Fresh off the release of their EP Rivington & Ludlow, I spoke with Troy of Black Caviar about the process of writing the EP, where the duo hopes to find themselves in the future, and the surprising things that bring them inspiration.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your new EP, Rivington & Ludlow.
When we locked down last year, we decided to go through some unfinished songs we had, and these four had a similar vibe being a bit more hip hop than the last few records we’ve put out. We recorded these songs in my apartment in the Lower East Side. When we were walking around, taking a break, or getting something to eat, we’d always walk by the corner of Rivington & Ludlow where the Beastie Boys shot the cover to their masterpiece album, Paul’s Boutique. That inspired our artwork and the vibe of the EP.
What is your creative process like? Does it ever differ for the projects you take on?
It definitely varies between projects. Most of the time we start with a song idea and then build music around it, or we find a top-line that is already dope and build something around it. In the case of “What’s Up Danger” we wrote a song to fit a scene in the movie, which was something totally different for us and a fun experience.
After the success of tracks like “Coco” and “What’s Up Danger” (from the Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack), how do you set new goals for yourselves to achieve?
I’d say the only goal we really have is to try and keep writing quality music, and push ourselves as songwriters and producers. Hopefully people will continue to enjoy it, and when they don’t, we’ll stop.
What’s a piece of advice you wish you’d known when you were first starting out in the music industry?
Probably not to put so much faith in record labels, especially majors. They are great if your song is reacting and they can help it level up, but don’t think all your problems are solved just by signing a record deal. Put in the time and lay the groundwork building an audience while maintaining your publishing and royalties. Then work with a bigger label when there is a demand for your product and the ball is in your court.
What qualities do you look for when you seek out collaborators on your songs?
I think first we need to be excited about their vocals, or beats and bass-line grooves. We need to feel like they have a sound or something special that stands out and we can build from.
Where do you see yourselves in ten years?
Hopefully tan with really white teeth, living in Miami, and DJing killer pool parties.
Once you’re able to play live shows again, what song are you most excited to play out from the EP, and why?
I’d say “Been That Ill” or “Own My Own Masters”. “Been That Ill” is just a nasty hip-hop heater that has great energy all the way through, and “Own My Own Masters” is a dope break beat with a laid back funky groove.
What is your biggest inspiration, and why?
We find inspiration in so many different things, but I’d say mostly food. Eating that perfect al pastor taco or dan dan noodles with a side of dumplings can lead to writing a great song more times often than not.