Planet Giza discuss their highly-anticipated second album ‘Ready When You Are,’ showcasing their unique fusion of jazz, hip-hop, funk, and electronica…

The phrase “It’s their world, we’re all just living in it” is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Planet Giza. Made up of three members, Rami B (DJ/producer), Tony Stone (vocalist) and DoomX (producer). Their first album Added Sugar was critically acclaimed, a spectacular display of their creative prowess and aural abilities which stands even stronger next to their ‘Don’t Throw Rocks At The Moon’ EP

On 7th April they released their highly anticipated second album ‘Ready When You Are’, featuring collaborations with Kaytranada, Saba, Kojey Radical, Venna, Mick Jenkins, Topaz Jones and more. From fame to relationships, this newest instalment in their repertoire narrates the experience of Tony Stone, while he traverses through the hectic & hedonistic life of a rising rap star.

GUAP sat down with the Montreal-based hip-hop trio to discuss their latest release, the musical impact of the NBA Street video games, being banned from your local park and their desire to create something timeless.

Naima: I would love to hear about the origins behind your love of music. What started that journey for you?

Tony Stone: When I was a toddler my dad and my mom would play music in the house – when it was time to clean or just waking up in the morning singing songs. I vividly remember my dad playing the Jackson Five album and me going, who is this kid?! My voice was high too, super high, so I could hit those same notes. I would do concerts in the car and seeing my parents’ reaction sparked something in me.

Rami B: For me, it started with video games. So I remember the first video game that I played that I enjoyed the music for real was NBA Street Volume 2. My parents used to listen to a lot of Algerian music. So I was already used to that kind of music but that wasn’t my thing. When I heard the soundtrack of NBA Street that’s where I started finding my love for music and also for hip hop because it was mostly through hip hop and beats.

DoomX: I think my love for music came when I started looking – I always used to listen to music, but I never paid attention. When I started making beats, that’s when I went back and did a lot of research. I started appreciating music on another level. I was kind of pulled into it, there was a situation where I was banned from my park because I set off the fire emergency alert. It was either we give you a $300 ticket, or we ban you from the park for the whole summer. At that time I used to see these videos of these guys making beats then I was like, damn, let me try to make beats. So I downloaded FL Studio.

Naima: What are the things that you feel tie you together as artists & collaborators?

Rami B: As corny as it is the love for music. Also, we pretty much hate the same things. So that’s something that ties us together, in terms of how the music is. Trying to make it as organic as it can be, we just want to make something timeless. We’re not trying to rush things.

Tony Stone: Exactly and it doesn’t sound forced, because it just happened naturally and organically. I think we’re just three low-key people who are very passionate about what we do. That passion is felt when you meet someone and you talk to them, you feel this person is on the same frequency. It just makes me want to keep creating it. Since day one. We’ve had that same passion. We’ve just been growing together.

DoomX: To add to that we like to learn new stuff. So that’s also a very important factor when it comes to us making music together. We always try to do new stuff, and we always have the will to learn.

Naima: Talk me through your influences on this project, what were you absorbing and channelling into your work? What fed your creative flow?

Tony Stone: I think one of the components was travelling. Just seeing different cities, going to LA, we were in Paris at one time and just seeing different perspectives, different ways of living. I think that inspired us to create new things and talk about new perspectives when it comes to our music.

Rami B: For everything, the artwork and creative direction, we work with our creative director named Dovi. He’s got a lot of ideas! We just throw ideas at each other and build something around it. For ‘Quiet On The Set’, we had a script and we’re just watching some Japanese 80s pop group. They made a small documentary with a bunch of random clips and that’s what sparked the idea. Dovi’s the one who came up with the Retro Futuristic vibe behind the creative direction, he’s open-minded so that’s good for us.

Naima: From the conception of ‘Ready When You Are’ to now, what do you feel most grateful for? 

DoomX: Just the fact that it’s out. I feel like we’ve been working on that album forever. We always say we’ve been working on the album for three years. But it feels like we’ve been working on that album for our whole life. Because it’s exactly the sound that we’ve been trying to do but didn’t have the skills yet. I’m just excited for it to be out. I can’t wait to see the reaction.

Tony Stone: That’s what I was gonna say! I’m super grateful that we even have people that are excited, and who can’t wait to listen to it. Giving us their feedback and coming to the shows. Just that love, it’s felt and I’m super thankful for that. Grateful also for all the collaborators, and all the people we’ve met, and worked with, that helped add to this universe, and the soundscape that we made, it’s really beautiful.

Rami B: Even the evolution we had since our last album, it’s only been four years, but we feel like it’s been 10 years since our last album. Through the whole evolution, we learned so much, even things about the industry and I think it tied us together even more.

Naima: So talk to me about the visuals you have planned, what are the most important elements of your sound for you to illustrate? 

DoomX: How we portray ourselves that’s still ongoing. It’s the start of something fresh, we’re not trying to be cameras all the time and all that. Now we have a better understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish and what we’re trying to put out visually, but it’s still something that’s in progress. Every time that we put out something visually, it’s aesthetically pleasing, you’ll be like, damn, these guys are thinking this through. Bang for your buck. You’ll see our improvement but two years from now you’re gonna see even more improvement. 

Tony Stone: Every time you see us, you will know that the image has been worked on and that it’s not forced. That’s the message we want to convey with our visuals.

Naima: Okay so looking forward and speaking things into existence, who would you love to work with & where would you love to perform?

Rami B: Kendrick would be a big thing for all three of us. I say this all the time. Busta Rhymes too I would love to just make one song with him.

Tony Stone: That would be amazing. I want to work with André 3000.

DoomX: André 3000. Then Tyler, Pharrell. There are a lot of people who we want to work with but honestly, we will work with anybody that makes sense. And as far as performances like Coachella. Lollapalooza, any big festival. We’d like to do more festivals, more cities and big-capacity venues

Tony Stone: I want to perform at Madison Square Garden! I need that!

Rami B: I just want to say that this is the album of the year! I want to shout out to everyone involved in the creative process of this album. Hopefully, at the end of the year, we’re going to be all over Europe.

Listen to ‘Ready When You Are’ below:

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