Chicago-based duo Ayoo has been putting numbers on the board for quite sometime now in EDM. Sparking attention with their infectious remix to Hip Hop classic, “Doo Wop (That Thing)”. For the summertime, Ayoo capitalized on the newfound popularity with another feel-good remix to the G4nj4 hit, properly-titled, “Groove Delight”. Today, Substream’s own Boom talks with the rising group on new music, festival season, and what else they have in store for 2019. Read the complete interview below.
[Substream]: How did it feel playing Spring Awakening this year?
Eric: It was amazing! This is our third year and you can really see the progress we have made from playing in 2017. We played 5 unreleased tracks and had great reactions to them all.
James: It was an amazing feeling to be back at for our 3 rd year at Spring Awakening. Being able to finish 5 new tracks prior to the festival was a goal of ours and we crushed it! It was great to play a later time slot on the Function Stage, which allowed us to show the full effect of AYOO.
What was the general idea behind the recent Groove Delight remix?
Eric: When we listened to G4nj4 for the first time, we were in shock. The thick pluck and heavy rhythm is what caught my attention, and went perfect with our style. One day I was listening to it again and realized that this could be a heavy bass track. We wanted to start doing remixes of tracks we like to challenge our production skills and we felt this could be a start.
James: We wanted to incorporate our grime/funk/bass like characteristics, with a hard hittin’- catchy bassline. Eric initially started on the remix and sent it to me, but was had writers block for a few weeks. Then out of nowhere, the ideas to finish the song just started flowing.. I love it when that happens.
What would you say are the biggest differences between AYOO 2018 and 2019?
Eric: Music and branding. In 2018, we started to develop our sound more, something to be recognized by. Our branding was not set because we were so focus on the music aspect. We were working on new tracks such as the Groove Delight remix and other tracks that will give us the image we want. Our first test for the G4nj4 remix was at Park West with AC Slater, Volac, and Phlegmatic Dogs. The reaction from the crowd was amazing and unexpected. Now I knew what steps needed to be taken in order for us to succeed with music and our branding. 2019 we knew that when we release G4nj4 it was going to shape AYOO into what we want it to be. We’ve teased it when we performed with Birthdayy Partyy at Sound-Bar. We were able to play music that defined our brand and it gave us the opportunity to show people AYOO in its full potential. Then we started to use our love for tacos into our brand by doing a “Name Your Favorite Taco” contest for Spring Awakening. We stuck with it and our friend, Christian Rivera, developed visuals of a dancing taco and hot sauce bottles too. We knew that 2019 was going to be the year people see AYOO at full power and want them to remember us by it.
James: 2018, We were just scratching our production surface, while dominating our support sets for some notable artist such as AC Slater, Phlegmatic Dogs, Volac, Malaa, Valentino Kahn, Dr. Fresch, SNBRN and more. We were able to release 2 songs in 2018. Made a goal to release & finish more for 2019. We feel that 2018 was a huge learning year for us, as we are seeing a lot of results thus far in 2019. 2019 : We’ve released 3 more songs, 8 songs currently finished (some unreleased/released) and signed our track “Timeline (feat Rhymster)” to Artist Intellegnce Agency. We have a better understanding of our brand, worth, music production and positive/productive direction for AYOO.
Where does your sense of direction come from when integrating multiple genres together in a
Eric: I would personally start by listening to the genre I want to integrate with house for about a couple of months. Then I would proceed by creating my own on the piano because I feel that the piano is so pure but makes the base for any song. We have an unreleased track that was influenced by Swing, flapper, and big band from the era of 1920-1940. I would also listen to French house music as well because it contained similar traits. I feel it is best to surround yourself with the idea you want in order to pursue it.
James: It’s all about being simple without over complicating things. When there is too much going on, even thou it may sound cool, it’s probably too much and you’ll lose your listener/audience. Lately, we have been able to fill in “empty spots” within our songs with our multiple genre type sounds, then simplify. We want it to be catchy, grimey,funky and gangsta like.
How do you like being a part of the Mid-West scene compared to other areas?
Eric: It’s very challenging but I like it a lot. Being Dj’s from Chicago, the birth of house music, is
something amazing. Making a name in the Chicago scene is not easy, thus respect is earned. It taught me the business side of music and how much it takes to make it.
James: Honestly, I’ve never traveled to the East or West Coast and experienced their music scene, but have heard many great things from fellow Dj/producer friends. I love the Midwest, Chicago specifically, there’s just an unforeseen amount of talent here. Stepping away from Chicago, some of the northern suburbs like Waukegan are producing notable shows through Wub Life Ent. and their most recent Thursday night event, Bass Station. So much talent everywhere!
What are some changes you are noticing in terms of experiencing EDM musically and visually
going into 2020?
Eric: My production skills. I am able to maneuver around Ableton more and I’m able to lay out
an idea a lot faster than I was before. I am also experimenting with new plugins to help develop
new sounds for our music such as ambiences, plucks, and many more.
James: 1 thing I would say is the different ways to produce music, not just via laptop but even through apps on phones, tablets etc. Visually, graphic designers are on the rise considering many artists need cover/album art.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?
Eric: To get our music signed to labels, push our brand heavy so we can pursue out of state
gigs, and to make a difference in what we do. Music is something special to my brother and I.
We’ve been surrounded by it for many years, it’s something I want to share with the rest of the
James: We plan to continue releasing more music. We have a few originals that are finished, one of them featuring Rico Act, which we are EXCITED about! We plan to continue pushing/working on our brand, along with sharing our day-to-day experiences with our fans. We are playing North Coast Music Festival next month in Chicago and are looking forward to checking this off our bucket list.
Stream Ayoo’s New Single, “Groove Delight” Now, Courtesy of Spotify.
You can also checkout Ayoo’s complete catalog, available now on Soundcloud.