The most common description used to talk about the British musician TroyBoi is “trap producer.” And it’s true that many of his songs contain that distinctive hi-hat roll, the quick cymbal patter that has become a calling card of the genre.
But it takes only one listen to TroyBoi’s debut album, “Left is Right,” to hear bits and pieces of a London childhood filled with music from diverse sources. A track like “Wavey” sounds as if it will slip perfectly into poolside deep house DJ sets, while “Mantra” has a pronounced South Asia feel and “KinjaBang” travels to the Far East.
“Patsy Cline, Bob Marley, a lot of Bollywood movies and all those songs, Michael Jackson, a lot of disco music, Boney M., the list goes on,” he says of the contents of his tape deck growing up. “It’s just a lot. And on the African side of things as well, traditional music.”
amNewYork caught up with the British producer to talk about his quick ascent and his love for the King of Pop.
You’ve gone from bedroom productions to stages like Electric Daisy Carnival in less than five years. Why do you think your sound has resonated?
I think it was the fearlessness of the sound. A lot of people wanted to stick to a genre, like “I’m a hip-hop producer,” “I’m a trap producer,” but for me I never really wanted to do that. I wanted to fuse all of the elements together. What’s obvious to me now, it wasn’t to a lot of people in the beginning.
Not many artists can land a guest appearance from a legend like Ice Cube on a debut album [on the song “Look At Me”]. What did that mean to you?
It’s a dream. It’s an actual dream. For me to be able to do a track like that for a legend like that, it gives me more confidence in myself to do more and keep going. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for Ice Cube and his craft and all he’s done for music and hip-hop. To be part of that, and having him as a part of my story, is a blessing.
You’re a big enough Michael Jackson fan to have MJ-inspired tattoos. What have you taken away from his career as an artist?
He was never afraid to try new things. Any kind of genre, he would own it. If he was to do a pop track, he would own it. If he did a track with more of an R&B vibe, he would own it. And the most important thing was his method of making music. He would never concentrate on making the music, he would let the music write itself. I’ve always adapted that with my techniques. It always comes from feeling.
If You Go: TroyBoi performs at Brooklyn Steel Oct. 6 at 8 p.m., $25, 319 Frost St., East Williamsburg, bowerypresents.com