When you opt to embed the word party in your name, you have an obligation to put the “fun” in “function.”
That is exactly the goal of #Partystarters, a seductively kinetic EP that partywithray hopes will cover dance floors from LA to Berlin with sweat. The Los Angeles-based producer recently unveiled the record, a song-cycle of frisky dance music designed for club hedonism.
#Partystarters is a breakneck locomotive of steamy swag house. partywithray shows out on its four tracks, each of which drip with the down-and-dirty élan of a neon-swathed club floor.
ZHU makes an appearance on the EP’s opener, a come-hither banger called “Lil Mama” that finds the Grammy nominee providing a flirtatious topline over a sultry arrangement courtesy of partywithray. What follows is a foot-tapping centrifuge of house and disco music, which you can dive into below.
In celebration of his new EP, EDM.com caught up with partywithray to chat about its origins and what makes it a bona fide party record.
EDM.com: Four-on-the-floor rhythms, pitched vox, and sultry bass—this is obviously a party record. Why did you decide to go that route?
partywithray: The dance floor is the heart of the project. It’s all about having a good time and feeling yourself. I try to bring my own style and bounce to party records.
EDM.com: Your creative relationship with ZHU seems to be blossoming. Describe your chemistry in the studio. What was the recording process like for “Lil Mama”?
partywithray: Whether we’re starting from scratch or working off a demo one of us has we like to hang out, get some food, et cetera—sort of take the thought away that we’re working and then when something’s inspiring we work.
“Lil Mama” was a demo I had for a few months I couldn’t quite finish. I showed it to ZHU and he just hopped on the mic in an open drop section and it complimented my low vocal so well! With those two vocals in place we rearranged the track, added a few new sounds, and it was all done in a few hours.
EDM.com: “Smile Like Aaliyah” represents a slight shift in sound here. Did her music inspire you in any way? How?
partywithray: It’s my most melodic vocal part so far (which I want to keep pushing) and there’s definitely some of her musical inspiration, but the title is also really about the character, swagger and presence of Aaliyah. She was/is an icon.
EDM.com: How do you go about writing your refrains? They always seem to have an earworm, singalong effect.
partywithray: Sometimes I start with the vocal and write the bass and drums around it, or vice versa. Either way it’s really about the rhythm of those three instruments vibing and accenting each other to make something infectious for the dance floor. Then I pitch around the vocal to get a unique effect and create the melody.
EDM.com: What do you want fans to think or remember about partywithray after listening to this EP?
partywithray: I came for the good times (and the low) and you’re invited!
You can find partywithray’s #Partystarters EP on streaming platforms here.