Alexander Ridha has made a name for himself. Performing under the name Boys Noize, he's been able to mix it up with big names like Tiesto and Skrillex and collaborate with Snoop Dogg and Jarvis Cocker -- all without major label representation. We caught up with Ridha to talk about his newest album, "Out of the Black," and find out what influences him and keeps him going.
What inspired you most on "Out of the Black"?
One of the big parts of this album was really getting back. Since it's my third album, I was trying to get this feeling back when I first started producing. Most of the time, when you don't know what you are doing, that's when the magic happens. I was really clearing my head and forgetting about everything that is going on right now and what is hot right now. It's a very personal album.
You have a lot of disco and hip-hop influences. Is that what you grew up listening to?
I have a 10-years-older brother, and at the end of the '80s he was buying all those early house records, so I was always into that, into real house music and rap at the same time, Run DMC and Public Enemy and stuff. ... The old-school stuff was kind of like Pharcyde or Wu-Tang. When that s-- came out, I was able to rap the whole ODB album, the first one. Even though I didn't understand anything because I was German, I was rapping along! I stopped buying hip-hop records toward the beginning of 2000 because it got too much, like, jiggy. ... But I was still a big fan of any Neptunes or Timbaland production, and of course Dre. And of course Snoop!
What was it like working with Snoop on "Got It"?
I was always saying to myself, "If I would be able to make a track for him, I could stop making music." I grew up with his sound. It was cool. You know he wants to vibe first, so we hung out a little bit. In the beginning of this year, we had the chance to record music together, hang out in his apartment and stuff. It was really nice and he's such a great guy.
How do you pick who you collaborate with?
I never have "featuring" on my album, except that Snoop joint. But, when I make music with other people, it has to be someone who inspires me as well, where I can learn something.
The Skrillex connection
One of your collaborations is Dog Blood — with Skrillex. Can you tell us how that collaboration came about?
Yeah, I’ve heard about that. [Laughs] It’s two crazy guys. They are from two different backgrounds. I heard they made some music in Berlin. It’s pretty cool. I like their stuff.
Seriously, did you guys just meet up one day?
We’re good friends. He’s a cool guy. We just played around with some stuff.