Friday, 23 August 2013

The QWEEN BEAT interviews pt 2: BYRELL The GREAT

It's PART TWO of the CVNTY Qween Beat interviews special, and this time we catch up with the producer/beatmaker BYRELL THE GREAT, who may be relatively new but is making quite an impression. You should definitely check out his new mixtape "In Great We Tru$t Pt II: The Understanding" on vibedeck (which unfortunately I can embed here)


BYRELLtheGREAT is the top leading DJ in the kiki ballroom scene (getting into it only a year ago) along side his Qween Beat founder MikeQ. He is also an upcoming producer in the ballroom scene as well as doing side works in the genres of Hip-Hop, Dancehall, and Trap. 

How do you describe what you do? 

What I do varies. One day you'll get a track from me that is dramatic and another day you'll get something that has more of a soft and cunt feel to it. Either way, my tunes are going to make you feel it deep down inside. 

How did you get involved with the whole ballroom scene? 

I started off doing mixes for dance groups, cheerleading squads, drag performers, artist, and many more. In mid 2012 my gay mother asked me to DJ her ball. She knew it was something I wanted to try but never had the chance to. That day started my Ballroom Dj journey. 

Earlier that year, my friend Gia said to me you should make a beat-which she gave me the concept for and all- and that day started Byrell the producer. 

And what do you think of the ballroom scene now in 2013? 

Nothing like what it used to be but still very similar. I think the elegance and grace of the performers are nothing like what it used to be. To me, the newer generations are definitely losing the art of it all. 

Can you explain for our readers the different types of "MCing" used in ballroom, and how these are different and might have developed?

The Mc'ing definitely grows and changes with the times. If you look at Paris is Burning, the MC's were more calm, and elegant on the mic's yet shady. Today the MC's are more hype and rowdy on the mic's. This changed when the voguing got more hyper/ up tempo. 

How did you arrive at your own production style? 

Well coming from an under ground dance scene where theme, and mixing music, is very big to us; I believe that helped me develop my own style but still keeping the influence of original ballroom. 

Who has been the biggest influence on you as a producer?

The music I love definitely! I always look to the things I love for inspiration. Also, Vjuan Allure is a big influence to me as far as making vogue beats. I think every ballroom producers can say they looked up to him because of the way he changed it all. 

What is your favourite production you have been involved in? 

My Vogue Workouts. When I had to set myself apart from everyone else, this was the way to do it. It's my proudest work thus far in ballroom. 

Who are your favourite ballroom MCs? 

Snookie Juicy Couture, the voice of the kiki scene. 

How did you get involved with Qween Beat? 

I had been DJ'ing balls for Twiggy Pucci and she had told MikeQ about me. As my tracks on soundcloud started building, he started to watch me and pay attention to me. And long story short here I am.  

What does Qween Beat mean to you/ how would you describe it? 

Qween Beat is what challenges me to be better. Coming from a group that has so many hot figures in the ballroom, I feel that I have to live up to that. MikeQ took a chance putting me in QB when he did because I can honestly say myself I thought I was horrible when he picked me as I look back. So I don't ever want to let him down, nor the QB legacy. I always strive to do better and better, and being here helps me do just that. 

What does the future hold for Qween Beat? 

I only see us getting bigger and better, and I think everyone can say the same. 

Can you explain for the readers what "cunt" means in ballroom? 

Cunt in the ballroom scene can be any person, place, or thing. If I see a hot shoe I might say "that's cunt" or I may walk in a cold building after coming from the heat and say "it feels cunt in here". Overall, it's a reflection of something good. 

And finally, what exactly is a "kiki house" and how does it differ from a regular house?

As far as houses, everything is the same in the kiki scene and major scene.

The difference is in the scene, not the houses. One scene is for the younger / newer / more fun generation and the other is more mainstream: it's more serious and has way bigger cash prizes.

Oh, look what I fouind on Byrell's Soundcloud page


Get that while you still can, and remember to follow Byrell on twitter at: @BYRELL_theGREAT

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