Jay-z’s Blog, Life + Times talks with Philly’s own DRGN KING about a variety of topics. Brent “Ritz” Reynolds and Dominic Angelella spoke on a variety of topics including producing for Wale and Peedi Crakk and the Philly music scene. Read the interview below and all of it over at Life + Times.
Usually you wouldn’t think to pair a hip-hop producer who’s worked with artists such as Wale and ex -State Property artist, Peedi Crakk, with a singer/songwriter gem from the indie rock world. However, Brent “Ritz” Reynolds and Dominic Angelella combined their distinctly opposite backgrounds to form the soul pop band, DRGN KING. In 2009, the Philadelphia based duo recorded together for the first time. “We would hang out for twice a week and then not see each other for two and half months. In summer 2010, we decided to finally record a record. It was on and off for two years,” Angelella said. During that gap in time, they released EPs and videos as segue to their debut album, Paragraph Nights. Reynolds adds, “We produced it and mixed it. It was a labor of love that took a while.” Not only is the pair touring throughout the summer and fall, but they are also working on their sophomore record. “Dom (Dominic) and I almost have a whole catalog of music together. In a few months, we’re going to start chipping away at the demos. We have a very strong starting point,” Reynolds interjects. Though Reynolds and Angelella have an extensive background in the music industry, this is merely the beginning for DRGN KING.
Life + Times: Dom, you come from a rock background. Ritz, you come from a hip-hop background. How did you two cross paths?
Dominic Angelella: There was a lot of cross pollination in terms of the rock and hip-hop backgrounds. I was in a band with Dice Raw from The Roots crew and a few other people and I was playing the guitar for a lot of different people in the city. I was producing for a lot of people in the city. We had a bunch of chance encounters. We’d bump into each other at parties. We realized we had a mutual love and appreciation for a lot of different types of music. That’s what kind of, like, brought us together.
Brent “Ritz” Reynolds: There was sort of [a] loose scene. I say “loose scene” because there’s sort of always a million things happening at one time. We had been working with some of the same artists. Even though I mostly came from a hip-hop background…we both have a pretty diverse background and our taste is pretty varied. We’re both into record collecting, so we’re both music nerds. We both like all eras. It just made sense that we eventually work together after sort of being friends first.
L+T: Ritz, you have worked with Wale, The Roots, Mac Miller and other artists in the past. Was it a hard transition to go from being in the studio to playing at live shows?
BRR: Originally it was because I never had any musical live experience. I would sort of get nervous and sort of be stressing out a little bit early on. At this point, I am much more comfortable. It’s a much more fun release than being in the studio. It’s been a nice process to get away from the studio because I am definitely in the studio all of the time sitting [in front of a] computer screen. It’s made me a better musician – overall playing live, having to know sets, especially when everyone else in the band is a very experienced musician.