Party Supplies is flying high off the buzz of the excellent Blue Chips project that he produced for Action Bronson, but don’t get it twisted: he’s not just a rap producer. If you think of him as such, prepare to get your thinking rearranged. The Fool’s Gold artist is working on his debut album, and it’s not a rap album. For starters, it features the Queens-bred, Brooklyn resident’s own singing… with a British accent.
When you hear Party Supplies talk about his album, it’s impossible not to sense the excitement of an emerging artist who’s got something explosive on his hands. Unlike a lot of new artists, he’s already on the radars of a lot of people, but if you just listened to Blue Chips and think you have a good idea of who Party Supplies is as an artist, you’re about to be in for a big fucking surprise. Be prepared.
Interview by Midas
First question: how did you decide on the name Party Supplies?
The name Party Supplies is actually kind of a funny situation. To be honest me and my friends used to call this weed service. The guy was going by Party Supplies and I was like “Yo, that’s kinda ill.” I actually had the name before that, he just really put in my head. That’s really where I got the name.
I was working for this party supplies company once. At one point I was doing catering about 5 years back and it hit me one day and I was like, “Party Supplies, man.” If I could get into the heads of everybody with that name, they’ll never look at party supplies the same again, you know? They’ll always think of me. To make it one person and having the name like that, it’s a pretty big name you know? A lot of people think it’s corny but at the same time it can be very deviant. It could be straight up cocaine, you know like “party supplies.” It depends on your character, really. People are always like, “You know that means blow?” It does, but at the same time party supplies is just a packed term. Solo cup, Jonas Brothers shit, like Jonas Brothers hats—stuff like that.
[Laughs] Yeah, I get what you mean.
So that’s really where the name came from. But yo, Party Supplies—to whoever that was—I respect that dude to the fullest and in no way was I trying to jack his style. For real, sometimes you just gotta take something and kinda move with it, ya know?
Yeah, I got you. You do all your production on an MPC right?
I do. I produce everything on the MPC1000. I’ve been using it for about… since the time it came out. It’s a great machine. I produce everything on those machines. Everything is manipulated and trimmed in the 1000 and everything is sequenced and arranged in the 1000 too, so anything I’m really doing, the end result is just usually using just the 2-track and the Pro Tools.
So that’s kinda how I do the track mainly so it has a very, different feel, a different aesthetic, and it’s really all through this old machine. The outboard compressors and the outboard EQ’s are really nice—very sexy, very unique. It’s kind of become my sound. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m so knee-deep in all this stuff that I’ve never experimented using multi-tracks. It’s always been very much like rap actually. I do all the rap shit with Bronson and I produce rap beats. I know how to make rap beats, so I kind of apply that same approach.
It’s like a painting. Once you put the paint on a canvas, it’s on there forever and you can’t take it off. You can cover it up most of the time, but you’ll never be able to get the original paint off.
A bird just almost shit on my head, dude!
For real, that was like that was two fucking inches away from me.
Well, I’m glad it missed.
Which song do you think was your breakthrough?
I haven’t had any breakthroughs, yet. I did a bunch of remixes. That Edward Sharpe one got more love than most of the other ones. That was just something that I put out just to kill time before my album comes out. I’m a very dark dude if you get to know me, and the hip-hop shit that I do is very dark sometimes. We make rap music in my apartment all the time. Me and Bronson. On the opposite side of that, I do some very pop-y stuff which is more about unleashing myself. It’s not quite emo, but it is a little emo. It’s a little Huey Lewis-like, a little Go! Team-ish. You know the Go! Team?
They’re an amazing group. With the kids’ voices and all the crazy echoing, it’s awesome and it’s that type of collage style, which is the way I make my music now. There’s no science to any one of my records. It’s all over the place. It’s not a remix, and it’s not like a mash-up, but it’s original stuff done in a mash-up, remix type of way. At the end of the day, I tweak it to the point where it becomes my own thing. If I’m going to use something, I’m really going to tweak it and make it my own thing.
I could steer this boat in any direction at this point. I could keep perpetuating myself with this MPC player, but at the end of the day that’s not really where I wanna be. I want to be on stage singing, playing songs that have original music, singing the lyrics that I wrote. I can be at the club on Friday playing Top 40 hits and making some cash on Friday night, but I don’t really want to be doing that. It’s not about the money, it’s not about what you’re paying me, it’s more about what kind of show I want to be doing.
My record is more traditional romantic, you know. Kinda like early Oasis. There are a lot of break beats, kind of like Phil Collins, and it’s kind of Peter Gabriel, Huey Lewis too. It’s like mad pop-y and ’80s. I’m from New York and I’m trying to bring back this sound. Chromeo does it really well. I admire those guys.
I’ve leaked one song off the record it’s called “Guy Friends” That’s gonna be on it.
I love “Guy Friends.”
Thanks man, I appreciate that. That record right there was more the kind of the approach of the record. It’s like the vocals are kinda like chorus-y. It’s kinda like Morrisey. I sing with a British accent through the entire album.
Straight up, hard British accent sometimes. I am a song writer but like at the end of the day I’m more of a musician. I mean, I can get up there with a piano and I could even play harmonica, which I may even do for ya.
So are you doing the vocals on “Guy Friends”?
That’s me singing, yeah.
Oh, I had no idea.
Yeah nobody knows that. This one guy was like, “Yo, it’s a good record, who’s the guy with no shirt that you remixed?” I was like, “That’s me with no shirt, and that’s not a remix. That’s my song.”
One of the questions I had was about the “Guy Friends” sample, but I had no idea those were your vocals.
Yeah, that’s my song. I built that song from a piano—lyrics and everything—then I went to the MPC and I’m like, “Okay, how can I tweak this into this weird electronic type of way?” I started digging through samples to find the same notes, and I just kinda took it from there. I’m glad that I’m doing this interview with you, because I want people to know that that is me singing. The problem with the internet is people think that once you’re this remix guy, you have to go out of your way to be like, “Yo, I’m not. I also do other things.”
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When did you start producing?
I started producing when I was like around 12 years old. I was writing songs on an acoustic guitar from JCPenney. I broke that over my brothers head. [Laughs] That guitar was all I had for music—this guitar that my parents got me. JCPenney. I once tuned it so hard that the fucking bridge popped out at me. It slapped me in the forehead. Then I got the electric and I fucked with that for a while.
What’s your favorite song from the new album?
I actually have a few favorites. “Guy Friends” is definitely one of them. I wouldn’t quite say I have a favorite record. They all mean a lot to me.
With the new album, are you trying to get on the pop charts?
I’m trying. I mean, yes. I’ll be real with you. It’s like an indie rock band but with an alternative sound. It can be done. I do hope that it can get on the pop charts. Rap will always be in my blood. I can’t get away from it. No matter how much I try to get away from rap, it sucks me back up in a weird way, because It surrounds me in this weird way.
I was gonna ask you more about hip-hop production. Who else you want to work with?
Right now, I don’t really want to work with anyone other than Bronson. I mean, I’ll work with some people if the opportunity presents itself, but I’m not really looking for that right now. Bronson is an exception because he excites me. He doesn’t really take himself too seriously, but at the end of the day, he does take himself seriously. That’s why I fuck with the dude. And Danny Brown. He’s so ill. We recorded together about a year ago, so that is coming out eventually. He’s a good dude. Him and Bronson, and my brother. I’m going to do something with my brother too, because he’s my fuckin’ brother. That’s family.
My brother goes by the King’s English. He’s the white Jay Electronica. I didn’t even bring up how much I like Jay Electronica. He’s another rapper I love. Jay Electonica, to me, is the illest in rap, and my brother is kind of like him in a way. He’s so well read, he’s so smart. And he’s a crazy motherfucker. He brings all this psychotic energy. So look out for King’s English.
Anything else you want to mention?
The album is coming out on Fool’s Gold. You’ll probably get another leak soon. I’ll give you the album name. It’s called Breakfast Of Champions. It’s my first album. I’m happy right now. I put a lot of work into it. Fool’s Gold has given me a lot of opportunities and I’m so excited to just blow this up with them.