With such a vast and expansive community of beat makers vying for notoriety and exposure, Soundcloud has long since been the go-to for producers to showcase their productions over the last decade. With the rise of platforms like Soulection, the exposure and opportunity for artists experimenting with sounds deriving from Hip-Hop, RnB, Baile Funk and House continues to grow, and one of those undoubtedly at the forefront in recent years is Boston native Joshua Major-Paschal, otherwise known as production maestro Rilla Force.
Fusing elements from all the aforementioned genres and more, the Massachusetts-based producer coined the phrase ’RNBDM’ as a way to succinctly describe his groove-laden sound. Merging the best of those soundscapes has seen Rilla become one of the masters of the scene, having successfully carved out a path for himself that saw his work recognised this year by the Boston Music Awards, having been nominated for the ‘best Dance / Electronic artist of the year’.
Rilla’s flow and melodic delivery is undeniably fun, feelgood and impressive, it’s guaranteed to achieve its objective to make you dance or at the very least, raise a smile and get your head bopping. Yet with a rich discography of experimentation to admire on his Soundcloud to enjoy, it’s his most ambitious musical project to date, his newly released debut album ‘Fiesta’ – some two years in the making no less – that deserves your attention. Ten tracks of diverse sounds largely inspired from the latin and baile funk scenes, it’s album track “Vete Conmigo” that immerses the listener in a heavenly state of feelgood chords and jersey club-versed squeeks and drops.
Fresh off the release of ‘Fiesta’, we’re lucky enough to have Rilla in for the next edition of the guest mix series, for an enthralling 46-minute session that spans across the full spectrum of future beats. In addition, we sat down to find out a bit more about his background, musical upbringing and inspirations, collaborations, the significance of Boston recognising his output and much more.
Hey bro, thanks for taking the time to chat today. It’s fair to say you’ve been prolific on the productive front over the last few years, would you say 2019’s been your most rewarding year yet?
Of course thank you for having me! 2019 has definitely been the year where I’ve been getting a ton of my goals done and it feels amazing.
Just to take it back, can you tell us about your earliest musical experiences and the music you were exposed to growing up?
My mother didn’t let me listen to worldly music. Kenny G was on repeat at the crib to be honest or instrumental music!
Coming from Boston, can you tell us a bit about the city and how it helped shape your musical output?
Honestly Boston is cool! Pretty good food, a bunch of history. Only thing is the weather is pretty inconsistent aka trash sometimes. Boston music is dope there’s so many emerging artists coming out of MA right now it’s wild! I wouldn’t say Boston has shaped my music per say but it for sure is my home and I have loved ones here who support how I move.
How long have you been producing for? What’s your setup and how has it evolved?
I’ve been producing for 16 years. Same DAW and everything #FLGang. My current set up is just a 61 novation launch key, scarlett 18i8, and a Neumann 102. Hella bare bones but it gets the job done. Before I was just had an old beat up laptop and that was it! We were really just getting by back then.
We first came across your music via ‘Dapper’, which had that nice future bounce your productions are recognised for. It’s clear you draw from a wide range of genres, but how would you describe your sound for those who are unfamiliar?
My sound is RNBDM. That’s the easiest way to explain it without getting/giving a headache. It’s always bounces, my goal is to get people to move their bodies. If I can’t do that then I might not be myself.
Which artists have been your biggest inspirations, and who would be your dream collaboration?
Lido has been dad for a few solid years now. I see a lot of what I’m doing in his development over the years. T-Pain is my favorite artist. Pain just knows how to create good music and I strive to be a master of sound manipulation and creation!
On the subject of collaborations, you’ve been working with Radical One, Billy Dean Thomas and west1ne amongst others, how did those collaborations come about, and do you enjoy collaborative work as much as producing solo?
Radical One & West1ne are in the same collective as I am In Good Company. I met Billy Dean Thomas through an artist I manage name Maliyah. I love collaboration it’s empowering and knowledgeable to sit down with another human and view their perspective on making something from nothing.
- Earlier this year you were nominated in the Boston Music Awards for ‘Best Electronic/Dance Artist Of The Year’, how did it feel to be recognised by your home city?
Honestly it felt so good, I always felt like the black sheep of my city. Majority of the area focuses on hip hop. I’m glad that people are finally starting to see me for who I am and what I can do.
You’re an affiliate with the homies over at In Good Company, how did that relationship come about? What is it about the IGC crew that helps them stand out from the rest?
MoreSoupPlease was the catalyst for my relationship with IGC. Soup and I talked over DM about linking up in NY late 2016. 2017 rolled around and we met and we’ve been friends ever since. He introduced me to the roster over time and the heads of IGC Jay Cas and Jeff Ewusi! They asked me to be squad and I was like iight ! I’ve been a part of so many collectives and labels where I couldn’t shine. Or they didn’t give artists the time of day. IGC really redefined what that meant for me and they’re about the bread so that’s a plus!
Lastly, we’re stoked to have you in for the guest mix series, what can the listeners expect?
Expect Rilla !