The Stuyvesants - Girl, He Ain’t Me (by HeadNodsEargasm)
HeadNods first ever duo interview
“The Stuyvesants” is a collaborative effort between music producer Allan Cole (Algorythm), and record collector Darien Victor Birks (Flwrpt). Both reside in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. The two wanted to work together on a project where they could incorporate several of their talents, related to music and design. They wanted to do this under a moniker that would pay homage to the ’70s. The collaboration allowed them to do four major things, design, beat dig, produce amazing music, and simply have fun.
So how did you guys meet and how did you get the name “The Stuyvesants”?
Darien: We met in middle school, down in PG County Maryland where we grew up. Both Allan and myself were in the fine arts program…we were two of the best artists during our time at the school. Initially, that’s how we became cool.
The name “The Stuyvesants” spawned from one simple fact, we both live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is a well-known (for good or for bad lol) neighborhood in Brooklyn New York. I moved here after college and have been a resident for about 7 years, Allan first moved up here to attend college and lived in Harlem for a while, then he moved to Brooklyn 6 years ago. Most of our creative inspiration for design and music had really come to life while living in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, so we decided to pay homage to the source of our inspiration by going with the name “The Stuyvesants”. It also sounds nostalgic, which is the direction we wanted to go with the music project overall.
How long have you been working on music?
Allan: I started messing around with music in 2000, so about 11-12 years. I’ve done all kinds of stuff with it from producing songs for singers/rappers, to scoring, but I’ve always come back to making instrumental music.
Darien: In this capacity, The Stuyvesants is my first official music project. But I’ve been working on music in other capacities for years…creating mixes/mixtapes for the most part.
What are some of your favorite or most influential records that you have sampled?
Darien: I’d say we had a blast sampling from Mass Production, Spanky WIlson, and Eugene Record…most of the material that we sampled from those artists turned out to be some of my favorite beats from the 2 albums that we’ve made to date. We try to pull from unconventional sources, maybe not the unconventional genre, because we lean on soul…but that’s us, and we’ve found a way to get to lost records from unpopular artists and make something from it. So far it’s worked.
Allan: I have to throw in some of the Al Jarreau stuff we sampled. Sometimes we work virtually and just send music back and forth. Other times were sitting in the same room going through various sounds. The latter was the case with that Al Jarreau record. I remember the exact moment when we listened to it and as soon as the part we sampled came on, it just clicked. We both knew something dope was going to come from it. There’s just certain moments when we hear parts of a record and immediately it just works. The funny thing is that a lot of times those moments happen when the records aren’t particularly good or memorable. Sometimes it’s just a 10sec change up at the end of an otherwise bland song from an artists that nobody is really checking for like that. Those are the best.
Have you done any collaborations?
Darien: We’ve done some collaborations with a good friend of ours named Naturel. A track called “Stoops, Parks & Rooftops” which we released on the first day of summer, and it turned out to be a big hit. We also did a beat on Naturel’s debut album Momentous…the track was titled “Good Sh!t”, again…a song that went over well with listeners.
Other than that, we just enjoy making music to share with the world. Collaborating isn’t something that the project really lends itself to. It’s more of a soundscape for enjoyment, less of a “hire us” beat tape lol!
Are you guys working on something in the moment?
Allan: We’re always working on something, but it isn’t always clear what that thing will be until its done. I think the thing that keeps this project so interesting for us is that it kind of makes itself. There’s no record label to turn in our record to by a certain deadline. There’s no marketing team figuring out an image for us or a demographic to sell to. New ideas come in and go out all of the time and having the flexibility to entertain those ideas on the fly is something I don’t think we could do without. We’re both artists at the root of it all, so the typical constraints of the “music industry” would suck the life out of the project for us. Unfortunately, that means everything were working on is probably too vague in its current state to talk about — a month from now it could and probably will be completely different, lol.