Exclusive Interview with Perfect Havoc rising star, Movada
Movada (aka Noel Wayne / Ekko City) is a bona fide one to watch.His thumping tech house re-imagination of Akon’s ‘Bananza (Belly Dancer)’ clocked a colossal 27M views on TikTok. At the centre of its success is Movada’s ingenious composition skills. Nuff said.
The breaking talent, currently residing in London, has released a string of successful singles – all streamed in their millions – including his 2020 debut single ‘Stay’ on TYM Recordings. And then mighty Perfect Havoc signings ‘Level Up’ and ‘Push It’ with DJ Yuki,which received 13 consecutive plays on BBC Radio 1,while both were playlisted on KISS Dance and featured on Love Island UK.
Movada has most recently teamed up with South-London rapper BAMY for his latest single ‘Closer’ – a driving, dance floor filler, complete with bouncy bassline andenough euphoric drops to keep the crowds jumping.
Here we get Movada in the hot seat where he chats about his former job making music for EA Games, his Dad’s career playing bass guitar in world renowned reggae bands, and his next gig playing at his manager’s wedding!
Hi Movada, welcome to Soundrive. Where are you in the world today?
I am sitting in sunny,erm(rainy) London but it’s all good, it’s a great city.
Your new single ‘Closer’ with BAMY is the bomb! How did you come to work together? And have you had chance to play it out yet – what’s the reaction been like?
I love what the artists on TikTok are doing these days, and I decided to collaborate with a TikTok rapper. So far, the song has been played on a few radio stations and the fans love it, we are seeing some strong engagement online and on Soundcloud.
Your tech house reimagination of Alok’s Bananza ‘Belly Dancer’ went nuts on TikTok – we hear it has around 27m views to date. What do you think it was about your rework that made it resonate so hard with people?
Well, the original record by Akon sounded great in the clubs. Akon was all about a great RnB dance floor record and I wanted to bring that spark but in a dance style. Tech House was doing great in clubs, so I wanted to put my own spin on it whilst keeping the essence of the original tune. I think the fans could still recognise the original record but with a fresh club vibe.
A couple of your tracks ‘Level Up’ and ‘Push It’ were featured on Love Island UK. Were you watching? What was your response?
I have to admit I did once watch a whole season, haha. They used the two songs in some great spots too. I remember Level Up was used in the beer pong drinking game. I loved it, it’s always a great feeling to hear your work in commercial media.
Where did you learn the craft of production? Did you go to production school or are you self-taught?
I studied music production at University of West London. Then I went into making music and sound design for EA Games. But I was always making little dance tunes and cutting up acapellas, I love that.
You’re really varied in the sounds you can work on. For example, your original material nowadays compared to your work with The Vamps and as Ekko City is all very different. Do you have one genre that you find yourself naturally gravitating towards or literally does anything go?
I started out as a pop producer, so it was always normal for me to be mixing varied styles. But with dance music you are able to make some great moments which you can test directly in the clubs, I love that. I play piano and acoustic guitar, so I just love music, it doesn’t matter what it is. But I do like to live in that electronic world generally.
What was your musical upbringing like? Did you grow up in musical household? What / who were your early influences?
My dad played bass in a reggae band. He toured with Aswad and filled in for the likes of UB40. He had his own band called the Reggae Regulars and were signed to CBS at the time. My mum was a poet and wrote stories about her life. So, I always had great influences around me.
Who do you look up to in dance music – is there anyone you look at and think, you’re absolutely smashing this?
I have to admit I do love that Calvin always finds the right ingredients on his tracks, no matter what the song style is. I like how he steps in and out of different styles but always manages to keep the Calvin Harris charm and songwriting style.
When was the last time you went clubbing – where did you go, who was playing?
I have done Ministry and went to see Hannah Wants, Jack Winns, R3HAB, PS1 – some great nights there.
You debuted on Spinnin’ Records earlier this year with ‘Voices’. How did that go down?
I wanted to mess with a more Ravey sound and I had always been chatting to the Italian EDM duo VINAI. We got sent a song from L Devine and Siba and it had a super catchy hook, so we decided to give it a go. It ended up being more of a streaming record.
DJ wise, what appearances do you have lined up for the rest of the year that you’re particularly looking forward to?
Well, I firstly have my managers wedding, lol. But I have some of the Perfect Havoc parties lined up and some guest mixes for a couple of radio shows.
And finally, what three tracks do you have on rotation right now?
Frank Ocean – Nikes, Central Cee & Dave – Sprinter, Bunt – Clouds.
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