Mr. StarZ (aka Travis), a producer/DJ based in Boston, released an energetic dark techno track called Lagos. Travis has been playing the xylophone and singing since he was in grade school, and after a visit to Las Vegas, he became intrigued by electronic dance music.
A growling synth along with a thick bass makes up the song’s dynamic intro – a lot of energy right off the bat. The filtered elements combined with the vocals create an atmosphere that is not too overpowering and still somehow manages to be the right amount of loud. I like how the vocals do not change drastically and just stick to an octave – preserves the vibe of the track throughout.
The song progresses with some rolling hi-hats and an interesting rising snare, giving it a kinda bouncy feel. The main drop is anchored by some off-beat, open hi-hats that sound strange yet catchy – Mr. StarZ is really experimental in his creative approach and we can hear that a lot on Lagos. It’d be nice if the kick could hit a tad harder and also, the rhythm section is a bit cluttered. Maybe Mr. StarZ was going for the dingy underground feel of a german techno club because this track would fit in quite well there.
All in all, this track has everything –right from the synths, the basslines and, the build-up to the drop – everything gives you a truly exhilarating experience. It possesses the brilliance that would stamp its authority on the dance floor while also leaving everyone hungry for more.
Interview with Travis – Mr. StarZ
1 – “Lagos”, is a dark house record that’s unique and different from other house records. What was the inspiration behind this track?
The inspiration was Brass! I knew from the start of its creation that it would heavily focus on brass instruments, but beyond that, it was up in the air! I needed a vocalist, someone whose flow was vibey and established, fresh and confident. Wiser Observer was my first thought, as we had just finished and released our first song together, which is called “Blastback”. I wanted to build the song around brass and Wiser voice, so I sent him the file and he wrote, recorded, and sent me back the Lagos lyrics we have today!
2 – What type of reaction do you get from people when you play this track live? Where would you love to perform this song live?
I got head-banging for sure! Haha, the energy is constant throughout so once u start moving, its hard to stop! The lyrics are also fire and put a cool perspective on something we all think is simple like a night in the city.
Oh man where would I love to play it? XS Nightclub in Las Vegas for sure, or the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. Thats where I first went out to a club for EDM over a decade ago and its been a wild ride ever since! And then for outdoors I mean, Electric Forest would be legendary. Holy Ship too, DJing on a cruise liner festival is the dopest concept to me!
3 – The complex production and the intriguing elements in this track show that you’ve had a lot of experience as an artist. How long have you been working in this particular genre of music?
I’ve been DJing House/EDM music since 2012 out in Las Vegas, but I started producing and creating my music and brand in 2020. I went to school for music, played Xylophone since I was 10, so ive learned a lot of chord structure and music theory via my(grateful) education. Plus I love performing, and putting my orchestral knowledge of classical and jazz music, to work in a GHouse or BBrassHouse Banger!
4- How has your style of music affected other people (friends/peers)? What could you share with other artists about your journey in DJ-ing?
I believe I bring joy and laughter to my friends and newly met Music producers/peers, a genuine love of Humans that I believe has been lost to so many, thru no fault of their own. The world is scary, and in the music industry, some Record Labels will come at you and try to spit u poison and tell u its gold; people will try to take your hard work and effort, and spin it for profit because thats all they know. I always say when you treat People like People, it’s amazing the response you’ll get from them!
My advice? Stay confident in yourself and your purpose! If u don’t like a lane, add one! Find resources and labels you can trust, verify, and gain guidance and inspiration from! But ALWAYS, be a kind human being first. Because…why not?
5 – What is the music scene in Namibia and South Africa like? What’s the main genre people vibe to?
I asked my featured artist Wiser Observer for his input being native to Africa.
He said Quote: “In Namibia, it’s definitely more house, amapiano and Kwaito. There’s isn’t a strong rap base here.
In SA the music industry is MUCH more solid. From my experience living there, you can have a good following in any genre but I think Amapiano and House is still the biggest”