TroyBoi | The “Music Manipulation Specialist”

Getting the green light to work a festival that we already hold near and dear to our hearts brought so much excitement and an overwhelming sense of appreciation. Shambhala Music Festival has always been a place that has allowed for a healthy purge of things that are not feeding individual growth and well being as well as an acceptance of things that cannot be changed. For many it creates a safe space for introspection as well as creative, healthy, outward expression. Freedom of expression through and through.

I had the immense pleasure of speaking with a few of Shambhala’s shining stars, like the one and only TroyBoi. Recently dubbed the “Music manipulation Specialist” and rightly so. Mixing his roots in both heritage and music with the new school and we have an artist whose inventive, elegant production has all of us here at RIZE Entertainment hooked and feinding for more.

Check out the interview below!

RIZE Entertainment – You have said that Michael Jackson was a hero of yours. I think that it is safe to say that he was a lot of people’s hero and a musical genius. We have lost a few more musical staples recently with Bowie and Prince. What was your reaction to their passing?

TroyBoi – It was pretty much the same. Prince for me especially was a great inspiration. A great artist. He really set the standards of of not caring and being super unique. He was a fearless artist and that is something in which I also got from Michael Jackson, to try and be as fearless as possible and do whatever I want to do. It was so sad to hear about Prince and Bowie dying. Legends, they have to go at some point. It’s sad that they died so young but what can you do?

RIZE – You recently performed at Pirate Party in Montana? How was your experience there?

TroyBoi – Pirate party was great. Montana was fantastic. It was a great experience but HERE at Shambhala is another level. It’s magic. My experience so far has been exceptional. Twelve out of ten all the way. I love the freeness and openness  and the general love that you can feel everywhere. You can be your own person. That’s very nice.

RIZE – You said in another interview that when you’re not making music you spend a lot of time with your friends. Now that things have sped up for you and you are touring more have you noticed any changes in your personal life both positive and negative?

TroyBoi – Huge change in my personal life because when you are on the road, you’re on the road. A lot of the places I go are outside of London. I am always always from my friends and family. I’m hardly ever there anymore. It does put a strain, but everyone knows that I am working hard. Everyone respects what I am doing. That for me is the biggest blessing. I have such support from friends and family. In the long run when I do have time to spend and I do see them it is rewarding because I do really get to miss them more and I really appreciate when I see them. I always appreciate seeing them but after not seeing them for so long I’m like wow… I really really missed you. It’s a positive thing at the same time.

RIZE -You’ve been coined the “Music manipulation specialist” and have said that you get inspo from everywhere. Where or what is the most interesting sound you’ve recreated in your music.

TroyBoi – One of the most enjoyable things I have done recently is I have gone back to the 80’s and that sound. Gone into the 70’s and 80’s disco which is also what I loved listening to as a kid. My parents loved it. I have delved into there and have been messing with a lot of current stuff, old mixed school, mixed with new school, mixed with world.

I could just hear random noises sometimes and realize that could sound quite cool if I just record that and manipulate it. It happens quite a lot. Especially when I am in foreign countries, the sounds of the atmosphere, the people talking on the streets for example. Someone might even say something in a rhythmic pattern and I will be like, “oh that sounds cool,” and try to muddle that in somewhere.

I hear a friggin frog on the street and I’ll use that. I have used frog noises in my tracks as well.

RIZE – In an interview in 2014- you talk about the fact that you make music standing up in kitchen using Beats by Dre headphones and a midi keyboard and from that you’ve created some incredible music. Is simplicity still something you practice or have you moved on to a better setup and space to match like you said you might want?

TroyBoi – Same method. Still on the 2007 Macbook pro. Still on the Dre headphones and my midi keyboard. I like just keeping it real like that right now. I have another computer but for the moment I am just really happy using what I am. I have used a newer computer to produce previous tracks before but this is just the way I like it at the moment.

RIZE – With everything that is going on in the world today, have you considered your platform an outlet to contribute to positive change?

TroyBoi – Absolutely. The thing is with me I try not to get too involved. Even though I have my own opinions I try to keep my opinions to myself a lot of the time. As I have seen things get worse and worse and my voice becomes bigger and bigger I feel like I will and have things in mind that I think will touch a few people. I will be using my voice a lot more in the future.

Preach the good because there is so much bad in the world, so much negativity. I think as people we need to eradicate that together. We need to work together to do it.

RIZE – Thank you. On a lighter note! How has you Shambhala been?

Photo Credit: Bobby Light
Photo Credit: Bobby Light

TroyBoi – I am only on day two and I am loving it. Honestly it is such a unique experience. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is so chill. It is a great place to escape. It is a great place for music. It is a great place to experience nature. It’s a great place to make new friends, to create new memories with those friends. It’s such a great vibe. I can’t wait to see what else it has in store for me. I am enjoying it so much.

RIZE – How do you prepare for a set and do you get nervous at all before performing in front of such a large crowd?

TroyBoi – Honestly I am quite chill about getting on stage. I feel more comfortable when I am on stage, funny enough. Just before hand it just kind of hits me. Like, yesterday just before I went on it hit me and I got a bit jittery and the moment I stepped on stage it vanished. That’s purely because you kinda get the energy from people immediately, which I did straight away because everyone was so ready. I just feel more comfortable on stage because playing my music and doing what I am doing is my forte.

What a beautiful little bird.

(A tiny little bird came up to where we were sitting, hung out for a second, said it’s hellos and left. One of many Shambhala surprises throughout the weekend. *)

RIZE – Haha, aww. So what artists are you looking forward to most the rest of the weekend?

TroyBoi – Questlove, which I only just found out was on the bill. Questlove for sure. Grandtheft my homie, Plastician from London, Hotel Garuda, and Marshmallow. He’s the dude. He’s killin it right now. I can’t believe I remembered that much. It’s stacked. There are so many people.


Luna Reyna

Luna Reyna (she/ella) is the founder of RIZE Entertainment. She is deeply invested in shifting power structures and centering and amplifying the work and voices of systematically excluded within the arts. She believes that art is vital for revolutionary practice and movements and hopes that RIZE can be an instrument for amplifying art that expresses the conditions of an unjust society and facilitates healing.