Today’s premiere comes from Bulgarian/American DJ and music producer Bad Boombox, in collaboration with American producer MC Yung Lil. Their collaborative EP, titled Bansko Boys Vol.1, acts as the second project that they have worked on after their hugely successful track ‘Make It Wet’ was released last year.

We sat down with them both and spoke about their upcoming release together, how they met, Bad Boombox’s Dublin debut, and more!

Bad Boombox is a Sofia-based DJ and Producer who has been releasing a consistent amount of quality productions since 2019 and has seen exponential growth in the last year. This comes from the success of numerous edits, his standout track Medulla, and his recent collaborations with American producer MC Yung Lil.

Bad Boombox’s sound encompasses a unique blend of trance, ghetto house, Latin drums, chopped melodies, and bouncy dynamics, which has garnered massive attention from artists like SPFJD, DJ Heartstring, VTSS, Salome, I Hate Models, and more amongst the wider dance music industry since 2019, where he has since amassed headline shows all across Europe and has picked up a number of festival slots for this year’s festival season.

MC Yung Lil is an American producer that is currently based between Europe and South America and is best known for his distinct catchy vocals. He has taken influence from afrobeat, amapiano, reggaeton, and R&B and recontextualised these genres into a hard-hitting but playfully eloquent techno variations.

We caught up with the pair ahead of their Bansko Boys Vol.1 EP release this Friday to ask them how they’re feeling ahead of the release, how they met, Bad Boombox’s Dublin debut, and more.

Would you like to explain how you both met and what has since led you both to work on numerous musical projects together since?

Hey thanks for having us! We’re super stoked to be launching the EP this week. It was in the works for a very long time.

MC Yung Lil and I go way back. We met almost 10 years ago in uni in the US in an audio mixing class, back when we were both just starting our music-making journey. As time went on, we’d see each other at parties and became closer friends, sometimes DJing together out at clubs, but never actually collaborating.

During the pandemic, we reconnected online when we were stuck in the house with nothing to do but record random ideas and talk about moving to Europe. MC Yung Lil comes from a different musical background (producing afrobeat and rap for European artists – Feduk, Richie Campbell, Mishlawi, etc.) and needed a break from his other artist project, and just started sending me tons of ideas that were full of gold – His own vocals, loops, stems, etc.

We just kept experimenting with a new kind of sound that’s blending like ten different genres together, eventually, I played these out at the clubs around Europe and people seemed to really love them. Some of these tracks are two years in the making, so it’s super thrilling to finally release them.

How are you feeling ahead of making your Dublin debut this Friday? What can the attendees expect ahead of the show?

Oh hell yeah, I’m so excited to make my Dublin debut. I’ve always wanted to visit the city since everyone I’ve met on my travels from Dublin has been an absolute legend. Expect a crazy amount of energy, bouncy rhythms, and groovy new sounds. Expect absolutely no satanic “techno” haha. The overall philosophy for the project is to bring back colour and fun to the dance scene, and to bring everyone together via groove.

Would you care to share the meaning behind the names Bad Boombox, Hot Meal Records, and Bansko Boys?

The name Bad Boombox comes from a lack of boundaries I try to live by in my musical career but also in daily life. Years ago I was in a pop-funk-dance duo and my old partner (shoutout Izzy Perri) sent me a text message “bro you’re like a bad boombox” and I just went with it. 

The name Hot Meal Records comes from a music industry gag. My manager and I were figuring out how to do agency contracts for touring and noticed that all of the rider templates included the phrase “the artist must receive A Hot balanced meal on the night of the performance” and we thought the verbiage was hilariously specific.

The thing with names – whether it’s your artist name, business name, album name, et cetera, you have to just yell out the first thing your gut tells you and COMMIT otherwise you’ll never finish the project. So we built the business around this “hot meal” idea since it provided a good framework. Every aesthetic aspect of the label revolves around food including the artwork, the copy, and even the tour rider. The playful name also hints at what we also look for in our releases. Fun, carefree, bouncy dance tracks that stand out in the sea of monotony.

Speaking of eating, the name of the EP with MC Yung Lil titled “Bansko Boys” came from a recent trip to Bulgaria. MC Yung Lil and I hadn’t reunited since making all of these tracks, so we took a road trip through Bulgaria (my home country) a few months ago including a culinary and spa tour of the ski town Bansko. That’s where we finally planned out the release of this EP (tracks we’ve been teasing for years), so what better name than to commemorate the place that brought it all together?

For MC Yung Lil. What has been your favourite track that you have worked on with Bad Boombox so far and why?

MC Yung Lil here; that’s a tough choice – this whole process has been wavy – it’s kind of like whenever I travel somewhere new, everything there feels new and exciting, like how a kid sees the world – diving into techno with Bad Boombox has been the same way. 

We’ve both been making music for 10+ years, but growing up in the states we don’t get enough exposure to some genres (Techno, House, Trance, etc.). But Boombox has been my Yoda in all this, my guide explaining everything. And I’ve already spent so much time producing in Europe and South America, this transition made total sense. Pharrell, my favorite producer, favourite album is by Stereolab, it’s no surprise to me to be finding inspiration and experimentation abroad. 

But if I had to choose, I’d say WYA. A big thing for me in all my music, whether as an artist or producing, is mixing heavy rap drums with mellow wavy vocals – so to be able to bring that into this but still, get those infectious booty-bouncing Boombox drums felt special. I really love when opposite things come together – melancholy harmonies but drums that make you wanna get buck naked at the club – and this one really has that.

Additionally, what would your favourite line or verse be from that track and why?

There’s actually a secret alternate version of WYA that has an entire verse. This track has been in the works for two years and I wrote lots of sexy hooks for it. I don’t want to spoil it yet, you’ll just have to listen at a live show.

What else can we expect from MC Yung Lil and Bad Boombox in 2023?

BB: MC Yung Lil and I will continue this style of bouncy booty bangers. We might perform together this year too. Expect solo tracks and a mix from him on Hot Meal as well, and perhaps we will both see you all on the dancefloor together.

MC: Probably me getting food poisoning in Bulgaria at least once again as well. But seriously, I want to bring out some of my musical influences to the European scene, I think you’re really gonna love this new style. And maybe some babies – I need a visa 😉

You can pre-order Bansko Boys Vol.1 on Bandcamp here.

Tickets for Bad Boombox’s Dublin debut which takes place this Friday can be purchased here.

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