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INTERVIEW: AU CONTRAIRE



Au Contraire (also known as Danny Johnson), hailing from Cleveland Heights and currently based in New York City, has been a trailblazer in the dance music scene for two decades. Under various monikers like DJ Self Help and Love Taps, he’s consistently pushed the boundaries of dance music.


This latest project Au Contraire, focuses on crafting sound-design driven club music which is heavily influenced by Caribbean, broken techno, and garage elements, as well as the UK Bass music scene.Over the years Johnson has found support from labels like Top Billin', Main Course, Fool’s Gold, Teenage Riot, Wile Out, Feel Up, RVDIOVCTIVE, and Dance Or Die. His music and mixes have graced the airwaves of NTS Radio, Noods, Cosmo WDR Berlin, Diplo’s Revolution Sirius XM, Triple J Australia, Ibero FM CDMX, and Crack Magazine.


Berry Boo, the vocal force behind "Turn Ya On," lends her incredible voice, impeccable rhythm, and sensual lyrics a to the collaboration. It’s called “Turn Ya On” and she knows what’s she’s doing. Her vocals weave through the beats, bass, and synths seamlessly—her voice is the key instrument in this track, supported by and rising above the mix.


With an impressive background that includes vocal credits for artists like Nicki Minaj, Robin Thicke, Ceelo, One Republic, and Ciara, Berry Boo has a killer resume. Her work on Kanye West’s "Yeezus" and "The Life Of Pablo" albums earned her Grammy recognition. Her talent extends to live performances, with features on BET, Fox 5, CBS, NBC, and more.


These two artists work on "Turn Ya On," combines influences from Baile Funk, electro, club rap, and a hint of EDM and the danceabillity of DC Go-Go. Au Contraire's synth lines and intricate percussion layers set the stage for Berry Boo's fun and provocative vocals.


"Turn Ya On" is a track you’ll love to hear live, in a packed club, or blasting down the highway.


Au Contraire and Berry Boo's work on "Turn Ya On" is a testament to their individual artistry as well as their collaboration. With its release on Top Billin', "Turn Ya On" is poised to leave a mark on the electronic music landscape. Check out the full interview with Au Contraire below, exclusively for FLEX!


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You have an extensive background in dance music while always looking for ways to push boundaries and break norms. How do you keep your work fresh and new while simultaneously keeping people on the dance floor?


I like to keep my tracks moving and alive, with fun little dub effects and turnarounds while maintaining the repetition of something "hooky" that your butt can latch onto. so ill usually mess around with ideas and then pare one down as simple as I can make it, and then build on percussion patterns and auxiliary sounds around it that still keep the hook part in focus. 


Did you have vocals for this track in mind when you wrote this?


Originally this was actually a trap track, and then my Brazilian friend was asking for Baile beats so I kinda morphed this one double time into something with more Baile funk percussion for her, but it was still not Baile focused enough for her so I designated it as more of a vogue club track with these Brazilian & Caribbean influences. I was picturing someone like Maluca or Ciara on it!


The instrumentals are sultry and provocative on their own. Was this called “Turn Ya On” before there were vocals? 


I think the working title was like "Baile horns club funker" or something like that lol.



Stream "Turn Ya On" here:



What about Berry Boo’s performance and vocals spoke to this track?


For me her vocals are sexy and dark purple, and they fit in perfectly with those same colours I envision when listening to this track. like a seductive version of Azaelia Banks' vocals


Can we look forward to more collaboration in the future?


I don't see why not! We actually self-released a track called "hit it on the go" that was pretty well-recieved, but Fazio and pretty much everyone agreed we should re-record the vocals, so maybe we'll do a remastered release of that first. It has all the right things in it, the only difference is we don't have the big promo machine behind it that could make it ubiquitous.

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