Remixing Angelique Kidjo's iconic "Agolo" is no easy feat, but producer BGRZ has done a wicked job with his memorable version. Having worked the release through Ultra, things are looking impressive for this rising artist.
First things first, please tell us a little about you… who are you and where are you currently based?
My name is Mike BGRZ, I’m a producer from Benin living in Paris. Apart from music, I hold a master degree in Audit and Accounting.
How long have you been making music? What made you first want to write it?
I’ve started music with the piano when I was 5 years old, playing both classic and jazz. I fell in love with music at this time.
When i was 14, I was part of a group, but we couldn’t afford a producer for the beats. By listening to talented producers as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, and also because I had some skills, I started to produce for the group. From this point, I discovered producing, and i realised that this was what i always wanted to do!
What do you enjoy most about having music as your career?
Through music, I am able to touch people, to express myself and get to know new people from different backgrounds. In fact, if I look back at all the moments I lived and all the people I’ve met, I can say that music is definitely the best thing that happened to me.
Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe your trademark sound to those who haven’t heard it yet?
Most of the time I am producing in my bedroom, with my piano, my computer and other devices. I am lucky as I grew up with the African and the Occidental culture, and it makes my music a mix of culture. African music lulled my childhood, (with legendary artists such as Angelique Kidjo, Cesaria Evora, Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour) but also American artists: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, to mention just a few. I have a classic and jazz background and by listening to these different artists, I think that it made me naturally open to different styles, and it allowed me to have a singular print on my music.
You’ve just released an awesome remix of “Agolo” as a debut for Ultra and we love it! How long did you work on it for? Are you happy with the final result?
Thank you so much. By the way, I would like to give a special thanks to Ultra for their support for the release. I had so much pleasure working with Angelique for this single, and I am feeling so honored to had the chance to work with such an amazing artist. Basically I have been producing this track for 2 hours, but it took me some times to finalise it: I wanted something great to honor Angelique, so I amended it several times until getting the final result. When Angelique heard the remix, she really enjoyed it, and my team as well, so yeah it was a huge satisfaction for me and I am really happy with it.
Where do you see your sound progressing over the coming months/years?
For now, i want to stay in my own lane : working by searching at new tones and new songs, to avoid making what have already been done.
If you could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?
That’s a real good question. I have mentioned above Cesaria Evora, and I would have love to work with her. She was so talented. I also really love Stromae, for his musical singularity. If I had to choose from artists within the new generation, definitely I would say Chance the Rapper, Migos, Wizkid.
What do you have coming up next in 2017? Are there any more releases in the pipeline you can share with us yet?
For sure! My second single is already finished, and it is a collaboration with a Grammy winner. I can’t share more with you now, but stay tuned - it will be out soon!
Thank you guys, for giving me this interview so I can talk more about my single, and thanks for the support it is much appreciated!