The east London duo talk their new single “Take Control” and working with KSI.
It’s been full speed ahead since the release of their debut single “Run Around”, and now duo 663 are back with their sophomore single “Take Control” with Nizzy, Drowze, Kidalpha and OB Flamez. Drawing upon the ever-growing UK afro sound, the duo bless us with a tune filled with pounding drum beats, melodic choruses and a bass line that’ll have you dancing immediately.
Opening up on their latest release, the duo said, “The song speaks to the dynamic of the modern-day relationship in which a man is inviting a woman to make the move, take the initiative and “take control”. He assures the woman that he can look after her and provide her with whatever she desires, whilst respecting her independence and reminding her that she is in the driving seat and in control of her destiny.”
Even with the pandemic halting the world this year, this hasn’t stopped the duo from working with industry heavyweights such s KSI, AJ Tracey and JME. The duo consisting of Jevanni and Eugene, have each been mapping out their solo career over the past few years, and we caught up with both of them talking their sound, where the UK is heading and what we can expect next.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Jevanni and Eugene – how have you been during this uncertain time?
Despite all the difficulties and heartaches, it’s been a time to focus more on what’s important as well as innovate wherever we can.
How has it impacted your music and creativity?
On the one hand, it has been a challenge with the number of restrictions placed on the DJing side, and initially on the ability to have a studio session with more than one person. That being said, the season has given us more time and space to be creative in other ways along with getting ourselves organised.
How did you guys meet?
We met in church a number of years ago and kept in touch socially as the years went by.
How did growing up in east London influence you sonically?
Being from east London, home to some of musics heavy hitters has been inspiring, and great for raising the bar. That part of London breeds hunger and creativity and it has definitely impacted our drive to create the best sounds.
Who are your musical heroes?
For Jevanni, Kanye West is a producer/artist who he looks up to. Simply because he refuses to be “boxed” but also because he is forever challenging the norm and pushing boundaries. For Eugene, Pharrell has been inspirational because of his unconventional approach to music and the way he approaches beat making with irreducible complexity.
And how would you describe your genre?
Our genre is rooted with an afro influence with Eugene being from Ghana, but also has a presence of dancehall and reggae with Jevanni being from Jamaica..
Where are the most unusual places you pull musical inspiration from?
Our musical taste is so eclectic, being part of a producer DJ combo gives such a chance to hear the wildest and strangest things from undiscovered gems to new waves. From hearing the sound of rush hour on the central line, to drawing inspiration from the nightclubs we are constantly drawing inspiration at random moments.
Congratulations on your new single “Take Control” – what is it inspired by?
The song speaks to the dynamic of the modern-day relationship in which a man is inviting a woman to make the move, take the initiative and “take control”. He assures the woman that he can look after her and provide her with whatever she desires, whilst respecting her independence and reminding her that she is in the driving seat and in control of her destiny. Once we’d written the hook we knew what direction to take the rest of the track in. Almost like we’d downloaded the direction from the creative clouds and we built the song around that. And it features Nizzy, Drowze, OB Flames and Kid Alpha for a distinctly authentic UK Afro sound – how did you select who was going to feature? We’d actually had a number of studio sessions with several other artists who laid down verses. However, they did not make the final cut as we were after a certain sound and cohesion which we feel we achieved with the artists who we released within the end.
It’s your sophomore release, how do you your sound has progressed from your debut?
Our first release “Run Around” was a slightly softer and slower track with more of an RnB influence. For our second release, we wanted something with a bit more energy that brought out the afrobeat influence more to reflect our range of ability and diverse cast of artists on the track.
You’ve both worked with amazing artists including KSI, AJ Tracey, JME – and many more individually – how did they come about?
Jevanni is KSI’s official DJ and through the relationships, he has with AJ and JME, there have been opportunities to support and work with them.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
We love to put out music with meaning or message. Whilst we want fans to connect with the beat and feel good bounce; we also want to ensure that our music has a meaning and purpose to it.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to next year?
For this year, we plan on releasing one more single before upping the levels tenfold in 2021. We’ve already collaborated with a global name and so are sure you’ll be hearing more from us on that one. Ultimately next year, all being well, we are looking forward to giving people the 633 experience in the flesh both at shows, sets and festivals as well as working with more exciting artists.