TrapZillas: "Everybody Today has a Different Opinion of What [Trap Music] is About"
It's a recent Friday night and the interior of the TrapZillas house is a busy and chaotic hurricane of noise and activity. As vintage NBA playoff game plays loudly on a gigantic HDTV in the background, at least a half-dozen people are busying themselves with bongs and blowtorches in the kitchen, crafting beats on banks of synthesizers in the den, or just hanging out.
trapzillas.com Logic Ali (left) and Adolfo "Dolfz" Salazar of TrapZillas.
Sitting in the middle of this hullabaloo at a dining room table cluttered with sports trading cards, a pair of new Nikes, and a mason jar containing premium buds are Adolfo "Dolfz" Salazar and Logic Ali, the DJ and producer at the heart of the Phoenix-based trap music act. The hectic and often-busy tumult of their North Scottsdale residence is apropos, considering their busy schedules - including performing at Trapfest on Saturday at the Monarch Theatre -- and TrapZillas' frenzied rise to prominence over the past year.
Since forming last summer, Dolfz and Logic have produced with trap/hip-hop talents like Harry Fraud (as well as such locals as Sluggo and Luminox), and scored thousands of Soundcloud clicks with tracks released practically on a weekly basis. They're also in tight with always-eccentric rapper Riff Raff, who featured Salazar in the music video for their joint track "Neon Freedom," and have worked gigs like Mad Decent's Block Parties and the current Trapfest Tour.
They've got plenty of opinions on trap music, a hybrid of EDM and southern rap, and were more than willing to take a brief respite from the madness to speak with Up on the Sun and give their two cents.
Salazar is particularly outspoken (we aptly stated last year that "bragging seems to be as natural a biological process" to the cat as respiration) on such subjects as trap music's constant state of flux, the dominance of marketing in the EDM zeitgeist, and how DJs are currently held in reference. We also got to hear the wild tales behind a visible scar and another gnarly-looking wound, how he originally moved to Phoenix with only a c-note in this pocket, and numerous other topics.
In fact, Salazar dominated the first part of our interview before Logic eventually piped in and dished on each of their roles in TrapZillas and how drug connections originally brought the two together as friends.
So how busy are you these days?
Salazar: Pretty fucking busy, because I'm the type of person that I know how fickle relationships are in the music industry. So when I have any opportunity to get something done with somebody, I take full opportunity to get it done right then and there.
But then that's backfired on me too, because I paid for a Lil Reese feature and I still have that sitting there, and after everything that's gone down with him, what do I do? Release the track and full marketing behind him and then associate myself with everything that's going on there? I don't think that's going to be best bet for me long term, either.
There's a give and take with that. But then I'm working with a lot of other young artists, like After the Smoke--we did a whole EP with them that I still have and they just got signed to Warner. So now I have an EP with a signed artist that has no release yet, and I'll let them go through their marketing and promotion and then I'll dump it and I'm just attached to all that. So I guess my trajectory with music stuff has been all business strategy [rather] than anything else. It's been that way since I first moved out here from L.A.
How did you get that scar on your arm?
Salazar: This is an interesting situation. I was like 15 years old, I was getting kicked out of my house and I was screaming at my mom. Just slammed a glass door and it went through. That was the first time I was out of my house. I have a black spot on my eye that was [from] a hanger in kindergarten. I thought I was a Ninja Turtle. Literally, swear to God, that's how it went down. I unraveled hangers, I got my neighbor, and we were playing swords and it just went down.
What's the story behind the tattoo on your other arm?
I just got this done recently. That's an 808 drum machine, and that's where all the bass comes from hip-hop and most of dance music today. This is a peacock, because when I was a kid and I used to jump out of the window from my house to go fuckin' smoke or go fuck bitches or whatever might be the case at the time, the peacock would start crying, every night. And I always got home safe. So I always felt like it was watching over me in some weird way, so I've always had a thing for peacocks. And my mom's maiden name is Rosa, so that's what the roses are for.
How did you first come to Phoenix?
When I first moved out here, I literally, literally moved to Phoenix with $100 in my pocket and a Mormon family was gonna take me in. Did that--I was able to build an Internet marketing business that's done extremely well in a short period of time and is still operational today. But the people brought and originally met [in L.A.] are kind of still in my same circle.
One of my best friends out here is Thomas [Turner]. He was good friends with my friends back from the rave scene, the people from Go Ventures, the ones that put together the Monster Massive. He knew them, so when I moved out here I got connected to Thomas and that's kind of been one of the biggest reasons why we've been able to have some direction out here. Going from the Dolfz stuff to the TrapZillas stuff has been interesting.