The shape-shifting sound of Oolacile continues to impress as his latest ode to his OG raver days surfaces on Bassrush Records with some proper flex. No stranger to the heavier side of the dancefloor, there’s been a noticeable shift towards incorporating more melodic influences into his cuts, as the aptly titled “Kandi” can attest. (Out now so lock yours in here.)
Having earned his stripes as a neck-snapping riddim warrior in his own right, Oolacile seems to be channeling his love for sound design into his continual quest to carve out a space that’s all his own. While collaborations with all the heavyhitters in the scene ranging from 12th Planet to SVDDEN DEATH, UBUR, and most recently, MVRDA, have earned him a spot as one of the scenes finest, his latest drop on Bassrush seems to hint at a new direction that Oolacile is quick to confirm in our wide-ranging Q&A below.
While savvy fans may point to 2017’s “Riddim Girl” as a precursor to “Kandi” in many ways, the unique mix of happy hardcore, classic rave anthems, and straight up dubstep pressure make for a welcome infusion of energy to the dancefloor.
To find out more about what we should be expecting when he touches down at EDCLV next weekend, we thought we’d check-in with the riddim raver himself for an exclusive glimpse into what the future holds on the Oolacile tip.
Since we’re assuming you were an old-school Dark Souls head, what, if anything, satisfies your gaming itch these days? Even more importantly, what lessons have you learned from playing that will help you survive the post-apocalyptic world to come?
I am definitely back on my Counter Strike obsession. Pretty much any game that gives me a strong challenge sucks me in. I personally love the feeling of overcoming obstacles or challenges that have otherwise been a struggle in the past—hence why I love Dark Souls or highly competitive first-person shooters. I don’t know if any of that will help me survive the inevitable apocalypse at all. Pretty sure I’d be one of the first to go if anything disastrous were to happen.
“Kandi” is absolutely crushing it right now. Give us the story behind the tune, the title, and if that was intentionally designed as a shout out to all the ravers out there.
“Kandi” is absolutely an ode to ravers and kandi kids. When I first was introduced to electronic music, dubstep wasn’t really a thing yet. Hard dance stuff was super popular, people like Basshunter, S3RL and Pendulum were my first introduction into the world of dance music and raving. They all had really catchy memorable melodies or hooks that sucked me in. I’ve been wanting to go back to my roots with my newer productions and pay tribute to the music that started me down this path of producing. As a result, a lot of my newer dubstep stuff has these really long melodic intros that should hopefully get stuck in the listeners head, just like the music that introduced me to EDM.
There’s definitely a noticeable shift in your latest output towards including more melodic elements. Has this attracted any haters and if so, what do you have to say with those unable to hang with your new flex?
I definitely understand why some people would want to stop listening to my newer music if they really connected to the older darker stuff. I honestly think all the things that make me Oolacile are still present in my newer music, but I guess everyone is attracted to different things. If people liked the lack of melodic elements and just wanted an onslaught of aggressive sounds in my older music, then they probably aren’t going to be as interested in my newer stuff. But if people liked that I was always taking chances in the way I arranged music—the unique sound design, the quirky flows and overt thematic elements—then they should love all the new stuff just as much.
Speaking of controversial topics, are you surprised when people are surprised to find out that you’re vegan? What do you say to those who don’t think you can go hard on the riddim tip and be vegan at the same time?
Damn, ummm. I have a lot to say about veganism so instead of turning this interview into a 5-page essay on why everyone should go vegan I’m going to mildly brush over the question and give a short answer: I am vegan for the animals, the planet, and my body.
Whatever fuel you are using in the studio it’s obviously working, as you are cranking out the tunes and continuing to blow up with each and every release. Any advice for some youngblood out there hoping to follow in your footsteps one day?
The most important thing a musician can do is to create a new sound that resonates with the public. Making something new, something that is well executed, and also something that the general public ends up liking is definitely the biggest hurdle. Once that is done, the artist needs to be consistent with their musical output; putting out a song once a month with some decent promotion is absolutely key. If an artist is doing something that is generally considered “good” on a consistent basis, people will eventually notice. That’s all I’ve ever done and it has worked out pretty well for me.
For now, all roads lead to Vegas where we can’t wait to see you crush at the Bassrush Records takeover of stereoBLOOM stage. Any words of advice or caution to those about to step into your domain for the first time?
I’m extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play at EDCLV. My sister use to go to EDC back when it was in Los Angeles. I’ve never been to an EDC before and I feel extremely honored that my first time getting to attend this iconic event I’ll be performing at it. My performance at stereoBLOOM is going to be a special one for sure. Expect to hear multiple genres, an Oolacile song playing from beginning to end, and 20+ unreleased tunes. This set is going to be different from what people are used to hearing from me and I truly believe it’s going to give the people attending it a memorable experience.