frank ocean collaborator vegyn reworked bad and boujee, and it rules
We've got the exclusive on a Migos remix from the London producer and had a nice chat with him too.
Photography Arvida Bystrom
Remember how last summer Migos' Atlanta trap anthem Bad and Boujee was literally all everyone would ever reference/hear on social media/pop bottles to in the club/have spiralling in their heads? The dust might have settled but producer Joe Thornalley aka Vegyn is about to stir things up again.
You might recognise his handsome face from when it was a regular at dearly departed Shoreditch clubland institution Plastic People: it was here that the LCC student met James Blake and Frank Ocean — turning his side flex of Djing into a full time career — he ultimately went on to produce and co-host Frank's Beats1 show alongside well-named producer Roof Access. All this while running his own indie electronic label PLZ Make it Ruins.
A couple of months back he released the percussion-heavy Phone Phoneys/PLZ XX by himself, accompanied by adorable cutesy panda bear artwork from his equally as talented girlfriend, i-D favourite Mimi Wade. But back to the reason we're all here! It's time for an exclusive first listen to Joe's Vegyn mashup of Migos, who he has been into since "back when everyone was still giving them shit for ruining rap music." He's been remixing a bunch of things recently actually, including Wu-Tang's C.R.E.A.M and Gucci Mane's My Chain, because "it's fun to try and subvert something that's already super synonymous with its respective instrumental." Subverted, he has. Listen, you will.
Hi Joe! Are you actually vegan?
I'm not. I am vegetarian though. So at least the name isn't a complete falsehood. I was trying to come up with a stupid alias for myself. Vegetarian was initially on the cards, but it just didn't have the same severity or commitment to it as vegan. Plus, it just looks better on paper when spelt wrong.
When people ask you what your music is like, what do you tell them?
I dunno, I ask myself the same question a lot. I just try to make whatever my brain lets me do. I hate how some people just pigeonhole themselves though. Why restrict what you make? Why put a tag on it? I'm just trying to make music I hope other people would want to listen to.
You're from London, right?
Yeah, dude. Norf Weezy. Represent. Shout out to my 'Spicy Basil' Kilburn High Road massive.
But living in the US rn?
Sort of. I'm currently flipping between both coasts and living the Airbnb life. Honestly, trying to return home whenever possible though.
We heard you met Frank in Plastic People (RIP)? Tell us about your favourite night there?
Yeah dude, for real… RIP. That place was the best. One night Airhead had the whole place going crazy. I've never seen anything so hype. He dropped his track October and everyone lost their damn mind. The place fucking exploded. It was so wild. ERSATZ and I had the crazy sweat on. I'd also usually try to catch Theo Parrish when he had his residency there too. If that guy saw someone on their phone in the dance, he'd pull the music and yell at them from the booth until they put it away. Hilarious.
What should we know about your Blonded Radio co-host, Roof Access?
Roof Access is one of my closest homies. Getting to do blonded together has been a dream come true! He's without a doubt put me on to more music (and film) than any other singular entity. Usually if he doesn't like something that I do, I have to second guess myself haha. Not only that but he's been a true friend to me ever since we met. You should check out his other radio show The Colour Purple on Balamii radio with our friend Stephane. It's tight!
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out making music?
If you're just starting to make music don't be afraid to go through the clichés. Get it out of your system. There's no wrong way to make music! When I started making tunes I had no fucking clue what I was doing -- I still don't! Just practice and make music as often as you can. Also remember to enjoy yourself. Sometimes you'll have to knuckle down and maybe figure something out. Ultimately, what's the point though if you're not having fun?
Tell us about PLZ Make It Ruins and what we can expect from it moving forwards.
PLZ Make It Ruins was started as a conduit for me and the homies to release our music on. It initially focused on electronic material. However this year we're looking to broaden the spectrum of what falls under the PLZ umbrella. We've got a few exciting releases from some more unheard-of talent due for the rest of the year, including some Memphis rap re-releases that are some of my favourite records from that period.
Mimi's Phone Phoneys illustration/animation is adorable.
Mimi and I have been dating for about two years now. I love her illustrations and I think she's supremely talented. I was trying to come up with something super tonally opposed to the conventional dance music design scene, and ended up settled on Mimi's illustrations. I think they complement the playful nature of my tracks and are visually really appealing. Her drawings are probably better than the music to be honest.
Best advice you've ever received?
You can lead a horse to the vision, but you can't make him fuck with it.
What exciting things do you have coming up?
Well if you like obscure electronic sounds, satanic 90's Memphis rap music and sticky sweet Philadelphia based pop tunes then PLZ Make It Ruins is the label for you.
How bad and boujee are you?
Don't tell Migos but we kinda prefer your remix to the original. Why'd you make it?
Wow, thank you! I love the original. I've been a fan of the Migos since Roof Access put me on to Bando all those years ago. Back when everyone was still giving them shit for ruining rap music. Low key tho, I've just been remixing a bunch of stuff for the hell of it. It's fun to try and subvert something that's already super synonymous with its respective instrumental. Otherwise it'll digress into, "how can I make this really, really, really fucking hard?" instead.