Interview: Gold Lemonade is changing the landscape of modern hip-hop with exciting electronic sounds

Gold Lemonade is shaking up the hip-hop world with their electronic and island-trap sound.
Image: Stephane Greffier

Gold Lemonade is made up of Caribbean-born trap vocalist Jvgg Spvrrow and French DJ/producer Lya Lewis. The two met in Paris, which led to a collaboration that is seemingly revolutionizing the modern hip-hop landscape. Jvgg’s laidback, tropical trap verses mixed with Lya’s hard, electronic beat drops, in one year, have amassed hundreds of thousands of streams and views. Their full-length album, “School of Hard Drops,” which was released earlier this year, includes fan favorites such as “Yeah Yeah,” “How You Feel,” and “Jump.”

The international duo just released a vibrant video to go along with their latest track, “Drippin’ (feat. Lil Shakk).”

When Serendipity Strikes

Jvgg hails from St. Marteen in the Caribbean and began his rapping career back in 2011. In 2015, he signed his first artist contract under a French music label, which led him to relocate to Paris. Lya used to work in the label’s recording studio, which is where the two met. First, they started to collaborate on songs for other artists, and then Jvgg was featured on some songs for her solo project. The more they worked together, the more they liked the originality of the sound that they produced.

Lya’s career also began in 2011. She had won a DJ contest in Paris and landed her first artist contract with the music label Hypetraxx. A few years later, she began carving out her own path and playing with some of the biggest names in music.

“In 2015, I met Jackie Jackson in Las Vegas,” Lya tells The Burn-In. “He needed electronic beats for one of his artists. We started to collaborate on some projects, and upon my return to Paris, I met Jvgg. I needed English vocals [and] lyrics for my work that I was collaborating on with Jackie, so our meeting was fate. We started to work together, collaborate together, and we really loved it. Finally, we created our duo, Gold Lemonade.”

Image: Sean Ray

The Burn-In: You blend trap and electronic music, creating a hip-hop vibe. Tell me how you found a collaborative sound that became your own?

Lya: The challenge in our genre is really to mix two styles that are very different. At the beginning of our project, we tended to add an electronic drop to a hip-hop base we had already made—both beat and vocals. More and more, we worked all the parts as a whole. We furthered the structures of sounds, and the blend was perfected. We really found our sound, and we can’t wait for the world to hear the new songs.

Jvgg: We spend our lives in the studio; it is a part of our everyday grind. We evolve very quickly, perfect our sound, and take more risks. [Our goal is] to vary the genres so that none of our sounds are alike. Our musical tastes are very eclectic—between the two of us, we have many influences. We play with our sound, and we learn how to handle and mix to our liking.

TBI: How do you hope to evolve the modern hip-hop landscape?

Jvgg: We really hope to bring something original and unique to the hip-hop landscape. Right now, we are more focused on the electronic world, knowing that our live sets have a lot of potential for large electronic festivals, including Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, and more. If we can bring something original to the hip-hop landscape, we are open to performing for just about any crowd.

Lya: A lot of people who attend electronic festivals also listen to hip-hop at home, so we hope to fulfill their desire for both genres. We hope to become a household name within the two genres.

TBI: Your videos have been described as vibrant and colorful. Tell me how you match the imagery to your sound?

Lya: Jvgg and I curate the concept of each video together. Each element of the video really fits the feeling that we had when we created each song. We have had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing international directors, including Well Done, Rhythmic Lab, Director SM, and Seb Antoine. Each of these directors really understands the image that we are trying to convey.

Jvgg: Most of our songs have an upbeat party vibe, so we really want to showcase that in our videos. We use a lot of vibrant elements and original effects to make each video dynamic and unique.

TBI: Earlier this year, you released your full-length album, “School of Hard Drops.” What is it specifically about what you’re putting out that you think speaks to so many people?

Jvgg: The fusion of genres brings something unique that people are intrigued by. In terms of lyrics, I try to formulate my lyrics in a way that the everyday person can relate to. The sharing of my life experiences; my highs and my lows really allows people to connect to my lyrics.

Lya: In the studio, we really try to influence our music with our past and present experiences. Our music really comes from the heart as we always stay authentic and true to ourselves. In terms of instrumentals, we each bring our own unique influences. That really allows our tracks never to sound the same.

Image: Official ‘School of Hard Drops’ Album Artwork

TBI: Tell me about your new single and video “Drippin’ (feat. Lil Shakk).” What went into bringing this to life?

Jvgg: Lil Shakk is my younger brother. He is only 15 years old, and he produces his own beats as well as raps on his own tracks. I guess you could say that music runs in our family. This track was originally a solo track of Lil Shakk’s produced by Loxx Beats. He had sent the track to us for feedback, and we fell in love with it. We rearranged the track with our electronic flavor, and I then recorded a verse. That was how this single came to life.

Lya: Keep your eyes on Lil Shakk. He is really dope. This track caught our attention when we initially listened to it. The vibe of the single has a trap/party style. The song is both arrogant and funny at the same time. I really love it.

TBI: Do you feel like you have a general message or vibe to the music that you put out?

Lya: We try to motivate people to chase their dreams, no matter their background. We really try to push out positive vibes through our music. Each song has a careful message as we want to spread love and good values. The messaging behind our music is very real.

Jvgg: We both come from nothing and have fought hard to build our careers. We understand the struggle and want to show the world that no dream is ever too big to go out and chase.

TBI: You’re signed with Jackie Jackson under his label, Critically Amused. You are one of his first two artists. Tell me what that means to you and what it’s been like working under the guidance of such a legend?

Jvgg: It has been a surreal blessing to have Jackie Jackson recognize our work. To have such a legendary figure in music, endorse your work is the best feeling in the world. We feel very lucky to have his utmost support. He is the kindest and most humble guy you will ever meet.

Lya: Meeting Jackie was a moment of destiny for me. Everything felt so natural and meant to be. He is like family to us now; it is clear to me why the universe connected the two of us. We never stop learning from him, and his mentorship has really taken us to the next level.

TBI: How has working with him helped shape you as artists?

Lya: He understands all aspects of the industry, from production to performing, allowing him to really give us some valuable insight on where we’re going. He has had one of the most profound careers as an artist, so to be following in his footsteps, is a dream come true.

Jvgg: The Jacksons have successfully developed a brand. They really set a precedent when it comes to figures in the music world. We couldn’t ask for a better mentor.

Years From Now

“We are going to continue releasing new music,” Jvgg says about Gold Lemonade’s future. “Our ultimate goal is to tour and see the world. The biggest accomplishment that we could dream of is performing at every major music festival around the world. We really want to spread our message and spread love everywhere.”

“Our dream is to be on the road every single day,” added Lya. “We really want to develop and popularize the urban electro genre around the world.”

Be sure to follow the international duo on social media @GoldLemonade to stay up-to-date with their latest happenings and releases. Their 16-track “School of Hard Drops” mixtape is available for streaming on all major platforms worldwide. Make sure to check it out and put some lemon in your life.

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Sari Cohen is a journalist based in the Greater L.A. Area. She began her career in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedy writer/performer and over the years has developed scripts for both the stage and screen. She currently covers music and live entertainment for AXS, reviews movies for Hollywood First Look Features and writes for InLove Magazine. She also pens funny stuff for popular sites such as Cracked and Screen Rant. You can often find her at concerts or on a red carpet somewhere, talking to someone about something. From on-the-scene reporting to exclusive interviews, she tackles every topic from music, movies and television, to fashion, lifestyle and politics. You can check out more on Twitter at @ask_sari or follow her adventures on Instagram under @thesavvyscribbler.