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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Schwarz Talks About Lil B, Social Media and His Protest Song "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 4:03 AM

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It makes sense that a world informed by social media and infinite feeds of information would inspire generations of artists. Such is the case for house-music producer Adam Schwarz. For years now, Schwarz has been producing high-energy club music from his homebase of Baltimore, Maryland. Imbued with the city's deep history with vogue and club culture, Schwarz has distilled his love for Baltimore house into a strange new beat. His take on the genre has allowed him to fill clubs from Baltimore to New York and even land a few spots producing for Internet rap icon, Lil B.

As a St. Louis native, Schwarz was deeply affected by the activism and police brutality surrounding his hometown over the death of Michael Brown. In order to raise awareness to those outside of the St. Louis area, he released "Hands Up Don't Shoot," a chilling Baltimore House track sampling actual audio from the Ferguson protests. We spoke with Schwarz about working with Lil B, social media's influence on daily life and what the Ferguson protests meant to him.

Josh Levi: How long have you been producing?

Schwarz: I started singing into tapes in elementary school and by middle school released my first full length CD-R of bizarre, weird music. In high school I started making rap beats for different people and continued that until I moved from St. Louis to Baltimore in 2008.

What was your initial introduction to club culture and house music?

I was aware of some house music and Baltimore club before I moved to Baltimore, but my love for Baltimore club really blossomed more and more living in Baltimore.

To someone unfamiliar with this brand of music, what would you say makes it stand apart?

The kind of music I make and most of the music I really connect with is just super high-energy and fun and unpretentious, while avoiding being too corny. One of club music's main things I feel is just release. Letting go. A kind of really positive escapism.

In terms of production, who is really pushing the envelope right now? Who are some of your favorite producers?

I feel like there is an incredible amount of talent in Baltimore -- and Jersey and Philly -- doing club music. Some of my favorite producers of that stuff is my tourmate Kilbourne, DJ Diamond Kutz, DJ Irresistible, DJ 809, Matic 808, Rip Knoxx, James Nasty, KW Griff, Mike Gip. And I love vogue producers like MikeQ, Vjuan Allure, Divoli S'vere and Byrell the Great. And there's some great producers combining elements from club and vogue and other styles and doing club stuff like 333 Boyz, Rizzla, Vapordog, Baglady. I also love hardstyle production, and I really look up to a lot of rap producers. I love Zaytowzen and Mike Will, and a lot of stuff that's on rap radio.

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