In Conversation With: Planet Giza
I remember immediately bouncing my head as soon as the beat dropped on Planet Giza’s latest single, When The Moving Stops. The bass is confident and reminiscent of a late 90’s/2000’s record produced by Timbaland. As the trio’s rapper Tony Stone effortlessly lays down his bars and eases into a surprisingly melodic hook, I knew I needed to know more.
Tony starts off by telling me how the Montreal-based trio were born, “Rami B started making beats and then he showed me how to make beats. Later on I met Doom through a mutual friend and then we started making beats together. Then one day I was like, ‘Well Rami makes beats, Doom makes beats, so let’s just all make beats at my house?’ And that’s what we did...I mean the chemistry was there, the music was good...so we were like yeah let’s keep this going.”
The evolution from just focusing on production to beginning to put out music completely by themselves was one that emerged out of necessity. “I was always playing around with rapping and singing,” Tony explains, “and then one time we had this beat which we wanted a specific artist on...and then when it didn’t happen we were all like well...Tony you rap, you sing like...you do it.” Tony’s flow is cheeky and there’s an effortless bounce to his cadence that makes you appreciate the production just that little bit more. Their debut album, Added Sugar, which was put together with help from the likes of Mick Jenkins & KAYTRANADA, approaches hip-hop with more funk and house. They let us know it is nothing like the sounds we should expect from their upcoming EP Don’t Throw Rocks At The Moon. “We wanted a more mature sound,” begins Rami, “when we made Added Sugar it was all about girls...erm and we were tired of doing that. I remember me & Doom were talking and we were inspired by IGOR by Tyler, The Creator and that’s what inspired this project.”
Being a production trio, it’s very important that they trust each other’s styles and visions for music. The production process gets more complex when multiple people are involved. “Let’s say Rami has an idea, he works on his side and then he sends it to us and we add what feels right. If by the end of it the best makes sense, Tony will rap on it”. “If someone adds something that doesn’t make sense we have no problem taking it out”. Trust is at the core of their working relationship“We trust each other musically and sonically so much...whatever we would make individually probably wouldn’t sound as good as when we all come together.”
The chemistry between them is palpable and clearly informs how efficiently they can put together cohesive projects. As DoomX describes to me the process of working with director Guillaume Landry on the visual for When The Moving Stops, he gently lets slip that their upcoming EP was in fact put together in six days from beginning to end. “We made the EP with JMF,” Doom says as he chuckles at my surprise, “He’s a super talented musician and producer...we locked in with him in the studio for six days straight...back to back. We made all the beats in three days and then we did all the recording in three days so yeah, six days total.”
As Tony is the only member of the group that performs I had to jokingly comment at how exhausted he must have been by the end of that week. “Dude I was writing non-stop,” he laughs, “As far as lyrics...I would say it’s 99-100% me. Sometimes the guys will be like change this, change that but as far as the themes go, it’s really a team thing and then when it comes to the flows anybody can chip in. I usually have an idea of what I’m doing but yeah it’s definitely a team effort.” As he initially explained that his journey into music was through production, his ability to write so well, so quickly is stunning and I became a little intrigued as to how this craft came to life for him. “So growing up I listened to Jay-Z a lot and I wanted to be like him. His writing process doesn’t include paper, it’s all in his head. So when I was younger I would do that...I would have like 30 raps all in my head...so when it’s time to write a song I’ll literally just go in the booth and record.”
Aside from producing their own music, Planet Giza recently decided to begin their own radio station titled Mellow Mellow Radio, after encouragement from their management, as an outlet for their unreleased music. “We had a bunch of songs that we weren’t really releasing so we decided to preview those songs and it’s also a great way to let our audience in and show our personalities. We release them monthly and the reception so far has been great so we’re thinking of keeping it going.”
Planet Giza wants to have a universal presence in the music industry. As much as they’re creating for their listeners, they’re also creating for themselves. They feel this upcoming project showcases their musical range so well and ability to weave in multiple genres.
“It’s fireeee! It’s fiiiiireeeeeee” Tony screams cheekily but also seriously. When I ask what they want their listeners to get from this project they simply say “Don’t come with the expectation that we’re gonna do another Added Sugar, that’s not what’s going on in this EP. I think it’s an evolution from what we’ve done in the past but yeah, it’s fire.”
Don’t Throw Rocks At The Moon by Planet Giza is out now on all streaming platforms!