Steve Crawford (DJ Energy), a producer based out of Arizona, has released new single “Rise featuring Lachi” digitally and on vinyl. The track, released by BeatyBoy Records on July 20, is a mix between R&B, jazz and deep house.
DJ Energy brings together jazzy piano, and rhytmic rhodes improv over a solid deep house beat. Energy teams up with NYC recording artist Lachi to throw inspirational soulful vocals on top. Lachi goes a step further to show off Ella Fitzgerald-style scatting skills throughout a majority of the feel-good song.
Here’s the feel-good video, released alongside the song:
Q: What goes through your mind when deciding to make a new record?
DJ Energy: First of all I want to make something hot. It’s gotta have a good feel, a good groove or pocket if you will. I first think of what I want to convey, which is honestly based on what I’m feeling. I think of what sounds will sound good together, what tempo is best and I always feel that less is more. I’m thinking that I can’t make something that’s lame. I’m really honest about how something sounds, and I’ve deleted quite a few songs that I was forcing and just didn’t sound great right out the gate.
Q: Tell us about the start of your professional career?
DJ Energy: I’ve had a few professional careers beginning in Detroit working for Daimler Chrysler. After 5 years in the automobile industry, I left Detroit to begin a career in the legal field. I currently run a private practice focused on criminal defense and personal injury.
Q: How easily do songs tend to come to you? What’s your inspiration?
DJ Energy: Songs come very easily to me. I always hear a baseline first. I believe everything should be built around the bassline. I’ll be riding around in the car and I’ll literally pull out my cell phone and video myself humming a bassline. When I get home, I’ll “pluck” it out on the keyboard and see if I can make what I heard in my head. Other times I may be collaborating with a session musician and we’ll talk about what we’re hearing and just vibe out. I can make a song in one evening. In fact, the best songs happen super quick with little thought. Overtime I “try” to make a good song it doesn’t work. My best songs are all a mistake. I’m inspired by everything whether it’s love, conquering an emotion, the thought of people dancing to my music, absolutely everything under the sun. I’m also inspired by my musical limitations. I like to see if I can use technology to overcome the things that I can’t do.
Q: How has the collaboration process been for latest single “Rise featuring Lachi”?
DJ Energy: Lachi has been a godsend. Every artist yearns to collaborate with people that make him better and make the music sound great. I joke that Lachi is my (studio) wife. From a writing and singing standpoint she has almost singlehandedly taken my songs from good to “omg wtf”. Lachi is such a professional. She is a perfectionist to the point that it has irked me, but when I say that, I mean that she demands excellence. She has made me a better producer because I know I need to do justice to her talent. With many other vocalists, I’ve had to direct them and go back and edit, not so with Lachi, she is so good that I end up changing my music so that she can do more vocally. She hears things I don’t hear and her knowledge of chord progression is amazing.
Q: Who are some of your favorite producers past and present?
DJ Energy: Quincy Jones, Ashford & Simpson, George Duke, Dj Premier, Kerri Chandler, Josh Milan, Pirahnahead, Dj Spen, Titan Guillotine Davis, Austin Leeds, Terrence Parker.
Q: What was your most memorable performance to date?
DJ Energy: Chiba City Japan 2004 “Future Terror Party”. I can’t even talk about it without crying
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
DJ Energy: Take massive action NOW.
Q: What advice would you give to other producers just starting out?
DJ Energy: Whatever advice people give, don’t listen. Your vision and dream is yours and everyone can’t see it.
Q :What is next for DJ Energy?
DJ Energy: Finishing up 2 more albums slated for release in early 2018. I have an electronic dance album with quite a few collaborations with Lachi and another deep soulful project as well. Will also get overseas and introduce the world to my brand of dj’ing and performance
Q :How can we follow you on social media?