First Look Friday: Don't Blame Watch the Duck For Being Awesome
Debates rage on-and-offline as music lovers argue about which region of the country produces the best music. For some New York City will always be the trophy-holder, while radio and other audiophiles love any-and-everything below the Mason-Dixon line. In our case, we appreciate it all as good sounds are good sounds eternally welcomed here at Okayplayer.
Watch the Duck, this week’s First Look Friday subject, are a talented musical trio from Montgomery, Alabama who have dominated the trapstep movement, which, for those who don’t know is a cross between trap and dubstep. Jesse Rankins (the Voice), Eddie Smith II (the Sound) and Oscar White (the Duck) are the forces behind hits such as “Stretch-2-3-4” with Pharrell Williams and “Don’t Blame Luv” featuring T.I.
With The Trojan Horse out now and the masses eating it up, the Watch the Duck crew has woven soulful hooks with high-energy production to stand out amongst the heavily crowded music industry. And as names like Zane Lowe, Fader, VIBE and Beats 1 all support this group, this country-fried trio continues to boast of their dedication to their Alabama roots, their dreams of working with Prince and how “Don’t Blame Luv” was inspired by matters of the heart in this exclusive chat with Okayplayer.
Be sure to also listen to the premiere “Making Luv To The Beat” (Remix) featuring R3LL + Watch the Duck below!
Okayplayer: To music snobs the world over, you guys are making an impact on both sides of the country. What is it that Alabama has seen and experienced that the world is just now discovering?
Watch the Duck: The thing that people have witnessed and experienced are how to create a good time anywhere at anytime. In Alabama, a party can happen at any given moment, which for us is like an open invite to a memorable experience. The first parties that we ever attended didn’t have VIP sections and you didn’t need expensive bottles, jewelry or clothes to be able to go out and have fun.
The world is starting to re-discover that again in a major way. That unnecessary social pressure of being the top dog has been removed, so people are now free more than ever to be creative. You’re starting to see it if you’re out and listening to music now, as more and more unique and interesting personalities are emerging onto the scene again.
OKP: For those who have a passion for music, they honed their skills and practiced their craft. Who are the group’s most cherished influences in music and why?
WtD: Prince. Watching what the Purple One was able to do musically, with his visuals and how he’s been able to constantly re-create himself while evolving music and not be constrained by what other people want is amazingly inspiring. He’s a badass musician able to create what moves him and really shreds! Steve Jobs is another inspiration, too, as his unwillingness to compromise and his commitment to innovating great items of art really has inspired us.
OKP: Your song, “Stretch 2-3-4,” is super funky and is paired with some clever wordplay. It has placed you all on the radar of music snobs who have a heavy presence in the music industry. Can you talk about how life was for the team while developing as artists in Montgomery, Alabama? How did you all react to the first bits of press?
WtD: Developing as artists in Montgomery, Alabama really solidified our whole do-it-yourself mentality. While working on music and growing up there, the actual industry always felt like it was out-of-town somewhere in Atlanta, New York City or Los Angeles. At no time did we ever feel like, “Oh, a record label can come along and do this-and-this for us,” but we did feel like if we wanted to see something happen the we needed to go out and do it.
It is that feeling that serves as motivation for us today. We’ve learned how to work within the industry while never relying on waiting for it to take notice. The first bit of press was shocking, to be honest, as we didn’t really think that “gatekeepers” or “tastemakers” were checking for us. Fortunately for us, we were wrong, as they were looking at us while we were on the ground floor, which shocked us in a good way.
OKP: Can you all talk about the importance of the music industry scene in Montgomery? Do y’all feel that by leaving you all have evolved the scene? If so, how do you all see it developing in the next few years?