Interview – Taabu

Toronto, ON-based producer, Taabu has teamed up with singer-songwriter, Omega Mighty to serve up a bubblegum-sweet EDM-pop treat in the form of their new single, “Ooey Gooey”.

The infectiously feel-good track boasts enough layers of audio goodness to adhere to nearly every sweet tooth’s musical desires; from the Drake-reminiscent drum and bass beats to the magically ethereal synth melodies oscillating throughout, this soon-to-be smasher is nothing short of a dreamy delicacy.

Their third collaboration — including “Wishy Washy,” and featured on Haviah Mighty’s 2019 Polaris Music Prize-winning release, 13th Floor — Taabu (Spencer Heaslip) created the track’s firm-footed foundation first, before sending it over to Omega Mighty for lyrics.

“The inspiration for the lyrics came to me when thinking about my relationship with my hubby,” Omega Mighty muses of her inspiration. “He always reminds me just how special I am.

“The lyrics reference a reciprocal love,” she adds, likening love to being “delicious” — like melted ice cream on a hot fudge brownie, the very definition of “Ooey Gooey.”

This metaphor blended well with Taabu’s own, most notably considering his mantra of approaching music production like he’s “in the kitchen, cooking,” he says.

“The lyrics spoke to me immediately,” he continues. “It’s also an analogy for the polar ebbs and flows of perfecting one’s craft… When the recipe’s just right, especially after hours of hard work and dedication, that gratification tastes so good.”

“Ooey Gooey” comes from Taabu’s forthcoming debut album, Bellows — set for release this year — and also serves as the release’s premiere single. The track is of special significance to Taabu because

“it solidifies the constant magic and synergy Omega and I have in a creative environment,” he shares. “We are both versatile, adaptable, diverse, and open minded when it comes to genre blending — and this approach has worked time and time again.”

Check out the video for “Ooey Gooey” below, and find out more about Taabu via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m Taabu. I’m an artist, record producer, mixing, and mastering engineer based out of Brampton, ON. From EDM to Reggae, Trap & Hip Hop to Pop, my records are cultivated from a myriad of music genres and styles; sound design is a huge focus for me.

Tell us about the recording process behind “Ooey Gooey”?

Ooey Gooey was recorded at my studio in North York. Unfortunately, the pandemic affected my plans to keep the studio, but I’m forever grateful that Ooey Gooey was captured in my favourite space, with one of my favourite artists, Omega Mighty. We lucked out and found a window before the stay-at-home orders and lockdowns to knock the production tweaks and recording out. The production was largely influenced by modern pop music, and the lyrics, written by Omega, were inspired by her “hubby.” Omega and I have magical chemistry in the studio. This makes sessions fun, smooth, creative, and inspiring. We love to push the boundaries of genre blends and seem to yield an energetic, fresh, yet familiar sound. I’m humbled to have had her investment, commitment, creativity, and outstanding vocal performance on this Bubble Gum Pop track.

What was the highlight of 2020?

The highlight of 2020 was without a doubt collaboration, growth, and insight. I was lucky to work on over 25 records in 2020 ranging in styles; Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, EDM, Spoken Word, and Dancehall. This blend helps push me to develop new skills as an engineer and producer. The pandemic was really challenging to navigate for so many. I’m that time, I really learned what is essential to making great records aside from the technical aspects. Through the process of producing in my car with headphones for weeks when my studio was off-limits, I learned an invaluable lesson; a great song is a great song regardless of your mix, master, gear, and/or resources. Needless to say, understanding my creative decisions and learning to execute those decisions with minimal resources was a huge highlight. In addition, developing healthier and more consistent writing habits through collaboration was an extension of that.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career in 2021?

Last year I established a goal of putting out my first full-length collaborative record in 2021 and it’ll be live in July. I’m on track to achieving that goal. There’s a crazy amount of talent on this record, “Bellows,” from global collaborators. Other than that, I aspire to continue to learn, perfect and respect the craft of producing, mixing and mastering, while maintaining collaborative relationships. If I can continue to make great music with great artists keep that standard up in 2021, I’ll be fulfilled.

Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate or open/close a concert with in the future?

I would love to do a record with Skrillex. I’ve admired him as a producer for so long. Other than him, a record with Stefflon Don, Skillibeng, Nakkia Gold, or all of the above, would make my year. Having said this, Haviah Mighty oozes talent, and collaborating with her consistently is something I’d love to maintain.

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