Interview Series: Laxcity.
Sheffield, England native Joshua Mbewe AKA laxcity has been on fire recently, and looks to be picking up even greater momentum with every single release. His massive remixes of Drake’s “Pound Cake” – a deep, heavy, brooding composition – and Rihanna’s “Work” – which is equal parts gorgeous, energetic, and dynamic – have absolutely blown up and granted him a ton of recognition from fellow SC artists.
Both flips put laxcity’s dazzling creativity on full display, adding depth and emotion to the originals with ethereal vibes, bouncy and magical synths. Although his sound is heavily trap-influenced, it comes across as beautiful rather than disjointed, melodic rather than abrasive, and totally unique.
Likewise, laxcity’s original material falls somewhere between relaxing/introspective and grimy/dark. As an example, “My Mind” – our introduction to Joshua’s work – is a beautiful composition which combines several elements of his distinct style, including crisp, nuanced percs, lovely, atmospheric synth chord progressions, and soft vocal chops. As you’ll see below, laxcity will surely continue to progress and mature as an artist over the coming months with plenty of new material in the works and a drive for continual improvement.
The electronic music scene has become so globalized as of late, artists like laxcity are now collaborating with other producers all over the globe, and we, for one, cannot wait to hear his upcoming projects with the likes of Swedish duo ADUSTIO. Read on for the full interview below!
The UK scene is craazy right now – has that had any influence on you and/or your music?
Sorry to say but, not at all in the very least. I’m more interested in what all the producers that I follow are making. Mainstream genres such as grime, deep house and drum and bass have become really popular over here in the UK but, it’s something that I take a peep at on occasion just to keep my general knowledge up to date.
The SC community spans virtually the entire world. What do you think has been the importance of the globalization of interaction between artists?
Haha soundcloud is literally my world! It is literally the first thing I open subconsciously when I get online. I think it’s wonderful that a lot of people around the world are able to get together and just share their musical ideas, tastes and skills. For me, without the soundcloud community, I don’t think I would have had the skills I have now. I’ve made a lot of friends in the past 4 years through soundcloud, and I’m really grateful and I love all of them… am I allowed shoutouts?
Who are some producers flying under the radar right now who deserve more recognition?
You guys HAVE to check out Canon Danzer, I think it’s illegal for him to be only standing at 700 followers at this moment. If I could, I would donate followers to him. He is really talented, breaks the boundaries that trap normally has, uses unnatural rhythms that just add a whole lot of innovation to the trap genre. I’ve worked on a little track with him and have noticed that he literally wrings out the best in the smallest plugins/instruments, he seems to have a ghetto method of sound design but it still delivers. Everything he posts is always so diverse. And I love him so much <3 ^_^
You make some cool drawings on the side – it’s neat to see all kinds of people, even like A$AP FERG, who share your passion for visual art as well as music – in what way does one inspire the other, if at all, and to what extent do you think this relates to a certain inner creative drive?
Visual art is something I switch to when I’m in a block or just something I practice regularly, it exercises that perfectionist in me. I think visual art and music inspire each other really well, I don’t know if anyone else does this but when I look at an image or video, I will always imagine some sort of backing track or composition for it. And vice versa for music, I will also imagine some sort of surreal visual aid that syncs well with it. But these little things just inspire some images I’ve done in the past. You can also almost say that visual art is one of those things that got me into music in the first place.
What are your aspirations for the next 6-12 months and beyond?
Most likely more originals and collaborations. Getting somewhere with my music in terms of popularity and how well known I could maybe get. My main aspiration as of now is to become the best I can in the world of music. I have the constant hunger to just adapt and improve every skill that I have so far so that I can create amazing things. Right now I only create music on my laptop in bed, hopefully I can start a studio build over time. As for beyond… hmmm.. I’m not really sure, but it’s just a matter of where this music will take me from my bed you know?
Any thoughts on remixes/flips versus original tracks? What kind of music can we expect from you in the near future?
Original tracks in my opinion, showcase an artist’s voice, who they are and what they do. Originals are the words that an artist speaks.
Personally I’m more for originals because they are what define an artist, if people actually like an artist’s music, then that pushes them to make more. As for flips and remixes, I feel as though it’s a template that you can change into whatever you want, and you’re being spoon fed melodies. The cons of original music is that you will often fall into frustration or a block, and “sometimes you just feel like quitting” – Jupe [another fantastic producer, based from Miami].
The only problem with remixes that I have is that it’s like cheating, and it’s one of the main ways to become popular, I much prefer the hard way and actually reap the benefits of originals.
You will all most likely expect, more originals, collabs and remixes. I have a few collabs with my boy Petrii, a joint project with vocalist Sherry W and a remix with a Swedish duo called ADUSTIO.
Lastly, but importantly, in honour of Pokemon Go – bulbasaur, charmander, or squirtle? Haha
Erm…never saw any of them through to the end on pokemon red but….since I have one in pokemon go already… squirtle.
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Show laxcity some love:
(And check out our full SoundCloud Artist Spotlight playlist for laxcity here.)