[INTERVIEW] 4B Discusses Life on Tour + New Single, "Knock on Wood" Featuring Mikey Barreneche
At just 30 years old, New Jersey native 4B has fostered a whirlwind career– headlining parties, clubs, and festivals worldwide with his signature dance anthems and unstoppable energy. The producer-DJ is best known for hit singles “Whistle”, remix of Dombresky’s “Utopia”, and collaborations with top-charting stars such as Trippie Redd, Austin Mahone, Ludacris, and Trick Daddy. In addition, 4B has frequently joined forces with dance music legends Flosstradamus, Junkie Kid, DJ Diesel/ Shaquille O’neal, and several others. Notably, he has made strides with his B2B project with Valentino Khan entitled “Hulk Gang”, which made a striking appearance at EDC Las Vegas 2022. In this exclusive interview, 4B reveals details about staying healthy on the road, the creative process of a collaboration, and upcoming releases.
Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with 4B below.
iEDM: You’ve recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Mikey Barreneche on the revival of Amii Stewart’s 1979 anthem “Knock on Wood”. What was your inspiration and approach when bringing your individual production styles together? Can you describe your creative process when marrying a decades-old track with the more nuanced electronic sound design?
4B: We didn’t want to just “remake” the song but we were such a fan of that legendary sample so we had to find the best way to use it. I wanted to really aim to make the sample the focus of the pre drop and I think we nailed it.
iEDM: You have previously had massive collaborative/ B2B performance projects with other artists, notably Flosstradamus and “Hulk Gang” with Valentino Khan. How do you decide who has a specific style or dynamic that will work well with your own?
4B: This usually happens pretty naturally. I made friends with these guys by sharing music and then our styles really harmonize when we get together and do a B2B.
iEDM: You have had an extremely busy Summer, playing shows all over the globe almost daily. How do you manage to stay mentally and physically healthy during the chaos of touring?
4B: It’s very hard to stay healthy on the road. Eating at different airports you usually don’t have the best options. I try and work out when I can and I’ve been doing Ju Jitsu on and off.
iEDM: Throughout your career, you have collected endorsements from the largest names in dance music, such as Marshmello, Diplo, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki, and more. What effect does this massive support have on your career and ego? Does it change your outlook on the future of your career?
4B: I’m super appreciative of all the support I have received in the past and in the future.
iEDM: As an artist with a wide range of experience and discography, some releases may quickly blow up, while others may not perform as well as anticipated. How do these scenarios affect your creativity and work flow? Does perceived success influence your art?
4B: This can be discouraging at times but when I look back at releases I try to remind myself that it's art and not just a statistic.
iEDM: Some may claim that the popularity of trap music has declined since the 2013-2015 explosion of names such as RL Grime, Badklaat, and Flosstradamus. However, trap seems to have simply evolved with the times. How would you describe the evolution of trap music over the past decade? Would you call the nuanced styles commonly endorsed by Sable Valley and other labels “trap music”?
4B: I think music simply evolves. Trap has had some growing pains in recent years but I believe my sound has evolved. I’m a huge fan of the stuff Sable Valley is doing. It can be argued that your New Jersey upbringing has heavily influenced your music. Would you agree? Why or why not? Definitely. I try to incorporate the Jersey Club sound any way I can.
iEDM: During your sets, you frequently display your ability to flawlessly transition between genres, which has recently become much more common among other DJs. Has this become the new industry standard? Are sets inherently more exciting when more variety is included, or is there a time when homogeneity will be more well-received?
4B: I don’t think it's the industry standard really yet but this is just the style i've always been. I come from an open format DJ Background and especially in the year 2022 I think that's easily digested.
iEDM: Without taking logistics into consideration, what merch item would you like to design for your fans?
4B: I’d like to bring back the “4B” Jerseys at some point. It was one of my favorite pieces i've ever done.
iEDM: What has been your most interesting or impactful interaction with a fan?
4B: One of my shows years ago I had a fan come on stage and propose to their girlfriend. It was a super special moment in front of a sold out crowd.
iEDM: Although your schedule is currently very busy, do you have any special projects in the works for the future?
4B: As of right now I’m focusing on just staying consistent with releasing music. This past year I released more music in a single year than ever in my career. I’d like to continue down that path!
Photos courtesy of 4B and EDC Las Vegas
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