This is what happens when Portugal meets New York. DJ and producer Holly returns to unleash his new track titled “Till I Die” featuring A$AP TyY from the A$AP Mob. This is definitely not the first time the Portugal native has collaborated with rappers, as evidenced by joint endeavors with standout hip-hop artists from his area (like Slow J, Papillon and Dengaz).
Holly describes his sound as a “chaotic storm in a calm ocean.” With “Till I Die,” he stays true to his bass-heavy sound and roots, delivering a turn up joint for the summer to come. Co-produced by Vancouver’s own NXSTY, the song also serves as the lead single from his forthcoming EP titled Alameda 1000, which will arrive via Insomniac Records.
EDM.com caught up with Holly to discuss the new track and friendship with TyY.
EDM.com: How did you get into producing?
Holly: Through life accidents. I always looked for something to complete me as a human being and for a platform to create and express myself. When I was younger I looked for it in ways of expression — skateboarding, painting, drawing, soccer — but never found one I was 100% truly happy with (besides skateboarding, but due to some skate accidents, had to stop doing it). One day, I was talking with my older brother who told me I should try making beats. I did it and haven’t stopped since then.
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
When I made my first beat.
What can we expect on your forthcoming EP, Alameda 1000?
How does this differ from May’s Avenal 2500?
To be honest, Alameda 1000 better represents where my creativity and ideas are at right now and the direction I’m taking with my music. Avenal 2500 did that too but all the songs were already one year old. On this new EP, I have stuff I was finishing a week ago. This record better expresses my new production techniques as well as the way I work and express myself.
What’s the meaning behind putting your childhood addresses as titles?
About the childhood address, it means a lot to me because it’s a self-note to never forget where everything started and where I come from.
Talk about linking with A$AP TyY on “Till I Die.”
I met A$AP TyY in a party in L.A. last year during NBA All-Star weekend. Back then, I was making some music with a producer from the Netherlands, he told me I should link with his friend who lived in L.A. We spoke and his friend told me to meet him at this party happening at the Belasco Theater in DTLA where A$AP Rocky and Wiz Khalifa were performing.
I ended up being alone on Wiz Khalifa’s backstage where the security asked me to leave because I didn’t know anyone. I kept looking for people to get a contact to send beats to and suddenly, I saw A$AP TyY and went to ask him for his contact. We kept in touch. A couple months later, I linked with him in NYC where we recorded the “Till I Die” verse. This is such an improbable story (laughs).
What’s your friendship like with him?
We’re still getting to know each other, but we have a good relationship and a good vibe. Sometimes you meet people who even if you don’t spend that much time together, you know you can have a solid relationship for the rest of your life. I see my relationship with TyY like that.
How’s the dynamic in the studio?
The dynamic in the studio was really chill, we were just vibing and making music.
How was performing at EDC Las Vegas?
It was great! That was my first time at EDC and in Vegas too, so interesting to see how big and crazy things are over there (laughs). It was a pleasure to have NXSTY and TyY with me onstage; their presence definitely brought the energy to a new level. One of the highlights was for sure when A$AP TyY brought this kid onstage to drink a whole whiskey bottle for $100 (laughs).
TyY comes from the hip-hop realm. How do you view EDM/hip-hop crossovers?
They’re great and super natural. In my opinion, EDM has always been very hip-hop influenced and vice versa. I grew up listening to a lot of The Prodigy, who in my opinion were a perfect mix of EDM and hip-hop. For me, it’s natural to mix both.