Following Rashid Ajami‘s sensational debut on TOR with the Never Knew EP last year, we’re thrilled to welcome him to XYZ alongside the always-delightful Italian duo Madraas, who’ve graced the likes of Tale & Tone and Futurescope in recent months. Through work with the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Booka Shade, and Atjazz, Ajami has built a sterling reputation with releases on Get Physical, Einmusika, Anjunadeep, and Tale & Tone.
For their first original collaboration, Rashid & Madraas come together on the sensational ‘Love Is Animal‘ EP. The A-side ignites the groove, as a sub-laden bassline rises & falls under crisp drum rhythms. The melodic piano hook comes alive alongside a blissful vocal performance, with a lush build creating magical dancefloor moments.
On the flip, ‘The New Word‘ harnesses classical flavors and somber tones, stirring us into a melancholic flow in the early stages. Vocal chops remain distant and hazy as strings and pianos balance each other, allowing synthetic stabs to swirl. A blissful B-side from the UK x Italy connection.
To celebrate the release of ‘Love Is Animal’ EP we caught up with both the UK and Italian producers to talk about their summer and the collaboration.
WWD: Hey guys, thanks for joining us and many congrats on the release! Where in the world are you currently located?
Rashid: London. Great to be back on XYZ!
Madraas: Italiaaaaaa. Thanks guys! It’s awesome to come back to XYZ
WWD: How did this collaboration come to be? Have you guys worked together before?
Rashid: I’ve always been a huge fan of Madraas and their vibe. After they did a remix for me, I felt we needed to find a way to work on an original EP together.
Madraas: We met Rashid in 2020. We had just started collaborating with HOJ (Tale & Tone). He had just signed an EP by Rashid and proposed to us to remix ‘You Don’t Know Me’. We immediately fell in love with his style
WWD: Have you been touring recently? What has been your favorite party to play in the last few months?
Rashid: Not so much as I have been focused on my Web3 project ‘Metropolis World’, building the capital sites of the Metaverse!
Madraas: We are currently focused with our studio work. Many amazing projects are on the way 😊
WWD: What would you say your ‘song of the summer’ was, either to play out or jam to at home?
Rashid: So many to choose from but i’d say ‘Osama’ by Zakes Bantwini & Kasango is my current top pick.
Madraas: Tim Green & Sébastien Léger – Duel
WWD: Tell us about your hometowns and the role they’ve played in your journey thu sfar? What are the UK and Italian dance scenes like at the moment?
Rashid: London has always been a thriving scene for Dance music. On any given day there is an event to take inspiration from.
Madraas: Italy right now is totally about Techno and Trap…
WWD: How would you guys describe your respective sounds for people that have not listened to your tunes yet? How did you work on bringing those sounds together on this collaboration?
Rashid: I’d describe my sound as emotive and nostalgic. I try to create songs that can be listened to not only in a club but in a personal way. The music needs to evoke emotion and storytelling.
Madraas: Weird. I think our sounds are always different and away from other artists of the same genre. We are mainly Organic House artists but our sound is very contaminated by many other genres from Deep House to Trance.
WWD: Rashid and Madraas, thanks again for joining us. Hope to see you guys again soon!
Rashid: Thanks for having us on the label and for all the support!!
Madraas: Love you guys! Keep the great music on