If you’ve ever gone out on a Tuesday in Chicago, chances are you’ve gone to The Trap House. Although The Trap House started out as a weekly party in Chicago and continues, it’s also evolved into being an artist duo consisting of Brotinez and Rizzio. They’ve played a great number of notable shows, including Spring Awakening Music Festival, and they’ve also played along with many international headliners. We got a chance to sit down and chat with The Trap House, read the interview below where they talk about everything from how it all began to where they’re going next.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
I grew up around the music industry because my dad was in the music industry. Growing up, he owned a record store in Downtown Chicago, I pretty much lived there after school so I got influenced by electronic music at a really young age. He owned a lot of cd stores so I’d always be out selling cd’s. The first time I actually Dj’d was in the eighth grade, my buddy brought over his brother’s dj equipment and we started around messing with it and I knew I wanted to do this real bad. I saved up some money and bought Gemini table top cd players. Going into freshman year, I was djing all of the house parties so I started doing a lot of mobile dj gigs but also had a huge love for Hardstyle music. I got my first club gig when I was 16 djing at Medusa’s and that’s also when I started producing as well on Fruity Loops. After high school I still dj’d but the Hardstyle scene died so I was more or less djing for money at that point, which is when I started playing open format gigs that taught me how to spin Hip Hop and House. Towards the end of my college career I completely quit djing, completely got out of the music industry and was focusing more on corporate things. Until Spring Awakening about three years ago where I was walking through a side stage when I heard Diplo, he was playing a style of music I had never heard before. I went online and started searching for songs by humming the beat which is how I learned about Trap music and that made me fall back in love with Electronic music.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
My biggest influence for life is definitely my dad. I grew up in an entrepreneurial household and growing up I saw him gain his success. I watched him go from owning record stores to owning nightclubs and throwing huge shows. I saw him do things that most people would say are unachievable.
My biggest influence for music was listening to old school ghetto house mixtapes like DJ Gant-Man, DJ Funk, just all that juke stuff. Later on I got into Hardstyle so I started listening to DJ Caffeine and through him I found out about guys like Brennan & Heart, DJ Zany. For current music influences, definitely Diplo.
What’s your favorite record of all time?
I Need a Dollar by Alo Blacc
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
To be honest, the best times I’ve had playing were the Medusa days. I love doing what we’re doing now but back then you’re so naive, you think you’re on top of the world. I remember doing concerts and there would be nine hundred people in that place and I would be playing originals and everyone was singing along to vocals that I wrote and that was amazing. Now when I do play Trap House, there’s nothing that matches that energy. Even when we play the festival shows or the Concord shows, they’re great but the energy that we have at Trap house is amazing. At all of these other shows you’re on a stage and disconnected with everyone but at Trap House your on the same level and it’s like playing a house party all over again.
What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
Back in the Medusa days I used to play on Vinyl, I was playing a DJ Funk song and the place is going nuts when I accidentally pulled the needle off of the wrong record and the place went silent. Another embarrassing moment was when I was playing Maxbar, I had food poisoning and had a five hour gig so I was literally playing a song and then running to the bathroom, dropping bombs and then running back and the music ended up quitting while I was on the shitter.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
I love doing what we do, this doesn’t seem like work to me at all. This is what I like to do for fun.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
I think it’s good that it’s growing and there are a lot of new faces in it, it’s starting to become very generic, but it’s good because a lot more people are getting introduced to the cheesy shit but people who do stick with it go down the paths of finding their genres. I hate it when people start saying this is better than that or that’s better than this, I look at EDM as a big funnel that sucks everyone in and then there’s lanes which is where people become a Deep House fan or a Trap fan. So I think it’s good that it’s generic because a lot of people wouldn’t be introduced to the sub genres if it wasn’t.
On the flip side of that, I believe that the festivals are going to bubble, there’s just too much going on and it’s becoming too expensive. That’s one of the things I don’t like, the fact that it’s becoming so expensive for people to enjoy this kind of music but I definitely think it’s going to bubble.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
I think that shows are going to be more of an expirenece rather than just being about the artists and you can already start to see that now with festivals like Tomorrowland where they focus on more than just the music. They’re going above and beyond with visuals and everything involved with giving you that experience.
Tell us a little about the Trap House. Where did you get the idea? Where is it going?
Rizz asked me if I wanted to play an industry party on a Tuesday and I agreed to do it but I told him I was only going to play Trap music and he had no idea what that was. So I was blasting Trap music in the basement of Fedora lounge while I was tanked and I was yelling “welcome to the trap house” on the mic the entire time. Rizz was just looking at me and thought that this was cool so he said let’s make this an actual party. I started promoting and got back into music and here we are three years later.
Trap House has evolved from being just a party to being a form of artists because we took the energy we used to create the party and putting it on stage. I think long term we would love to be able to play more shows. The crazy thing is that we’ve been able to grow the brand so much without putting any tracks out whatsoever. There’s people that follow us who are surprised by the fact that we don’t even have a Soundcloud. We are making music but we’re holding on to it right now until we have everything lined up and are ready to release it. We’ve been testing our tracks out live at our shows and going back and fixing them or editing them so that they’re perfect for a live crowd.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
One of the releases that we have done and are happy with is the Trap House Anthem, we’ve been playing that one out for a while and it’s right where we want it. The next one is Trap Star which we’re getting the vocals done for. We also have a remix coming out with Sworn Enemies that’s for an old Hardstyle track called Right Now. The next show we have coming up is the Candy Factory Paint Party which is Saturday August 8th.