VOL. V (GIANNI LEE)

Remember when everyone, including myself, had announced that Norwegian-producer Kygo was about to “takeover the EDM game”? Well, he was about to, but that was inevitable. It’s obvious, when someone is backed by credible A-level outlets, producers and management. It’s even more obvious, when that said person has already added a handful of major festivals under their belt. Now, that’s not to undermine Kygo’s talents or say he didn’t work hard for the position that warranted the “takeover” headlines that swept the blogosphere… It’s simply to address the fact that his “takeover” was more of an announcement that he had already blew up (in the figurative sense).

When I think of artists that are “about to blow”, I think of people who have mastered the art of balancing being under the radar, while at the same time making sure to be in all the right places at the right time with the right people, and, obviously, the right talent. “Don’t you know bad boys move in silence?” They might not have performed in front of a sea of crowds at all the big name festivals…or maybe they have? One thing is for certain, the artists within the electronic community (whether producers or DJs) that are “about to blow” in my opinion have definitely not gained the attention of every single A and B-level blog or outlet. Why do I feel so certain? Because of YourEDM’s “real reason why [they] share Deadmau5, Skrillex, and Diplo articles”. However, that’s neither here nor there.

Based off of all of that, multi-artist and designer Gianni Lee is the definition of an artist who is about. to. BLOW. It would be difficult to say he’s about to “takeover”, because I would then have to ask myself and determine “which world?” Is he taking over the fashion world? Is he taking over the music world? Is he taking over the, “I got this networking game on lock” world? It’s hard to tell, so I’ll stick with this guy is about to blow.

*interview begins at 52:00*

I had the wonderful opportunity a few months ago to chat with the Babylon Cartel CEO, rising producer, and Philly-native on behalf of Club Jersey about his music, progression, collaborations and where he wants to go with his overall career. Since then, this guy (who’s based in LA) has been all over. He stopped by New York last week and managed to hit the offices of YouTube and The Fader, do a quick set at Cunt Mafia’s “Cherry Bomb” party, and connect with all of his New York homies/collaborators. He’s even teamed up with Cartel Nation, DJ Sliink‘s label, for not only a limited-hat collaboration, but also an impressive mix to go along with it mixed by himself and the Jersey Club prince DJ Big OInterview Magazine called him a, “renaissance man,” adding that he’s, “operating in both the music and fashion worlds with a seamless swag that sets him apart from the heaps of young creatives trying to do the same.”

If that’s not enough, although I don’t think there can ever be enough of pure talent in the world, he’s also teamed up with Baltimore producer HI$TO of Sector Zero, long-time collaborator and friend, to create Jah Guardian, “an experimental and melodic based production duo with one mission: to get it’s progressive sound to the ears of the streets and the festivals.” The duo premiered their new ““BBHMM” remix” along with the revealing.

Having spent the past six months working closely in the club scene, throwing parties, and connecting with more producers than I could have ever imagined, it’s effortless for me to say Gianni has got the juice. It is obvious. His mixes are fluid, his sound is crisp, the songs he chooses to remix are unique, and he’s careful about his craft. His smooth mix of club, hip-hop and soul, “injected with a swift energy primed for the dancefloor” (Interview Mag.), is definitely a blessing to Soundcloud, the clubs and the airwaves. Babylon Cartel keeps him floating in different worlds, while also holding him down in the music one: artists including Rihanna, Va$htie, and Chynna Rogers have all been spotted with the BC gear, and he, himself, got to chat with J. Cole for the BC blog. His style and eye have proven to be a unique standout with ILS Magazine putting him in, “a group – despite that madness surrounding them – which aims to take fashion, art, music, and, most importantly, culture to the next level.” ILS bluntly describes that madness around him as, “a fashion world that’s over-saturated by dreadful trends, misplaced “designers”, and your favorite Tumblr personality who’s trying to make a quick buck off of their following.”

Music and fashion have always been synonymous, and Gianni is slowly but surely mastering the duo. He’s already been praised and sought after by Mishka NYC, THUMPComplex, and Pigeons and Planes (Complex’s sub-blog), so it’s not that he hasn’t been covered or noticed by respected outlets. He’s simply still cracking the surface to his national stardom, and he’s definitely going to burst straight through that icy surface we all know as the music industry right before our very eyes… and ears. If you didn’t know about him before, go and tell everyone who called it: Gianni Lee is about to blow.

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