twerk-worthy tracks and feeding the wall-to-wall crowd big room-worthy bass music.
The lively, peace-promoting group comprised of Nils (Nizzle), Leo (Bizzey) and Jjim (Jim) speak with Bassrush about new label ventures and the renowned hype of American festival crowds.
For those who may not be familiar with the name, where does Yellow Claw come from?
Yellow Claw was the name of the party we threw at a club in Amsterdam called Jimmy Woo. Jimmy Woo is the superhero in the comic and the villain is Yellow Claw.
How did your collaboration with Diplo, LNY TNZ and Waka Flocka Flame come about?
Diplo was in Amsterdam for a festival and he just reached out to us. We went for dinner and went to the studio and just started it. We talked about who we wanted on the track, and then we brought out Waka Flocka Flame. [Diplo] has been a friend for a long time. When he’s out in Amsterdam, sometimes we make music and sometimes we don’t.
Some critics have said that the music video is quite controversial. Was this intentional?
We just like cool videos. We’re not out here to preach or anything. If you can combine a cool video and a message, that’s a cool thing. If you’re watching a movie and nothing happens, it’s dull. The same goes for music videos. Shit has to happen and sometimes it’s a little controversial.
Your latest EP, Legends, on Dim Mak has brought you a lot of positive attention. Tell us about the title track with Cesqeaux and Kalibwoy.
Kalibwoy is actually from Amsterdam. Somebody introduced us and we knew we should defiantly do a track with him. He’s more of a dancehall artist, but he just came to the studio and freestyled. The whole video for “Legends” was actually filmed in his old hood.
What do you guys like most about the American crowds?
They go hard as fuck. They are super fanatics and we like their outfits. Here the people live for it.
How would you describe your sound?
I think you could just call it club music or EDM; just really effective music. That’s what we strive for when we produce shit. We always test shit out, and if it doesn’t work live then it doesn’t get released.
Tell us about the music behind the Barong Family imprint.
It’s a cool collaboration between Spinnin’ and us. We are surrounded by a big group of talented artists in Holland [and] they all keep sending us their music. It’s a pretty young label so we’re really just finding our way in the business and the scene.
We were so happy Wiwek sent us the EP and really happy he wanted to work for our label. It’s supposed to be a label for us to give our friends a platform and a safe haven for their music. There is a responsibility that comes with releasing music. It would be selfish if we took everything for ourselves. We are trying to get these guys on the same boat as us and then sail off together.
What’s the meaning behind the name Barong Family?
It’s a devil from the island Bali in Indonesia. We all want to get really rich and stop working in 10 years and just move over there. It’s important to feel like a family. All the guys we put out are friends of ours.
By Amanda Ross