We sat down with rising house star LaTique to discuss his debut album Orange Juice, which just landed on House Afrika.
Hi LaTique. Welcome to deepstreet and congratulations on your debut album!
Hey Mike. Thank you very much for having me!
How does it feel to have your first full length land on a label as iconic as House Afrika?
Well, it has always been one of my dreams to work with House Afrika. I worked so hard to actually get through with the album. It took me three attempts until I was finally satisfied with the project.
Initially I worked on an album and it was eventually split into 2 EPs: one with Stay True Sounds (SA) and one with Atjazz Record Company (UK). When this happened I was still expected to submit a full album to the House Afrika, which put me under pressure to produce an album again. I completed one and submitted it, and although the label was happy I was not satisfied. I decided to work on another 10 tracks, which took me 2 months, and this is the actual album that was released.
The album came with a lot of pressure because I had a lot of opportunities flooding at me, and at the same time I couldn’t lose any of them because they were all part of my 2020 goals. So that is why I had to work twice as hard to actually secure all of them.
Tell me a bit about what the production process for the album was like.
Regardless of all the pressure I had, I actually enjoyed the production process of the album because I was challenged in so many ways and I had to offer the best of myself with different styles of production and avoiding putting the same ideas into different tracks. Before I had started with the album, I had an idea in mind of how I wanted the album to be structured.
In many songs, I introduced the sounds of the African cultures to the Deep House world. Take for instance the song “Moments”. It has nice african vocals blended with the deep house sounds to design a whole new and odd sound. In some of the tunes, I had to give out the authentic sound of LaTique which is “Tech”. So if listening to the album thoroughly, you can tell that it has a lot of inspirations behind it, because it has different sounds throughout, including “Afro”.
The album title [Orange Juice] is an interesting one. What was the inspiration behind the name?
The album is titled after the song “Orange juice(Rare Dub)”, which is track 4 on the album. This song has always been my favourite and was part of the 1st & 2nd album attempts. Unfortunately it didn’t make the EPs, and now it is on the final project. When I was finally done with the actual album, I realised how much I really adore the song, and I just had to title the album after it.
You collaborated with Pierre Johnson, Chief Joint, Salvador and P.M for different tracks on the album. Do you find collaborations with other artists opens you up to experimenting and finding new sounds?
Yes, definitely. Working with different people sometimes helps you learn a lot about what you as a producer are capable of, and it helps with exploring new sounds and ideas. Of course it can be a challenge when it comes to actually connecting with the other person’s ideas for the song, but when that is conquered, the song turns into a banger!. Take for instance the song “All Alone” featuring Salvador & Chief Joint. I received the project from Chief Joint a while back, worked on it and eventually had producer block at the time. Luckily when that happened, Salvador was around and had so many Ideas. He took the file and returned it in 2 days, and I was excited again when I heard it. I then concluded it, mixed it and got it ready for the album.
A lot of the sound on the album is quite heavily dance floor orientated. On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you to play these out to a floor when we’re allowed to dance again?
More than you can actually imagine haha! Very excited, 11/10 definitely. The feedback has been so amazing since it was released!
Lastly, having reached the milestone of your debut album, what one piece of advice would you give to a young LaTique just starting out in the music world?
I always say this and I will say it again: Walk your own journey, try not to compare yourself with anyone else, be you, be authentic and ask for help if you have to, less ego and more to being ambitious. Of course there will be hard times where you experience rejection, but try finding where you lack and get that fixed. Everything has its own time, just don’t stop. With God, everything is possible!