A 20+ year veteran of the music industry with experiences as a music producer, former studio owner, songwriter, engineer, and musician, 2-time Grammy/Latin Grammy recognized Starita, is well recognized for his distinctive genre-blending collaborations and work with Childish Gambino, A Tribe Called Quest, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Third Eye Blind, Madame Gandhi, Rebelution, Los Amigos Invisibles, Michael Franti, and Spearhead.
This time, he teams up with multi-instrumentalist/beat-maker Otis McDonald and rappers Illa J, Zay Bcuz, and NicX, to create a head knockin’ reinterpretation of the original “The Wake Up Call.” “The Wake Up Re-Call” is Starita’s latest release amongst another impressive lineup of music tastemakers including Ben Leinbach and L0<3* showcased on the forthcoming remix EP.
This is a first-time collaboration for these artists. Starita selected McDonald for this remix because of his versatile style of “beat making.” Many recognize McDonald for his royalty-free audio library, made available for creators on YouTube to soundtrack their videos.
His songs have been used in more than 3.5 million YouTube videos with 7.6 billion views, 5 million downloads, and over 10 million streams. Starita resonated with McDonald’s approach of leveraging the power of both old and new technology as well as his roots in funk, soul, jazz, classic rock, pop and hip-hop, to create sounds that are fresh but tangibly ingrained in nostalgia. While very different in their musical styles and approach, there is a common thread in the way Starita combines organic, acoustic, and electronic elements using analog synths to create unique sound designs.
Fans of J Dilla and Madlib will be pleasantly surprised. This track can be described as a lush and progressive flavored beat, reminiscent of the late 90s/early 2000s hip-hop. McDonald wanted to maintain the lush and beautiful soundscape that Starita put forth in the original version while adding more grit and funk. By doing so, McDonald flipped the track from one that was atmospheric, moody, dark, and compositionally ambient to a rendition that is not only funky, gritty, but also soulful and infused with elements of hip-hop, progressive, jazz, and R&B.
To top this off with the distinctive vocal range of Illa J, Zay Bcuz, and NicX, and DJ Rasta Root on the cuts took this track to a whole new level of dynamism.
“When I heard the track, it had a ‘Slum’ (Slum Village) vibe – don’t mean it’s a Slum track or exactly like Slum, it’s an energy. It’s hip-hop, funky, and soulful at the same time. To me, that’s what a Slum track vibe is. It has all the elements of my favorite stuff – dirty, grimy, funky, and it’s sloppy. Close to the one,” reacts Illa J, American rapper, singer/songwriter, and producer (former member of Slum Village and younger brother of the late hip hop producer and rapper J Dilla).