20 May 2011
Being at the top of their game YAKfilms has almost single handily achieved worldwide recognition in both the underground dance scene and in the music video producing industry. Getting shout outs from MTV and the ABC, YAKfilms has been given exclusive access to dance shows around the whole world from Paris to Tokyo!In fact appearing on YAKfilms has become a sort of must for any dance crew trying to make it big in the industry. So we here at Apes with Barrel decided to go back to the routes of blogs, that of discovering new underground talent.
-First and foremost! Who’s the person behind B'zwax?
The B in B’zwax stands for Ben. I am part of Yak. It’s no mystery; B’zwax is just a pseudonym I use when I produce music.
B'ZWAX - Belly Dance (JD 2010 menu beat) by B'zwax
-I've surfed all over the net to find some info about you but to my regret, my search didn't provide me with much info. How did you meet Yak and eventually started producing beats for his dance videos?
Because I am a part of YAK, the musical collaborations on some of the videos we produce came naturally. Yak is actually a 4-person crew, but we are only 3 to work on video production. I’ve been making instrumental music ever since I was young. Yoram, one of the members of the group who started Yak is a childhood friend of mine with whom I shared my passion for video and photography as we were growing up. When I officially joined the group in late 2009, we had already used some of my tracks on some unreleased dance videos, but it wasn’t until our winning video “Golly the Rainmaker” for the 2010 East Bay Express' 24-Hour Green Film Festival that my tracks really started coming out. As far as the web, it’s pretty recent- you won’t find much because most of the stuff that I’ve made never got released. The beats that I’ve made have always stayed amongst close friends because it was never more serious than that.
-Looking through you're soundcloud, I've realised that you also use YAKfilm's slogan (a bull), does this mean that you specifically produce beats for YAKfilms?
That’s intentional. It’s actually a yak like the animal. All the tracks on my soundcloud have been used or will be used for YAK productions. I feel it’s an easier platform to distribute and share the music that we use on our youtube channel.
-Strings and 'asian-like' sounds are at the heart of your tunes, where does this inspiration come from? Are there any specific hip hop producer that've influenced you?
I wouldn’t say that there is one specific producer… Many hip-hop producers have influenced me like Madlib, Dilla, even Flylo just to name a few… but there is so much good stuff out there, it’s hard not to listen to many different kinds of music. I would have to say that inspiration also comes from my close friends who are mostly musicians. Without them I don’t think I would’ve discovered the beauty of let’s say Cretan music for example… I like to experiment with many things. One of my close friends would always blast old Greek music in my ears and play me a tune when he could. It took me a while to appreciate it like he did, but I guess I did that in my own way.
B'ZWAX - Rubbing Alcohol (video cut) by B'zwax
-As a hip-hop enthusiast, what's your view on modern day hip-hop? Do you think the 'philosophy' and culture behind hip-hop has drastically changed during these past 10 years?
That’s a tough question to answer alone… yes and no. I mean of course it has… Hip-hop is a relatively young culture, and like every music culture, it goes through some changes as it evolves. People today talk about Hip-hop and overanalyze the situation a bit too much. But my truth is that it’s alive. Music is just one aspect of it. There are so many elements that are alive and well in the culture that I witness, dance for example, that I really don’t see going away anytime soon. In the last 10 years? … I grew up in it, I see it changing. A lot of your favorite artists back then are not who they were today, but fortunately there are still a handful of artists that try to preserve those good sounds… you just have to find them. The philosophy is still there with a few… haha.
B'ZWAX - Adidas Megalizer Beat by B'zwax
-Besides hip hop are there any other genres that you would like to experiment with?
Of course! Hip-hop as allowed me to dip into many different musical cultures, from classical to jazz, even electro just to name a few. Instrumental Hip-hop is an interesting thing because it doesn’t have a strict guide to follow. The music I make for YAK is music that dancers dance to, and that usually doesn’t always have to be ‘hip-hop’. But on that same note, not all the music I make has to be danced to.
-I'm dying to get my hands on some of your tracks like Rubbing Alcohol, Belly Dance (JD 2010 menu beat) and Tractor Beam, are they ever going to be available in an EP? If yes, when would it drop?
Of course, I’ve been working on that… The EP is out, on my bandcamp. The link will be available on my soundcloud and obviously on the YouTube videos, as well as on the yakfilms Facebook page
Rockin High (Nicky Romero Remix) - Fedde Le Grand Gold Banana (House)
Welcome to Miamia (Laidback Luke Bootleg) - Will Smith (House)
Zombies (Vip Edit) - Figure Epic Banana (Wobble Wobble Wobble Music)